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Juneteenth Roundtable with Governor: A Vision for Wisconsin's Creative Future

On Juneteenth, I had the honor of joining a pivotal roundtable discussion with Governor Tony Evers to talk about the future of Wisconsin's creative sector. As the founder of Pryme Solutions LLC., I’m passionate about fostering a thriving arts and culture community. Here’s how I envision the next 5-10 years and how we can make it happen together.

Developing Wisconsin's Creative Sector

I see a future where creative entrepreneurs own maker and accelerator spaces, reducing production costs and sparking innovation. It’s crucial that we adequately resource traditionally overlooked arts and culture sector categories so they can develop and produce impactful projects. We've focused heavily on land redevelopment for the last 20 years, we must focus on how arts and culture businesses can achieve operational excellence. We've seen what the creative economy can do when ticket sales aren't the only metric of success. The impact crosses sectors.

Coordinated philanthropy is also key. By matching state and local federal arts funds from the NEA and NEH and the many other federal administrations funding the arts, we can significantly amplify the impact of these resources, fostering a robust and sustainable creative sector.

Attracting and Retaining Creative Talent in Milwaukee

To attract and retain creative talent, we need to decolonize resources. Funders should be genuinely committed to the success of global majority leadership in the creative sector, rather than seeking to appear as benevolent investors. We must leverage data from Visit Milwaukee to understand and resource the cultural tourism experiences that draw people to our city.

Highlighting and celebrating Milwaukee’s unique cultural assets is crucial. By focusing on these attractions and maintaining relationships with Milwaukee natives abroad, we can build a stronger, more connected creative community.

Defining a Successful Creative Sector

For me, a successful creative sector features diverse business models of shared ownership and cooperatives that cater to the unique needs of each creative. An activated event calendar that draws global visitors and well-resourced art schools in our universities and colleges are also vital components of this vision.

Impact on Wisconsin's Quality of Life

The creative sector is integral to making Wisconsin a better place to live. During the pandemic, our creative community played a crucial role in crisis response and providing solutions to challenges. Our collaboration and innovation were key to the state's resilience.

Raising Wisconsin's Arts Funding

To elevate Wisconsin from last place in state arts funding, I propose several strategies. We need to fund the Wisconsin Arts Board more effectively, establish local arts and culture advisory committees, and deepen partnerships with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to fund cultural hubs. By adopting models from states with cohesive arts and culture frameworks, we can enhance our support for the creative sector.

My participation in the Juneteenth roundtable underscores my commitment to driving positive change in Wisconsin’s creative sector. A heartfelt thank you for the invitation from Maureen Ragalie & Darius Smith from gener8tor Art for the invitation to experience the exhibit as a representative of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

Join Pryme Solutions, and together we can build the capacity to advocate for arts and culture. Stay updated on our initiatives and upcoming hiring opportunities by joining the Pryme Solutions Network. Let’s create a brighter future for Wisconsin’s creative sector together.

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