The James Watrous Gallery staff actively seeks partnerships with other nonprofit organizations in the arts, sciences, and humanities. We currently have ongoing partnerships with the Madison Children’s Museum, the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, and Wisconsin Visual Artists.
The Madison Children's Museum, located just off the Capitol square in downtown Madison, and the Watrous Gallery collaborate to offer programs for children and elders that are both educational and fun. The mission of the Children's Museum is to connect children with their families, their communities and the world beyond through discovery learning and creative play. Our partnership creates programs for children and elders that further this mission, working with both our gallery staff and exhibits and the staff and facilities of the Children's Museum. Over the past few years we have been proud to host elders participating in the Children's Museum's SPARK programming. The SPARK program was featured in the Fall 2012 issue of the Academy's magazine, Wisconsin People & Ideas.
Along with the Museum of Wisconsin Art and Wisconsin Visual Artists, the Wisconsin Academy created the Wisconsin Visual Art Achievement Awards. These awards honor individuals and organizations that have contributed to the wealth of artistic creativity in our state and region. The founders of the WVAAA believe the awards and website will serve to inform and educate the public about Wisconsin's rich art history and contemporary visual arts culture. WVAAA are for the future—for the artists, patrons, supporters, teachers, authors, collectors, and appreciators of art.
Watrous Gallery staff have worked with several other organizations to create exhibitions and related programs, including:
- The Wisconsin Historical Society
- The Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures at UW–Madison
- The Wisconsin Book Festival, a program of the Wisconsin Humanities Council
- The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at UW–Madison
- The Eye Research Institute at UW–Madison
From 2008 through 2011, the Watrous Gallery was a proud recipient of an annual "Partnership Agreement Award" through the Wisconsin Arts Board. The Wisconsin Arts Board nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage. The partnership was designed to further both the mission of the Arts Board and those of the partner organization. Due to a cut in state funding for the Wisconsin Arts Board, the partnership awards are currently tabled.
The Steenbock Gallery had its beginning in the 1980s as the Wisconsin Academy Gallery, located in our offices at 1922 Old University Avenue. This space earned a reputation for high quality exhibitions by Wisconsin artists, and as a venue for interdisciplinary curated exhibitions related to Academy programs. The Center for Photography at Madison curated exhibitions here for many years. We are currently partnering with the Wisconsin Regional Arts Program, which is presenting regular exhibitions in the Steenbock Gallery.