How can changing the conversation about the ways in which creativity drives local and statewide economies help create a better quality of life in Wisconsin? At this September 20, 2016, Academy Talk, Sheila M. Smith shares insights on the creative economy gleaned from over twenty years of arts advocacy at the state level. Though Wisconsin and Minnesota share similar population sizes, recent studies have found that Minnesota’s arts economy is roughly twice the size of Wisconsin’s. Smith, the executive director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, explores the powerful role of creativity in a state’s economy, including how Minnesota came to pass the Legacy Amendment, which put dedicated funding for the arts into their state constitution for the next 25 years, and how Wisconsin can change the way creativity is seen in our state.
This is the first talk from the Academy-led Wisconsin Creativity Initiative. Developed by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters in partnership with the Wisconsin Arts Board, Arts Wisconsin, and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Wisconsin Creativity Initiative seeks to examine the elements of a creative economy that make the most sense for Wisconsin, and the ways we can harness these elements to make our communities and our state stronger. Our aim for the Wisconsin Creativity Initiative is to change the conversation about the power of creativity to improve Wisconsin’s economy, educational systems, and quality of life.