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Creative Economy Task Force
In 2011 the Village assembled a task force to develop and propose a strategic plan for the Creative Economy Initiative (CEI). Comprised of a broad range of representatives from across the community, the task force included members of the Waunakee Community School District, the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce and the Waunakee Economic Development Commission as well as local artists, businesses, and residents devoted to enhancing Waunakee's profile as a creative and innovative place.

In November 2017, the Village Board approved the establishment of a new task force to help guide the Village into the next phase of the CEI. This task force will pursue the creation of a new entity to encourage and implement creative economy projects, businesses, and services across Waunakee. 

To assist with this undertaking, the Village engaged a student consulting group from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at UW-Madison. The consulting team will support the task force by conducting case study and other research, facilitating discussions and community conversations, and partnering with task force members to design mechanisms to set the new entity up for success. 

Updates from the CEI Task Force and Bolz Center Consulting Team
In February 2018, the CEI task force and Bolz Center consulting team convened a series of community conversations to think about what's next for Waunakee's creative economy. From February 13-28, the team met with more than 40 representatives from the school, arts & culture, business, faith, and civic communities as well as the general public. Bolz Center consultants facilitated small-group discussions by asking questions about how people and organizations participate in Waunakee's creative economy, how they would like to participate, and what challenges they face in being able to participate.

What did we hear?
After reviewing transcriptions, notes, and observations from these conversations, the consulting team identified the following key themes:
  • A LOT of creative activity happens in Waunakee.
  • What makes Waunakee unique?
  • Existing activities lack communication and coordination.
  • Existing activities need marketing and advertising support.
  • Waunakee lacks affordable space for creative endeavors.
  • Individuals and organizations need more time and capacity to pursue creative efforts and collaborations.
  • The creative economy can help develop our students.
  • The creative economy can help solve big problems facing Waunakee.

The consulting team discussed these themes in-depth in a report and presentation delivered to the CEI task force on March 8, 2018.

Where do we go from here?
Over the next several weeks, the consulting team will combine the feedback from completed and additional community conversations with statewide, regional, and national research they conducted during the first phase of this project. All of this data will inform strategy to continue developing and supporting Waunakee's creative economy. The consulting team will present its strategy recommendations to the CEI task force on Monday, April 30, 2018. After the task force approves the consultants' recommendations, the Bolz Center will present to the Village Board of Trustees. 

Stay updated on our work!
Follow the team's progress by subscribing to our new e-newsletter here

Task Force Members

Task Force Meetings
The CEI task force will meet 4-6 times over the next 7-8 months, and all sessions are open to the public. Information about the next meeting is listed below.

CEI Task Force Meeting #4
Monday, April 30, 2018 | 6-8 p.m.
The Innovation Center
301 Community Drive
Waunakee, WI 53597