March 13, 2013 marked the annual Arts Day for the state of Wisconsin. The intent? To bring together “Wisconsinites from the worlds of the arts, business, education, civic issues, politics, and government” to “meet and rally with Wisconsin’s political leadership.” This full-day annual event brings in people throughout the entire state to participate in everything from panels to networking events. As Bolz students, we were given the opportunity to be a part everything firsthand.
One of the perks of Arts Day was to have our weekly arts seminar moved from Grainger Hall to the downtown Concourse Hotel. Doug Borwick, a well-known figure in the arts consulting world, joined us for our class. In addition to having a Ph.D. in music composition, Doug is the author of Building Communities, Not Audiences: The Future of the Arts in the U.S. He shared stories of groups that he had previously worked with, fielded our many questions, and provided great insight into the role of public involvement in arts organizations.
Following class that day, the Bolz Center attended a public meeting that was being held at the Bartell Theatre. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss an impact study that is currently being conducted by the City of Madison. Facilitated by WolfBrown and Webb Management Consultants, the study is examining the city’s current involvement with the arts and aiming to provide recommendations for how they can be more impactful. This open forum included attendees from major players in Madison’s art community. We Bolzies were given the opportunity to ask questions about the study and provide insights from a graduate student’s point of view. At the end of the day, it was wonderful to be able to link our Bolz Center education with real-world practices that are happening right in our state and our own backyard.