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From the Corner Office

 What a year(s) it has been.  And we are still in the thick of addressing many challenges.  But what I am most grateful for is that Dane County is such an amazing county in which to live.   

We have amazing bikes paths, wonderful outdoor winter opportunities (aren’t you Floridians jealous you don’t have snow?), access to the lakes and parks and an extremely high level of artistic talent from all disciplines, both artists and arts organizations.

Thank you to the County Executive and County Board of Supervisors for your services in helping guide Dane County as one of the best counties in which to live. Thank you to the Dane County Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissioners for your dedication to supporting the arts, thank to our funders: Evjue Foundation, Endres Manufacturing, Frautschi and Rowland Foundations, the Lussier Family Fund and a huge thanks to Augusta Brulla, the Dane Arts LTE Cultural Affairs Specialist and to intern Rachel Anne Proite.  

As we close out the 2022 newsletter, this month we unveiled the 2023 Dane Arts Calendar and Poster.  Original art by our talented local artists bringing us the beauty and splendor of Dane County and on its 40th poster year, a most colorful design by Richie Morales.  We also include the latest BEHIND CREATIVE profile with dance artist, Natalia Armacanqui produced by Wendy Schneider of Coney Island Studios.  Both Wendy and Natalia are amazing artists.  Enjoy the short video.

We also now welcome to the Dane Arts family, two new commissioners, Laura Gallagher and Jennifer Garrett.  Laura is business leader and marketing expert, and Jennifer is Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, a cabinet agency under Governor Evers.  

We are grateful to add these high-level professionals to our team.

The 2023 Forward Art Prizes were announced as well, congratulations to the recipients.  
The wealth of Dane County artistic talent continues to enrich us all- thank you.

Dane Arts continues to collect AEP VI surveys to gather data on how money is spent at local arts events, but those dollars have nearly no financial impact on the event itself. The data will show how and from where the arts help drive our local economy.  A customized report with be presented in fall of 2023.  Please complete a survey when attending a local arts event.

In early December, the Greater Madison Music City Project (in partnership with Dane Arts and several local participants), will present its final report on creating a music ecosystem for the Greater Madison Area that provides equity in entertainment and access for all.  
Join us at Café Coda on December 8th.

Again, many thanks to the Dane Arts Community for understanding how vital the arts are to our everyday lives.  However you spend the holidays, we wish you the very best and look forward to sharing the joy through 2023.  The newsletter will be back in January and we will start calling it the Good Newsletter because the arts often bring good news.

2023 Dane Arts Calendar Available Now!
Enjoy the beauty of Dane County all year long with local artwork!

This year's artists explore the beauty of Dane County through printmaking, sculpture, photography, painting, pressed plant material, handmade paper and mixed media. Each featured artist resides in Dane County: S.V. Medaris, Babette Wainwright, Mark Weller, Mary Treleven (cover), Pamela Grabber, Nancy Hagen, Janis Senungetuk, Alex Haunty, Maron Massey, Jennifer Peters, Simona Aizicovici and Maria Amalia Wood

Learn More & Purchase
2023 Dane Arts Poster: Richie Morales
Richie Morales, Pangea, from The Effects of Time on Memory Series, “Human Animals,” 2022, Acrílico sobre lienzo /Acrylic on Canvas, 45” x 45”
Dane Arts is thrilled to announce the 2023 poster by Madison-based artist, Richie Morales. A vibrant and prolific artist, Morales' work is deeply personal and speaks to the joys and challenges of the human experience. Click below to read Mr. Morales' statement. Also listed are outlets near you to pick up your very own print of this beautiful artwork!
Learn More
Behind Creative: Natalia Armacanqui
Produced with Wendy Schneider
We hope you’ve been enjoying BEHIND CREATIVE, a Dane Arts Profile Series produced by Wendy Schneider of Coney Island Studios. The series continues to spotlight local artists and technicians building community and the arts...BEHIND CREATIVE. Our latest profile features dancer and storyteller, Natalia Armacanqui.
Watch Now
Want to learn more? Click here for an in-depth written interview on Armacanqui's artistic journey.  Visit our website to see past profiles on Sasha Debevec-McKenney, Monica Cliff, Rob Dz, and DJ Pain 1. 
Introducing New Commissioners

Dane Arts is pleased to welcome Laura Gallagher and Jennifer Garrett to the
Dane Arts Commission!


Laura Gallagher is the President and Founder of The Creative Company, a PR and marketing firm serving nonprofits and businesses doing good and making a difference. 

Laura’s nonprofit leadership work has helped raise the profile of many organizations serving Dane County. As a result of those contributions and her financial stewardship, her company was recognized as Dane County's 2022 Small Business of the Year. 

Laura is a musician, writer, and supporter of the arts and an active participant. She is currently learning to play the harp. She has served on the Madison Ballet Board of Directors, is an active member of Downtown Rotary, has been a fundraiser for several non-profits, and is looking forward to raising the profile of the arts community in Dane County.

Laura is the 2019 SBA's Women in Business Champion of the Year, a 2021 Governor's Business Plan Competition winner, and the author of "#180in120 - How to Recharge Your Business in 120 Days". 

She served as North American Ambassador to the United Nations for Women's Entrepreneurship Day, a global movement from 2017 through 2019. She is one of 100 women recognized by the State of Wisconsin as a Trailblazer. 

Jennifer Garrett is the assistant deputy secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, a cabinet agency. She has lived in Dane County for more than twenty years. A dedicated public servant, she also serves on the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board and the Wisconsin Women in Government Board, as well as the Purdue College of Liberal Arts Alumni Board. She lives in Monona with her husband and teenage daughter. Her son is a student at UW-Madison. She is proud to work to support the arts in Dane County.

Learn more about the Dane Arts Commission here

Dane Arts Supports 2022 Forward Art Prize Finalists
Each year the Women Artists Forward Fund awards $10,000 each to two women-identifying artists and $1,000 each to five finalists. Since 2019, Dane Arts has been proud to support the five Forward Art Prize Finalist awards. This year's Winners are Katherine Rosing and Lilada Gee. Finalists are Sarah StellinoSara MeredithJ Myszka LewisAngela Johnson, and Jennifer Bastian

Learn more about this year's Winners and Finalists at
Artist Feature: Debra Bushy, Madison
Bittersweet, 2021, Original photography, 10"x10”
Artist Statement:
I enjoy living in a state with four seasons, give or take sometimes. Walking the beautiful natural areas of Wisconsin is my solace and joy. I take my camera with me on most of my journeys outdoors; I go out at dawn when the world is still a hush and feel privileged to witness nature at its own pace. When I capture a moment of grace it is such a blessing! I’m truly inspired by a dewdrop, the unfurling of a new leaf or the changing of color from season to season...Get outside, take a deep breath and enjoy! 
Artist Feature: Chele Ramos, Sun Prairie
Portrait of Phil, 2022, Watercolor on Watercolor Paper mounted to Birchwood Panel, 11”x14”x1.5”
Artist Statement:
As an artist I feel that it is my obligation to open people’s eyes in some way. I feel that art should induce a strong emotion, create a new train of thought, or aid in human understanding. I strive to create beautiful portraits and paintings that, either, allow one to experience a different perspective, or induce a loving memory of someone (human or animal,) for the viewer to treasure, always. I paint with several different mediums including watercolor, acrylics, oils, pastels, graphite, and charcoal. Recently, I have been working with Dane Arts Mural Arts to learn the art of mural painting, and with these new skills I hope to spread my art and my message to a larger audience.
A Simple Way to Support the Arts! 

Pictured: Amazing stilt walkers from the Wild Rumpus Circus and their fearless leader and Dane Arts Commissioner, Marcia Miquelon (holding blue sign)! 

Right now through April of 2023, Dane Arts is again collecting data on the economic impact of the arts in Dane County and the ROI during local non-profit art events.

In partnership with Americans for the Arts, the national arts service organization, and the Wisconsin Arts Board, we collect simple surveys via a QR Code, url link (, or hard copies from attendees at such events, in real time. 

Beyond the ticket price, AEP VI collects critical data on how dollars are spent locally BECAUSE of you art event beyond the ticket price: hotels, restaurants, bars, parking, and other purchases.  The data collected proves the arts are an economic driver in Dane County.  And we all will use this data to leverage more support for the arts.

AEP VI benefits the entire arts ecosystem.
Artists, Arts Advocates, and Audience Members, help us help you!

Become an AEP VI Partner:

  • Take the survey! Please take the survey once each time you see it displayed at a nonprofit arts and culture event. The survey must be completed during the event.
  • Host the survey! Consider providing copies of AEP surveys at your event (contact for printed copies).
  • Distribute surveys! We welcome any volunteers who are interested in helping us collect surveys from now until April, 2023. Contact to connect.
  • Spread the word! Encourage friends and family to take the AEP VI survey.
Upcoming Dane Arts Supported Arts and Culture Events
Wendy Red Star: Apsáalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird
November 12, 2022–February 26, 2023
Reception: December 9, 5 - 8 pm
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Apsáalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird is a traveling exhibition by multimedia artist Wendy Red Star, a member of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe. Red Star’s work offers accounts of American history that rectify the frequently flawed narratives about Native people. An avid researcher, Red Star re-examines cultural artifacts and primary source historic imagery, and uses them as the foundation for her beautifully annotated photographs and installations. The Children of the Large-Beaked Bird exhibition provides an opportunity for adults and children to look at history and representation with fresh eyes. As Red Star notes: “It is critical to preserve and pass along culture, heritage, and shared values while also providing future generations with a sense of identity, solidarity, and empowerment.”

Image Credit: Wendy Red Star, Apsáalooke Feminist #2, 2016. Full color print on phototex, 109 x 170 inches. Courtesy of the Artist.

Learn more
Music Recovery Framework Release Party
December 8, 4:30 - 6:30 pm

Cafe CODA, 1224 Williamson St, Madison 
Join us on December 8th for the GMMC Music Recovery Framework Release Party!
This report gives an overview of economic impact and a regulatory assessment of our music scene. It concludes with recommendations to build inclusively create jobs and drive sustainable tourism across all communities and demographics in the Greater Madison Area.
The event will encourage networking, as well as feature DJ M. White. The presentation will be streamed live to Facebook and archived.

12th Annual Holiday Concert
Latin American Baroque

December 11, 2:45 pm lecture/3:30 pm concert
First Congregational Church, Madison
Madison Bach Musicians' twelfth annual Holiday Concert--December 11, 2022--will feature music of the Latin American Baroque. This Sunday afternoon event will be held at Madison's historic First Congregational Church.  The concert will primarily feature sacred music by composers of diverse backgrounds: those born in Latin America, those born in Europe (Spain, Portugal, and Italy) but who worked in Latin America, and those who never traveled to Latin America but whose music was influential there. The concert will also be livestreamed. 

Learn more
Art Party Happy Hour
December 13, 5 - 7 pm
The Bodgery, 740 Oscar Ave, Madison
Art Party Tuesdays are happy hour gatherings for creative people. Join us to spark conversation, collaboration, and connection. Help us create the best mix of creatives by forwarding this invite to artists and friends in the creative world. It's free to attend but you must register. Limited to 150 people. See you there, live, and in person! Don't forget to stay home if you're not feeling well. We'll catch you the next time!


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Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission · Room 421, City-County Building · 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd · Madison, WI 53703 · USA

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