Sunday, April 21, 2013

An Evening of Creative Collaboration at Shake Rag Alley


On April 16, Shake Rag Alley hosted an arts networking event attended by 19  individuals representing a diverse array of arts organizations in southwest Wisconsin. The meeting was an outgrowth of the Grow Southwest Wisconsin initiative, which is a three year planning project designed to better position this region for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

The meeting at Shake Rag Alley was facilitated by Anne Katz of Arts Wisconsin. Anne led the group through a discussion of the values and benefits of regional collaboration. As part of the evening, Diana Johnston of Brewery Pottery shared lessons from one of  most successful examples of regional collaboration we know – the Fall Art Tour. Twenty years ago a small, but enthusiastic group of artists got together and created a tour that featured artists working in their homes and studios. The event has grown tremendously over the years, and is now a major artistic and tourism resource for the region.

The evening's lively discussion culminated in a decision to hold ongoing meetings to share ideas, network, and identify opportunities for collaboration. The next event will be held in the summer, most likely at the Wyoming Valley School in Spring Green. As Anne Katz told participants after the meeting, "If your ears are burning up from here on out, it's because I'm going to be talking up southwest Wisconsin when I talk about collaboration, creativity, entrepreneurship, and imagination."


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