Imagine MKE envisions a future inspired by arts and culture. We are the convener, connector, and amplifier of the arts and culture community in the city. Our network of arts, civic, and business leaders are united to advance arts and culture as the catalyst for social and economic vitality in our city.

Bringing together our city’s leaders in the arts, business, and civic communities, Imagine MKE is guided by a shared agenda that is rooted in the belief that arts and culture have the power to transform Milwaukee. We believe that having our city’s artists and arts organizations at leadership tables and regarded as key partners will create a thriving, inclusive, and vibrant city where our friends and neighbors have a healthy and vibrant place to live, work, and create.

The agenda drives the efforts of four work groups, and is designed to inspire and create connections that will make Milwaukee a destination city by:

  • Growing the vibrancy of art in our city's diverse neighborhoods (Neighborhood Partnerships)
  • Advocating for improved public policies for the arts, increased public funding, and integrated creative place-making strategies (Public Policy)
  • Increasing public awareness of the excellence across our city's arts and culture eco-system to change the narrative of our city (Marketing and PR)
  • Improving the markets and systems of support for working artists (Support for Artists)

We work with and through our coalition of individual artists, arts and culture institutions, and businesses to advance a shared agenda to create an inclusive, engaged, and inspired city so that all of our friends and neighbors have a healthy and vibrant place to live, work, and create.

Our Vision

An inclusive, engaged, and inspired Milwaukee that is recognized as a world-class city for creating and experiencing arts and culture.

Our Mission

Imagine MKE is a diverse coalition united to advance both a thriving arts and culture sector and the sector's contributions to the cultural, social, and economic vitality of Milwaukee.

Our Values

Creativity and Artistic Expression

To lead a network of stakeholders from the arts and culture community, we must embrace creativity and artistic expression in how we lead and operate.

Collective Impact

No one organization can produce our results. We are committed to working as a collective to generate shared ownership and leadership to move our common agenda.


Imagine MKE will be a performance-based organization where we are accountable for clear, measurable results in all strategies, activities, and meetings.


Arts and culture exists and should be developed in all Milwaukee neighborhoods, and our work should always aim to redress and not reinforce or exacerbate racial and other historic disparities.

Inclusive Engagement

Participation should always include stakeholders who represent diverse populations, neighborhoods, and roles within the arts sector. In addition, we will always seek to engage those who are the intended beneficiaries of our work in helping design and participate in the delivery of our strategies and projects.


We recognize that as a collective, we build and maintain trust by ensuring authentic participation and share information and decisions openly through the network. 

Continuous Learning

To achieve big new goals, we must pursue our work with a spirit of innovation and inquiry. We must be willing to experiment, fail, learn, and adapt in this unprecedented work.