First Quarter Accomplishments

As our coalition works towards our collective goals, a priority of the backbone staff is to keep our network and the public up to date on the latest progress. Each quarter, check back here for updates, which correlate with our Work Groups’ quarterly meeting schedule.



  • Fully staffed organization with CEO, Senior Director of Collective Impact, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Director of Artist Support and Outreach, Neighborhood Liaison, and Executive Assistant
  • CEO’s 100-day listening tour
  • Transition work from consultants to staff team
  • Began work to develop data and research framework, as well as a scorecard to track our network’s impact and success
  • Began research on 501c6 structure for “arts and culture chamber of commerce” structure

Public Policy

  • Met DNC convention host committee leaders to understand opportunities for arts activation during the convention
  • Convened meetings to coordinate city, state, and national arts groups and stakeholders for DNC arts production
  • Meetings with stakeholders regarding proposed sales tax increase to understand how the arts community can engage and the opportunity for increased public arts funding
  • Developed strategy for broad, network-wide arts-powered civic engagement for 2020, including plans to develop a campaign to engage arts-motivated voters
  • Secured database provider to be able to start Arts Champion program, which will identify arts-motivated voters to support arts-powered public policy

Marketing and PR

  • Selected website designer and will have a first draft of a reimagined website with refreshed branding for Nov. 7 launch
  • Held Marketing and PR Work Group meeting, which identified immediate priorities for IMKE as: to develop and communicate the key differentiators for MKE’s arts and culture scene, to
    promote the sector and our artists during the DNC through collaboration and shared resources (such as a database of artists for hire), and to build deeper partnerships with corporate marketing groups
  • Participated in the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Table of Experts, “The Business of the Arts,” to be run in October
  • Began to develop written and video content that highlights our city’s artists, neighborhoods, and arts institutions.

Neighborhood Partnerships

  • Currently, our neighborhood partnerships work is focused in the 53206 zip code, one of the most challenged in our city. This work is aimed at building authentic bridges between local
    residents and the arts and culture organizations operating in our city. The goal of this work is to engage with the neighborhood to support and enhance the existing creativity and culture based
    on the interests of community members. In three short months, this work has already been incredibly inspiring.
  • Supported 5 events in the Amani Neighborhood, including Summer Sprays 2019, a graffiti mural festival, The Mental Art (in partnership with 88.9), an arts activation during “Beyond the Book Bag” in Moody Park, a Three-on-Three Basketball Tournament with DJs, and Free Admission to the Hip Hop Museum during Hip Hop Week
  • This resulted in 8 new public works of art added to the neighborhood, including a new “Let Peace Live” mural that was created in partnership between the residents in the neighborhood, COA, and Shorewood High School
  • These events created 15 partnerships between arts and culture organizations and neighborhood/issue-based organizations, and reached over 500 residents in the neighborhood
  • Beginning to build an asset map of the Amani neighborhood, which we hope to expand through the city

Artist Support Working Group

  • Held quarterly meeting to connect members of working group with small business support providers
  • Developed and distributed call for submissions for "Imagine this Show," which will be a show at No Studios during our Launch and through November for artists to show and sell work on the theme of connection and justice. All sales from the show will go directly to artists.