BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BILL SCHIERL, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER
TEAM SCHIERL COMPANIES
PAULA SCHLICE, CO-VICE PRESIDENT
NERISSA NELSON, CO-VICE PRESIDENT
MONICA ANDERSON, SECRETARY
UWSP MUSIC DEPARTMENT
KARIN SIEG, TREASURER
BETTER WEALTH SOLUTIONS
CENTRAL WATERS BREWING
LAURA GEHRMAN ROTTIER
greg wright + Executive Director
Greg Wright is the Executive Director of CREATE Portage County, a nonprofit arts advocacy and creative placemaking organization focused on making creativity central to our way of life in Portage County. As a creative himself, Greg understands the draw of communities that value and support their innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs. Much of Greg’s work has focused on developing small-town applications of big-city placemaking and entrepreneurship investments, with the target of imagining a thriving new-economy model for small and rural communities. A Levitt AMP grantee, CREATE has shared its vision with community leaders and listeners at the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit, Wisconsin Public Radio, Arts Wisconsin, Empty Storefronts, Wisconsin Educators of Business & IT, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, and partner communities across the country. In 2015, Milwaukee Biz Times named Greg the "Innovator to Watch” for the arts in Wisconsin.
ANGELA SCHENK + Director of Experiences
Angela Schenk is the Director of Experiences for CREATE Portage County. Believing that creative ideas arise at the intersection of diverse interests and passions, Angela brings her background in nonprofit management, art and design, and the desire to elevate others to her work at CREATE. She is committed CREATE’s efforts to grow vibrant arts, culture, and innovation scenes that attract and retain talented and passionate people to Portage County. Angela has seen the impossible become reality on too many occasions to doubt what a community invested in creativity and collaboration is capable of. She is honored to be a part of that possibility in this community.
2011 - Bill Schierl, President & Founder, receives the "Arts in the Community" award from Arts Wisconsin.
2013 - The WI Department of Tourism awards the Arts Alliance and the Convention & Visitors Bureau a JEM Grant for their "Celebrate the Arts" campaign.
2014 - The "Celebrate the Arts" program earns the "Arts Destination Marketing Award" from Destination Marketing International and Americans for the Arts.
2015 - Arts Wisconsin invites the Arts Alliance to present on the Creative Economy at Arts Day 2015.
2015 - Milwaukee Biz Times names Greg Wright, Executive Director, the Innovator to Watch for the arts in Wisconsin.
2015 - The Wisconsin Main Street program invites the Arts Alliance to speak about downtown revitalization and placemaking.
2015 - The Alexander Landerman mural "The Fox Can" is featured as part of the Fort Collins Mural Monday project.
2016 - Newaukee invites CREATE to share its IDEA Center concept at their Empty Storefronts conference in Madison.
2016 - The #OrangeBarrelArt Tour, in partnership with the Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, wins the 2016 Wisconsin Tourism Trailblazer Award
2017 - Levitt AMP City, bringing ten weeks of free live music to the Pfiffner Bandshell
2017 - Invited to speak at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters conversation on creativity and small-town economies.
2017 - Presented the IDEA Center concept at the annual Wisconsin Educators of Business & IT Conference.
2017 - Selected as one of Portage County's influencers of the year by the Stevens Point Journal.
2018 - Invited as a featured case study, speaking at the closing session of the ArtsLab cultural development program.
2018 - Invited to present at the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in Chattanooga on using creativity to reenergize small-town economies.
The Arts Alliance of Portage County is launched to create a centralized arts & culture advocacy agent for Portage County.
The Arts Alliance develops the first nonprofit Economic Impact Data based on the Americans for the Arts Economic Prosperity II Calculator and begins the work of arts-based economic development.
To quantify the economic impact of nonprofit arts & culture expenditures, the Arts Alliance conducts a local Americans for the Arts Economic Prosperity III survey.
The Arts Alliance researches the concepts of the creative economy and creative industries, networking with leading professionals to build evaluation systems. It launches Buzz Around Towns as a way to communicate acquired information and data.
The Arts Alliance facilitates a meeting between former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton and Portage County elected officials and community leaders to introduce them to the concepts of the creative economy and creative industries.
Through a matching grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Arts Alliance hires a consultant to complete a comprehensive study of the creative economy and creative industries in Portage County.
The Arts Alliance shifts from studying the creative economy to making its first targeted investments in hopes of impacting the economy with the arts, culture, and creativity. In partnership with the Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, it receives a two-year JEM Grant to market Portage County as an arts destination for Madison and Milwaukee residents. This one-month campaign has a $912,236 impact in its first two years.
This success leads to the launch of CREATE portage county, an initiative designed to broaden the scope of the organization to better support creativity in all forms and to further explore the impact of placemaking investments. The Arts Alliance earns seats on the Convention & Visitors Bureau board and the Portage County Business Council Economic Development Committee to facilitate this work.
The Arts Alliance rebrands to CREATE portage county, positioning the organization to lead community development efforts through continued arts advocacy and creative placemaking. Through executive action, the Mayor of Stevens Point creates an Arts Advisory Committee for the city that operates through the auspices of CREATE.