A NEW FOX
In his recent visit to our sister city in Poland, Mayor Wiza came across this historic picture of downtown Point. The banner caught our attention. It celebrates the soon-to-be reopened "Modern Fox!" Anyone who knows the full history of the 1894 Grand Opera House knows it is a story of reinvention. It's time to close the book we've been reading and take the next volume off the shelf, making space for new chapters of creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation, and community in Portage County!
CREATE Portage County is moving forward with plans to relocate its IDEA Center to the former Fox Theater. The move will reinvent the location as a 21st-century hub for innovation and creativity, adding new co-working, project, maker, event, and community gathering spaces to the heart of downtown Stevens Point.
Informed by the recent planning and feasibility study that included interviews with more than 80 people, our plan makes use of a trend in architecture that will save the building’s facade and what is valuable of the side walls while constructing a new, energy-efficient building within that shell. Our improved design will blend new construction with useful and historically significant components of the building, thus preserving the presence of the historic Grand Opera House, as well as the soul of its history, in a way that is sustainable, less costly to operate, and based on current use of the IDEA Center.
Click here to read our A New Fox brochure!
A DEFINING MOMENT
Our dollar goal for the capital campaign is $3.5 million to be raised as soon as possible. We have already secured pledges that get us to nearly a third of this goal, with many asks still pending and in process.
Locating this project in one of Portage County’s most iconic buildings will add visibility to innovation and connect people to networks and support more quickly. The reinvented Fox will not only serve as a hub for entrepreneurship and creativity in Central WI; it will also anchor an expanding countywide innovation district made up of new and existing tech businesses, makerspaces, art galleries, shops, restaurants, and more.
We are confident that this thrilling initiative will inspire all members of the community to work together to make our vision for this wonderful new resource a reality!
New economy spaces drive this plan. Designed for the growing gig economy and the rise of remote work, two floors of varied office, work, and meeting spaces will serve as break-out rooms, pop-up shops, makerspaces, and business incubators. Moreover, the angles of our fixed zones create nooks in open spaces perfect for long tables or soft furniture for daily work or impromptu meetings.
Blending social and entrepreneurial spaces is the key to strengthening our ecosystem. Programming will draw people into this community, while resources and connections will encourage them to stay. This space will add visibility to arts and innovation while connecting people to networks and support more quickly. This plan also adds new, year-round community gathering and events spaces in the heart of our community!
Trailing spouses will find community here. Innovators will connect with other thinkers. Creatives of all types will find the spaces they need to make their visions come to life.
Portage County's reputation for innovation is its best advantage. Our reimagined Fox will not only serve as the hub for entrepreneurship and creativity in Central WI; it will also anchor an expanding countywide innovation district made up of new and existing tech businesses, makerspaces, art galleries, shops, restaurants, and more. Dubbed the Edison Generation, new professionals want to use their talents to invent, create, make, and change. Our smartest strategy, as we compete to attract our next workforce, involves positioning Portage County high on the list of Most Supportive Places to Chase Your Dreams!
Do you have time to spare or special talents to contribute? There are many ways for volunteers to get involved and make an impact, from short-term opportunities to ongoing committees and action teams.
MAKE A PLEDGE OR DONATION
Plain and simple, one of the easiest ways to help the cause is to make a donation! You can access the pledge form here.
BECOME AN AMBASSADOR
To make this campaign a success, we need to get the word out! We believe communities grow best through engaging in conversation. Talk with your friends and colleagues about the project, write a Letter to the Editor, or promote the campaign in your social club meetings.
Help us build a community mosaic that captures the full impact of creativity in our community by tagging @createpoco and using #makingcreativitycentral in your Instagram pics wherever your eye catches creativity in action!
JOIN THE EFFORT!
We are on the lookout for passionate, motivated people interested in helping us reach our goals! Get in touch today to let us know how you’d like to get involved. You can make a difference!