Imagine MKE
Press Release

Imagine MKE Launches Search for Executive Director

New leader will spearhead organization’s strategic framework and plan of work

By - Nov 10th, 2022 11:07 am

MILWAUKEE, WI, Nov. 10, 2022Imagine MKE announced today plans to hire a new Executive Director to lead the organization in advocating on behalf of the arts and culture sector. Since its inception in 2019, Imagine MKE has served as Milwaukee’s office of arts and culture. During the pandemic, Imagine MKE secured $700,000 in public funding for nonprofits in the sector and raised almost $300,000 for local artists.

Board Chair Deanna Tillisch believes there has never been a more important time for the work of Imagine MKE. “The arts and culture sector in greater Milwaukee is an incredibly powerful driver of employment, growth, and quality of life for the entire region,” said Tillisch. “Unfortunately, the tail of the pandemic continues to have a significant impact on organizations and artists. To ensure we sustain the assets and local talent that make our community distinct, we need to promote their value through a comprehensive advocacy strategy.”

According to Tillisch, Imagine MKE’s Board of Directors and stakeholders are excited to shift from being reactive to the pandemic to proactively driving a strategy that ensures and leverages a vibrant arts and culture scene. Specifically, Imagine MKE is committed to driving measurable results that:

  1. Shift public and business community perception of the arts and culture sector and demonstrate its value as an economic and cultural driver.
  2. Advocate for the increase of public funds, policy changes for the sector, and paid opportunities for creatives in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors.
  3. Convene, attract, and retain the creative talent workforce by connecting them to pipeline and entrepreneurial programs and paid opportunities in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors.

“This is a transformative moment for our city and region,” said Tillisch. “Arts and culture has a pivotal role to play, and the next leader will lead this advocacy work and be a powerful connector across the public and private sectors.”

Learn more about the position here. 
About Imagine MKE: 
Imagine MKE believes in the power of arts and culture to define and energize our city and its people, from arts institutions and creators of every age and level of practice to those who experience and appreciate all forms of creativity and cultural expression. Our vision is an engaged, inclusive, inspired, and economically vibrant region that is recognized as world-class for its thriving arts and culture scene.

Organizational Background: 
In 2017, community leader and philanthropist Katie Heil began convening artists, leaders from arts and cultural organizations, and other civic and business leaders to discuss the need for a central coordinating office for the arts. From September 2017 through July 2018, artists, arts and culture leaders, neighborhood leaders, and other civic leaders participated in planning to create a common agenda to strengthen Milwaukee’s arts and culture sector and its contribution to the vitality of the city and region.

Since beginning operations in 2019, the staff and network of Imagine MKE have been advocating for increased arts funding, amplifying the work of artists and arts non-profits, supporting neighborhood creative activations and placemaking investments, and serving the interests of those working within or in connection to the creative economy of Milwaukee. In 2021, Imagine MKE hosted a Creative Summit that – for the first time – brought together a diverse cross-section of local artists, arts administrators, entrepreneurs, business and non-profit leaders, and more to reflect on the collective power of the arts and culture community’s impact in our region.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

Mentioned in This Press Release


Recent Press Releases by Imagine MKE

Imagine MKE to Convene Greater Milwaukee Creative Economy Forum with Support from Partners Including MMAC and VISIT Milwaukee

The Nov 1 session will gather a diverse group of civic, non-profit, private sector, philanthropic and educational leaders to discuss the influence of the creative economy on economic and social vibrancy

Imagine MKE Names New Executive Director

Adam Braatz selected to lead advocacy efforts for arts and culture

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