Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Press Release

Milwaukee Ballet Dances Into The Holiday Season With Help From Tourism Grant

Grant funds will go toward expanding advertising efforts for The Nutcracker into Northern Illinois

By - Nov 21st, 2017 02:54 pm
From left to right: Michael Pink, Artistic Director; Itzel Hernandez, Artist and Wisconsin Department of Tourism Regional Tourism Specialist David Spiegelberg. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Ballet.

From left to right: Michael Pink, Artistic Director; Itzel Hernandez, Artist and Wisconsin Department of Tourism Regional Tourism Specialist David Spiegelberg. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Ballet.

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Nov. 21, 2017) – Milwaukee Ballet is celebrating the 40th anniversary of performing The Nutcracker this December. With help from a $25,010 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Milwaukee Ballet will expand its advertising campaign into northern Illinois, attracting new patrons to Milwaukee’s popular holiday performance. The Nutcracker will take place December 9-26, 2017 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Milwaukee.

“The JEM grant program is one of many ways we help nurture and grow the creative arts and raise Wisconsin’s profile among travelers and arts enthusiasts,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “We are thrilled to support this classic holiday event as it aims to reach a new audience, including patrons with autism and sensory disorders, all while creating a positive economic impact for City of Milwaukee.”

Milwaukee Ballet’s The Nutcracker, choreographed by Artistic Director Michael Pink, is a spectacle featuring more than 250 artists, including the Company’s international dancers and musicians of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. In addition to 16 standard performances, Milwaukee Ballet once again hosts a sensory-friendly performance for individuals on the autism spectrum and others with sensory disorders. The Nutcracker is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Milwaukee Ballet hopes this season of The Nutcracker will attract more than 25,000 attendees from Wisconsin and Illinois, generating an estimated $910,900 in visitor spending in the Milwaukee area. Grant funds will go towards outdoor, online, and radio advertising.

“Milwaukee Ballet is grateful for Travel Wisconsin’s support in expanding our reach,” said Milwaukee Ballet Executive Director Julia Glawe. “The Nutcracker is the perfect entertainment option for families during the holiday season, and we look forward to sharing the joy of this tradition with new patrons.”

In 2016, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $20 billion, a 3.5 percent increase from 2015. Tourism activity supports 193,500 jobs and the travel and hospitality industry has added 21,500 in employment opportunities for Wisconsin residents since 2010, a 12.4% increase. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue. Business sales in Milwaukee County totaled $3.4 billion in 2016, supporting 31,894 jobs and $231.6 million in state and local taxes.

In fiscal 2017, the Department funded 61 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $34 million. JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first-year advertising and marketing costs, and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: www.travelwisconsin.com.

About Milwaukee Ballet
Founded in 1970, Milwaukee Ballet celebrates its 48th season as a staple of Wisconsin’s arts and culture scene. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Pink, Milwaukee Ballet has become world-renowned for presenting bold new interpretations of story ballets and cutting-edge contemporary works. Milwaukee Ballet is the home to an international company of dancers and is one of only a few companies in the nation to maintain its own orchestra. Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is the only professional dance school in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD). Milwaukee Ballet’s award-winning Community Engagement Department serves more than 30,000 people in Southeastern Wisconsin through original, interactive programs.

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