Lac du Flambeau group aims to boost local economy with special arts grantA Native American business group has been granted $100,000 to help consolidate three cultural facilities on Wisconsin's Lac du Flambeau reservation, with the goal of driving up tourism and commerce.
By: Brian Bull, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A Native American business group has been granted $100,000 to help consolidate three cultural facilities on Wisconsin's Lac du Flambeau reservation, with the goal of driving up tourism and commerce.
The Northwoods Niijii Enterprise Community was one of 12 national recipients of a “Space for Change” planning grant. The idea is to use art to reinvigorate a struggling community or neighborhood.
“We know that the arts are economic drivers,” says Kathleen Kvern, Niiji Enterprise’s development director. She says a tribal museum, amphitheater, and arts center will all be moved and put under one roof, then renovated for concerts, workshops, and cultural demonstrations such as pow wows.
“It would really stimulate economic growth because of the tourists and job creation for the people who live in Lac du Flambeau.”
That delights Cari Singer, manager of the Woodland Indian Art Center. The center is one of the three facilities that’ll be consolidated. Singer says the project comes just as the Lac du Flambeau’s economy is improving.
“Things are starting to look up,” says Singer. “We have a lot going on here, a lot more jobs popping up. And I think we’re moving in the right direction, here.”
Designs for the new, consolidated facility will go up at the local casino, for public input. The project will last two years. The grant money comes from the New York-based group, Leveraging Investments in Creativity, in partnership with the Ford Foundation and MetLife Foundation.