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The Wisconsin Arts Board Thanks Four Outstanding Interns

Four outstanding women have lent their creativity, talent, and energy to the Wisconsin Arts Board over this past (fiscal) year, 2011.  We introduce them to you as a way of recognizing all that they have contributed to the Arts Board, and as a way of conveying our gratitude for all that they have accomplished this year.  In the fall, Lisa England and Karen Duval joined us to focus primarily on film and teaching artists/creativity in education, respectively.

Lisa England, commuting from her home in Milwaukee, dove immediately into our partnership work with Film Wisconsin.  She brought with her a Masters degree in English from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and an MFA from Regent University. 
A screenwriter and film consultant herself, she also brought a valuable level of insight into the world of film production.  During the fall semester, she developed a Film Wisconsin business page on Facebook, and worked with Milwaukee filmmaker Brad Pruitt to develop viral videos for Film Wisconsin.  In addition to the film-related work, Lisa assisted with welcoming the cultural delegation from our sister state of Chiba, Japan, and coordinated the Arts Board’s music composition fellowship application review process.  From extraction of “best practices” from grant review panel comments, to assisting in the review of final reports, Lisa provided the level of nuanced understanding that is required of that kind of work.   She also created press releases, typed up transcripts from town meetings, and gamely made herself available for the “task of the hour.”  Her ability to balance big picture thinking with detailed administrative work was deeply appreciated by staff and board alike.

Karen Duval was a significant force in our Teaching Artists workshops and our Dance Choreography/Performance Art Fellowship Program.  She came to Madison – and us - almost directly from England (though, in fact, she is Scottish), bearing impressive community arts credentials.   An MFA in Tapestry from Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland prepared her for work as a school community arts coordinator in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK.   There she focused on both the visual and the performing arts, working to create accessible learning opportunities in visual arts, graphics, animation and music for the wider community as well as the primary and secondary schools.   This experience benefited Wisconsin’s teaching artists this fall, when she accompanied our staff around the state as we partnered with the Oneida Nation Arts Program and artist Stuart Stotts to help artists interested in teaching in the schools learn the most effective approaches to that work.  Like Lisa, she also provided her expert eye to the process of final report review, and coordinated the Arts Board’s dance choreography/performance art fellowship application review process. 

With the arrival of the winter/spring semester, Lisa Hutler and Jenna Westrick came to the agency with interests in creativity in education and local arts management, respectively. 

Lisa Hutler is an active visual artist and a K-12 art instructor with an impressive background in youth residency work, an undergraduate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Master’s degree from Columbia College.  Lisa used her commuting time to and from Portage each day to think up new ideas to promote the “creativity in education” work occurring throughout the state.  Working closely with Wisconsin Arts Board Executive Director – and National Creativity Network Chairperson – George Tzougros, Lisa developed new content for the Network’s website.  As the agency’s main researcher this spring, Lisa also provided invaluable assistance with multiple projects and helped coordinate our work with the Americans for the Arts “Arts and Economic Prosperity” Study 2011 for the state of Wisconsin.  Although she is currently preparing for a show of her artwork in Paris, Lisa’s primary focus is on Wisconsin and she is currently considering the next step on her career path here.  Meantime, she generously volunteered to stay with the agency through most of June to assist with the closing of various grant and technical assistance programs – including the Percent for Art program – as we prepare to become a program of the Department of Tourism. 

Jenna Westrick is a 2010 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Psychology.   As such, she was well prepared for the tumult of this spring.   Her focus on art and art history during her undergraduate career helped develop her critical thinking skills and writing abilities.  Therefore, it was without a qualm that we placed the coordination of the "Phantom Art Galleries - Wisconsin" pilot grant program into her very capable hands.  Her goal of understanding better how the arts work within the community development field was quickly met through this program’s focus on enlivening troubled downtown spaces through the arts.   In addition to shepherding the many communities interested in applying to “Phantom Art Galleries – Wisconsin” through the Letter of Intent and then the Application process, she lent invaluable expertise to the review of grant applications to our Creative Communities program.
Jenna's seemingly endless energy is currently employed at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in its Volunteer Program, and as a volunteer at the Madison Children's Museum.

Each of these four women came to the Arts Board with an interest in gaining an overview of Wisconsin’s arts and cultural community, and each departed amazed at the breadth and depth of that statewide community’s remarkable work.   As are we all, here at the Wisconsin Arts Board....