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Lawton to Resign as Arts Board Chairperson. Will Step Down After December Meeting.

Today, November 19, the following letter was delivered to Governor Scott Walker by Arts Board Chairperson Barbara Lawton:

November 19, 2012

Governor Scott Walker
115 East State Capitol
Madison, Wisconsin 53702

Dear Governor Walker,
I respectfully submit my resignation as a member of the Wisconsin Arts Board, to be effective at the end of the Board’s meeting on December 7, 2012.  It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve the state as Arts Board Chair for nearly ten years; I believe it is important now to open the path for new leadership as the Arts Board begins its fortieth year of service to our state.

This bi-partisan citizen board, rich with diverse, talent and perspectives, has added value and prestige to the imprimatur of the state on behalf of its grantees, turning the state's investment into a powerful magnetic force to attract and leverage greater support for the work that these artists and arts organizations do with and for their communities.

And the citizens of Wisconsin see tremendous return on their investment in the long-serving staff that is held in the highest esteem in Wisconsin and across the nation.

The Wisconsin Arts Board’s (WAB) thoughtfully conceived positioning statement -- Creativity. Culture. Community. Commerce -- drives the high-arcing trajectory of its contribution to the quality of life, workforce development, and economy of our state.  To highlight just a few of the state’s accomplishments over the past decade that are due to WAB’s leadership:  

• The Task Force on the Arts and Creativity in education engaged communities across the state in examining how schools and cultural organizations support development of children's creative capacities as a strategy for workforce development.

• Wisconsin is recognized nationally for WAB’s leadership in preserving, fostering and increasing access to Wisconsin's cultural heritage through programs that have become national models.

• The WAB leads community and regional assessments of cultural infrastructure in order to determine how best to bolster resilient economies and to fortify networks of engagement in civic life, and provides expert technical assistance to creative organizations and artist-businesspeople alike.

• The WAB has been at the fore in identifying and bringing opportunities for creative industries, in rural and urban settings alike, into prominence for investment by both public and private sectors.

I look forward now to championing the important work of the Wisconsin Arts Board together with its many other public and private supporters throughout the state. 

Truly yours,

Barbara Lawton
Arts Board Chairperson

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