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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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Mission & Vision

MISSION

The Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) is a non-profit, Milwaukee-based organization that contributes to a thriving arts community by responding to the range of arts-related talent in the Southeastern Wisconsin region. Through offering professional tools and resources for sustainable market cultivation, we support local talent in identifying their level of development and we encourage innovative production.

Fueling Greater Milwaukee's Creatives: Empowering Community

VISION

 

Our vision is to:

  • Create conditions for market development in the arts, from traditional to experimental, and generate visibility of and activity within our network
  • Model organizational behavior that focuses on production of a network for cultural and economic purposes
  • Support our membership in developing skills and confidence to navigate a variety of market scales including regional, national and international arenas
  • Emphasize the value of local production and encourage pride in our region as a nurturing and inspiring arts community
  • Craft a range of programs and resources in response to self-organized groups within our membership that encourages the network to grow in concise and strong ways
  • Offer clear and rhythmic communication about activities and opportunities to our network of arts-related workers and institutions in the region, as well as to interested arts supporters both local and visiting, and
  • Serve as a communication hub for our network as an expanding, committed labor force that advocates for the capacity of the arts to influence regional culture.

We understand that artistic practice involves personal and professional development.

 

HISTORY

At the beginning, MARN operated as a “grass-roots” non-profit with a volunteer board and, shortly after, a part-time Executive Director. MARN become an essential voice of Milwaukee’s visual arts scene with an on-line listserv that quickly became a core source of information sharing amongst artists. This listserv is still a major resource of the organization today. Professional development workshops were offered in a variety of subjects around the entrepreneurial business concerns of art practice. MARN functioned as a mobile organization that held its programming at a variety of local arts institutions throughout the city.

In 2004, MARNmentors was initiated which continues as one of MARN's cornerstone programs. 2009 brought the addition of a full-time Executive Director as well as the pilot year of MARNsalons and expansion of the organization to include a wider variety of arts disciplines beyond the visual arts. 2010 brought the creation of MARNmic Night and MARNstages and the realization of a 10-year goal for a centralized gallery and workshop space located on Vliet Street in the Washington Heights neighborhood. In 2011, MARN launched Writer's Wednesday and MARNmovies and the staff was increased with two part-time employees in outreach and marketing. 2012 led to the elimination of the Executive Director position and a reduction in programming due to budget constraints. MARN was a key supporter of the Center Street Fire Relief efforts in 2012.

In 2013, MARN moved its headquarters to the Marshall Building in the Third Ward in collaboration with Plaid Tuba. MARN offered its first professional development workshop intensive with the nationally recognized granting organization Creative Capital. Staff has been reduced to a part-time operations director, some programming has been suspended and a strategic planning and organizational development process commenced with support from the Nonprofit Management Fund.

MARN is in a pivotal development process of restructuring internally, surveying its membership and advisors and examining staff positions, programs and priorities for increasing responsiveness to the creative community.