Creativity. Culture. Community. Commerce.


Over the past several years I have had the honor of serving on the Wisconsin Arts Board. This state agency engages Wisconsin’s people in the creative process, whether in traditional arts or in the art of business.

Our diversified board of professionals, appointed from areas statewide, has reformulated the agency. It offers many rich resources beyond just capital, and as such is now reaching out deeper, farther, and more effectively to art organizations, businesses, industries, local governments, and Indian nations that reside here in the state.

On January 22, we held a press conference in which our chair, Lt Governor Barbara Lawton unveiled a new strategy complemented by a new identity for the Wisconsin Arts Board in the form of a new logo. Arketype stepped up to the challenge and developed a new look that both in form and function best reflects this new direction—a new direction that blurs the boundaries of traditional arts and creativity to include community culture, arts education, and the creative thinking process required for daily learning, working, and playing. A direction that also stresses how art and creativity can benefit the economic power of a place through commerce.

Arketype designed an icon and logotype that captures it all. With a professional presentation of the logo type, playful intent on the word “art,” and a mark that could be a brush stroke, a dancer, a piece of sculpture, or a punctuation, if you will, integrated and seated into the logo type itself. In fact, the icon hints to the birth of a new idea! This new face of the Arts Board has appeal to both the artist, as well the accountant.

In its inaugural presentation to the people of the state of Wisconsin, Arketype created a multimedia presentation that illustrates the new positioning statement and graphically tells the story of the benefits that arts deliver as represented by the four “Cs.” Creativity. Culture. Community. Commerce.

CREATIVITY does not occur in a vacuum. Rather it takes place within an environment through the human experience and the intellectual exchange between people. This exchange nurtures thinking that results in traditional arts, like a painting, a book, or a dance. But well beyond this simplification, creativity also produces products, goods, and solutions. With that said, creativity is really a product of a COMMUNITY, which can be observed on many different levels; i.e., a town, a geographical area, or even the world.

Over time, a community’s creativity efforts build a “brand” which could also be called a CULTURE identifying the community. An obvious example of this would be the Oneida Nation. But let’s extend that concept and apply it to the entire state of Wisconsin, or to a specific location such as Northeast Wisconsin, or to a place like the city of Green Bay. How then do these communities survive? Through COMMERCE, which in turn is the quality of goods or services produced through creativity, community, and its culture!

Paul Meinke
See what else we’ve been up to at:


~ by Paul James on February 7, 2008.

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