Grant boosts marketing of free music series


The John Michael Kohler Arts Center receives $25,908 JEM grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. From left: Sheboygan Mayor Michael Vandersteen; Representative Terry Katsma; Marlene Yang, John Michael Kohler Arts Center Interim Development Manager; David Spiegelberg, Wisconsin Department of Tourism Regional Tourism Specialist; Amy Horst, John Michael Kohler Arts Center Deputy Director of Programming. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center receives $25,908 JEM grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. From left: Sheboygan Mayor Michael Vandersteen; Representative Terry Katsma; Marlene Yang, John Michael Kohler Arts Center Interim Development Manager; David Spiegelberg, Wisconsin Department of Tourism Regional Tourism Specialist; Amy Horst, John Michael Kohler Arts Center Deputy Director of Programming. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) is expanding marketing efforts for its Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series with help from a $25,908 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

The 10-week concert series runs through Aug. 18 and features free, open-air concerts every Thursday evening.

Weekly lineups include opening acts by local musicians, followed by professional headliners from across the county.

“We are thrilled to once again support the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in their efforts to bring music and arts enthusiasts to experience Sheboygan’s beauty and hospitality,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “This music series not only creates a positive economic impact in the community, but also raises Wisconsin’s profile as an arts destination.”

In fiscal 2016, the Department funded 57 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $31 million.

In 2015, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $19.3 billion, a more than four percent increase from 2014.

Total business sales in Sheboygan County topped $358.6 million in 2015, supporting more than 3,450 jobs and $26.6 million in state and local taxes.

The Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series is presented in partnership with the City of Sheboygan and Sheboygan Squared and is supported in part by Levitt Pavilions, the national nonprofit behind the largest free outdoor series in America.

Leveraging JMKAC’s Midsummer Festival of the Arts, the second and third concerts in July will take place on Saturday July 16 and Sunday, July 17.

A full concert schedule can be found on the JMKAC website. The music series is estimated to create an economic impact of more than $413,240 from traveler spending at area hotels, restaurants, and stores. Grant funds will go toward outdoor, online, print and radio advertising.

“In its second year, this exciting summer music series has already proven itself vital to the community and is a wonderful source of Wisconsin summer fun,” said Marlene Yang, Interim Development Manager. “We could not offer these free concerts without the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and greatly appreciate its support.”

JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations.

The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project's first year advertising and marketing costs and provides support for second and third year projects, but with decreasing amounts for funding each year until projects become self-sustaining.

For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.


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