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Open Spaces, Cultural Places

In this report, the Public Policy Forum examines culture and recreation in the "WOW" (Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington) counties. Our research is a follow-up to two recent reports released by the Forum that assessed the needs of cultural and entertainment assets in Milwaukee County, and explored funding models from other metro areas. Those reports have framed the deliberations of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce's Culture and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force.

Key Observations:

  • No pressing need for a new source of public funding to support county government's provision of culture and recreation services in the WOW counties
  • Private cultural organizations in the WOW counties could benefit from opportunities for grant funding from a new public funding source
  • Capital planning in the WOW counties should serve as a model for Milwaukee County
  • Need is not the only reason to consider a new non-property tax funding source for culture and recreation; the WOW counties also could use such resources for property tax relief

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