From the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism

By: Kathy Kelsey Foley, director on March 15th, 2017

Sense of place. If you live in Wisconsin, those three words have meaning for you; they define your surroundings and what makes Wisconsin special.

Because these concepts might not be as easy to identify or understand for visitors, the 2017 Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held in Milwaukee earlier this week, focused on sense of place.

I’m a longtime fan of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Our colleagues there join the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in telling the powerful stories that encourage visits to our community and throughout the state.

How we reach both first-time and frequent visitors, ensure meaningful takeaways for everyone, and create distinct experiences were among conference topics.

To set the stage for these conversations, attendees gathered at the Harley-Davidson Museum, where an abundance of photo opportunities made for a memorable evening.

Among the highlights of this annual convening is the presentation of the Governor’s Tourism Awards. At last year’s conference in the Wisconsin Dells, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum proudly received the Arts, Culture, and Heritage Award.

This year we celebrate the 2017 recipient, American Players Theatre (APT), Spring Green, Wisconsin. Congratulations to our APT colleagues and to all the 2017 nominees.

Upon returning from the conference, I’m reflecting on sense of place and how the Woodson Art Museum contributes to our community’s distinct experiences. With M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion attracting large crowds and enthusiastic feedback, I’m again convinced of the power of artworks to be thought provoking, conversation generating, and intensely inspiring. Escher’s images certainly do that and more.

What creates a sense of place for you?

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