Committee Meeting

Small Town Forum Event Being Held



This event provides local stakeholders with an opportunity to network, share best practices and identify strategies for small town success. Register at

Business owners, elected officials, and engaged residents from the region are invited to come together on Tuesday, September 20th, 12-4:30 p.m. at the Shell Lake Arts Center, 802 1st Street, Shell Lake, to identify opportunities and strategies for enhancing and strengthening our local small communities.

More than half of Wisconsin’s municipalities are communities of fewer than 1,500 residents. Because of their small size, these municipalities have unique issues and needs that are often very different from those of larger communities.

Now in their sixth year, the Small Town Forums allow representatives of these communities to come together, network, share best practices and identify strategies to address shared concerns. In addition to speakers and networking opportunities, sessions will also include participation by representatives from many state and regional resource partners who will be on hand to connect with attendees and provide guidance on specific concerns introduced during the sessions.

The Small Town Forums are open to anyone interested in small towns, including those involved in business, government, education, civic and community development. The theme for this year’s forums is entrepreneurship, and participants will learn specifically about strategies that local entrepreneurs and businesses have used to survive and thrive in small town Wisconsin. The forums are about sharing ideas, learning and networking for people who care about the future of rural Wisconsin.

The Shell Lake Forum will focus on the Creative Economy and the economic development opportunities presented by the arts in rural Wisconsin. The featured presenter is Matthew Fluharty, Executive Director of the Art of the Rural, a rural creative and cultural development organization based in Winona, MN. The local entrepreneurial case study will be provided by Shell Lake business owner, Michael Macone, speaking about his experience growing The Potters Shed, a successful community

James Anderson III Douglas County University of Wisconsin-Extension 1313 Belknap Street, Courthouse Room 107 Superior, WI 54880-2781 Telephone: 715-395-1547 Email:

An EEO/AA employer, University of Wisconsin Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and American with Disabilities (ADA) requirements.
based arts-oriented business.

The Potters Shed incorporates an art gallery, paint your own pottery/create your own mosaics, music, and cafe in an extraordinary setting.

The Forum takes place from noon to 4:30 p.m. on September 20th. Registration opens at 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $20 and includes lunch. Visit to register.

Who should attend? Community leaders, elected officials, volunteers, business leaders, educators, and local and regional economic development, civic, and planning.

The 2016 Small Town Forums are made possible through a coalition of statewide agencies and organizations involved in rural community development: Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Downtown Action Council, Wisconsin Rural Partners, UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development, and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development.

Contact Beverly Stencel at UW-Extension Washburn County at 715-635-4444 or or Errin Welty at Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation 608.210.6832 or for more information.


11:30 Registration
12:00 Lunch and Networking
12:30 Welcome and Introductions
12:45 Keynote Speaker
1:15   Community Case Study
1:45   Entrepreneurial Case Study
2:15   Break
2:30   Roundtable Discussions

  • Entrepreneurialism/Innovative Businesses
  • Creative Economy
  • Leadership Development
  • Local Policies & Regulatory Strategies
  • Glass Half Full OR What Does Change Look Like Here

4:15   Wrap up and Closing Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *