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La Crosse County could increase funding for public art



The city of La Crosse will highlight artistic activities next weekend, as the Artspire festival returns to downtown.

But La Crosse County government also wants to encourage art works in areas outside the city, with some community development funding.

“Again, trying to, in recognition, that the arts is the economic driver in our community, trying to put some city and county resources into helping that,” Brian Fukuda, the county’s community development specialist, said. “We’ve always had a county board representative on the city arts board but we also work with other communities throughout the county and would like to provide funding for them.”

The new county administrative building routinely displays art works by area students or art dealing with themes such as homelessness.

Fukuda says about $1,000 a year is set aside by the county for art projects.

The La Crosse arts board has discussed the possibility that increases in county development funding could be used for sponsoring art in towns such as Bangor and West Salem.

Bangor has become well-known in the last couple of years for excelling in sports but there’s also talk of encouraging more public art in the village.

Fukuda attended a recent city arts board meeting where government funding was suggested for murals to be painted in Bangor.

Fukuda says the county could increase its yearly funding for development projects such as art displays.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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