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Arts companies to make slow comeback in Wisconsin, according to art group director

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When you think of major industries in Wisconsin, paper mills and brewing may come to mind.  But museums, art galleries, and theaters employ more people in the state than those other businesses, according to Arts Wisconsin director Anne Katz. 

She says the arts normally provide about 100,000 jobs in Wisconsin, putting $11 billion into the state’s economy. 

“That’s more jobs than the beer, biotechs, and papermaking industries in the state,” said Katz, who was speaking Friday on-line with the La Crosse arts board.

COVID-19 shut down most art-related companies last year, and Katz says it will be tough to get them back up to speed, partly because performing groups are still limiting ticket sales under pandemic guidelines.    

Katz says federal relief efforts could help get arts businesses back to work.      

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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