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The Fourth Annual Local Spark Grant Program Information

Local Spark

Thank you for your interest in the Local Spark Award! The League of Wisconsin Municipalities and WEA Trust are hosting the fourth annual Local Spark Award in 2017, granting three $3,000 awards to Wisconsin cities and villages. Our goal is to support local people with the vision, passion and drive to spark something special in their community.

This year’s entry window is closed. We encourage you to apply next year for the 2018 Local Spark Award.

We look forward to learning more about your vision, passion and drive!

What is the Local Spark Award?

Congratulations to the 2016 Local Spark Winners!

WEA Trust and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities hosted the 3rd Annual Local Spark Award this summer. More than 70 cities and villages in Wisconsin submitted a project that would brighten up their community. Thanks to everyone who champions Local Spark in Wisconsin, and congratulations to this year’s winners: 

City of Wausau – River Rhythms Wind Chime

In Wausau, the River District is the central hub for all things arts and music in central Wisconsin. To continue to cultivate art and community, an art plan was developed to emphasize and embrace the rich culture of arts and the history of jazz and blues music. 

This River Rhythms initiative will feature a wind chime trail along the river walk path that connects the downtown to the new River life development. The Local Spark Award will fund a large, free standing wind chime and create an interactive exhibit for the public.

Elizabeth Field wrote in her submission, “This installation will be unique to Wausau and will be a spark that enlivens our community.” 

City of Milwaukee – Escuela Verde Mural

Escuela Verde, a project based school in Milwaukee empowers their students to be a part of change, learn from others, and to be involved in the community. Isabel Castro, an Escuela Verde student did just that as she submitted her proposal and spoke about her vision to create a mural in her community.

“This mural will focus on creating awareness of social/eco-justice issues that are happening in Milwaukee and globally,” wrote Castro. The Spark Award will also fund an art club field trip to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.

“This will be a chance for all of our artistic students to have the tools they need to empower themselves in the community,” said Castro.


City of Waukesha – Community Art Initiative

The City of Waukesha and the Waukesha Community Arts Project (WCAP) are turning over the paintbrushes to all the citizens that call Waukesha home. The Waukesha Community Canvas project will let the entire community become artists.

“Our ultimate goal is to have thousands of citizen artists paint their favorite thing about Waukesha on a 2” x 2” canvas,” said Sally Kahlfeldt. The city will partner with WCAP and a small team of local artists who will masterfully assemble the mini-art canvases into one large masterpiece.

Kahlfeldt wrote, “While so much of the news cycle is filled with negative stories about our differences driving communities apart, we feel this project would allow the community to come together.”

Honorable Mentions

We'd like to give special recognition to the other top 2016 Local Spark projects. Thank you for your vision, passion, and drive!

  • Allen Belter, Athens

  • Karla Jensen, Beaver Dam

  • Catherine Roeske, Oak Creek

  • Pam Parish, Greenbay

  • Erin Hirn, Brown Deer

  • Gail Tamez, Wales

  • Noah Wiedenfeld, New Richmond

  • Robert Rubovits, Milwaukee

  • Abby Attoun, Middleton

  • Judith Schmidt, Sheboygan

  • Mike Wiza, Stevens Point

  • Stacy Darga, Sun Prairie

  • Victor Castro, Madison/Fitchburg/Dane County

  • Donna Timmerman, Dickeyville

  • Mitchell Foster, Winneconne

  • Ellen Koxlien, Whitehall

  • Deborah Blackwell, Whitewater

Registration has ended, as of August 5th.