Art on the Town is one of three Main Street Makeover winners
BEAVER DAM, WI. JUNE 5, 2023 – Art on the Town in downtown Beaver Dam unveiled their new look today following the completion of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) eighth annual Main Street Makeover Contest.
With assistance from WEDC and Retailworks Inc., a Milwaukee based retail branding and design company, Art on the Town updated its front façade and revitalized its indoor space. The business, which opened its doors in 2019, has grown and added new services, leading to the need for enhanced signage, upgraded displays and improved interior circulation. The makeover will guide customers to create, celebrate and learn with thoughtfully designed spaces, including the studio, event space and pottery room.
“Small businesses lie at the heart of a successful downtown, and play a key role in stimulating economic growth, attracting future residents and bringing new businesses to the community,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Art on the Town’s new space will bring increased creative opportunities to Beaver Dam residents and bring new life to the downtown community.”
WEDC and the Retailworks team have been working with owner Kris Schumacher-Rasmussen since fall to redesign a space that will be welcoming and inspirational to customers. The renovation showcases the wide variety of projects and classes available at the business and creates a unique ambience for guests in any of the business’ three distinct spaces. External enhancements also include new signage, a new awning, and a fresh coat of paint.
“We wanted both the inside and the outside of our building to reflect the creativity that our amazing customers show every time they make something here at Art on the Town, and we think we’ve done that and more,” Schumacher-Rasmussen said. “We want to thank our staff, families, and volunteers for making it a reality, as well as local businesses and contractors who helped make it a reality, including Sunsation Electric, Wall Fixer-Uppers, Rock Solid Brick Repair, Short Notice Painting, and Sherwin-Williams. And of course, we couldn’t have done it without the support of WEDC, Retailworks, and the City of Beaver Dam.”
WEDC’s Main Street Makeover contest is a part of the organization’s broader Wisconsin Main Street program, which is dedicated to revitalizing downtowns and commercial districts in communities across the state. This year, three businesses were awarded a total of $15,000 in state grants as a part of the Main Street Makeover contest. Over the past eight years, the contest has supported more than 15 small businesses and awarded over $100,000.
“I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of this makeover than Art on the Town,” Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce director Tracy Propst said. “Kris and her team have poured their time, energy and funds into providing this wonderful artistic space for our community.”
While the planning process took months and many of the more labor-intensive portions of the project such as painting and electrical work have taken place over the past several weeks, the finishing touches have all taken place during past 24 hours, with the business reopening to unveil its new look following a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 5. Customers will note a wide variety of changes in the space, including a brighter work area, improved project display space, expanded snack and drink offerings and a lounge area for artists-in-waiting.
Art on the Town was eligible for the makeover as a business in one of Wisconsin’s 89 Connect Communities. The contest is designed to raise awareness of the Wisconsin Main Street Program, WEDC’s signature downtown revitalization initiative. The program provides support and training for communities and organizations dedicated to downtown revitalization efforts and provides services and tools for businesses and property owners within these districts. The Makeover program is just one example of many programs designed to foster business and community engagement and showcase the businesses that bring life to downtown districts.