Governor Evers Proposes Historic $100 Million Investment in the Arts

​​​On February 15, Governor Evers gave his 2023 - 2025 Biennial Budget Address, the policy and ceremonial beginning of the state's budget process.  The text of his address may be found here and a recording may be found here

The Wisconsin Arts Board is excited to celebrate Governor Evers' inclusion of the arts and the Arts Board in the Additional Key Priorities Section of his 2023 – 2025 Executive Biennial Budget – to the tune of a one-time $100 million dollar investment!​​

Governor Evers' Arts-Related Budget Priorities

​1.  Increase funding for the Wisconsin Arts Board by $552,500 GPR over the biennium to maximize the drawdown of available federal funds and continue supporting individuals and organizations engaged in the arts.​​

This $552,500 from the state's general purpose revenue (GPR) over the coming two years ($337,200 in FY 24, and $215,300 in FY 25) would allow the Arts Board to make its required state funding match for its National Endowment for the Arts grant in each year of the coming biennium without having to make a 13.10 request of the Joint Committee on Finance.  It will be a much cleaner, smoother and cost-efficient process.


​2. Transfer $100 million GPR from the General Fund to the Artistic Endowment Fund, managed by the Wisconsin Artistic Endowment Foundation. Interest earnings generated from these funds will be used to support the arts across the state through both this foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

We are delighted by the Governor's proposed historic investment in the arts.  The Wisconsin Artistic Endowment Foundation was established in state statute in 2001.  Click here to learn more about why the Wisconsin Artistic Endowment Foundation was established in 2001.  Click here to view the state statute that established it.

It is important to note that the Governor's proposed budget is the opening salvo in the biennial budget process.  For the $100 million investment to make it through the legislature, everyone who supports this investment must contact their legislators and encourage them to keep the proposal in the Joint Committee on Finance's version of the budget (the next step in the budget process).

Timeline of the State Budget Process

Here is a brief synopsis of the budget process:

September 2022: State agencies provide their budget requests to the governor through the Department of Administration.  The governor reviews the requests.

February 2023: (odd-numbered year) The governor proposes the executive biennial budget.  The bill numbers for this 2023 – 2025 biennial budget are Assembly Bill 43 and Senate Bill 70.

March 2023: The governor releases capital budget.  The capital budget allocates money for the creation, acquisition, or maintenance of fixed assets such as land, buildings, and equipment.

April – May 2023: The legislature's Joint Committee on Finance holds hearings and modifies the governor's biennial budget and capital budget.

June 2023: Assembly and Senate act/vote on the budgets.

July 2023: Governor signs budgets; issues vetoes.

The 2023 – 2025 state biennial budget should be in place at the beginning of the new fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2023.  There have been times when the budget process has gone well beyond July 1.  It is important to note that state government does not shut down like the federal government.  State agencies continue using the previous year's budget numbers until the new budget is in place.

What You Can Do

  1. Thank Governor Evers for including these two arts priorities in his budget: State funding for the NEA match and the investment in the Wisconsin Artistic Endowment Foundation!  Send your opinion via the Governor's website or send a handwritten note to The Honorable Tony Evers, Governor of Wisconsin, PO Box 7863, Madison, WI 53707.

  2. Encourage your state senator and state assembly person to support these two priorities, and to make sure they are included in the Joint Committee on Finance's version of the biennial budget.
  1. Join Arts Board Executive Director George Tzougros for a WAB Quick Question Zoom Event: “Want to learn about the WI Artistic Endowment Foundation?" Tuesday, February 21 at 2 pm.
  1. Connect with Create Wisconsin and other supporters to find out what more you can do.  Reach out to Create Wisconsin's Executive Director Anne Katz at
  1. Share this story with those you think might be interested.