Damn Right WHYNOTWAUSAU?
by Dino Corvino on July 30th, 2012
So, I had a killer time this weekend. It was one of those amazing central Wisconsin weekends when everything falls together, and it all just seems easy and cool. I think when we have weekends like this, it is important to grab them and try to find out what makes them sustainable.
So, why can’t Wausau have live music on the 400 Block every Satuday night from June 1 through Sept 1? I suppose we might already, but maybe we do not. I could not find an online list of the events for the 400 Block. There are several different websites that each list their own activities, but no comprehensive list.
But man some guy named Josh Gracin just played there, then the WhyNotWausau guys did their thing, and we kill it every week with the concert series… so Why Not?
If we look to large cities, like the Twin Cities and the Jazz Series, or when I was in college at UWM, there was the Rainbow Summer Series, the 3rd Ward Concert Series, and of course the Summerfest Grounds.
I was downtown on Saturday, and there was a TON of foot traffic. There were people on bikes, people with strollers, people with frozen yogurt, and lots of shopping bags. So, not to be crass about it, but more people downtown, I think, would equal more money for downtown businesses.
So, why not put together a fund and spend the rest of 2012 fund raising, from downtown businesses and other community stakeholders?
Let’s break out the costs….
Talent (gotta pay musicians)- $750 a week. That is $9750…So lets round up to 10K
Sound and Lights- Lets say 500 a week. That is $6500
Insurance. I have no idea.
Let’s just say we can do it for 20 grand.
Now if we have 150 retail stores in downtown Wausau (again, no actual idea)…That is roughly 133 dollars to support a concert series.
Now, if we factor in some Ministry Health Care or Kinzie Green types who sponsor such an activity, then kapow, we are growing fast.
Sure, the naysayers will be complaining about it all being for downtown… but so it goes. They complain when people privately raise money for the city.
So, now who can do this? Why not call on the masters… bring Midwest Communications, The Grand Theatre, Wausau Area Events, Flapjack Creative, Compass Properties, The City Pages, and The Wausau Daily Herald together, and let them do it. The chairs can be Jim Rosenberg and Phil Valitchka, those guys are awesome and work harder than most of us. We can even tie in the Emerging Leaders group so young people are represented in leadership.
If our community created that sort of destination series event for the square, then I think this would be living directly up to the vision put forth by Dr. Freeman and his wife Mary Clare when they started the project so long ago.