2022 Business of the Year: Hidden Studios Art Tour

Nominated by Vickie Vaughn

It has become a tradition for many of us in our community to set aside the first weekend of October, so that we may submerge ourselves in the pure joy of art and how it is made. The artists themselves share the gifts of their hearts and spirits with us, as we watch them create, and then we can take home treasures to keep for ourselves or to give to others.

For the last 18 years, our local artists have reminded us of what a gem of a community we have. They have demonstrated that art is a profession by which one can live (total art sales of $918,419); and the more than 1,000 attendees who patronize our local lodging and eateries, as well as other businesses, leave with so many positive comments about the event and area in which we proudly live.

In 2006, the Tour was recognized as a Partner in Tourism Hometown Hero by the Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for its efforts in boosting the local economy.

Four years ago, the Tour organized a “Community Giving,” where the artists voluntarily donate to local groups. Recipients include the Jensen Community Center, Friends of the Tomorrow/Waupaca River, Waupaca Food Pantry, and this year donations will go to the Portage County Meals on Wheels program.

But what stands out to me is the priceless contribution the Hidden Studios Art Tour has made to the creation of relationships, networking, and the goodwill that is generated by the hard work, integrity, and generosity of our local artists. We often see signature pieces in our local businesses and the homes of friends, again acknowledging the importance of this group in our lives.

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