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7 Sep 2022 2:24 PM | Anonymous

Anne Katz, Create Wisconsin, info@createwisconsin.org
September 7, 2022

Sessions provide participants opportunity to network, share best practices
and identify strategies for small community success.

Register at www.createwisconsin.org/small-comm-forums

Over half of Wisconsin’s cities and villages are communities of fewer than 2,500 residents. Despite their large number, these small communities represent a wide variety of geographic and economic areas within the state. Because of their small size, these municipalities have unique issues and needs that are often very different from those of larger communities.

The eleventh annual series of Small Community Forums will be held in four locations in October and November, to allow residents in these communities to come together, address common issues, network, share best practices, and identify strategies to address shared concerns. Representatives from many state and regional resource partners will be on hand to connect with attendees and provide guidance on specific concerns introduced during the sessions.

These convenings are about sharing ideas, learning and networking concerning the health and future of rural Wisconsin.  People interested in small town and rural Wisconsin are invited to attend, including those involved in quality-of-life issues, business, government, education, the nonprofit sector, civic and community development.    Civic leaders, elected officials, volunteers, business leaders, educators, and local and regional economic development associations are encouraged to participate. Case study presentations and resource discussions will focus on infrastructure, partnership, innovation, inclusion in housing, creative economy, childcare, and workforce development, among other issues.

Hosted by local organization and agency partners, and these statewide organizations:

  • Create Wisconsin
  • League of Wisconsin Municipalities
  • UW-Madison, Division of Extension
  • USDA Rural Development Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Downtown Action Council
  • WEDC Office of Rural Prosperity
  • WEDC Wisconsin Main Street Program
  • Wisconsin Rural Partners.


       Orfordville (Rock County) – Friday, October 28
Location: Village Hall, 303 E. Beloit Street
Local host: Village of Orfordville

       Rosholt (Portage County) – Tuesday, November 1
Location: Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative, 10401 Lystul Rd.
Local host:  Rosholt Area Business Association

       Washburn (Bayfield County) – Thursday, November 3
Location: The Club, 3 West Bayfield St.
Local host:  Washburn Chamber of Commerce 

       Reedsville (Manitowoc County) – Tuesday, November 15 
Location: Reedsville Fire Station, 100 Industrial Park Drive
Partner: Village of Reedsville

Forums agenda (subject to change):

  • 7:30 am – registrations/coffee and rolls
  • 8 am – welcome and introductions
  • 8:45 am – Local Case Studies:  Stories and examples of the good work going on in the community
  • 10 am – Wisconsin by the Numbers:  presentation on data
  • 10:45 am – Roundtable Discussions
  • 11:45 am - wrap up
  • 12 noon – lunch with resource leaders 

Alan Nugent, a past Forum participant and small business owner in Stockholm, WI, had this to say about the forums: “As a small business owner, finding ways to help our community thrive and grow is important from a personal and professional standpoint. Being able to network and gather creative ideas and best practices from others in similar situations is a really valuable experience. I came away from the forums refreshed and reenergized.”

The fee for each Forum is $20, which includes materials, coffee, and lunch.  Public health guidelines in each community will be followed.

The 2022Small Community Forums are made possible through a coalition of statewide agencies and organizations involved in rural community development:  Create Wisconsin, Corporation’s Office of Rural Prosperity and Wisconsin Main Street Program, Wisconsin Downtown Action CouncilWisconsin Rural PartnersUW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development, League of Wisconsin Municipalities, and USDA Rural Development-Wisconsin.

For more information and to register, go to www.createwisconsin.org/small-comm-forums
Contact Anne Katz at akatz@createwisconsin.org with questions.     


Wisconsin Rural Partners
601 Sawyer Terrace #5184
Madison, WI 53705

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