Peninsula Players Receives Wisconsin Arts Board Grant

Fish Creek, WI.  –  Peninsula Players Theatre is pleased to announce it was awarded a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB) through the WAB’s Creation & Presentation program.  Funds of the grant will support the Peninsula Players continued development and presentation of outstanding theatrical productions and community programs as the theater prepares for its 82nd season in 2017.

Peninsula Players again ranked among the highest-scoring applicants for these state grants, which are awarded on a competitive basis through a rigorous evaluation process.  Panelists cited the 82-year old theater’s long-term financial health, increasing attendance, range of programming and creative efforts to stimulate community interest.   The awarding of this grant indicates the Players programming and community engagement provides the highest level of excellence.

“I am extremely thrilled that this grant will assist Peninsula Players to continue to create high-caliber theater for the people of Door County and its visitors,” said Brian Kelsey, the Peninsula Players managing director.  “It is especially rewarding to see board members from across the state acknowledge the significance of this Door County theatrical gem.”   

The Wisconsin Arts Board is the state agency which nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage. 

The Wisconsin Arts Board’s grants to arts and community organizations across the state help to make programs available to broad audiences and supports groups which undertake innovative programming, support creativity, artistic quality, community engagement, inspires curiosity as well as audience and patron development. 

The United States Bureau of Economic Analysis reported in January of 2015 that the arts and culture sector is a $699 billion industry, which represents 4.3 percent of the nation’s GDP—a larger share of the economy than transportation and agriculture. The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135.2 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences) that supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.

Another arts study reports arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that the percentage of travelers attending concerts and theater performances grew from 14 to 18 percent since 2003.

“Communities which draw cultural tourists experience an additional boost to economic activity and grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the state of Wisconsin signifies support and growth of the creative industry around the state,” Kelsey said. 

Funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board, a state agency, will augment the strong support Peninsula Players receives from the community and visitors through ticket sales, individual contributions and corporate and foundation support. Organizations that receive Arts Board funding are required to match state tax dollars with such additional public and private funds.

The Wisconsin Arts Board through its grant programs, can help to ensure that cultural resources like the Peninsula Players Theatre will continue to be integral to the quality of life in Wisconsin.

Peninsula Players Theatre is America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre, learn more about Peninsula Players at

Peninsula Players is America’s oldest professional resident summer theater and is unique in the country for its diverse productions, continuing loyalty to a resident company, and its beautiful setting of 16 wooded acres along the cedar-lined shores of Green Bay.  In the past 82 years, the theater has become a Door County landmark and its cornerstone arts institution, attracting audience members from throughout Wisconsin and across the country.