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Plans, Studies, & Reports

Creativity and innovation have long been major drivers of Madison's unique character and its economic base. They are woven into our sense of place. Just as it is important to plan the ways in which the city supports neighborhoods, it is important to plan the ways in which its policies and resources support creativity and innovation. The following documents guide the work of the Madison Arts Commission.

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Arts & Economic Prosperty in Dane County

Arts & Economic Prosperity is a periodic economic impact study of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. This economic impact study signals that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in Dane County's economic well-being. The resulting reports provide evidence on the value that the nonprofit arts and culture industries have in Dane County.

Dane Arts, in partnership with the Wisconsin Arts Board and Americans for the Arts, is currently conducting the sixth Arts and Economic Prosperity Survey now through April, 2023. AEP VI collects critical information about event-related audience spending on categories such as food and beverages, gifts and souvenirs, local transportation, and lodging. The survey is completely anonymous and can be taken via QR code or paper hard copy.  Learn more

Data collected from arts and culture events over the year will be compiled into a customized report available to the public in September, 2023.

2015 AEP V one page summary
2015 AEP V full report 

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Greater Madison Music City (GMMC) Music Recovery Framework Economic Impact Analysis & Mapping Report

On August 2, 2021 the GMMC team released the Economic Impact Analysis & Mapping Report. This report was produced by the consultant team Sound Diplomacy as part of the larger Music Recovery Framework currently being developed. Although our music ecosystem presents itself as strong, Sound Diplomacy helped us break down what these numbers mean in terms of equity.

The report showed that in 2018 the music ecosystem in Dane County generated and supported a total of 5,791 jobs, which is equal to 1.86% of the employment in the county. In total, the economic output generated by the music ecosystem was $636 million.

2021 GMMC Economic Impact Analysis & Mapping Report

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Madison Cultural Plan

The 2013 Madison Cultural Plan explores the arts, history, and the sciences and focuses on the work of individual artists and creative workers as well as institutions in both the commercial and nonprofit sectors. The plan intentionally defines culture broadly. It includes individuals and organizations who are students, amateurs, and professionals working in such varied fields as artisan food production; digital production; architecture; history and heritage; traditional, experimental; and fine arts; scientific research; software and hardware development; advertising; publishing; gardening; entertainment, environmental programming; and so forth. If creative content drives the work an individual or organization does, it was included in this plan.

Madison Cultural Plan Executive Summary
Madison Cultural Plan

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Past Projects, Programs, & Partnerships Reports

Projects, Programs, & Partnerships 2020-2022
Projects, Programs, & Partnerships 2018-2019
Projects, Programs, & Partnerships 2016-2017
Projects, Programs, & Partnerships 2014-2015

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Performing Arts Study

In March 2013 the City of Madison undertook a study of the local performing arts environment, including a review of the performing arts community, facilities, existing and potential audiences and funding scenarios. Webb Management Services and WolfBrown, the consulting team hired to conduct the study, spent months working with a steering committee to interview and survey a range of constituents, including artists and arts managers, political and business leaders, educators and other community members. Their research enabled us to understand the state of the performing arts scene at that time and to suggest the facilities, infrastructure and partnerships required to effectively attract, engage and serve Madison and regional residents.

Webb Performing Arts Report
Webb Findings Report
Consumer Survey Dashboard

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Outdoor Music Guide

As a response to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, the City created a guide to help musicians and music organizers understand the different types of permits that a person or group of individuals can apply for to organize, perform and/or enjoy live music outdoors.

For general questions about this guide, please contact City of Madison Planning Division, Angela Puerta at

Outdoor Music Guide

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Task Force on Equity in Music & Entertainment (TFEME) Report

The purpose of the Task Force on Equity in Music & Entertainment (TFEME) was to make recommendations to the Mayor and the Common Council that would improve upon Madison’s reputation as a music and entertainment hub that offers a welcoming environment for all of residents and visitors

The TFEME report accepted by the Common Council in 2019 included 31 recommendations aimed to increase access to Hip Hop and all genres of music, build our music infrastructure, and support artists. In accordance with these recommendations, an Economic Impact Analysis was completed in 2021. Currently the consultant firm Sound Diplomacy is undertaking regulatory assessment, comparative analysis, and producing an action plan to build an inclusive music ecosystem. Among other recommendations, the City Department of Civil Rights is currently working on developing an anti-bias, bi-cultural, and cross-cultural training for all music venues to improve their services and hiring practices.

Last Updated: 05/18/2023


Madison Arts Commission
Madison Municipal Building
Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development
215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Suite 017
P.O. Box 2985
Madison, WI 53701-2985

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