As the old adage goes, “Two heads are better than one.” After taking note of what the Fox Arts Network, otherwise known as FAN, had done for arts groups in the area, the Trout Museum of Art approached Appleton Downtown, Inc. in spring 2015 about creating another networking opportunity.
“They came to us and said they thought there should be another group like this focused on the cultural attractions,” shares Anne Wiegman, marketing director for ADI.
The Appleton Downtown Attractions group began meeting soon thereafter. ADI, Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, Appleton Public Library, Fox River Environmental Education Alliance, Appleton YMCA, Hearthstone Historic House Museum, Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Paper Discovery Center, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, History Museum at the Castle, and Trout Museum of Art have joined forces on the endeavor.
The purpose of Appleton Downtown Attractions is to focus efforts, network and look for possible collaborations, Wiegman says.
In 2015, the group participated in the new FAN pass and held outdoor movies. The summer outdoor movies were a collaboration between the Trout, Appleton YMCA, The Building for Kids and Fox Cities P.A.C. ADI worked with each, along with the Appleton Public Library who supplied the license and movies that were screened at Houdini Plaza. Movies included “October Sky” that connected to the Trout’s “Norman Rockwell: A Portrait of America” exhibit, “Big Hero 6” that tied to the YMCA’s brand, “Planes” which was held during EAA’s AirVenture and sponsored by The Building for Kids, and “The Grinch” to assist in promoting the Fox Cities P.A.C.’s November engagement of the performance.
“To get those two things accomplished after just forming in spring I think was pretty impressive,” Wiegman shares. The venue afforded ample parking and made for a fun excuse to stay up late to enjoy a summertime activity, she adds.
The group would like to expand upon the outdoor movies, but also is looking for other opportunities.
“It works out well to discuss some different things and do some different things,” Wiegman adds. “I think sometimes you think, ‘We’ve done it all.’”