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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 24.0° F  Overcast
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The Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission at 30
Who has served -- and who has been served
on

This week's feature on Lynne Watrous Eich, who is retiring next month after 30 years as Dane County Cultural Affairs Director, notes some of her countless contributions toward Dane County residents' quality of life.

One of the most quantifiable ways to appraise her tenure is to cite the $5.7 million in local arts and history grants awarded by the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission during the three decades of her watch -- a figure that multiplies when you take into account that each of those dollars leverage an average of $10 in matching funds and donations from other sources.

In a similar way, Eich has multiplied her own effectiveness by surrounding herself with people who share her exceptional commitment to the county's artistic and cultural vitality. One look at the names of people now serving terms as current Dane County Cultural Affairs Commissioners bears this out.


Current Dane County Cultural Affairs Commissioners

  • Marion Brown, Madison
  • Eileen Bruskewitz (Dane County Supervisor), Waunakee
  • Barbara Clayton, Madison
  • James Danky, Stoughton
  • Scott Foss, Verona
  • Jerry Minnich, Madison
  • Mark Opitz (Supervisor), Middleton
  • Georgene Pomplun, Mount Horeb
  • Eileen Potts Dawson, Madison
  • Leslie Watkins, Madison
  • David Worzala (Supervisor), Madison
  • Lynne Watrous Eich, Director, Madison.


Scanning down the list of previous Dane County Cultural Affairs Commissioners who have served terms over the last 30 years, one notes dozens of familiar names belonging to people who continue to shape and influence the county's culture.

Former Dane County Cultural Affairs Commissioners

  • Hayward Allen
  • Fred Arnold
  • Liesl Blockstein
  • Carol Brooks
  • Herbert Clarke
  • Leo Cooper III
  • Roy Franz
  • David Gawenda
  • Martha Glowacki
  • Michael Goldberg
  • Jeff Golden
  • Freya Grand
  • Don Heiliger
  • Helen Hellenbrand
  • Susan Herbst
  • Jack Jallings
  • Gary Johnson
  • Donna Jones
  • Margaret Jopke
  • Percy Julian
  • Katie Kazan
  • Kevin Kesterson
  • William Lunney
  • Lisa Lutz
  • Faith Miracle
  • Peter J. Nelson
  • Ann Neviaser
  • Robert Ohlsen
  • Donovan Osterlie
  • Tom Powell
  • Judy Rendall
  • Barry Robinson
  • Nydia Rojas
  • Ralph Sandler
  • Janet Shaw
  • Garfield Stock
  • Wanda Stroyny
  • Patricia Takemoto
  • James Tierney
  • Harv Thompson
  • James Van Deurzen
  • Echnaton Vedder
  • Sharon Wachholz
  • Amy Wachs
  • R. Richard Wagner
  • Luella Wells
  • Naj Wikoff
  • Mary Alice Wimmer
  • Theodora Zehner
  • Richard Zeitlin
  • Royce ZumBrunnen


And reading the names of those who have served as Dane County Cultural Affairs grant advisory panelists over the past 30 years is like perusing a Who's Who of the county's creative class.

Current and Former Dane County Cultural Affairs Grant Advisory Panelists

  • Lue Allen
  • Jess Anderson
  • Bill Anschell
  • Anthony Barresi
  • Bruce Bengston
  • Brian Bigler
  • Miriam Boegel
  • Margaret Bogue
  • Mary Alice "Buff" Brennan
  • Liza Brown
  • Jerry Butler
  • Beth Cash
  • Susan Clapp
  • Sonya Clark
  • Linda Clauder
  • Greg Conniff
  • Karen Cowan
  • Richard Daniels
  • Richard Davis
  • Joseph DeRose
  • Trisha Nolan Dickinson
  • Ben DiSalvo
  • Robert Dodsworth
  • Susan Dorst
  • Rebecca DuBey
  • John Englesby
  • Jim Escalante
  • Rolf Ethun
  • Jan Marshall Fox
  • Tina Frailey
  • Linda Franklin
  • John Fritsch
  • David Furamoto
  • Susan Gardels
  • Erica Fox Gehrig
  • Michael George
  • Janet Gilmore
  • Michael Gonzalez
  • Eric Greiling
  • Paul Gerard
  • Steve Hahn
  • Henry Hawkins
  • Peter Haugen
  • Tim Heggland
  • Corey Helser
  • Jack Holzhueter
  • Maureen Janson
  • Marian Kane
  • Anne Katz
  • Robert Kimbrough
  • Carole Kinney
  • Terry Kiss
  • Kevin Krapf
  • Daniel Kunene
  • Donald Lamb
  • Robert G. Lange
  • Kate LaRocque
  • Ron Larson
  • Li Chiao-Ping
  • Anne Lucke
  • James Leary
  • Peter Lundberg
  • Bill Lutes
  • Bobbie Malone
  • Richard March
  • Linda Mathis
  • Miranda McClenaghan
  • Dave McMurray
  • Charlotte Meyer
  • Oscar Mireles
  • Merrin Mitchell
  • William Mitchell
  • Fabu Carter Mogaka
  • Gian Morelli
  • Vicki Nonn
  • Agustin Olvera
  • Herbert Parker
  • Ruth Parter
  • Robin Pettersen
  • Katherine Rankin
  • Martin Rayala
  • James Rhem
  • Joe Ringeisen
  • Bird Ross
  • Ralph Russo
  • Norma Saldivar
  • Ken Schneider
  • Ann Schreiner
  • Ellen Seuferer
  • Roseann Sheridan
  • Ben Sidran
  • Anthony Simotes
  • Patrick Sims
  • Norma Sober
  • Gayle Stamler
  • John Staniunas
  • Linda Stitt
  • Eve Tai
  • Harriet Thiele Statz
  • Randal Swiggum
  • Andrew Taylor
  • William Thompson
  • Elizabeth Walsh
  • Richard Wickman
  • Kristi Williams
  • Tom Yoshikami
  • Peggy Flora Zalucha


These commissioners and grants panelists have reached out to all corners of Dane County, awarding arts and history grants to scores of nonprofit groups, schools, municipalities and individuals to help fund exhibitions, music and dance performances, community and neighborhood festivals, arts-in-schools residencies, exhibits and publications. The list of grant recipients comprise a kind of cultural record of the last 30 years:

  • 1,000 Friends of Wisconsin
  • 21st Century African Youth Movement
  • Abraxas Press
  • African Association of Madison
  • Africasong Communications
  • After School Day Care Association
  • Albion Academy Historical Society
  • Aldo Leopold Nature Center
  • Mary North Allen
  • Alliance for the Mentally Ill
  • Allied Community Association
  • American Council for Better Broadcasting
  • ARK Repertory Theatre
  • Art Exchange Inc.
  • Art Place Inc./Center Gallery
  • Artists Theater Alliance
  • Arts Wisconsin
  • Atwood Community/Neighborhood Center
  • Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society
  • Brenda Baker & John Hughes
  • Ballet Folklorico Mexico
  • Sonali Banerjee
  • Bayview Community Center
  • Bayview Foundation
  • Beach & Vanderburg
  • Belleville Area Cultural Arts Foundation
  • Belleville School District
  • Belleville Senior Citizens
  • Peter & Lou Berryman
  • Ruthanne Bessman
  • Bethel Lutheran Church
  • Black History Inc.
  • Blessed Sacrament School
  • Rosemary Bodolay/Mary Giovagnoli
  • Boys & Girls Club of Dane County
  • Brave Hearts Theatre
  • Broom Street Theater
  • Roger Brotherhood
  • Nils Bultmann
  • Richard Burkett
  • Michael Burns
  • Cambridge Clay Guild
  • Cambridge Friends of the Library
  • Cambridge School District
  • Capital City Parade Association
  • Capitol City Band Association
  • Joyce Carey
  • Barry Carlsen
  • Center for Photography at Madison
  • Central Wisconsin Center
  • Centro Hispano
  • Chazen Museum of Art (formerly Elvehjem Museum of Art)
  • Nina Cheney & Jacob Mills
  • Children's House Day Care Center
  • Children's Theatre of Madison/CTM Madison Family Theatre
  • Petty Myo-Young Choy
  • Chronos/Innovative Arts
  • Dennis Church
  • Citizens Against Pesticides
  • City of Fitchburg
  • City of Madison
  • City of Middleton
  • City of Monona
  • City of Stoughton
  • City of Sun Prairie
  • City of Verona
  • Laurie Beth Clark
  • Jodi Cohen
  • Colbert Dance Co.
  • Colonial Club of Sun Prairie
  • Common Arts Inc.
  • Common Wealth Development
  • Connelly Dance Company/Foundation
  • Gregory Conniff
  • Conundrum Inter-Arts Society
  • Zachary Cooper
  • Cooperative Educational Service Agency
  • Colleen Cox/Mount Horeb Arts Council
  • Creative Arts Over Sixty
  • David Crosby
  • Cycropia Aerial Dance
  • Dance Wisconsin
  • Dances of India
  • Dane County Adult Daycare Coalition
  • Dane County Advocates for Battered Women
  • Dane County Arts Council
  • Dane County Historical Society
  • Dane County Library Service
  • Dane County Parent Council
  • Dane County Shamrock Club
  • Dane Dances Inc.
  • Doug Davis
  • Linda Davis
  • Deerfield Community School District
  • DeForest Area Historical Society
  • DeForest Area School District
  • Design Coalition
  • Dimensions in Sound
  • John Duggleby
  • Eagle School of Madison
  • Ebony Expressions
  • Edgewood College
  • Encore Studio for the Performing Arts
  • Maggie Felker
  • The Festival Choir
  • First Baptist Church/Women in Focus
  • First Unitarian Society
  • Fitchburg Historical Society
  • Foundation for Madison Public Schools
  • Four Seasons Theatre Company
  • Friends of the Cooperative Children's Book Center
  • Friends of the Madison Civic Center
  • Friends of the Meeting House
  • Friends of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area Performing Arts Center
  • Friends of Nelson State Park
  • Friends of Schumacher Farm
  • Friends of the Waisman Center
  • Friends of Wil-Mar Inc.
  • Friends of the Yahara River Parkway
  • Mark Fuerst
  • Arvind Garg
  • Christopher Gargan
  • Ray Gloeckler
  • Nancy Goodfriend-Giffey
  • Grand/Lowe/Ray/Robinson/Kamper
  • John Gruber
  • Jaime Guiscafre/John Hill
  • Chad Alice Hagen
  • Mary Jane Hamilton
  • Diane & Alan Harvey
  • Ed Herro
  • Historic Blooming Grove Historical Society
  • Historic Madison Inc.
  • Timothy Hoare
  • HospiceCare Inc.
  • Barbara Houghton/Meg Nielsen
  • Frances Hurst/Nancy Kossett
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary School
  • Independent Living Inc.
  • Innovative Arts Inc./Opera for Young
  • International Committee for the Peace Council
  • Jazzworks Dance Company
  • Jewish Social Services of Madison
  • Jin-Wen Yu Dance
  • Lora Jost
  • Robert Kann
  • Kanopy Dance Theatre Inc.
  • Kennedy Heights Community Center
  • Don Kerkoff
  • K.I.D.S. (Poormen's Riches)
  • Sharon Kilfoy
  • Lewis Koch
  • Nan Kornfeld
  • Kushner & McCormick
  • Eric Landmark & Jeff Roork
  • LaRosa Spanish Dance & Guitar Co.
  • Alexis Lauren
  • Li Chiao-Ping Dance
  • Angela Lobo-Cobb
  • Cate Loughran
  • Madison Area Concert Handbells
  • Madison Area Technical College
  • Madison Bach Musicians
  • Madison Ballet (formerly Wisconsin Dance Ensemble)
  • Madison Blues Society
  • Madison Boychoir
  • Madison Campus Ministry
  • Madison Carousel Association
  • Madison Children's Choir
  • Madison Children's Museum
  • Madison Civic Center
  • Madison Civic Music Association
  • Madison Community United Inc.
  • Madison Conservatory of Music
  • Madison Creative Arts Program
  • Madison Cultural Arts District
  • Madison Early Music Festival
  • Madison Festival of the Lakes
  • Madison Filmmakers Collective
  • Madison Folk Music Society
  • Madison Gay Men's Chorale
  • Madison Indian Parent Committee
  • Madison Jazz Society
  • Madison Jewish Community Council
  • Madison Landmarks Commission and Native American Center
  • Madison Literacy Council
  • Madison Metropolitan School District
  • Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly Madison Art Center)
  • Madison Music Collective
  • Madison Opera Guild/Madison Opera
  • Madison Opera Inc.
  • Madison Opportunity Center
  • Madison Public Library
  • Madison Public Library Foundation
  • Madison Repertory Theatre
  • Madison Savoyards Inc.
  • Madison School Community Recreation
  • Madison Senior Center
  • Madison Symphony Orchestra
  • Madison Theatre Guild
  • Madison Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Madison Urban League
  • Madison Youth Choirs (formerly Madison Boychoir & Madison Children's Choir)
  • Marquette Neighborhood Association
  • Marshall Area Historical Society
  • Marshall Community Theatre
  • Phil Martin
  • Mazomanie Historical Museum
  • Mazomanie Historical Society
  • Joan McCarthy/Teresia Walls
  • McFarland Historical Museum
  • McFarland Historical Society
  • McFarland School District
  • Jamie McHugh
  • Sam McPherson
  • Memorial Union Building Association
  • Mendota Mental Health Institute
  • Mercury Players
  • Mesoghios Dance Troupe
  • MetroDance Inc.
  • Mary Michie
  • Middleton-Cross Plains School District
  • Middleton Players Theatre
  • Midvale Heights Community Association
  • Millennium Theatre
  • Reid Miller
  • Renee Miller/Kate Heiber-Cobb
  • Monona Grove School District
  • Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center
  • Clyde Morgan/Claudia Melrose
  • Judith Moss
  • Mount Horeb Arts Council
  • Mount Horeb Historical Society
  • Mount Horeb School District
  • J.J. Murphy
  • Andrea Musher/Jim Quarto/Deborah Levine-Donnerstein
  • Music Fix Foundation
  • Narodno International Dancers
  • Nehemiah Community Development Corporation
  • Leslie Nelson
  • Laurie Neustadt/Stuart Stotts
  • New Found Lands Institute
  • Niels Nielson
  • North/Eastside Senior Coalition
  • Northport Community Learning Center
  • Oakwood Chamber Players
  • Oakwood Village Lutheran Homes
  • Olbrich Botanical Society
  • Star Olderman
  • Opera Inc.
  • Opera for the Young
  • Oregon Area Arts Council
  • Oregon School District
  • Oregon Straw Hat Players
  • Overture Center
  • Overture Friends
  • Paper Arts Inc.
  • Donna Peckett
  • Performing Arts for Children Inc.
  • Ted Petith
  • Julia Pferdehirt
  • PlayTime Productions
  • Playwrights Ink Ltd.
  • Progressive Magazine/Survival Graphics
  • Public Affairs Media Center
  • R. Bean's Voice Theatre
  • E.A. Racette
  • Marylu Raushenbush
  • Reprise Theatre
  • Respite Center
  • James Rhem/Sarah Lind
  • Jocelyn Riley
  • Maline Robinson
  • Douglas Rosenberg
  • Sandra Rucker
  • Kate Ryan
  • St. Mary's Day Health Center for Older Adults
  • Schatz, Buckmaster & Kushner
  • Schenk's-Atwood Revitalization Association
  • Simpson Street Free Press
  • Skaalen Sunset Home
  • Smartdance-Maureen Janson & Dancers
  • Rick Smith
  • Song of Norway Festival Ltd.
  • South Central Library System
  • South Madison Coalition of the Elderly
  • South Madison Health & Family Center
  • Southern Wisconsin Bluegrass Music Association
  • Southern Wisconsin Hmong Association
  • Spencer & Oveland
  • Deborah Sproule
  • Leotha Stanley
  • State Historical Society of Wisconsin
  • Pat Stauffacher
  • Martin Stein
  • Christine Stevens/Dale Kushner
  • Stoughton Area School District
  • Stoughton Downtown Revitalization Association
  • Stoughton Historical Society
  • Stoughton Opera Company
  • Judith Strasser
  • David Stringer
  • Strollers Theatre Ltd.
  • Studio Orchestra
  • Sugar River Community Band
  • Sun Prairie Area School District
  • Sun Prairie Civic Chorus
  • Sun Prairie Civic Theatre
  • Sun Prairie Historical Library & Museum
  • Suratno & Parker
  • Survival Graphics
  • Suzuki Strings of Madison
  • Synergy
  • Tapit/new works
  • Lucy Taylor/Laurie Boyer
  • Television Learning Ltd.
  • Tellurian Community Inc.
  • Tenant Resource Center
  • David Tenenbaum
  • Tenney-Lapham Corporation
  • Tennis/Moore
  • Terra Institute Inc.
  • Token Creek Music Festival
  • Town of Christiana
  • Town of Mazomanie
  • Town of Roxbury/Riverside Players Inc.
  • Town of Windsor
  • Triangle Community Ministry
  • Trinkle Brass Works & Array Percussion
  • Truax Area Resident Management Association
  • John Tuschen
  • Susan Udell & Lola Yde
  • United Neighborhood Centers
  • United Refugee Services of Wisconsin.
  • University of Wisconsin Arts Institute
  • UW Board of Regents (for Melrose Motion Company, Sotavento, Tandem Press)
  • UW Dance Program, UW School of Music, WHA Radio and other entities)
  • UW Foundation
  • UW-Madison Center for the Humanities
  • Urban League of Greater Madison
  • Verona Area Community Theater
  • Verona Area Performing Arts Series
  • Verona 4-H Fireballs
  • Verona School District
  • Very Special Arts Wisconsin
  • Village of Belleville
  • Village of Black Earth
  • Village of Brooklyn
  • Village of Cambridge
  • Village of Deerfield
  • Village of Marshall
  • Village of Mazomanie
  • Village of McFarland
  • Village of Oregon
  • Village of Waunakee
  • Doyle Walls
  • Susan Walsh
  • Clark Waterman
  • Waunakee Arts Council
  • Waunakee School District
  • Marshall Weber
  • Westside Coalition for the Aging
  • Wexford Ridge Neighborhood Center
  • Harry Whitehorse
  • Naj Wikoff
  • Wild Hog in the Woods Coffeehouse
  • Wild Wood Puppet Theatre Inc.
  • Roland Tracy Will
  • Zane B. Williams
  • Willow Inc.
  • Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center
  • Wingra School Inc.
  • Winter Theatre/Perf. Network
  • Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
  • Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Craftspeople
  • Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education
  • Wisconsin Alliance for Composers
  • Wisconsin Architects Foundation/USA
  • Wisconsin Art Education Association
  • Wisconsin Center for Film & Theatre Research
  • Wisconsin Chamber Choir
  • Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra
  • Wisconsin Children's Center/Madison Children's Museum
  • Wisconsin Council of the Blind
  • Wisconsin Dance Council
  • Wisconsin Dance Ensemble
  • Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets
  • Wisconsin Folk Arts Association
  • Wisconsin Folk Museum
  • Wisconsin Heights School District
  • Wisconsin Historical Museum
  • Wisconsin Historical Society
  • Wisconsin Humanities Council
  • Wisconsin Labor History Society
  • Wisconsin Manx Society
  • Wisconsin Memorial Union Association
  • Wisconsin Minority Women's Network
  • Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors
  • Wisconsin Public Radio Association
  • Wisconsin Public Television
  • Wisconsin Rural Development Corp.
  • Wisconsin Union Directorate
  • Wisconsin Union Theater
  • Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation
  • Wisconsin Wetlands Association
  • Wisconsin Women of Color/Peggy Choy
  • Wisconsin Youth Company (formerly After School Inc.)
  • Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Woodland Montessori School
  • WORT Back Porch Radio Inc.
  • Robert Wright
  • The Writers' Place
  • Xexoxial Endarchy Ltd.
  • YMCA
  • YWCA
  • Young Audiences Inc.
  • Youth Connection of Dane County
  • Zito Dance Troupe


The commission has also been noted for publishing its series of annual posters showcasing works by Dane County artists (all on view through March 14 in Gallery II at the Overture Center) and, more recently, a series of desktop 12-month easel calendars featuring yet more works by Dane County artists. In addition, the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission has published:

  • Everybody's Ethnic: A Dane County Alphabet
  • CAPITAL LETTERS IN DANE COUNTY ARCHITECTURE
  • A Gallery of Colors and Numbers
  • Back to Beginnings: The Early Days of Dane County
  • Settlers of Dane County: The Photographs of Andreas Larsen Dahl
  • Historic Places of Dane County
  • The Glacier Stopped Here: An Anthology of Poems by Dane County Writers


The commission's initiatives and efforts have not gone unrecognized by national and regional organizations. Among the awards bestowed upon Dane County Cultural Affairs in the past 30 years:

  • American Association of Museums, honorable mention for A Gallery of Colors and Numbers;
  • Governor's Award in Support of the Arts;
  • Capital Community Citizens, Orchid Awards for the commission's series of City-County Building banners and for outstanding contributions to the quality of life in Dane County;
  • Madison Community Foundation, Asset Builders Leadership Award;
  • National Society of Fundraising Executives Greater Madison Chapter, Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation Foundation;
  • National Association of Counties, Achievement Award for establishment of the Creative Artist Fellowship Program;
  • American Association of Museums, Award of Distinction for publication of CAPITAL LETTERS;
  • American Association for State and Local History, Certificate of Commendation for publication of CAPITAL LETTERS and Award of Merit for Settlers of Dane County;
  • Downtown Madison Inc., Downtown Madison Salute Award for contributions made to create a better environment for Madison's central city;
  • Graphic Design USA, Graphic Design Award for design of the commission's grant literature;
  • Philip Morris Industrial, Graphics Award for poster design;
  • Association of College, University and Community Arts Administrators, Management Achievement Award;
  • National Association of Counties, Award of Merit for innovative leadership;
  • Wisconsin Center for Public Representation, Award of Merit for program excellence.


These lists hint at the legacy Lynne Watrous Eich leaves as her attirement approaches in mid-April. As the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission navigates the transition to her successor -- now the subject of a nationwide search -- the lists also represent a record of stability and growth, a foundation on which Eich's successor and the commission can build.


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