New Riverfront Creative Arts Venue “The Draw” to Open November 28

The Draw, located at 800 S. Lawe Street overlooking the Fox River at Appleton Eagle Flats will host a grand opening Nov. 28 from noon to 8 p.m. 

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“Just look for the dark gray building with a giant eagle painted on the front of it,” said John Adams, curator and project visionary. 

Adams helped bring the 5,200 square-foot building back to life with workspaces and offices for digital and fine artists, a modern art gallery and a place for creative professionals to collaborate.  He approached Stadtmueller & Associates with his idea last year, and together, they helped make it happen. 

17215_169351136743920_3056049265730116303_nToday, there are 16 suites with a variety of tenants that range from artists and graphic designers to musicians and wellness consultants.  “The flexibility to adapt to the needs of the community and the artists is what makes The Draw unique,” said Adams.   From pop-up restaurants, to fashion shows, storytelling nights and music events, the venue will host a variety of gatherings. 

For two years, Stadtmueller & Associates researched potential redevelopment opportunities for the former office building.  The group sees their investment as doing more than just renovating a building.  “By bringing more arts and culture to Downtown Appleton’s riverfront, we hope to rejuvenate the neighborhood and draw young professionals to the area,” said Renee Torzala, Stadtmueller & Associates.

Torzala and Adams both serve on Downtown Appleton’s Creative Placemaking committee that works to enhance the cultural environment through access to the arts.  Downtown Appleton Executive Director Jennifer Stephany has been doing research on the economic impact of bringing art to downtown districts.  “Creative placemaking is a growing strategy for communities to stimulate economic development and improve quality of life,” said Stephany.  “We are excited to welcome The Draw to our downtown riverfront on Small Business Saturday, a day that we encourage shopping local,” she added.

Statistics show that the arts and culture sector in Wisconsin generates $535 million in economic activity, $65 million in local and state revenue, and $479 million in resident income, according to the Wisconsin Arts Board. (Economic Impact Study, 2010).

The grand opening of The Draw will launch John Adam’s Feather & Bone gallery show – Wish List, featuring 25 pieces of original art from around the world.  Visitors will also be able to meet some of the tenants and tour the building.  “I am really looking forward to bringing diverse people together to celebrate, create, inspire and be inspired,” said Adams.

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