Developing Cultural Centers
During World War II a group of business women's luncheon clubs in Milwaukee asked fifteen businessmen to meet with them. They reminded them that the Milwaukee Memorial to the Soldiers of World War I was a flagpole in a very small park in a now very sorry neighborhood and suggested that a cultural center would be a more fitting memorial to those who fought in World War II.
Point one is that purpose and need were recognized and defined.
The business and professional men promptly organized the War Memorial Development Committee under a special state statue. The Development Committee, consisting of the fifteen business and professional men, entered into a contract with the County of Milwaukee - which comprises the City of Milwaukee and the surrounding area, encompassing about a million people - which provided that the county give the land for the center. The contract also provided that the county would accept permanent ownership of the building that would be constructed, but would leave the operation and the management of the center in the hands of the Development Committee, which, after the buildings were constructed, would become the board of directors of the performing arts center. Thus, the very unhappy prospect of future annual campaigns for operation and maintenance costs were eliminated at the offset. (p. 73-77)
[Presented as part of the panel on Developing Cultural Centers introduced by Charles
M. Spofford. Additional presentations are all listed under Developing Cultural
Centers and distinguished by author: Warner Bentley; Charles H. Jagels; O. William
Severns; and Gordon Hamilton Southam.]