Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua receives a grant from the Wisconsin COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grant Program.
Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua is excited to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Wisconsin COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grant Program!
Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), the COVID-19 Cultural Organizations Grant program provides grants to nonprofit organizations whose primary missions are to produce, present, or exhibit cultural disciplines such as music, dance, theater, literature, and the visual arts, or items of environmental or scientific interest.
“We are proud to be recognized as a cultural organization that makes a direct and vital impact on our community and the state of Wisconsin,” said Big Top’s Executive Director Terry Matier. “These grant funds will help our organization continue to provide the creative energy of music and culture at a time when we so sorely need inspiration and connection. With the need to cancel our summer season, Big Top has been faced with expense cuts of all kinds, but has been able to continue connecting with our fans online through our new Tiny Tent Show program staring members of the Blue Canvas Orchestra and special guests, and through our Tent Show Radio program broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio and online. Our fans and supporters have stepped up to the plate to help replace some of the lost income of the cancelled season, and to all of them we are so very grateful! The support of Governor Evers through these cultural grants helps get us closer to bridging the income chasm for this year without a summer of Big Top performances at the Tent."
“Just like small businesses, cultural organizations have taken a major financial hit,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “We’re all in this together. We hope that these funds will make it possible for us to be able to enjoy the museums, theaters, and music from these organizations once it is safe to do so again.” Grant awards can be used to cover pandemic-related impacts such as lost revenue, increased workers' compensation costs, cleaning and sanitization, and purchases of services or equipment to facilitate telework by employees.
A total of $15 million has been awarded to 385 cultural organizations across Wisconsin. To view the full list of recipients, please click here.
“Just like small businesses, cultural organizations have taken a major financial hit,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “We’re all in this together. We hope that these funds will make it possible for us to be able to enjoy the museums, theaters, and music from these organizations once it is safe to do so again.”
Gerald “Jerry” Carlson, 86, of Bayfield, Wisconsin passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on June 7, 2020. He was born in Almena, Wisconsin on April 17, 1934. Jerry graduated from Barron High School in 1951 and went on to receive a degree in Electronics from DeVry University of Chicago in 1953. He then joined the Army during the Korean conflict and served from 1953 through 1956. After an honorable discharge from the army he went on to reside in Minneapolis until 1964 repairing televisions and building electronic devices such as amplifiers. In 1964 he moved to Bayfield and began his lifelong passion of developing Mt. Ashwabay Ski Area, which he operated for the next 48 years. He was also involved in the development and management of Port Superior Marina in the 1970’s and co-owned and operated Salmo Construction with Jim Smith. In 1986, when Big Top Chautauqua raised its first blue tent and every year thereafter, Jerry was not only the crew chief for the tent raising and take-down, he and his wife Carol operated the Mt. Ashwabay concessions until 2012. Jerry was a friend to all who knew him and was the Town Supervisor serving on the Bayfield Town Board for approximately 25 years. He also served on the Bayfield Heritage Association board.
Aside from work, Jerry had many interests throughout his life including skiing, studying history, and astronomy. You could point to any star in the sky and Jerry could tell you its name and how far away it was. He made many close friends throughout his life and to many growing up skiing at the hill, they saw him as a father figure. He will forever be known as the original “King of the Mountain”.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Carol and his children Jodi (Ken) Halida, Corey (Carole) Carlson, Mike (Raena) DePerry, Cheri (Ronald) Moore, grandchildren Kayla DePerry, Dalton DePerry, Deklan DePerry, Sara (Joe) Pelzek, Caitlyn Lautenschlager, Aaron (Courtney) Mick, Taylor (David) Mick, Ronnie Moore, Cohen Moore, and great grandchildren; Abigail Pelzek, Ruth Pelzek, Caden Manceaux, and Connor Manceux.
A private graveside service will be held for family with a Celebration of Jerry’s life to be held at a future date. Family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made to Mt. Ashwabay Ski Area or Big Top Chautauqua.
To view this obituary online, sign the guest book or express online condolences, visit us at www.bratleyfamilyfuneralhome.com
Future uncertainty regarding COVID-19 prompts Big Top Board to cancel 2020 Summer Season
May 4, 2020 — WASHBURN, WI With what would be Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua's 34th year of operating as a nonprofit performing arts organization, the decision was made last week to cancel all traditional programs at the tent for the 2020 season. The evolving health crisis and the uncertainty surrounding the safety of large gatherings, led to the board's very difficult decision. "We are deeply saddened to have to cancel the Big Top summer season but due to the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and variability of what to expect this summer, we felt it was the ethical and right thing to do” said Kim Ogle, President of the Big Top Board of Directors and a physician at Essentia Health, Ashland Clinic.
After weighing countless scenarios, the Board unanimously felt that this was the only viable and responsible path forward in the wake of this pandemic and the uncertainty that it creates. "We are heartbroken to have to make this decision. Our musicians and crew rely on income from our summer shows and the greater Ashland/Bayfield area relies on the economic impact of our events. Our patrons rely on us to find inspiration, entertainment and fellowship. We are painfully aware of the ripples that will proceed from not being able to produce our season” said Terry Matier, Big Top’s Executive Director. Matier says that the entire live events industry has been gravely impacted by the pandemic, with many touring artists cancelling their summer tours.
But even with no concerts under the tent, Big Top’s Blue Canvas Orchestra musicians will continue to create new material for 2021 as well as produce a new online program, Tiny Tent Show, which can be found on Facebook and YouTube. Fans gather on Friday evenings at 7PM to be together until the tent can open its flaps to the public again. And as always, one can relive summer nights under the Big Top via Tent Show Radio, broadcast on WPR and other stations.
All ticket holders will receive an email in the coming week which states the option to make a tax-deductible contribution to the nonprofit performing arts organization, apply their money toward future Big Top Chautauqua shows, or receive a refund. Information regarding this process can be found at www.bigtop.org.
"We are beyond grateful to our generous donors, dedicated volunteers and long-time patrons. Their support is deeply appreciated during this challenging time. As our stage may sit empty through the summer, we recognize even more now the value and power of experiencing music together. We are calling this a ‘Long Intermission’ until we can gather again. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Bayfield under the Big Blue Tent," said Kate Barido, Advancement Director.
Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua provides entertaining and educational cultural activities with an emphasis on performances that celebrate history and the environment. For more information about Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, a nonprofit performing arts organization since 1986, visit www.bigtop.org or email email@example.com.