Artspire La Crosse Sweepstakes

Third Annual Artspire La Crosse is June 10 & 11

Pump House Regional Arts Center announces the annual Artspire La Crosse, June 10 & 11.  Already the largest arts celebration in downtown La Crosse, the third annual Artspire is growing twice in size from the past year. The event is held in and around Pump House Regional Arts Center, and throughout surrounding downtown La Crosse.

Artspire 2016 attendees can expect to see twice the amount of events and activities from past years, including over 50 visual artists exhibiting and selling their work, a demonstration tent added to the interactive arts area, additional featured community projects, and a second outdoor stage allowing double the open-air entertainment including music, dance, literary arts and storytelling, performance arts and theater, and so much more. An increase in local food vendors is also expected for both days.

Artspire La Crosse is an event of the Pump House Regional Arts Center.
Admission is Free.

More information about Artspire, including a full schedule of events, our sponsors, and more can be found on the Artspire website:, or by contacting

“Artspire is different from other art events for its emphasis on engagement of the community. Not only is it a free event but there is an effort to bring all segments of our community to the event as artists, performers, food vendors and patrons.” -Don Smith, Chair of City of La Crosse Arts Board

“Artspire is a community event, put on by the community, for the community” – Eva Marie Restel, Chairperson of Artspire La Crosse 2015 

Artspire La Crosse 2016

Friday, June 10, 5:00 pm-10:00 pm

Artspire La Crosse kicks off Friday night, 5:00 pm with the annual Street Dance Celebration on King Street, right outside the Pump House. The Artspire Street Dance Celebration features a dynamic lineup of some of La Crosse’s best area musical performers including, Cheech & Co., D.j. Wazzy, T.U.G.G., and Straight Flush featuring Dave Rogers, Mike Von Muchow, Dave Orr, and Colin Johnson.

Following the Street Dance Celebration, Artspire kick-off events continue on the West Stage with a performance by returning artists, Cloud Cult, 8:00 – 10:00 pm. Cloud Cult is a nationally-known, experimental indie rock group and features six musicians and two visual artists.

Saturday, June 11, 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Doubling in size from previous years The Artspire Art Fair & Sale is held outside the Pump House in King Street, and spilling over into the neighboring River Crossing Square parking lot. Over 50 visual artists will be present to share their work, while providing an opportunity for the community to purchase and support local art. Artists will also be juried for a chance to win one of the Hale-Skemp Art Awards, sponsored by the Hale-Skemp Foundation. Winners receive a ribbon and cash prizes. The Hale-Skemp Art Award winners will be announced at 2:00 pm on the West Stage.

The Artspire West Stage features a nonstop line-up of performers such as La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, Applause Dance Academy, Heart of La Crosse Comedy Troupe, and several featured poets. Artspire events close on the West Stage with a performance from three-time Grammy award winner Bill Miller, 4:00 pm.

The Artspire South Stage highlights a talented line-up of dance, professional storytellers, and improvisational theater. Acts include Coulee Region Unscripted, Tales by Terry, a performance by Michael Scott of the Old School Company, La Crosse Dance Centre, and several featured poets. Located in the parking lot of the neighboring River Crossing Square building, at the corner of 2nd and King Streets, this additional platform allows for double the amount of Artspire’s outdoor events.

Weber Center Stages feature performances in the Veteran’s Theater including YMCA Dancers and the improvisational comedy of LIVE from La Crosse. Other performances and activities will be held in the Lyche Theatre and include “Bridge to Teribithia,” presented by La Crosse Community Theater’s “Theater for Youth.” The Weber Center for the Performing Arts is located at 428 Front Street.

The Pump House Stage features acts brand-new to the Artspire line-up including Diane Breeser’s “One Woman Act,” the latest production from the UW La Crosse SummerStage, and the freshly written material of La Crosse Public Library’s, “Dark La Crosse Radio Show.” Pump House Stage events are concluded by touring guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto from New York, NY.

The Interactive Art area will be located in the Pump House parking lot, and will spread out into the Pump House courtyard. This area will be a hub for several engaging interactive activities including a 14 ft paintbrush, origami, and yoga by Tammy Z’s Yoga Studio as well as a hybrid yoga and Pilates blend created by the Pump House under the instruction of Colleen Shively. An Art Demonstration Area has been added allowing artists to share their creative processes with attendees.

Three Featured Projects

1.       The Perseverance Print Project aims to get La Crosse area students, parents, and community members thinking and talking about one of our core values: Perseverance. In collaboration with the second annual Mississippi Steamroll project, participants are prompted to visually express their idea of Perseverance in the form of a woodcut. Participants will bring their completed woodcut to the Mississippi Steamroll event where it will be printed onto white fabric sheets, and pressed with an industrial steamroller. The Mississippi Steamroll is April 29 & 30. Registration for this event is still open. Workshops are being held at the Pump House to explain the process of creating a woodcut. Over 500 works will contribute to The Perseverance Print Project and will be unveiled and displayed in the form of an interactive outdoor maze on the Artspire grounds.

2.       The Artspire Public Art Project strives to bring the work of our regional artists into our public places. Artists are invited to submit up to three pieces of 2D work to be juried by team of artists and arts enthusiasts. The winning works will be unveiled and displayed in the Pump House Front Gallery. After Artspire, the work will be taken to La Crosse City Hall where it will display until June 1, 2017, and will also be for sale. Winning artists receive a ribbon and a $200 cash prize. Applications are being accepted through May 1, 2016. Works selected in 2015 are currently available for viewing and sale on the main floor of La Crosse City Hall. The Artspire Public Art Project is a collaboration of the Pump House Regional Arts Center and the City of La Crosse Arts Board, and is sponsored by First Supply.

3.       In celebration of Artspire, La Crosse Arts Initiative presents the 2nd annual Chalkfest. Chalkfest is a sidewalk chalk competition involving participants of all ages and skill-levels. Winners are voted on by Artspire attendees. Cash prizes are awarded. Registration is open to the public. Contact Mike Martino for more information or to register:

Downtown La Crosse Businesses have joined in the Artspire activities and are hosting arts-related events in and around their downtown businesses including art demos, featured art exhibits, wine and tea tastings, and live music. Cameron Park Farmer’s Market is also hosting arts events both Friday night and Saturday.

Also Appearing are several exhibiting nonprofit organizations, providing the Artspire audience the opportunity to learn more about the fun and versatile La Crosse community, and to get more information about several upcoming events. Also appearing is La Crosse County Historical Society, Great River Folk Festival, United Fund for the Arts & Humanities, Women Writers Ink and more.

Local Food Vendors will be present both days. Artspire food vendor presence has more than doubled from previous years and will include Big Boar Smokers, Crepes Jeanluc, Five Star Egg Roll, Iguana’s Mexican Café, Pearl Street Ice Cream & Confectionary, River Rocks Coffee, The Grill Spot, Big Mama’s Gyro, and The Kettle Korn House.

Artspire Sponsors make this annual event possible and include Gundersen Lutheran Health System, First Supply, La Crosse Area Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau, Hanson & Associates, The Waterfront Restaurant, The Charmant Hotel, The Hale-Skemp Foundation, Mooresmiles Dental, WXOW – Channel 19, Midwest Family Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and many more. Thank you to our sponsors!

Get involved with Artspire

As Artspire grows, so does the opportunity to participate. Artspire is still seeking the following: artists for the Artspire Public Art Project, participants for Chalkfest, participants in Mississippi Steamroll and the Perseverance Print Project, volunteers to join our vibrant team, and sponsors to help sustain our growth and allow Artspire to continue to benefit the La Crosse community. For more information about how to get involved, please email or call 608-785-1434.