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To inspire, connect, and unite current and future community members in showcasing and building upon what makes Waunakee a unique and vibrant place to live, work and visit. Central to this mission are:


  • Celebrating creativity, innovation, and the arts;

  • Creating a common identity that fosters community pride, and

  • Bringing together creatives, businesses, community members, and visitors, to nurture the creative economy

  • Making art and creativity accessible and inclusive to all and demonstrating this value in all we say and do



A Creative Economy is based on people's use of their creative imagination to increase an idea's value. Originally developed by John Howkins in 2001, this term is used to describe economic systems where value is based on novel imaginative qualities rather than the traditional resources of land, labor, and capital. Compared to creative industries, which are limited to specific sectors, the term is used to describe creativity throughout an entire economy.


Create Waunakee was developed from the Creative Economy Initiative (CEI) that began in 2011 as a task force by the Village of Waunakee. Comprised of a broad range of representatives from across the community, the 2011 task force included members of the Waunakee Community School District, the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce and the Waunakee Economic Development Commission as well as local artists, businesses, and residents devoted to enhancing Waunakee's profile as a creative and innovative place.

In November 2017, the task force engaged a student consulting group from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at UW-Madison. This consulting team performed a case study and research to outline the needs of the community that the CEI could help address, as well as a timeline of launch this initiative.

In spring of 2019, Create Waunakee was chosen as a name for the CEI, and creatives from across Waunakee entered their ideas for a logo to represent this organization. Create Waunakee is designed to be a resource and a partner to innovators across Waunakee in any industry, and having their input in the logo design was the first collaboration of many. In 2020, the Village's Create Waunakee Committee was created, and this group of volunteers began working together to create opportunities and programs for the community, even through a global pandemic. 

In 2023, after 3 years of successful programming and growth, the need for support to continue these initiatives was growing. In order to keep momentum, Natasha Lutes, a Create Waunakee Committee member, and Rona Neri, a local photographer, founded Create Waunakee, Inc., a non-profit arts organization, to further grow the creative economy in Waunakee and build upon the already successful mission of creating a self sustaining arts organization within Waunakee.

The Village of Waunakee and it's community members have taken note of how powerful a creative economy can be in shaping and strengthening a community. Intentional efforts involving many in the Village has resulted in what is now “CREATE WAUNAKEE”.


Waunakee is special. As the only Waunakee in the world, we want to embrace our village's history and charm. We do this with engaged citizens, active businesses, generous community organizations, and devoted community leaders. We want the village to be a great place to live, work, and enjoy one another.  If we come together to bring good ideas to the table, we will achieve this goal.




Want more information about Create Waunakee? Send a message!

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