WHITEWATER — The Whitewater Area Chamber of Commerce recently received a JEM Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to help support the launch of an addition to the annual calendar of events in the community.

The chamber will be launching a brand-new festival this fall, the Whitewater Storytelling Festival, that will be a celebration of the art of storytelling, bringing to Whitewater locally, regionally and nationally known storytellers. The festival is a collaborative event, harnessing the talents, skills and resources of multiple organizations and individuals in the Whitewater community.

The JEM Grant will help the chamber to market this new event and attract visitors to the community from new tourist markets. The Whitewater Chamber is keenly focused on making Whitewater a place people want to visit, live, learn and grow.

This grant opportunity will provide marketing dollar assistance for three years, affording the opportunity to build the festival into an event that puts Whitewater and the festival on the map, attracting a whole new set of visitors to the community.

Tourism is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Wisconsin, and the industry is crucial to economic recovery and success. JEM Grants just are one of the tools in the toolbox for the Department of Tourism to partner with organizations and nonprofits around the state who are using innovation and creativity to bring visitors and dollars to their community.

In fiscal year 2021, the Department funded 45 JEM projects, awarding $1.13 million statewide. JEM grant funds are available to nonprofit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations.

The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first-year advertising and marketing costs and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining.

Be sure to follow the chamber’s Facebook page for updates on the festival planning.

For questions about this new festival or anything chamber-related, contact Kellie Carper, chamber executive director, at (262) 473-4005.

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