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Amy Horst

Last summer, thousands of people gathered every Thursday night in downtown Sheboygan for the popular Levitt AMP concert series, and it generated thousands of dollars for the community.

How the arts can drive economic development for Sheboygan will be the topic of the next ThinkHaus conversation, set for Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in the John Michael Kohler Arts Center theatre.

Amy Horst, deputy director of programming for the JMKAC, will discuss how arts organizations and a creative economy can position Sheboygan as a destination, aiding city/government officials and businesses.

Horst will talk about the Levitt AMP concert series, which brought 15,000 people together, generated $900,000 in visitor spending and led to the $15 million development of the former Boston Store space in downtown Sheboygan.

It's just one example, Horst will suggest, of what can happen when the interests and talents of seemingly divergent groups and organizations work together.

A member of the JMKAC team since 2005, Horst leads the creation and curation of programs, projects and exhibitions that engage artists and a broad public in innovative ways.

She affects public policy in Sheboygan County as an active board member of Sheboygan Squared (Harbor Centre Business Improvement District) and of the mayoral appointed Redevelopment Authority of the City of Sheboygan, insuring that the arts remain a vital part of the community.

Before coming to Sheboygan, Horst was executive director of the Coleman Center for the Arts in York, Ala., where she originated a community-based artist-in-residence program that impacted the community's race relations and small business development opportunities for women and infused the arts into the community landscape.

ThinkHaus is a community conversations series created by Lakeland College, in partnership with Jake's Café in Sheboygan. The series features thought-provoking talks, no longer than 20 minutes, by an expert on a topic of interest to the local community. Following the talk, the speaker and community engage in discussion that results in new levels of understanding.

Learn more at Lakeland.edu/thinkhaus.

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