W.A.E.A. visits Hamilton

Our friends from the Wisconsin Arts Educators Association paid us a visit in October 2019 as part of their annual conference. They spent two days making prints, sharing ideas and showing off their handiwork in the museum's space. Here's a guest blog post from Tiffany Beltz, former president of WAEA:

As an art educator in Wisconsin, I treasure local, interesting venues that allow opportunities to view, learn about, and make art of all varieties.  I visited the Hamilton Wood Type museum for the first time in June 2018, and woah!  What a true gem it is!  At the time, I was the President and the Conference Co-Chair for the Wisconsin Art Education Association.  I was approached by the Manitowoc Chamber of Commerce and asked if I was interested in holding the 2019 Fall Conference in Manitowoc.  When we visited and toured the city, we fell in love, but it was the visit to the Hamilton Wood Type Museum that sealed the deal!

The Wisconsin Art Education Association is made up of 630 members who are art educators at all levels and at all different types of schools across the state.  We have a board, which is made up of an equally diverse group of 35 members who work hard to plan events and serve our members.  Each May, we host a Board Retreat to gather for an entire weekend to plan events and programming for the upcoming year.  As a preview to the conference, we hosted our 2019 Board Retreat in Manitowoc in May of 2019.  I approached the Hamilton and asked if they would be willing to host our board for a hands-on workshop that would last approximately 2 hours.  The Hamilton Wood Type Museum staff went above and beyond to accommodate our group!  They ran two workshops for us, half of the group at a time, so that we could each experience the full workshop.  The staff was incredibly helpful, so very kind, and genuinely excited to have our group there learning and 'playing' with wood type printing!  Our board members had smiles from ear to ear the entire time and were like our kiddos... giddy to learn a new art process!  I heard many board members say it was their favorite board retreat yet!  

Fast forward to our Fall Conference in October of 2019.  We hosted three sessions off site at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum.  The members who came back from these sessions looked exactly how our board members looked after the board retreat... ecstatic!  I heard nothing but the best comments from all who attended!  We also were fortunate enough to be able to host our Maker's Market and Hands-On Make and Take evening at the Hamilton Wood Type.  I could not believe how easy setting up for this event was!  The Hamilton Wood Type Staff is truly just the best!  That night we had food, drinks, purchased art that our own members had made, and everyone that was there had the opportunity to pull a print.  It was truly an amazing evening and a wonderful event!

I cannot say enough good things about the Hamilton and the Hamilton Staff.  They are accommodating, friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and so very wonderful to work with. The museum is an incredible place of history and art making and should be experienced by all!  I highly recommend visiting or taking a workshop!

Tiffany Beltz

WAEA Past President 2019-2021

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