In the early 2000s, rural Central Wisconsin was devastated by the sale of its major employer, a century-old Fortune 500 paper company. The community lost 40% of its jobs in five years and felt a 22% decrease in median family income. Amidst a vacuum of leadership, innovation and community identity came a decimation of local businesses and life as usual. The economic crisis exposed a need to overhaul how we operate as a community and member of a global economy. Residents are now united for change.
In 2012, Incourage purchased a vacant 25,000 sq. ft. downtown riverfront property. Two thousand residents then came together to design the Tribune-a community-owned development featuring a training microbrewery/pub, instructional kitchen/cafe, recreational rentals facility and indoor/outdoor event space-all of which foster entrepreneurial skill-building, and rebirth of a community identity. The Tribune gives residents the power of self-reliance, cohesion, and long-term economic resiliency.
The Tribune is an innovative, localized resource that will grow good businesses, great jobs, and exponential opportunities in rural Wisconsin. It is more than just a building; it is a gathering of unprecedented resources and a transformation of traditional local decision-making processes. The Tribune's resident-led and community-owned model will show state and local leaders nationwide that resident ownership is a competitive and sustainable way to grow small town economies in rural America.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).
Tribune: Inside the building
Tribune: Why Give?
Incourage vision and values