MENOMONIE, Wisc. (WLAX) — Chippewa Valley art leaders and community members gathered Saturday in Menomonie to discuss what the future may look like for the arts once the pandemic is over.

“This is the first of hopefully many efforts to bring together leaders in the arts, creative community, to share ideas with each other about how we can continue to be creative,” Jerry Hui, associate professor at UW-Stout, said. “Everyone is finding, obviously, it is very difficult to move forward from the pandemic. The question is, how do we help each other out? How do we move forward in a way that we all want to see.”

Hui helped organize Saturday’s forum titled “Creating the New Normal: Chippewa Valley Arts in a Post-Pandemic World. He said people from Menomonie and Eau Claire attended, including members of the Menomonie Theatre Guild, Menomonie singers and Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Director of Arts Wisconsin, Ann Katz, said conversations such as those had during Saturday’s forum are important to encourage creativity in all aspects of the community.

“There’s a huge amount of creativity out there and this effort is sort of like the beginning of helping it explode,” she said.