Ashley for the Arts celebrates 15th anniversary

ARCADIA, Wis.  Ashley for the Arts, the annual three-day music and arts festival, is set to take place on Aug. 8, 9 and 10 at Memorial Park in Arcadia, Wisconsin.

In celebration of its 15th anniversary, the festival is expanding its music, food, art and entertainment experiences to enhance fun for the entire family. Attendees will experience some of the biggest names in music including Journey, Old Dominion, The Script, Bret Michaels and more. In addition to main stage performances, the three side stages will host a talented selection of performers with music all day including local artists, family-friendly shows and area school groups.  

New additions to the festival include line-dancing lessons, a youth outdoor skills challenge, Xpogo Extreme Pogo Stunt Show and Dragoonies Flame Show, just to name a few highlights.

Ashley for the Arts also welcomes back the Art and Craft Fair, an inflatable air park as well as the fan favorite Timberworks Lumberjack show. Other off-stage entertainment offerings include a hot air balloon display, fireworks, a petting zoo, bingo, axe throwing, street performers and an interactive art space. The 15th anniversary event will kick off with the annual Pursuit of a Cure Glow Run and foam party, raising money to advance medical research and help offset medical costs for cancer patients.  

Ashley for the Arts was established in 2009 when Ron Wanek, founder and chairman of Ashley Furniture Industries, and Todd Wanek, president and chief executive officer, were asked by community members to create a “social gathering” to bring awareness to the arts.

The one-day concert featured John McCutcheon, world-renowned folk singer, at Memorial Park. Attendance was estimated at 300 people. Throughout the 15 years, Ashley for the Arts has grown into an annual music and arts festival attracting tens of thousands of fans throughout the three-day weekend and has donated over $3.5 million for more than 70 participating nonprofit organizations, including local schools, children’s charities and medical research. 

During the pandemic, in lieu of hosting the festival, Ashley for the Arts created the Community Cares Grant to support area nonprofits looking for assistance on projects focused on art, music and/or cultural activities. Since 2020, the grant has benefited four community projects including city murals through the Independence School District; musical playground equipment through the Rainbow Community Club; River Prairie Festival through the Eau Claire Area Economic Development; and most recently, a band shelter through the Fountain City Business and Community Club.  

“As we celebrate the 15th anniversary of Ashley for the Arts, I am incredibly proud of the tremendous growth we have achieved over the years,” said Cole Bawek, event director of Ashley for the Arts. “What started as a small community event has blossomed into a nationally recognized festival, bringing joy, inspiration and cultural enrichment to thousands of people. None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support and dedication of our incredible fans and community. Our commitment to supporting the arts remains steadfast, and I look forward to the future as we continue to make a positive impact in the communities we serve.”  

Three-day general admission tickets for this year’s Ashley for the Arts are online starting at $45 plus fees, with prices increasing on June 1. New this year, children’s tickets are available for $25 (ages 2-10). For additional event details, download the Ashley for the Arts app or visit the website.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter for breaking news, special features and early access to all the industry stories that matter!

Sponsored By: