Bill Miller is opening…followed by the Ho-Chunk Singers and Dancers and Cloud Cult on Friday night…Saturday we have one main stage…balance of dance…and live music…with B2wins at 7.

Allison Krzych

Assistant Director, Pump House Regional Arts Center

We are listening to Charlieboy, just one of the many musical acts at this year’s Artspire June 10-11, the all-inclusive, free community art event is produced and funded by the Pump House Regional Arts Center. We get the inside scoop from Allison Krzych, Assistant Director at the Pump House.

Special thanks to our Podcast Sponsors!

Amy Gabay 00:00
This podcast is brought to you by People’s Food Co Op, a community owned grocery store in downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin and Rochester, Minnesota that promotes local farmers and producers through an emphasis on fresh, healthy, sustainable food. Anyone can shop, everyone is welcome. For more information, visit them online at This podcast is also brought to you by Trempealeau County Tourism. Whether your idea of fun is bicycling, hiking or canoeing, afterwards head into the heart of one of their welcoming communities to experience historic architecture, independent shops and locally owned dining establishments. Visit Trempealeau County Tourism online. Artspire is back with a full weekend of art at the Pump House Regional Arts Center. Enjoy live music from Cloud Cult, Bill Miller and B2wins, plus a fine art fair, interactive art projects, and visual and performing arts June 10th through 11th. Learn more at We are listening to Charlieboy, just one of the many musical acts at this year’s Artspire June 10-11, the all-inclusive, free community art event is produced and funded by the Pump House Regional Arts Center. We get the inside scoop from Allison Krzych, Assistant Director at the Pump House. You can find more conversations, food reviews, live music and events on our website I’m Amy.

Brent Hanifl 01:51
And I’m Brent.

Amy Gabay 01:52
And this is La Crosse Local.

Allison Krzych 01:54
My name is Allison Krzych , and I was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, right on Lake Michigan. And I moved to La Crosse in the 90s for the university. So I started at the Pump House in 2020, October, middle of the pandemic and planned Artspire 2021 and Artspire 2022 which are very different yet, still the same.

Brent Hanifl 02:17
Well, yeah, I mean, just being at it last year, I know it was kind of toned down due to COVID. You know, only one day, now looking at your calendar of events, it’s just exploding over two days.

Allison Krzych 02:28
I know it’s really good. I’m super happy to have interactive arts back. We have a bunch of nonprofits that will be doing interactive arts, so they’re back to food trucks and beer garden. Art fair and sale we had that last year. So it’s good, always good to put artists back to work.

Brent Hanifl 02:44
And also one thing that I’m really excited about, you got some ones you’re welcoming back, but the musical headliners are always exciting to see down at Artspire as well.

Allison Krzych 02:53
I know I’m really looking forward to it.

Brent Hanifl 02:55
Some of the favorites of Artspire, but also there’s some new ones coming to town, too. Right?

Allison Krzych 03:00
You know, you get as excited to have the people return as the new people. I think I mean, as I’ve been planning this, that’s been true. So Bill Miller is opening Artspire and followed by the Ho Chunk singers and dancers and Cloud Cult on Friday night. So that’ll be a party and we’ll all be dancing. Saturday, we’re having one main stage right outside the Pump House in the parking lot. And so all performances will be there. And it’s a balance of dance from multiple dance centers and live music, and then B2wins on Saturday night at seven.

Brent Hanifl 03:31
Last year fine art sale, I know to bring you know, I have to set a budget before I come down there to check out the art.

Allison Krzych 03:37
Got to stay focused.

Brent Hanifl 03:39
You know, it’s really, it’s definitely fine art, too, but I mean, it’s definitely accessible.

Allison Krzych 03:43
Nice, nice. I was looking at the list and we have half the list of artists that have been there and half the list is our new artists regionally coming in. So that’s exciting.

Brent Hanifl 03:54
Yeah, I mean, just seeing some of them. You know, we’ve talked to Ann Solstice. I believe she actually did a kind of a piece for us in our family where she does these kind of unique pieces where she’ll meld two animals which I find exciting you know. Just looking at your website right now she has one with a bear with it looks like moth wings on it, but it’s you know, it’s almost really realistic.

Allison Krzych 04:13
Yes, there’s a squirrel with a gold halo.

Brent Hanifl 04:18
But I mean, just looking through this, you know, from jewelry to you know, a lot of jewelry, but then you also have like a printmaker, he’s gonna be there. You’re blurring some lines with some pop art and kind of like some street art components. Fiber, wood and fiber. You have Jason Ray, who’s a known photographer in the area. we’ve chatted with him before. Karen Genz, didn’t Karen Genz like win an award last year, too?

Allison Krzych 04:41
She did. Inspired by La Crosse with two other artists. And we are in the final event and we’ll be announcing winners for that at Artspire. So what that’s all about is art hanging at City Hall and it’s a public art competition and artists, it’s a call to artists and then we announced the winners. All the art is inspired by La Crosse and many different kinds, which is cool.

Brent Hanifl 05:05
So for the fine art and sale, what does it run? How many people are there? What’s it going to look like for someone who hasn’t been there before?

Allison Krzych 05:11
Yes, 45 artists on Saturday from 10 until 5, like you said many different types of artists. The artists are actually this is a cool thing, too, Altra Federal Credit Union, Altra Artist Awards that artists can win $1,000, $500, or two $100 prizes. And that is all about the type of art that’s in their booth, their booth presentation. Yeah, so it’s nice that they get to sell art, but then they can also win cash money. Thanks, I’ll draw.

Brent Hanifl 05:39
You know, I know as a person with three small, younger children, I like Artspire just for the Friday nights. I give the kids tho Grandma. This year, they’re old enough, we’re gonna bring them down for the music for Friday night. But you know, I just find it to be an accessible, fun festival. Just like you know, quality entertainment, but also like the fine art components, like kind of exposing kids to these different pieces from performance to you know, everything in the dance and music. It’s a great time.

Allison Krzych 06:05
It really is all types of art and genres. And it is family friendly and kid friendly. The Interactive Arts are going to be happening at the same time as the art fair and sale. So you can kind of balance that shopping and doing component. We’re partnering with Coulee Kidscape, they’re making a take and make birdfeeder that’s out of recycled toilet paper tubes. And the Polytechnic School is doing a public art project that’s going to be a collaborative mural that’s actually going to end up hanging in their school after. That’s a student run project. And then the Coulee Region Humane Society if you have a pet bring the pet down, too because we’re doing a collaborative pet mural paw print art, nice stuff to do.

Brent Hanifl 06:53
So is there anything in particular that getting into the planning of it I’m sure you’ve kind of dug into this stuff, but is there any one thing or a couple things that you’re really excited for?

Allison Krzych 07:02
Yes. All of it depends what topic you get me on. I mean, I didn’t talk about chalk fest that happens every year at Artspire. You know, last year was so different, we were worried about people touching chalk. And this year, we get to have it full fledged, they have multiple different artists doing big pieces of chalk on the street, but then your kid can come and join them on in their own area.

Brent Hanifl 07:27
So kind of had a little talk beforehand about also exposing musicians like new musicians or young musicians to actually be on a stage. And we were talking about, you know, kind of a regional band named Charlieboy, that’s also going to be in the stage as well.

Allison Krzych 07:43
Yes, what we were talking about was you know how cool it is for some youth to go to a festival and see kids their age performing on stage and think I can do that, too, r I have a voice and people will listen.

Brent Hanifl 07:56
And also checking this out yet Alex Toast who’s does you know, some guitar work. You got Derek from many different bands around the area, One More Onion, During Families Project, Hmong dancers.

Allison Krzych 08:08
La Crosse Dance Center and INE Dance Company. I mean, we’ve maxed it out. There’s a reason why there was three, four stages in past years. We have a lot of great performers in the area, and just to incorporate them all.

Brent Hanifl 08:23
So people can check it out, so June 10, through the 11th, it’s free.

Allison Krzych 08:30
It is free. That’s the coolest thing. It’s free to come down there.

Brent Hanifl 08:34
Why wouldn’t you? Exactly it’s gonna be good weather this year, right?

Allison Krzych 08:38
Yes, it’s gonna be perfect weather. No matter what weather it is we deal. I did Google the weather before I got on with you. And I was like, why? It’ll be good. I’ve put my order in.

Brent Hanifl 08:50
I think that’s what makes it so special on it. You know, I remember a few of those. After the thunderstorm the music started. It was great. So if people want to find out more and also do you need volunteers still as well?

Allison Krzych 09:01
Thank you. Yes, we do need volunteers. On our website, you can link to and there are many different roles and many different timeframes throughout the day. I think right now grounds crew is a big one and parking. That’s a big one too. We have an influx of people. But we do have a parking ramp right next door so and it’s free, just like the fest.

Brent Hanifl 09:24
So people can head over to artspire.the and find all that info, all of it.

Amy Gabay 09:30
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La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.

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