PSOA faculty and administration support bi-partisan bill to create state film office and tax incentives

Student filmmakers work with lighting and other equipment on a set.

A proposed bi-partisan bill focused on the establishment of a State Film Office and tax incentives for film and television production in Wisconsin is heavily supported by the Peck School of the Arts.

The bill would be game-changing for the PSOA community of artists, creating a wealth of new jobs in the state’s thriving media industry and beyond.

Several members of the PSOA faculty and administration are members of Action! Wisconsin, a statewide coalition of film and television personnel, industry partners, and supporters. Among them is lecturer Jeff Kurz (Department of Film, Video, Animation, & New Genres), who worked with the nonprofit arts advocacy organization Imagine MKE to create Action! Wisconsin.

Kurz knows firsthand the benefits that Peck School students, alumni, and faculty would receive.

“Seventy-five percent of the crew who worked on my last movie, DEEP WOODS, were graduates of the FVANG Department and many of them have left [the state] for better-paying jobs. Film and TV production tax incentives would create jobs, allowing UWM students and graduates to stay in Wisconsin,” Kurz said. “It would encourage productions from outside the state to come to Wisconsin and hire Wisconsin residents. They would spend money on productions, boosting local economies.”

According to a release issued by Action! Wisconsin in February, Wisconsin is among only ten states that do not offer any production incentives, and nearly every state has a film office, including neighboring Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Minnesota. Wisconsin is one of only five in the country that does not.

As a result, Wisconsin misses out on significant benefits realized by other states.

For example, a 2023 study by the Georgia Screen Entertainment Commission found that every one dollar invested in film incentives in the state generated $6.30 of economic benefit. Similar results were found in Montana, where production on Paramount Network’s Yellowstone created 2.1 million new visitors to the state, totaling $730 million in local economic activity.

Members of Action! Wisconsin have acknowledged PSOA Head of School Kevin Hartman throughout this process. Hartman has been a supportive and helpful colleague in the mission to improve Wisconsin’s film industry.

UWM’s Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres is highly regarded in the film industry,” Hartman noted. “This proposal will enhance that reputation by creating new pathways for our fantastic faculty and staff to turn their creative visions into realities and by creating new learning experiences for our students. Everyone wins should this bill become law.

Those who wish to get involved and show support for the proposed bill can do so by visiting

Story by Jason McCullum ’25