Grant funds will go towards promoting new interactive exhibition at Door County Maritime Museum

STURGEON BAY, Wis. – The Door County Maritime Museum is sailing into summer with the unveiling of its “Shipwrecks of Door County” interactive exhibit. With help from a $39,550 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, the museum is welcoming visitors to explore the role shipwrecks play in Wisconsin’s maritime history. The “Shipwrecks of Door County” exhibit will be on display from May 26, 2018 to December 31, 2020.

The unveiling will take place on Saturday, May 26, 2018 featuring a full-day event with intriguing shipwreck-themed speakers, a book signing, children’s activities, a scavenger hunt and guided curatorial tours of the new exhibit. With the purchase of standard admission, visitors can explore the new exhibit, experience three additional galleries highlighting Door County’s maritime history and enjoy the opening celebration events.

“The Door County Maritime Museum showcases Wisconsin’s rich maritime traditions, from its lighthouses to shipwrecks,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “We’re excited to support the ‘Shipwrecks of Door County’ exhibition, which will enhance the visitor experience and create a positive economic impact in the community with increased museum attendance.”

“Shipwrecks of Door County” features interactive displays that explore life at sea and the inherent dangers of the area’s landscape. Visitors can explore original shipwreck artifacts, historic photographs, underwater videos, interactive games and more. “Shipwrecks of Door County” is expected to attract over 14,000 attendees, generating an estimated $1.8 million in visitor spending in the area. Grant funds will go towards direct mail, online, print and broadcast advertising.

“The Shipwrecks of Door County exhibit is a new way for the museum to expand into new museum traditions and showcase the technology, STEAM interactivity and inspiration that we will be including in our new Maritime Lighthouse Tower addition initiative in the next season.” Executive Director, Amy Paul, comments that this will be a very engaging and interactive exhibit for the entire family. “The goal is to excite and educate visitors from the youngest to those who have lived life at sea and all those interested in experiencing a shipwreck and shipwreck exploration.”

In 2016, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $20 billion, a 3.5 percent increase from 2015. Tourism activity supports 193,500 jobs and the travel and hospitality industry has added 21,500 in employment opportunities for Wisconsin residents since 2010, a 12.4% increase. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue. Business sales in Door County reached $442.8 million, supporting 3,178 jobs and $37.5 million in state and local taxes. 

In fiscal 2017, the Department funded 61 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $34 million. JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first-year advertising and marketing costs, and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at:

Find out more about this exciting exhibit by clicking here!


Kristina LeVan, Wisconsin Department of Tourism



Amy Paul, Door County Maritime Museum