Jack Hale is a successful businessman. Susan Hale is a respected artist. Together, they have used their talents to shape Cedarburg’s arts community, which is why The Greater Cedarburg Foundation is proud to honor them with its 16th annual Civic Award.
It was a good day for Cedarburg when Jack and Susan moved here from the Eastside of Milwaukee as newlyweds nearly 50 years ago. They purchased their dream fixer-upper on Green Bay Road and immediately decided to get involved in the community.
The Hales’ fixer-upper included a stone summer kitchen in the back, which became the first location for one of Cedarburg’s most beloved events: Christmas in the Country. The holiday boutique grew in popularity, drawing busloads of people from around the state, Chicago and beyond and was moved to the Cedarburg Woolen Mill to accommodate its growth. That event solidified Cedarburg’s reputation as a home for art and a thriving arts community.
While Susan was busy with her career as a fine artist and raising their family, Jack grew TJ Hale Company, which specializes in making displays for large retail companies. The couple has two daughters, Sarah and Melissa.
The Hales have given back to the community in many ways. Jack is a former member of the Jaycees and has served on the boards of the Greater Cedarburg Foundation and Cedarburg Cultural Center. He assumed the role of project manager for the new façade on the front of the Cultural Center building and acted as volunteer expeditor on the buildout of the new Cedarburg History Museum. He has also been active in a recently completed project at Community United Methodist Church in Cedarburg.
Susan started volunteering at the Firehouse Fine Arts Association, which is one of Ozaukee County’s first arts centers, and is a founding member of the Cedarburg Artist Guild, which today has a membership of over 200 artists representing the visual, literary and performing arts. She has also been active in a variety of roles at the Cedarburg Cultural Center and helps with planning the annual Plein Air art competition and show which attracts artists from throughout the Midwest each June. She has become an acclaimed artist herself, known for her colorful oil paintings which have become a part of many national and international collections.
The Greater Cedarburg Foundation has assets of more than $4 million comprised of an endowment and donor advised funds which distributes grants to non-profit organizations. The foundation’s mission is to preserve the local cultural heritage, enhance artistic endeavors and support educational, social and community-based services in the Greater Cedarburg area.