WI Arts & Creativity Newsletter

Vol I, Issue 3 - February 2023

Embrace The Cold With This Strategy

Remember when it was 40 degrees outside? Don't worry... we will get back there! Until then, I have a strategy that will not only help you to embrace the artic air but to also improve your mental health.

Close your eyes while listening to this beautiful work called "The Frozen Cathedral" by composer John Mackey. IF you do want to peek, check out the bass flute at :42 and the contrabass bassoon at 3:10. The band performing is "The President's Own U.S. Marine Band" - one of our nation's artistic treasures.

Admittedly, this strategy will not get that to do list done any sooner, BUT I can guarantee that you will feel better after just 15 minutes!

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. I hope it continues to be of value to you and others. If so, please pass it along and encourage folks to subscribe using the information provided at the bottom of the newsletter.



MACKEY The Frozen Cathedral - "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band


Mzati Wa Africa Seeking Collaboration

AEP affiliate, Winnie Mwamsamali Potalani was recently made the Executive Director and Education Programs Lead for Mzati Wa Africa Foundation! This new organization is focused on fighting youth unemployment in Malawi by providing creative learning platforms, promoting creativity and innovation and providing mental health support to the youth of Malawi. Interested in collaborating with them to help establish an arts center in Malawi? Email Winnie to learn more about Mzati Wa Africa and their goals for Malawian arts education.

DPI Seeking Individuals To Review Competitive Grant Applications

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is seeking individuals to review competitive grant applications for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) Summer School Grant program. You can find details about this grant at https://dpi.wi.gov/arp/esser-iii-american-rescue-plan-arp-summer-school-grant.

We are seeking reviewers with one or more of the following qualifications:

  • Expertise in the areas of providing effective academic, enrichment, youth development, or other related services to children and youth. Knowledge of educational programs that operate outside of the formal school year is desirable but not necessary.

  • Expertise in the area of providing social, emotional, and mental health services and supports to children and youth. Knowledge of school mental health services and supports is desirable, but not necessary.

  • Expertise working with communities to develop meaningful partnerships that foster commitment to improving the lives of youth and their families.

  • Relevant experience in an education related field.

  • Experience conducting evaluations of educational programs.

  • Experience as an educational grant reviewer or as a project manager of a grant funded educational project.

If you are interested in reviewing applications for the Summer School Grant program and meet at least one of the qualifications listed above, please complete this short interest form. Those who are interested will receive a follow-up communication with additional details and timelines. There is a small stipend of $300 available for reviewers.

U.S. Dept of Education Call For Student Performers

The U.S. Department of Education is issuing a “call” across the United States and its territories for student performing artists who are currently enrolled in institutions of elementary, secondary, or post-secondary education or accredited trade schools, who exemplify resilience, diversity, and excellence and are interested in showcasing their talent, virtually or in-person, at internal and external Department-hosted events.

The Department is seeking student performances such as, but not limited to, bands/marching bands, color guards, soloists, choirs, dancers, poets/spoken word artists, and theatrical performers.

We are reaching out to you, as a supporter of the arts, to assist the Department in sharing this information with your state arts directors, arts educators, students, and anyone else you think may be interested.

Responses to this call are voluntary and will provide the Department with a repository of student talent that may be matched to specific events that amplify the mission and initiatives of the Department.

Please utilize this link for additional information that includes Frequently Asked Questions, submission instructions, and other related guidance. If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete your submission and/or answer any related questions, please email studentart@ed.gov.

Thank you for your support!

Student Performing Arts Initiative

U.S. Department of Education


Band, Choir, and Orchestra Teachers Looking For An Exciting Opportunity?

The ComMission Possible Project began in 2009 with the goal of placing music students at the origins of creativity while interacting with some of the world's finest composers. The newly minted 2024 version of the project will now include band, choir and orchestra featuring three composers writing a grade 2.5-3 work for their area - Brian Balmages (Band), Jessica Meyer (Orchestra), and Alysia Lee (Choir).

For only $125 participating ensembles will receive these benefits:

1) A curriculum and lesson materials that will lead your students through creative experiences/activities, ultimately resulting in them developing a concept for the new composition. A panel of adjudicators will select the top 15 ideas submitted by participating schools for the composer to consider.

2) Three videos from the composer during different steps of the process. The composer will share initial steps, the concept of the work, answers to student questions, and the final product with rehearsal and performance tips.

3)Digital copies of the new composition to use with your ensemble.

4) The name of your school and the music teacher will be listed in the score.

5)The opportunity to host the composer for a residency and perform the official world premiere of the new work! If your school is selected, Beyond The Notes Inc. will help defray the costs associated with this amazing experience.

Follow the link below to learn more and to register!!


Visioneer Design Challenge - Register by March 17

The Visioneer Design Challenge is a unique, one-of-a kind, statewide learning program and competition for middle school and high school students interested in design arts and connecting with professional designers. Challenges have been developed by professional designers who currently work and have careers in design fields. These challenges cover design in everyday things, design of spaces and places, design for communication and information and design for human interaction. This program may connect directly to your school district’s goal of preparing students for post-secondary readiness. Some examples of design areas since the program’s launch have included: Architecture, Animation, Digital Photography, Exhibit Design, Fashion Marketing, Game Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Point-of-Purchase Design, Product Design, Urban Planning, Video Production and Web Design.


Next Month Is Arts Education Month!

In March we will celebrate all of the arts - Music, Visual Art, Media Art, Dance, and Theatre in a month long celebration. Look for the following activities to take place:

  • Official proclamation from State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly
  • Guest editorials on the value of the arts
  • Information regarding participation rates in Wisconsin related to the arts
  • School visits and classroom visits
  • Social media campaign
  • and more!

Wisconsin Music Educators Association Capitol Concerts Announced

Each year, WMEA sponsors school music group concerts in the State Capitol Rotunda during March. The concerts kick off as a celebration of NAfME’s Music In Our Schools Month and offer groups an opportunity to perform in this beautiful Wisconsin landmark. All concerts begin at Noon and are open to the public!

2023 WMEA Capitol Concerts Schedule

March 1 – Wednesday – Glenwood Trombone Choir & Clarinet Choir – Glenwood City

Music Educator – Matt Lamb

March 2 – Thursday – Northland Pines Middle School Choir – Eagle River

Music Educator – Kate Janssen

March 7 – Tuesday – Wauwatosa East Concert Orchestra – Wauwatosa

Music Educator – Michael Hayden

March 9 – Thursday – Waunakee Middle School Orchestra – Waunakee

Music Educator – Aaron Cornelio

Waunakee Middle School Choir – Waunakee

Music Educator – Angela Roberts

March 16 – Thursday – Antigo Middle School Band/ Peace Lutheran Band – Antigo

Music Educator – Tami Malina

March 17 – Friday – Madison West Honor Band – Madison

Music Educator – Kevin Rhodes

March 21 – Tuesday – Swanson Elementary & Wisconsin Hills Bands – Brookfield

Music Educator – Phil Rothschadl

Music Educator – Sarah Marma

March 23 – Thursday – Kohler High School Band & Choir – Kohler

Music Educator – Richard Tengowski

Music Educator – Eva Stokes

March 28 – Tuesday – Bel Canto HS Treble Choir – Kaukauna

Music Educator – Joy Paffenroth

March 30 – Thursday – Durand-Arkansaw HS Symphonic Band – Durand

Music Educator – Kevin Peterson

Temp Check! A two-minute survey on media literacy.

Milwaukee Film's Education Department is seeking a quick temperature check on your school or out of school-time program's media literacy and digital storytelling implementation. We invite you to complete this blind (and very brief!) survey so we can better advocate for your needs through our programming in 2023 and beyond:

Take Survey Here (2 min)

Apply To Be A Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation Music Teacher of Excellence (Due March 3)

As stated by the CMA "Over the last decade, the CMA Foundation has been committed to investing in quality music education throughout the country. As our work has progressed and we’ve learned more about the overwhelming challenges that face music education – and its educators, we felt motivated to go beyond simply supporting the education system but to also champion the incredible human beings who go well above and beyond their role and responsibilities in the classroom and who are vital to their students and communities."

Teachers can learn more and apply here: https://cmafoundation.org/music-teachers-of-excellence/


West Salem Student Named Wisconsin School Board Association Art Contest Winner

Congratulations to West Salem student Haley Duent and her teacher Quenten Brown. Haley was the recent winner of the Wisconsin School Board Association Art Contest.

Seven Wisconsin Music Educators Selected As GRAMMY Quarterfinalists

A total of 207 music teachers from 180 cities have been announced as quarterfinalists for the 2023 Music Educator Award, a joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum. In total, nearly 1,500 initial nominations were submitted.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators — kindergarten through college, public and private schools — who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2023, which takes place ahead of the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards.

Congratulations to:

William Brown - FJ Turner High School, Beloit

Amberleigh Cellak Starbuck - World IB Middle School, Racine

Karla Hulne - Blair-Taylor Middle & High School, Blair

Laura Shapovalov - Walden III Middle School, Racine

Elizabeth Steege - Case High School, Racine

Sarah Wehmeier Aparicio - Waukesha South High School, Waukesha

Raymond Roberts - Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Milwaukee

MMoCA exhibit teaches students about contemporary Native Americans and their contributions to the arts

The exhibit is aimed at children and families, and Charlotte Cummins said it has allowed the Madison museum to do a lot of outreach with schools and it touches on a number of different curriculum areas. Cummins was the director of education and programs at MMoCA when the Midvale students toured the exhibit last month. She has since take a job at the Madison Children’s Museum.


Wisconsin State Journal

Holmen High School Marching Band Sweeps Parade Competition in Florida

At the Reliaquest Bowl Festival Parade competition in Florida, the Marching Vikings earned a silver rating in concert band, second place in a field show competition and swept all categories in the parade competition.


Channel 8000 – La Crosse

Manitowoc teen to perform at historic Carnegie Hall

Mathew Bonin is following in the footsteps of icons such as Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, and the Beatles by playing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Bonin plays the trumpet in his high school honors band and was chosen as one of 350 student performers out of a pool of 10,000.


WISN 12 - Milwaukee

'It feels great': Nicolet High School graduate nominated for his 4th Academy Award

Justin Hurwitz is a hometown musician with quite the resume, winning four Golden Globes, three Critics' Choice Awards, two Grammys and a BAFTA. Come March 12, 2023, he's hopeful to add his third Academy Award to the list.


CBS 58 - Milwaukee

UW-Madison professor wins prestigious award for opera composition

Standing in New York’s Museum of Modern Art this January, composer Laura Schwendinger received a call from librettist Ginger Strand with life-changing news: They had just won a $50,000 award for their 2019 opera “Artemisia.” The news dumbfounded Schwendinger, also a UW-Madison professor of music composition. The Charles Ives prize is the largest and most prestigious award for opera composers in the U.S.

Read Full Story Here

Photo & Story Source: Composer Laura Schwendinger is pictured at Copland House in New York. Cap Times, Jan 31, 2023 by Kayla Huynh

aka Teacher LIVE: a Virtual EdCamp on Sustaining Classroom Communities (Feb. 20)

Take a break during one of the coldest months of the year and spend some time with the PBS Wisconsin Education aka Teacher podcast hosts for a virtual live episode recording. Get some inspiration from our co-hosts on sustaining classroom community and then share your insights about how to maintain that community throughout the school year. Your ideas may spark future episode topics! Learn more and Register: aka Teacher LIVE: A Virtual Edcamp on Sustaining Classroom Communities

Northwoods Marching Band Students Honored With Surprise Pep Rally After Rose Parade Performance

Members of a high school marching band that performed in the Rose Parade received a surprise pep rally Thursday in Wausau. The band was created last year with the aim of making it to the parade. Amy Wainscott, president of the Tournament of Roses, which oversees both the Rose Bowl and the parade, is a graduate of Northland Pines High School in Eagle River. Wainscott helped organize the schools into a unified band. It was the first time any northern Wisconsin school performed in the parade.


Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin Northwoods Marching Band - Rose Parade 2023


Wisconsin Arts Board Creative Communities Grant - Due Feb 23

The Creative Communities grants program (CCP) provides support for arts projects in the following three areas: Arts Education, Folk and Traditional Arts, and Local Arts. An eligible Creative Communities project is a collaborative endeavor that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim within an identified community. Grants range from $1,500-$6,000 and require a match.

For a full overview of the Creative Community Program guidelines for Phase 1 and Phase 2, see the WAB’s Creative Communities webpage.

FY24 Creative Communities Phase 1 Deadline: February 23

FY24 Creative Communities Phase 2 Deadline: April 6


3 Quick and Creative Literacy Strategies

  1. Evidence For, Evidence Against. This strategy helps students to close read a piece of text. It's like a rigorous true and false activity, requiring students to share evidence to support or argue a statement. In our version, you select a piece of text and pair it with a piece of art, music, dance, or dramatic scene. You then have students use the strategy to close read both the text and the art.

  2. Stepping In, Stepping Out. This is a great strategy for connecting text and media arts. It helps students move from a consumer mindset to a thinker mindset. With the Stepping In and Stepping Out strategy in literature, students learn to intentionally switch from a consumer to an analyst, and back again.

  3. Scriptwriting Literacy. In this strategy, students learn how to use the theater skills of scriptwriting to deepen their reading and writing processes.

SOURCE: Institute For Arts Integration and STEAM


Student Behavior Improves And Test Scores Don't Suffer

“Schools that are struggling in math and reading are worried about where they can make space in the schedule to squeeze art in. They worry that math and reading is going to get worse if we add the arts,” said Daniel Bowen, an associate professor at Texas A&M University and one of the study’s co-authors. “That didn’t happen.”

Hechinger Report by Jill Barshay (Jan 2, 2023)


OPINION: After the pandemic, young people need music education more than ever before

"Over the last three years, the pandemic has had an outsized negative effect on young people, especially those vulnerable to the inequities in schools and society. At the same time, we’ve seen many school and community leaders embrace music’s incredible positive impact on student mental health and social cohesion."


Hechinger Report - Dalouge Smith and Henry Donahue (Jan 24, 2023)

Music-Based Mentoring and Academic Improvement in High-Poverty Elementary Schools

Recent research links disparities in children’s language-related brain function to poverty and its correlates. Such disparities are hypothesized to underlie achievement gaps between students from low-income families and more advantaged peers. Interventions that improve language-related brain function in low-income students exist, but evaluations of their implementation within high-poverty elementary schools do not. This comparison-group study evaluates whether implementation within high-poverty elementary schools of Harmony Project music-based mentoring, previously shown in randomized controlled research to improve language-related brain function and literacy in low-income students, might be associated with academic improvement for participants compared with non-participating peers.



Media Literacy Webinar Series (February 2, March 22, and April 3)

Join PBS Wisconsin Education for a discussion on implementing media literacy in the classroom and develop strategies to teach students how to be savvy consumers of information and media. We are hosting three sessions: one for grades 6-12 in February, one for grades 3-5 in March, and one for early learning in April for Week of the Young Child.

Learn more and register: https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/media-literacy-1548419



The Wisconsin Arts Integration Symposium is a community for educators, teaching artists, researchers, and administrators.

Participants will:

  • Engage in experiential training with peers
  • Gain tangible strategies for implementation in educational settings
  • Shape the future of arts-integrated learning

When: April 21-22, 2023

Where: MyArts
1055 E Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703



Start With Why

It is a pretty simple concept but it is fascinating how often we overlook it. On your drive home, listen to this TEDx Talk by Simon Sinek. It is a good one!
Start with why -- how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound


Tell A Friend!

Thanks for being on the Arts & Creativity DPI Listserv. If you find this information useful, please share it with a friend or colleague. If they would like to join the listserv do the following:

TO SUBSCRIBE simply send an email with no message to subscribe-wiartsed@lists.dpi.wi.gov

Chris Gleason

Arts & Creativity Education Consultant

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

This publication and previous issues are available from: Division of Academic Excellence> Teaching and Learning Team> Arts and Creativity. https://dpi.wi.gov/fine-arts/newsletter

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, creed, age, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, marital status or parental status, sexual orientation, or ability.