WI Arts & Creativity Newsletter

Vol I, Issue 1 - December 2022

Starting With "Why"

If we haven't met yet, my name is Chris Gleason. I am the new Arts and Creativity Consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. I started in this position last February on a part-time basis and transitioned fully at the beginning of June. Since that time I have been learning, connecting, and most importantly, listening.

In March of 2014, author Simon Sinek presented a powerful TEDx Talk called "How Great Leaders Inspire Action". In the talk, he reveals the "golden circle" that examines purpose and relevance by starting with "why".

I thought it would be fitting to begin this new Arts and Creativity Newsletter the same way. "Why another newsletter?" some might ask. Admittedly, folks in education are continuously bombarded with information. Finding time to eat is hard enough, let alone reading another newsletter.

Yet, while fully acknowledging the tremendous workload that exists in education, I feel a sense of urgency and responsibility to communicate important information and new ideas while connecting us together.

This monthly Arts & Creativity Newsletter will feature a few sections:

Updates & Announcements - news, policy, and important updates from DPI.

In The News & From The Field - shout outs, arts & creativity in the news, and photos.

Grant Opportunities - need funding for a project or idea?

Teacher Toolbox - strategies, tech tips, and more

Research & Advocacy - research, articles, and resources validating your work.

Professional Development - opportunities to grow and learn

Points 2 Ponder - great quotes, books, or philosophical thoughts and ideas.

Like all things, this may change over time, but it is a starting point. Please feel free to share photos, stories, and ideas with me by emailing christopher.gleason@wi.dpi.gov


Past and Future Classroom Visits

This past fall I traveled over 1,600 miles throughout Wisconsin visiting visual art, media art, music, and theatre classrooms. I listened carefully to teachers who shared success stories as well as critical challenges. I plan to continue these visits as much as my schedule will allow. If you are interested in having me come to your school, please fill out the form by clicking the button below. NOTE- this is the same form from this fall. If you filled it out then you do not have to fill it out again. I have you on my list!

Federal Arts Funding Survey - Deadline Dec. 9

NAfME is collaborating with the NAMM Foundation, the Educational Theatre Association, the National Dance Education Organization and the National Art Education Association to collect data about the use of federal funds to support music and the arts (dance, theatre and visual arts) in K-12 education. Your stories are a vital part of their advocacy efforts, and we encourage you to participate in this important survey by Dec. 9.

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


Slinger Singer Thrives On Track, In The Arts

In Slinger, you'll always be able to find Slinger High School Junior Michael Loomans gearing up for a run. Michael thrives in the arts. He's an accomplished artist, singer, songwriter and actor. His big break on stage came in eighth grade when he was cast in The Newsies at the Skylight Theater in Milwaukee. "That was one of the best shows I've ever had," said Loomans. "Super, super fun. I cried when it was all over." (Photo FOX6 News Milwaukee/Lily Zhao) https://www.fox6now.com/sports/slinger-singer-cross-country-track

Jackson Elementary students make ornaments for White House Christmas tree

Third graders at Jackson Elementary School made Christmas tree ornaments that will be hung up in Washington D.C. The students were told that their ornaments should be inspired by what they think makes Wisconsin beautiful. Congratulations to art educator, Chelsea Brown. Photo credit: (WMTV-TV/Kylie Jacobs)


A boon for tunes: MMSD invests COVID relief funds in new instruments

The purchases for LaCosse’s classroom were a fraction of the approximately $1.7 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding that the Madison Metropolitan School District spent on new instruments for every K-5, middle and the four mainstream high schools. She remembers the moment she found out her entire request was approved: “Oh, I screamed.” https://captimes.com/news/education/a-boon-for-tunes-mmsd-invests-covid-relief-funds-in-new-instruments/article_5a191c68-8359-5914-92db-07e230bcd3b1.html


Wisconsin Humanities Grant Opportunity - Dec 15, Feb 1

Humanities programs should be reflective experiences that engage the public. Programs can take many forms including exhibitions, performances, community discussions, guest speakers, workshops, oral history projects, panels, town halls, films, and more.

Deadline: December 15 | Major Grant applications
Deadline: February 1 | Mini Grant applications


VSA Playwright Discovery Program - Jan 4

Young writers enrolled in senior high school (generally, ages 14-19) with disabilities are invited to submit a ten-minute script of any genre for the opportunity to participate in a playwrights program. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration between two student (at least one student with a disability). A panel of theater professionals selects winners.

DEADLINE: The application deadline is Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.


WEDC Fab Lab Grant Program - Jan 15

The grant program supports hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education by assisting public school districts with equipment purchases for instructional and educational purposes in fab labs. Fab labs are high-tech workshops with the latest equipment, including computer-controlled manufacturing components such as 3D printers, laser engravers and computer numerical control routers.

WEDC will provide grants of up to $25,000 to public school districts, or up to $50,000 to consortiums of two or more districts, for the creation and/or expansion of fab labs.


National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read Grants - Jan 18

Washington, DC—Applications are now open for grants to support NEA Big Read projects between September 2023 and June 2024. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports community reading programs each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. Matching grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 each. The Intent to Apply deadline is Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete grant guidelines and to apply.

National Education Association Foundation (NEAF) Envision Equity Grants - Feb 1

Envision Equity Grants support project-based learning and help educators to advance students’ cultural understanding and appreciation, anti-racism commitments, and understanding of civic engagement and democracy. Envision Equity grants will fund projects between $1,500 and $5,000. Grants fund activities for 12 months from the date of the award.


National Education Association Foundation (NEAF) Learning & Leadership Grants - Feb 1

Learning and Leadership grants are intended to provide resources for educators hoping to engage in professional learning that can be implemented in their classrooms. Learning & Leadership grants will fund projects between $1,500 and $5,000. Grants fund activities for 12 months from the date of the award.


National Education Association Foundation (NEAF) Student Success Grants - Feb 1

The NEA Foundation wants to support educators engaging students in project-based and deeper learning to support the development of skills and dispositions contributing to success and fulfillment in a changing world.

Grants between $1,500 and $5,000 are available. Grants fund activities for 12 months from the date of the award. https://www.neafoundation.org/educator-grants-and-fellowships/student-success-grants/


Google Tools To Check Out!

Google Music Experiments

Google Arts & Culture


Visual Art Leads to Greater Critical Thinking

Did you know engaging with visual art can lead to greater critical thinking in students? A 2014 study found that students who attended a museum field trip gained more critical thinking strategies than students who did not visit the museum. #ArtsEdSearch | http://ow.ly/OJ4S50LPk6l

10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2022

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, empathy, and beauty. The arts also strengthen our communities socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even during a pandemic that has been devastating to the arts. The following 10 reasons show why an investment in artists, creative workers, and arts organizations is vital to the nation’s post-pandemic healing and recovery.



National Education Association Foundation (NEAF) Global Learning Fellowship

Through the NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship, public school educators develop the knowledge and skills to integrate global competency into their daily classroom instruction, advocate for global competency in their schools and districts, and help students to thrive in our increasingly interconnected world. Fellows transform their classrooms to give students a global perspective.

Over the course of a year, NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows immerse themselves in online coursework, webinars, reading and reflection as well as in a two-day professional workshop and an international field study. The field study brings the cohort together to investigate the historical and cultural context of the country they visit and learn about its education system through meetings with policymakers, business and nonprofit leaders as well as visits to schools to meet teachers, students and administrators. The NEA Foundation partners with EF Educational Tours, a global leader in international education, to design transformative field study experiences for the Fellows. The field study country for the 2023 cohort is South Africa.



Culturally Responsive Teaching

While many educators understand the value of creating a culturally responsive classroom, for many teachers it difficult to imagine what a culturally responsive classroom looks like in practice. This tool & document below, developed by members of the Re-Imagining Migration team and researchers at UCLA, is intended to help make the concept of a culturally responsive classroom concrete and to provide an opportunity for reflection and self-assessment.
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Chris Gleason

Arts & Creativity Education Consultant

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction