WI Arts & Creativity Newsletter

Vol I, Issue 5 - April 2023

The Secret To Motivation

During the course of a school year, these days in March and April are challenging for a multitude of reasons. With the slow transition to warmer weather, it can prove challenging for adults and children alike to remain motivated, engaged, and energized. So what's the solution? The answer is exactly what led you to read this narrative in the first place - curiosity.

We seem to focus on numbers, scores, trends and look to find solutions through programming, curriculum, and professional development. While all of these things are important I believe that we often overlook the essential role curiosity plays in learning. My goal each day as an educator was to have my students leave class more curious. I did this by selecting great literature that challenged students to perform and think beyond the notes. I did this by asking intriguing questions, dialoguing with students, and incorportating their ideas and passions. I did this by focusing on joy over judgement, collaboration over competition, and growth over grades. As Sir Ken Robinson stated, "Curiosity is the engine of achievement".

As we continue through this school year, consider curiosity and the role it is playing in your life, school and classroom. Wishing you much joy,



Youth Art Month Celebration

Congratulations to all of the student artists who participated in the WAEA Youth Art Month celebration. Hundreds of famliy members assembled at East Towne Mall in Madison on March 31st to acknowledge outstanding k-12 art students and educators. The theme this year was "Your Art, Your Voice." Dr. Laura Roeker, Director of Teaching and Learning, was one of the guest speakers.

In her speech she said, ""The theme of this year’s celebration of Wisconsin Youth Art Month is “Your Art, Your Voice.” That feeling I got when Ms. Dwyer told me my art could be something outside of prescribed “rules” is exactly in line with this theme–art is OURS. Art isn’t always for someone else, some bigger audience; it’s yours, and it can be what you need it to be. However, the second part of the theme, “Your voice” is such a powerful piece because it acknowledges that art can be used for something so powerful: to express yourself, your views on the world, and what matters to you the most."

Congratulations to all our art and design students across Wisconsin!

How Does Wisconsin Compare? ArtScan 2023

What states offer an arts graduation requirement?

What states have an Arts Education Instructional Requirement at various levels?

ArtScan at a Glance is a useful resource created by AEP in collaboration with with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education and Education Commission of the States to equip the field with the best available information on state policies related to arts education.

This resource captures data for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity. We also use this annual opportunity to examine what’s working, what could be improved and what new information should be added to the database. Here’s a look at what’s new in 2023.

Consolidated Policy Areas

We’ve heard from our partners that ArtScan at a Glance is one of the most useful resources we offer. This two-page overview of state arts education policies across the country has expanded over the last two cycles, adding both new policy areas and new territories. In the spirit of keeping this document user friendly and truly “at a glance,” we have opted to remove two policy areas from this year’s update: arts as a core academic subject, and arts ed requirements for state accreditation.

The term “core academic subject” was adopted by states to align their subject area priorities with the federal government’s language in No Child Left Behind. The re-authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act shifted this core academic subject language to including the arts as a part of a well rounded education. This shift prompted us to remove this data point from ArtScan in 2023. For information about subject area requirements, we encourage you to check out your state’s data under arts education instructional requirements for elementary, middle and high school.

The arts education requirements for state accreditation specifies whether arts education is a requirement for schools to be accredited. Upon closer analysis, our research team noted that these polices were duplicative of other policy areas already captured in ArtScan, such as instructional requirements. Accreditation is a complex process that from varies state to state, and this data point was not capturing the nuance and process involved. For specific questions about state accreditation policies, we encourage you to reach out to AEP to get you a more detailed response.

Laws That Limit Teaching About Race and Gender Imperil Music Instruction

"A high school choir director is afraid to ask students to perform spirituals—a central form of American music—because they might have to explain a song’s origin as a form of expression for enslaved people.

A teacher is unsure how to teach about jazz and the blues without mentioning that those musical forms took root among Blacks after emancipation.

These and similar situations face music educators working in 19 states with so-called “divisive concept” laws or policies that limit discussion of topics like race, gender, sexuality, and U.S. history in K-12 schools, according to a report released March 31 by the National Association for Music Education."

Read Full Article HERE

Author: Alyson Kleiin, EducationWeek

Photo: iStock/Getty

Want to learn more and dig deeper?


Announcing Maps to the Next World: A New Literary Arts Initiative

Led by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC) in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation, Maps to the Next World is a new digital publishing initiative that seeks to chart new paths forward for the literary arts field. Through a series of commissioned essays published online in a range of journals and linked to APAC’s website, Maps to the Next World seeks to inspire wide-ranging reflections on challenges facing the many sectors of the literary arts and the role the field plays in public life. The initiative will provide a forum for bold ideas and actionable steps towards a more just, accessible, and financially viable literary arts ecosystem.

Read Full Article Here

Author: National Endowment for the Arts

Photo: NEA

Celebrating the 2021 National Medal of Arts Recipients

"General Washington wrote, and I quote, "The arts and sciences [are] essential to the prosperity of the State and…the ornament and happiness of human life." He knew the greatness of a nation was measured not only by the strength of its army and the vastness of its geography, the size of its economy, it was also measured in the vitality of its culture -- and the culture forged in the freedom of expression to speak and to think freely. Freedoms that must always be defended for democracy is a covenant -- a covenant we have with each other." - President Biden

On March 21, President Biden awarded the 2021 National Medals of Arts in an East Room ceremony at the White House.

Learn more about the honorees here

Watch the video of the ceremony here

Media Arts Committee Meeting - April 13

NEXT 3rd OPEN Media Arts Committee Meeting - Thursday, April 13, 2023, 6:30pm ET (MAC Meetings will regularly be the 2nd Thursday of each month). RSVP at https://www.mediaartsedu.org/connect/rsvp-open-meeting. NO NEED TO RSVP AGAIN IF YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY, as you will be on our Involved list. OPEN means that anyone is invited to attend. We will formalize later as we become more organized and gain Members and Representatives. ZOOM LINK WILL BE CHANGED AND RESENT LATER. Meeting recordings and notes posted at Connect / Media Arts Committee.

Tentative Agenda: REPS vote on Media Arts EDU Festival; Outreach System; Organize for YouthMAE Festival / MAE Initiative

Responding to Mural Erasure

This is the second story in a series of success stories focused on restorative justice work. The work featured in these stories seeks to acknowledge the impact of harmful practices and creates opportunities to heal that harm between those who enacted it and those impacted by it to transform the community.

Read More Here

Photo: This mural is the right side of the larger 'Indigenous Cosmovisions' mural painted by the RJFTA 2021 summer youth mural program students and community at the Los Angeles College Prep Academy campus by lead artist and mentor John ‘Zender’ Estrada.

World Premiere Wisconsin To Host Inaugural Festival Celebrating New Plays And Musicals, March 1- June 30

Four years in the making, after extensive planning and collaboration amongst a team of noted Wisconsin theater professionals, World Premiere Wisconsin has announced its inaugural festival comes to Wisconsin this spring. The theater festival will run March 1 - June 30, 2023 throughout the state - from the tip of Door County to the state line and across 20 distinct zip codes.

Read More Here

Californians approve big funding boost for arts education

SAN DIEGO (AP) — California voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure backed by a celebrity lineup that included Barbra Streisand and Los Angeles-born rappers will.i.am and Dr. Dre that could pump as much as $1 billion a year from the state’s general fund into arts education.

The measure had faced no organized opposition, a rarity. With about a quarter of the ballots counted, Proposition 28 won handily with 75.8% of the vote. It will require the state to provide the equivalent of 1% of California’s state funding for public schools from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade for the arts.

Supporters said it would benefit public school programs that go beyond the traditional art, theater, dance and music classes to include graphic design, computer coding, animation, music composition and script writing.

Read More Here

Photo: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

2023 Wisconsin Congressional Art Competitions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Derrick Van Orden (WI-03) announced the opening of entries for the 2023 Congressional Art Competition. The winning artwork from the Third District’s competition will be displayed alongside artwork from across the nation for one year in the U.S. Capitol, as well as on House.gov’s Congressional Art Competition page.

“I’m excited to invite young artists from across Wisconsin’s Third District to participate in the 2023 Congressional Art Competition,” said Van Orden. “The students of Western Wisconsin are among the most talented in the nation, and I look forward to seeing their work proudly displayed in the U.S. Capitol.”

Along with Rep. Van Orden, these congressional districts are also hosting competitions:

1st Congressional District Art Competition

Office of Congressman Bryan Steil
Deadline: April 20

2nd Congressional District Art Competition
Office of Congressman Mark Pocan
Deadline: April 16

3rd Congressional District Art Competition
Office of Congressman Derrick Van Orden
Deadline: April 8

4th Congressional District Art Competition
Office of Congressman Gwen Moore
Deadline: April 11

5th Congressional District Art Competition
Office of Congressman Scott Fitzgerald
Deadline: May 1

6th Congressional District Art Competition
Office of Congressman Glenn Grothman
Deadline: April 13

7th Congressional District Art Competition
Office of Congressman Tom Tiffany
Deadline: April 7

8th Congressional District Art Competition
Office of Congressman Mike Gallagher
Deadline: April 20

Visual Art Classic State to take place April 14 at UW Madison

The Visual Arts Classic (VAC) is a competition for art students in grades 9-12. It features studio categories (usually 11 or 12) and an annually changing theme. Students are involved in in-depth research on about a dozen selected artists whose work relates to the theme. Scores are earned both individually and as a team. Students have the opportunity to create artwork in response to a prompt as a “long-term” project. Students also participate in a challenge to create artwork in response to a prompt as an “on-site” project. Teams compete in a “Critical Thinking” team project as well as an “Art History Quiz Bowl” relating to the selected theme and artists.

Team preparation for VAC often starts in late October. The regional competitions take place in February to March and vary by location. In April the 1st place winners in all categories come together to compete a State competition in Madison. Teams and students earn medals and trophies for their efforts.

Read More Here

DNR accepting entries for Air, Air, Everywhere Poetry Contest - Deadline May 5

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is now accepting entries from third to fifth graders for the Air, Air, Everywhere poetry contest. Now in its 12th year, the annual DNR-sponsored contest is designed to raise awareness of the importance of good air quality in honor of Clean Air Month in May. The DNR encourages teachers and parents to submit original poems and riddles created by their students. The three winning poets will have their work featured on the DNR website and social media channels.

Read More Here

Joint Finance Committee members schedule public hearings on state budget

April 5 | Waukesha
April 11 | Eau Claire
April 12 | Wisconsin Dells
April 26 | Minocqua

This is a critical time for our public schools and libraries. Your opinion isn’t just helpful — it’s absolutely paramount. We know you’re busy, and time is of the essence. Please take a few minutes and do it right now if you are able!

You can submit a public comment through an online public comment form and express the need for additional support to our public schools and libraries.

Here are some suggestions to develop your comments:

  • Try to tell your individual story up front. Example: “I am a middle school special education teacher in Menominee and I’m commenting to express support of greater investment in special education resources for our kids.”
  • How has the current budget impacted your ability to do your job? What would new investment help you do? What students/patrons/taxpayers would be directly impacted and how?
  • Include details, stories, statistics that back up your claims.
  • Expand on challenges you currently face as an educator, and also include visions for what can be done better with budgetary improvements.

Another option to make your voice heard is to engage with DPI's social media. Each week of April has a theme for social posts on the DPI’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and we are excited to get our message of support for public schools and libraries out to all of Wisconsin! We hope you join us!

State Speech & Debate Festival April 21-22 DeForest

WSMA State Solo/Ensemble Festivals Coming Soon

April 29 - UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville, UW-Whitewater

May 5 - UW-Green Bay

May 6 - Cardinal Stritch, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-LaCrosse, UW-Parkside, UW-Stevens Point


Arts Funding in Wisconsin

Brian Kelsey, managing director of Peninsula Players and chair of the Wisconsin Arts Board, joins Pulse editor Debra Fitzgerald to talk about state supported funding for the arts: what’s in the budget to start the process in Madison, what Door County could receive, why Wisconsin ranks 50th in the nation when it comes to arts funding; and how the arts contribute to our economy and quality of life.

Read More Here

Music grant elevates arts program

CBS 58 - Milwaukee

A Milwaukee charter school won't miss a beat all thanks to a grant from Summerfest and American Family Insurance. But a dedicated music teacher also deserves some credit. "What can we do to make their lives their very best when they're with us? And what kinds of experiences and exposures can I give?" Heather Mabini, of Woodlands School, says. "That's what really my bottom line is every day."

Read More Here

Photo/Video: CBS 58 Milwaukee

Mendota Elementary stomp group helps students find their rhythm

FOX 47 - Madison

You'll notice Mendota Elementary School's step group gives fourth and fifth graders the opportunity to perform and learn about teamwork. There are other benefits you may not see right away, but if you listen you'll know why Stomp is important to these students.

Read More Here

Photo/Video - FOX 47

Bucks-affiliate Wisconsin Herd raising funds for Oshkosh Kids Foundation with student art jerseys

CBS 58 - Milwaukee

Over 2,600 students from over 25 schools submitted artwork depicting what the Wisconsin Herd meant to them. A panel of team members and BMO staff selected five winners from Oakwood Elementary, Xavier High School, Omro Elementary, Perry Tipler Middle School and Carl Traeger Elementary.

Read More Here

Photo/Video: CBS 58

Kenosha teacher's movie now playing in theaters around the country

CBS 58 - Milwaukee

Michael Corcoran's in the Kenosha Unified School District by day, and tonight, the screen play he wrote is a movie, playing in theatres around the country.

Read More Here

Photo/Video - CBS 58

'Young at Art' exhibition connects community to public schools through student artwork

Madison Magazine

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's 'Young at Art' exhibition invites public school teachers to display student pieces in a gallery, celebrating youth involvement in the arts.

Read More Here

Photo: MMoCA's "Young at Art" exhibition will display student art works from March 18 to Aug. 6.

Photo courtesy of MMoCA

Expressions Challenge Initiative: Students learn value of art while improving mental health

TMJ4 - Milwaukee

What started in 2009 in two cities is now open to high school students from all 50 states. TMJ4's Andrea Williams traveled to Milwaukee's Rufus King High School to speak with a couple of International Baccalaureate Art students interested in the challenge.

Read More Here

Photo/Video: TMJ4

'Heart Spirits' art installation project at Black River Falls High School aims to bring awareness to missing, murdered indigenous women and girls

Channel 8000 – La Crosse

The 'Heart Spirits' art installation project aims to bring awareness to violence against native women and girls. Canadian Artist Cheryl Ring brought Black River Falls students and staff together on Wednesday to create ceramic hearts for each of those missing and murdered women. This installation of Heart Spirits will be the first of its kind in Wisconsin.

Read More Here

Photo/Video: Channel 8000

La Follette High School, ARTS for ALL choir 'amplify the good' at joint concert

Cap Times - Madison

ARTS for ALL Wisconsin offers opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities to practice their passions, like choir. La Follette choir director Courtney Lindl first heard about the organization a few years ago during professional development training, but the pandemic prevented an opportunity to collaborate.

Read More Here

Photo: The La Follette High School concert choir, chorale and ARTS for ALL Wisconsin choir join together on stage to sing vocally and through sign language, “Give Light” and “I Think I’ll Be an Artist." -RUTHIE HAUGE

Kenosha Unified student art show opening draws crowds to Kenosha Public Museum

Kenosha News

The Kenosha Public Museum’s second floor gallery was crowded with hundreds of students, parents, teachers and art appreciators Friday night for the grand opening of Kenosha Unified School District’s 51st annual Districtwide Student Art Show.

Read More Here

Photo: Sean Krajacic, Kenosha News

Holmen cellist wins top prize in competition

WXOW 19 – La Crosse

Titus Gunderson performed with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night as part of the Richard Record Rising Stars Concerto Competition.

Read More Here

Photo/Video: WXOW 19

La Crosse area students compete in first-ever local WinterGuard competition

Channel 8000

WinterGuard members showed their stripes at the first-ever La Crosse region winter color guard competition Saturday evening.

Read More Here

Photo/Video - Channel 8000

The Music Man: Kenosha high school student is already a composer

Kenosha News

Daniel Schmidt is soft spoken, but his music speaks volumes. The high school senior has been performing with Kenosha Unified School District music groups since the fifth grade, when he became “an accidental drummer.”

Read More Here

An interview with Wisconsin music composer and educator, Sam Ecoff.

Sam Ecoff is a media composer and music educator proudly based in the Lake Country Area. He has been an instructor at the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music in Hartland since 1997, and is passionate about teaching lessons in piano, music theory, composition, and music technology. In addition to teaching music lessons, he’s also a composer for major market TV shows. Sam’s compositions have been used in thousands of TV programs, including Cupcake Wars, American Ninja Warrior, Dancing with the Stars, Impractical Jokers, Top Gear USA, 20/20, Dateline NBC, and Parks and Recreation, to name just a few.

Read More Here

Photo: Donna Best

CIVIC MUSIC MKE Honors Music Educators

CIVIC MUSIC has presented its music educator recognition program since 1991 and has collaborated with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Salute to Educators night for nearly 20 years. This year’s music educator awards are sponsored in part by Hal Leonard. Now in its 104th season, CIVIC MUSIC MKE supports music education and provides performance opportunities for young musicians in the greater Milwaukee area and honors their teachers who provide them with inspiration. Through instruction, coaching, scholarships, performance opportunities and award programs, CIVIC MUSIC MKE helps creative young people realize their dreams.

  • 2023 CIVIC MUSIC Teacher of the Year - Randy Skowronski, Germantown
  • 2023 MSO ACE TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Jessica Maxwell, of Milwaukee, is a K-5 Kindergarten Teacher at Milwaukee Parkside School of the Arts in the Milwaukee Public Schools.

  • INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC INSTRUCTION Matt Mueller, of Muskego, is a Band Director at Muskego High School in the Muskego-Norway School District.
  • CHORAL MUSIC INSTRUCTION Dennis Gephart, of Grafton, is the Choral Music Director at Port Washington High School in the Port WashingtonSaukville School District.
  • GENERAL MUSIC INSTRUCTION Karen Wysocky, of West Bend, is an Elementary Music Teacher at Green Tree Elementary School in the West Bend School District.
  • STUDIO MUSIC INSTRUCTION Lindsay Patterson, of Waukesha, is a Cello instructor at the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music in Hartland.
  • EMERGING MUSIC EDUCATOR Victor Montañez Cruz, of Milwaukee, is a General Music Teacher at Luther Burbank School in the Milwaukee Public Schools.

Read More Here

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!!


Big picture


2024 Accelerator Awards - Deadline June 2

Application Open: March 24 - June 2, 2023 at 5pm PST


Accelerator Awards are open to Creative Youth Development (CYD) music organizations seeking to influence youth-serving systems so all young people have access to learning, creating, and performing experiences that reflect their culture and identity.

Multi-year awards of $500,000 each will be awarded in January 2024. By applying for the Accelerator Awards, organizations are also eligible for funding ranging from $15,000 to $75,000.

Read More Here

Milwaukee Arts Board Accepting Annual Award Nominations - Deadline April 5

The Milwaukee Arts Board (MAB) is currently accepting nominations from the public for two prestigious awards: the Mildred L. Harpole Artists of the Year award and the Friends of the Arts award. This marks the first year that the board is accepting nominations from the public for these awards, which are designed to recognize and celebrate excellence and exceptional service in Milwaukee’s arts community.

Read More Here

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Fellowship in Teaching Artistry

The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music (WCM) just launched its inaugural Fellowship in Teaching Artistry. This paid fellowship program is intended for early-career Black and Latine artists in classical music. Accepted fellows commit to working for a period of one year at WCM, with an option for renewal in the second year.

Read More Here

NEA Grant Opportunities

Grant guidelines and application materials are now available for Research Grants, Challenge America, and Grants for Arts Projects (GAP). These grants to organizations support specific projects in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. jurisdictions.

Creative Writing Fellowships in Prose enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement.

The NEA will continue to hold webinars and question-and-answer sessions in March for prospective applicants. See the list below in the Upcoming Deadlines and Events section of this newsletter for the current webinars and sessions, and check at arts.gov/news/events for updates.

[NOTE: the archived webinars are linked to from their respective grant guideline Applicant Resources pages. We now have GAP and Research Awards archived.]



TRY THIS - A "Tier List"

A tier list is a concept that was originally developed in the video game culture where people would rank characters or items from the game based on how important they were. Typically the levels would be letter grades such as A through F, but often with the addition of an S-level that would be the highest rank (from Japanese word for "Exemplary").

Over time people have used the tier list format to rank a wide range of concepts, which I thought would work great for students. What I came up with is a Google Slides "Tier List" activity for schools:

  • It is a high engagement student activity
  • It encourages critical thinking, communication, comparing, contrasting, prioritizing, and defending rationales
  • It can be used in any subject or grade level
  • It should only take 15 to 30 minutes, and can be used multiple times throughout the year with different content.
Tier List Google Slides Activity


8 Ways To Live Longer You've Probably Never Linked To Health And no, it's got nothing to do with drinking more water.

You could extend your life by up to 10 years just by engaging with more art, of any kind, according to experts. You don’t even have to be good at it (no need for the next budding Matisse or an award-winning dance troupe here), but just by connecting with art on some level every day, your long-term health might improve.

According to the specialists, just 30 to 45 minutes daily – or at least, weekly – of any kind of art is said to help lower your stress levels and induce fewer physical and mental health problems, while also encouraging your brain to learn new things.

Read More Here

Photo: 1Shot Production via Getty Images

Building a better brain through music, dance and poetry

To make sense of difficult science, Michael Kofi Esson often turns to art.

When he's struggling to understand the immune system or a rare disease, music and poetry serve as an anchor.

"It helps calm me down and actively choose what to focus on," says Esson, a second-year student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Esson, who was born in Ghana, also thinks his brain is better at absorbing all that science because of the years he spent playing the trumpet and studying Afrobeat musicians like Fela Kuti.

"There has to be some kind of greater connectivity that [art] imparts on the brain," Esson says.

That idea — that art has a measurable effect on the brain and its structure — has support from a growing number of scientific studies.

Read More Here

Photo: DrAfter123/Getty Images

Advocacy Through Language and Educational Philosophy (GREAT Resource from the WMEA)

February and March bring lots of challenges... weather that just won’t quit, supporting students with Solo & Ensemble preparations, and pressure and stress as a result of student registrations for next year. Teachers may find themselves in meetings with administrators, school board members or community members while continuing to educate about their unique needs and impacts. The language used in conversations correlates with education philosophy, and can help shape the way that others view music education. WMEA has created a resource called Advocacy Through Language and Educational Philosophy that outlines purposeful and supportive language to be used in all communications with students, parents, colleagues, administrators, legislators, media and more.

The Connected Arts Learning Framework: An Expanded View of the Purposes and Possibilities for Arts Learning

​The benefits of teaching art to young people have often fallen into two camps. Children study or practice “art for art’s sake” to develop a particular skill. Or they approach “art for academics’ sake” to enhance their other studies.

But this report comes at arts learning from a different angle: What if learning about or practicing an art could help young people connect more directly to their communities and the world they live in? And how might that change the experience and outcomes for both students and communities?

Read More Here

Transforming Wyoming’s Juvenile Justice System: The Power of Creative Arts

Juvenile (in)justice” “Wyoming’s juvenile justice system fails too many kids. Can it be fixed?” “Wyoming Lawmakers Look to Close Juvenile Justice Data Gap — Partially” “Wyoming Lawmakers Explore Ways to Lock Up Fewer Kids” “How Can We Create Successful Juvenile Diversion Programs in Wyoming?” “For 20 Years Wyoming Failed to Collect Juvenile Justice Data” “Experts: Wyo Juvenile Justice Lacks Adequate Data, Consistency”

Recent Wyoming headlines like these encapsulate a portion of the story of the juvenile justice dilemma facing the state, presenting a snapshot of the crucial juvenile justice reform needed to address the state’s high juvenile incarceration rates. Wyoming holds the third-highest juvenile incarceration rate in the nation. Some of Wyoming’s highest expenditures go towards youth out-of-home placement for delinquent behavior resulting in generally poor outcomes. Persistent disparities existing in the juvenile justice system that affects the well-being of youth are largely attributed to a lack of community-based options and resources due in part to the state’s rural/frontier nature. The potential of the arts to positively impact youth development and reduce juvenile delinquency and/or recidivism can promote positive outcomes and achieve broader societal impacts.

Read More Here

Photo: Arts Education Partnership

What Americans Believe About the Arts

Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018: An In-depth Look at Perceptions & Attitudes About the Arts in America Americans are highly engaged in the arts and believe more strongly than ever that the arts promote personal well-being, help us understand other cultures in our community, are essential to a well-rounded K-12 education, and that government has an important role in funding the arts.

Download The Infographic Here

How art, music and dance affect your brain and body

Art is not a luxury for our downtime, but an important contributor to physical and mental well-being, says Susan Magsamen, co-author of an upcoming book on the new field of neuroaesthetics, which studies the brain’s responses to art.

To Magsamen, founder and executive director of the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, her artistic pursuits are about far more than hobbies. “I need it for my soul and my health and my survival,” she says. “It’s not a nice to have, it’s a have to have."

Read More Here

Photo: George Wylesol, The Washington Post


Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) Summer Workshop – Save the Date!

The 2023 CMP Summer Workshop will be held on the beautiful UW-Eau Claire campus July 10-14, 2023.

Created and taught by real teachers, a CMP workshop is the authentic professional development experience that will really transform your work. Come experience the energy and excitement of creative, passionate K-12 music teachers, new and veteran, instrumental, general and vocal all in one place.

Watch demonstration classes taught by master teachers
Think about how this model will fit with your particular style and students.
Discuss ideas, ask questions and hear from others all around the country in small group settings.
Create a teaching plan that you can really use.

  • A natural fit for professional goals.
  • Current educational initiatives are examined from a CMP perspective.
  • A perfect mix of inspiring and practical!

CMA Foundation PD Series: M.E. Mentor Program

The CMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association, has announced the return of its Mentor M.E. program. This year’s program is comprised of a webinar series aimed to equip music educators early in their careers with professional development resources, tools, and tips necessary to be successful in the field. The CMA Foundation has extended this professional development series to music educators from all states and SEADAE members are encouraged to share with their networks.

The upcoming webinars include:




  • September 12: KEEP ON GOING: ENJOY TEACHING NO MATTER WHAT, hosted by Mickey Smith Jr.


To learn more and to register for the individual sessions, click here.

Applications Open for Luna's Summer Institute

Are you a seasoned classroom practitioner ready to infuse dance into your curriculum? Or a dance teaching artist poised to take your curriculum to the next level of creativity? Apply to Luna's Summer Institute, a year-long professional development experience that includes a week of intensive workshops, virtual and in-person sessions, mentorship & coaching and collegial support, all focused on the art of teaching dance.

Read More Here

Afrocentric Social and Emotional Learning Through the Arts

The Black Teaching Artist Lab and Ingenuity teamed up to create Afrocentric Social Emotional Learning Through the Arts. This guide will provide Black teaching artists and all educators with the knowledge and tools needed to explore their own cultural identities through art, to reach, connect with and equip Black learners to become confident stakeholders in their own lives, communities and the world at large.

Only 60 Seats Remain

Calling All Secondary Educators! Join AFS-USA and educators from one of 5 countries in the Global Up Educator program for 5 weeks this spring. Learn about culture, identity, communication and conflict styles, and teaching for global competence via self-paced online modules and LIVE dialogue sessions via Zoom. You’ll gain tremendous insight and classroom ideas, an international teaching partner, & 20 professional growth hours at no cost to you! Learn more: https://bit.ly/GlobalUpInfoAFSUSA See schedules and sign up today: https://bit.ly/GlobalUpAFSUSA23

Video: This New Docuseries Explores the Origins of Milwaukee Artists

Nō Studios is launching a new docuseries all about Milwaukee artists, their work, their history in the community and their heritage.

The first episode will feature Jovanny Hernandez Caballero, a Milwaukee artist and photographer. His photography documents Milwaukee’s South Side and his family’s native land of Oaxaca, Mexico.

“For me it’s always been creating work about my community for my community,” Hernandez Caballero says in the trailer. “[It’s] creating proper documentation, specifically of underrepresented communities here in Milwaukee.”

The first episode will be released on April 11. Nō Studios is also hosting a launch party for the series on April 12 at 11:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. To reserve your spot, go to the event page.

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Annual Wisconsin Dance Conference

Save the date! The annual dance conference is the place to connect and grow with the dance community - don’t miss out! MyArts Madison, WI October 21st, 2023

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Association of Arts Administration Educators Conference June 1-4, New York City

Conference Theme - The Creative Ecosystem: People, Process, Power

Inspired by the conference location of New York City, one of the most artistically vibrant and culturally diverse multi-tier cities, we are inviting you to embark on an investigation of the creative ecosystem, from an arts-administration perspective.

The dynamic development of the field and the accelerated digitalization caused by the pandemic have impacted teaching, learning, creating, and experiencing, and this has prompted a need to reflect on the key elements and dimensions of the creative ecosystem in different parts of the world and to appraise what the future might look like.

Striking a balance among people, process, and power has become a central challenge for the creative ecosystem. We would like to invite you to interrogate the creative ecosystem through all or any of the three lenses.

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National Art Education Association National Convention, April 13-15, San Antonio, TX

Please join the NAEA community as visual arts, design, and media arts educators come together April 13–15, 2023 in San Antonio, Texas and virtually for the 2023 NAEA National Convention. This unparalleled professional learning event offers hundreds of sessions, workshops, and opportunities designed to inform, inquire, inspire, and create connections.

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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


Play, Make, Learn Conference July 20-21, 2023 Madison

The deadline to submit a proposal at the 2023 Play Make Learn Conference (PML) is quickly approaching! PML is a gathering of researchers, game designers, makers, artists, and educators. The conference is a place for collaboration and discovery in the design, research and practice of playful learning, games for learning and positive social impact, making and makerspaces, STEAM education, and arts integration in education.

PML creates an inspirational space for PreK-12 students, educators, designers, developers, innovators, librarians, museum professionals, makers, and researchers to tinker together, share knowledge, and celebrate one another’s work.

Interested in attending, but not presenting? Save the date for registration opening in April!


So you began your event with an Indigenous land acknowledgment. Now what?

Land acknowledgments have become increasingly common nationwide over the past few years. Many mainstream public events — from soccer games and performing arts productions to city council meetings and corporate conferences — begin with these formal statements recognizing Indigenous communities' rights to territories seized by colonial powers.

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Connected Arts Learning: Cultivating Equity Through Connected and Creative Educational Experiences

Our wide lens on what constitutes Creative Educational Experiences in the arts is aligned with Eisner (2002), who warned in his prolific writing on arts education that “we certainly do not want to promote the idea that [aesthetic experiences in the arts] are restricted to objects incarcerated in museums, concert halls, and theaters” (p. 123, emphasis in original). By opening up what counts as “the arts” to extend beyond dominant, elite, and Eurocentric definitions, young people are reframed as producers within a participatory culture (e.g., Jenkins et al., 2018), poised to be in positions of power through the interrogation of histories as they seek to “find their voices and play participatory and articulate parts of a community in the making” (Greene, 1995, p.132) and “speak in their own voices in a world where other voices define the mainstream” (p. 190). We align with Sawyer’s (2019) argument that artists are not the sole arbiters of creativity, that creative teaching can happen across disciplines when the process of learning is framed as a creative endeavor centered on devising questions and problem solving.

Authors: Kylie Peppler, Maggie Dahn, and Mizuko Ito

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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.