National Art News
To fill the void, the district and other Milwaukee area schools are partnering with numerous art organizations in the city to broaden their reach and impact. MPS partners with 41 organizations through the district's Partnership for the Arts and Humanities, which has an allocation of $1.5 million.
One of those is Danceworks Inc., which works with traditional MPS schools as well as charter schools and private schools in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. With its artist-in-residence programs and Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap program, Danceworks Inc. has programs in 45 schools across Milwaukee and is helping Milwaukee students branch out.
Amy Brinkman-Sustache, director of education of Danceworks Inc., said the company uses visual arts and dance to couple with the curriculum taught by teachers in the classroom.
'We are not trying to take the place of art teachers in schools,' Brinkman-Sustache said. 'What we try to do is accommodate, if we can, to what they are doing in the classroom and what we can tie into the curriculum.'
The partnership requires outside groups to match dollar for dollar Partnership for Arts and Humanities money, which allows the organizations to enter schools during the day and assist in the number of art related class opportunities, according to Kari Couture, assistant recreation supervisor and community arts specialist for MPS.
Artists Working in Education works in 20 MPS schools. For 15 years AWE has held an artist-in-residence program that places local freelance artists in MPS schools during the day; in 2010 it began dual programming by also offering classes after school.
Mary Osmundsen, program director of AWE, said these programs build on what students are learning in other classes and hopes the relationship between the company and MPS continues even if schools find themselves with a full arts staff."