Nationally recognized artists partnering with Milwaukee Public Schools


Since Republicans have held control in state government, funding for public schools has been slashed. One of the first things cut is usually art and music education.

But the state’s largest school district, Milwaukee Public Schools, is getting creative with finding students arts education opportunities to help students succeed academically.

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver said, “The arts are a gateway to engage more young people in learning…”

This school year, four nationally recognized artists will partner with four Milwaukee Public Schools. Milwaukee Public Schools is the only district in the state to selected to participate in Turnaround Arts, the signature program of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.

Each artist will work their school to use the arts to engage in community and overall student success.

The four artists and their schools are:

  • Valerie June, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, will share her talents with Lancaster School;
  • Larisa Martinez, classical opera singer, will work with Sherman Multicultural School of the Arts;
  • Jacqueline Suskin, writer, performance poet and artist, is partnered with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School; and
  • Johnny Nunez, iconic celebrity photographer, will be working with Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts

Turnaround Arts is made possible through a collaboration of government agencies, nonprofit partners, corporate and private partners. Locally, the MPS Foundation coordinated support from the Herzfeld Foundation and the Zilber Family Foundation for the Milwaukee Public Schools’ Turnaround Arts effort.

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