Arts @ Large to Receive Award at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Antonio

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, announced today that it is presenting the 2012 Arts Education Award to Arts @ Large, an innovative program that provides multidisciplinary arts experiences for Milwaukee Public Schools K-12 students. Presented annually by the Arts Education Council of Americans for the Arts since 2007, the award honors the best in arts education program design, execution and organizational leadership. Arts @ Large will receive its award on June 9 at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Antonio.

“Particularly at a time when school districts face increasingly dire fiscal circumstances, Arts @ Large’s steady commitment and support has kept arts education at the forefront of school and community leaders’ consciousness in Milwaukee,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

Since its creation in 2001, Arts @ Large has been an integral partner with the Milwaukee Public Schools in raising the profile of and increasing public commitment to arts education in Milwaukee’s schools and communities. The organization has worked tirelessly to meaningfully integrate literary, visual, performing and multimedia arts to academic learning,  in support of high achievement for Milwaukee’s approximately 80,000 K-12 students, most of whom come from high-poverty environments and many of whom have significant special education or English language development needs.

Arts @ Large’s unique model of arts education works to build sustainable arts experiences tailored to each individual school community. The program results in a school-wide comprehensive arts program involving more than 12,000 students and their families, 3,000 teachers and more than 100 local teaching artists. The exemplary program was recently recognized as one of 21 arts organizations across the nation highlighted in the 2011 report from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, “Reinvesting in Arts Education” for its work in helping to ensure sustainable, high quality arts education for all students and for fostering a community that is increasingly committed to that goal.

"It's humbling to receive AFTA's Arts Education Award.  But, more importantly, we are honored that Arts @ Large has been given the opportunity to use this recognition to bring to the forefront the critical need for quality arts programs and developing collaborative arts partnerships between school districts and arts communities across America,“ said Kimberly Abler and Teri Sullivan, founders & co-directors of Arts @ Large.  “Together we can provide sustainable arts programming that partners staffed licensed arts specialists in each school with community arts educators.   By doing so, we will ensure equity in arts education and build the creativity and innovation skills that all of our nation's students deserve."

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at

Catherine Brandt