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Monday, Dec. 12, 2011

Promoting Art Appreciation in Milwaukee

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Instilling an appreciation for the arts has become increasingly essential, as stringent budget cuts have taken arts education and entertainment out of so many lives. Two Milwaukee arts organizations, Artists Working in Education (AWE) and ART Milwaukee, were founded to keep art alive and well in our city.

AWE initiated its first program to enhance art appreciation 13 years ago, with its effort to place practicing artists into Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) classrooms. Its programs now include a School Studio, where artists work directly with teachers during the school day, and the Truck Studio, which moves through Milwaukee County parks during the summer months and creates art projects and recreation for area children.

AWE recently created a Truck Studio library program in cooperation with MPS Partnership for the Arts and the Milwaukee Public Libraries. The organization sends an artist to read to children at after-school sessions at a local library. Afterward, there is a related art project. To discover how investing in AWE benefits art and children, visit www.awe-inc.org.

ART Milwaukee's mission to "enrich, empower and inspire our community through art" reaches out to citizens of every age. Among the organization's extensive programs for businesses and individuals are bus tours on quarterly Gallery Nights, art fairs and fun, cooperative ventures with other organizations to promote the arts throughout the city.

ART Milwaukee's next big event happens Dec. 31, with NYE-MKE 2012 at the former Eisner Museum of Advertising & Design. The event is billed as 800 friends, 10 rooms, three levels and one night when the Eisner Museum comes alive again. Several price points are available. For more information, visit www.nye-mke.com.

Art Happenings

Laylah Ali: Note Drawings

John Michael Kohler Arts Center

608 New York Ave., Sheboygan

On Dec. 18, Massachusetts artist Laylah Ali opens an exhibition inspired by global events, media sound bites and overheard conversations. Ali combines drawing, text and portraiture in mixed-media works on paper that feature ominous overtones.

Water, Stone, Feather and Bone: JoAnna Poehlmann and Lee Weiss

James Watrous Gallery, Overture Center

201 State St., Third Floor, Madison

This exhibition juxtaposes the creative styles of two prestigious women in Wisconsin art. Be sure to catch the show before it closes Dec. 23.

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