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Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013

Heroes of the Week: Artists Working in Education Volunteers

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Artists Working in Education (AWE) is a group of artists, art educators and museum curators concerned with the decline in funding for art education in Milwaukee. AWE aims to offer art enrichment to youth and their families through exciting outreach programs. Its Summer Truck Studio program allows artists and art educators to travel in mobile art studios to Milwaukee parks and playgrounds six weeks each summer to provide activities to youth. The Truck Studio also visits all 13 branches of the Milwaukee Public Library year-round (drop-in visits run through Dec. 18). In addition, AWE provides two Artist-in-Residence programs where youth collaborate with professional artists to create a significant or large-scale artwork. The School Studio residence program allows students to explore creative projects at 12 to 15 school sites, and the Satellite Studio offers youth and their families the opportunity to work with artists to create a significant artwork during a weeklong residency at local parks. AWE serves more than 5,000 children every year, many of whom have never painted before.

“The diverse group of artists that AWE works with continually amazes me,” says Beth Haskovec, AWE’s executive director. “The board is a group of passionate individuals who all care deeply for the arts and its role in education and youth development, and the staff is an excellent team that works hard each day and knows that what we are doing isn’t just about putting a paint brush in a child’s hand—it’s developing children who are confident, creative and able to problem solve.”

AWE is looking for volunteers to assist their artists at Truck Studio Library programs (email jenni@awe-inc.org), board members for 2014 (email beth@awe-inc.org) and experienced graphic design professionals willing to donate their services (email beth@awe-inc.org). In addition, AWE’s wish list includes oil pastels; sketch books; acrylic, tempera and watercolor paints and brushes; Ace Hardware, Michaels or Utrecht gift cards; and glue bottles and sticks. For more information, visit awe-inc.org or contact Haskovec at 414-933-3877 or beth@awe-inc.org.