The arts can be a powerful tool to educate young people about appreciating and preserving their environment. Arts @ Large has collaborated with a variety of talented artists to develop projects that connect the arts to environmental education and activism. Students have worked with community members to create art gardens that include mosaic benches and decorative rain barrels, study and adopt endangered species through the World Wildlife Fund then create paper mache sculptures representing each animal, put on global warming awareness theatrical productions and much more. Just as the arts play an essential role in a child’s education, environmental studies is essential in preserving this beautiful planet that we share.
Growing Great Gardens (3G Project)
Arts @ Large launched an amazing school garden initiative to build bridges in diverse Milwaukee communities. Our pilot "Growing Great Gardens" project brought together 53rd Street School, Yeshiva School, the Norwood Neighborhood Group, the Sherman Park Community Association, community artists, families and neighbors who adopt and maintain an artistic community garden installed directly on a Milwaukee Public Schools site.
Our goal is to create sustainable community gardens with colorful artistic components and outdoor
classrooms where students discover scientific exploration of plants, insects, and animals, while fostering a respect for the neighborhood.
Arts @ Large is working closely with Milwaukee Public Schools to track the success of our pilot project 53rd Street Community Garden. The program has been replicated at other sites including Kagel School and the goal is to spread these gardens throughout Milwaukee. The garden is a place where families can gather to get to know one another, and develop a sense of community pride. The 53rd Street Garden is a monumental step in merging two school communities (MPS and a Jewish School) in a project that beautifies and creates sustainable gardens for neighborhood families. We believe that "Growing Great Gardens" can be the catalyst that opens up neighborhood residents to connect, communicate and collaborate for the good of the area.
Hawley School’s Endangered Species Project
Teachers, students and artists at Hawley Environmental School have developed an amazing project honoring the world’s endangered species. Through the World Wildlife Fund, each K-5th grade classroom has adopted an endangered species and worked with Sculptor Steve Wirtz to create paper mache animals to represent each unique classroom.
Each wing in the school has adopted one of these endangered animal sculptures as their own mascot (clown fish, cougar, polar bear, platypus, whooping crane, grey wolf and panda). Hawley has used their A@L funding to purchase video cameras for the 4th and 5th grade classrooms. Students worked with Videographer Joseph Strand to document the endangered animal project, help students interview their peers and learn about the art of film-making.
As Earth Day approached, students took a field trip to see Disneynature’s new film Earth. This film tells the amazing story of three animal families and their journey across the remarkable planet we call home.