Special Projects

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The First Annual Arts Enterprise Symposium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


The first-ever University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Enterprise Symposium helped attendees gain important information about the arts, arts careers, and the pursuit of arts entrepreneurship. The three-day event offered personal mentoring by arts professionals, interactive workshops that gave attendees tools that could be put to use immediately and inspirational words of advice from keynote speakers. 

The Symposium, held in early February, had over 150 attendees and included speakers from around the country. 

AE4NOLA: Arts Enterprise for New Orleans

ae4nolateamArts Enterprise for New Orleans (AE4NOLA) was an action-based, service-learning expedition that assembled a diverse team of students to practice field research, teamwork, and personal leadership skills through social change. 

The AE4NOLA project came to fruition after a yearlong partnership development with New Orleans Outreach (Outreach). Through conversations with Outreach, Arts Enterprise was able to design a project that would best impact Outreach and its constituents. The main objective for the AE4NOLA project was to provide rich learning opportunities for students. This wasaccomplished in two ways. First, the project Co-Directors developed a high-functioning partnership with New Orleans Outreach. This strong partnership created an entry point for AE members to reflect upon the value of service, and build trust across a nontraditional, cross-functional team. Secondly, the project was designed to help empower students to be leaders by giving them ownership in the project’s creation and execution. 

The focal point of the project was the May 1 – 16 team expedition, during which a 15-member AE4NOLA student and faculty team traveled to New Orleans to evaluate the afterschool arts programming offered by Outreach. With each student working on a specific leadership role during this trip, the small group was able to accomplish the work of several evaluative and volunteer teams, which resulted in a highly productive effort. Not only did our project outcomes far surpassed the expectations of the organizing entity, Arts Enterprise (AE), but also reflected both the level of trust at play with project partners, and AE’s core belief in the ability of diverse, skilled and motivated students to play major roles in social enterprises.

Mentorship Through Music

mtmMentorship Through Music (MTM) bridges collegiate and urban communities by investing in the artistic and creative education of elementary and middle school students through community engagement. Created by senior UM cellist and AE member Rebecca Dragonetti, this program takes a small team of UM students into the Detroit schools for lessons, coachings,performances, and weekly meetings with students. All of these activities culminate in an annual end of year performance. Rebecca envisions MTM to be an ongoing engagement activity for UM students that will have a profound impact on their education, as well as the students in Detroit whom they are mentoring.