Thursday, June 29, 2017
This year, during the 50th Anniversary of Summerfest, be sure to stop and appreciate a mural celebrating diversity and music created by students of Milwaukee Public Schools. The artists are all recent 8th-grade graduates who will be attending MPS high schools this fall including Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Pulaski, Reagan and Riverside.
The project earns each student 20 hours of community service needed for graduation. Gina Jorgensen, a veteran art teacher at North Division High School, reached out to Summerfest to create this unique opportunity for students.
“Music brings people together. We want people who see the mural to understand that it is so important to celebrate our similarities and embrace our differences,” said Jorgensen. “Milwaukee is very diverse in ethnicity. Our city celebrates heritage through music, food, dance and celebrations. If we take the time to understand those different from us, we soon will see they are not so different.”
Students are excited that their work will be on display for the public to see. The mural is located along the Lake Walk near the Harley-Davidson stage.
MPS is looking to continue this partnership with Summerfest and seek new opportunities for future murals in other locations around the city. The district welcomes businesses to partner with schools as mentors and to develop unique opportunities; information can be found at Adopt-a-School.
Expanded arts opportunities align with MPS efforts to enhance student achievement through the Eight Big Ideas: Educate the Whole Child district strategy. The arts enable students to engage in creative expression, problem solving, interpretation and more.