Our November Artists of the Month will be announced in January. Help us recognize members of our community who have made contributions to the arts by filling out our nomination form.
As Milwaukee Public Schools celebrates the Year of the Arts, we will recognize a student, staff member, and community partner for their efforts in promoting and celebrating the arts.
To nominate an Artist of the Month, please fill out this form.
October Artist of the Month - Student
Jodeline (a.k.a. Jojo) Pizarro enjoys singing and dancing and aspires to a career in the performing arts. Jojo has been dancing since she was six and began her focused music journey at the tender age of eleven, debuting her first single "If I Can Dream It" live at Summerfest in 2016. She has since released two other singles, "Smart is the New Black" and "It Starts with Us," and continues to write and work with producers for future releases.
As it says on her website, www.jojopizarro.com, her music "reflects her current journey; chasing a dream and believing in herself. Though her genre is considered pop/hip hop, Jojo's goal is to experience different styles of music. She wants to present clean music and good vibes. She is hoping to be a positive model amongst youth and artists of her era."
Jojo also continues to train as a dancer, currently taking ballet pointe and salsa classes.
You can search for Jojo Pizarro on YouTube to check out her music videos, and her songs are available anywhere music is sold/streamed, such as Spotify and iTunes.
She hopes to attend Milwaukee High School of the Arts in 2018.
October Artist of the Month - Staff Member
Ms. Lofton is an exemplary art teacher with a level of commitment that goes beyond her duties of teaching art at Escuela Vieau/Vieau School. She doesn't have an office or even a dedicated art room; she wheels a cart into classrooms with all the essentials to teach her lessons. In the words of her nominating colleague, Migdalia Ortiz, "She motivates our students to do the very best. Before she came into our building, we didn't have an art teacher for many years. She knew that our students were lacking the tools to be successful in art . . . but she decided to stay. Today, after years of her dedication, our students are being recognized and winning community prizes . . . one of our own won the GE Drawing Contest last year. Thanks to her dedication, my students are being artistically creative."
In addition to all of her classroom responsibilities, Ms. Lofton is also in the middle of working toward National Board Certification, the most respected professional certification available in education. Certification consists of four components: written assessment of content knowledge, reflection on student work samples, video and analysis of teaching practice, and documented impact and accomplishments as a teaching professional.
October Artist of the Month - Community Partner
Raina Johnson and Elijah Moore
Raina Johnson and Elijah Moore are being jointly recognized as Community Artists of the Month for their family-sized passion for the arts — Raina Johnson as a staff member of Artists Working in Education and Elijah as a student at Maryland Avenue Montessori. Last year, although just in first grade, Elijah decided to take on the challenge of learning violin, to which he has demonstrated admirable commitment again as a second grader. As a former violinist, Raina is thrilled: "He told me he was excited about scales and decided that he'd include practicing his violin along with his daily homework routine! That's huge!" Imagine the future in store for this young man.
Both parent and child are delighted to be using the YOTA passport to participate in as many arts events as possible. So far, they have attended two free Festival City Symphony concerts; art-making and community building in Clarke Square with Artists Working in Education; a concert by a band named Black Violin, co-sponsored by Black Arts MKE and Marcus Center; and, recently, a riveting adaptation of the holiday classic, "A Christmas Carol," at the historic Pabst Theater. Again, using Raina Johnson's very own eloquent words, "Elijah's first evening concert was seeing two classically trained musicians! I'm hoping Wil B. and Kev Marcus inspire Elijah to keep creating, practicing, and defying the stereotypes of what a black man can be because the arts truly transform."