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Fine Arts

It is our mission to provide equitable access to high-quality arts education for all Milwaukee Public Schools students. 

The MPS Fine Arts Department serves schools in the visual arts, music, theater, and dance curricular content areas in kindergarten through grade 12.


Citywide Programs

Saturday Instrumental Music Programs

Milwaukee Public Schools offers instrumental music lessons through the Department of Recreation. Classes provide students with the opportunity to learn and develop their skills on woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, and piano. Students from grades 4-12 are welcome.  All experience levels are welcome.  For more information, please go to or call 414-475-8811.

Summer Programs

Milwaukee Public Schools offers programs in instrumental music, choral music, and musical theater. For one week, students develop knowledge and skills, perform with peers, and connect with professionals in the arts. All programs culminate in a closing performance at the end of the week. Students from grades 4-12 are welcome.  All experience levels are welcome. For more information, please go to or call 414-475-8811.

Citywide Events

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art Contest

The MPS Fine Arts Department invites your school to participate in the district’s annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The art contest is open to students in K4–grade 12 who live in the City of Milwaukee or are enrolled in a school, either public or private, in the City of Milwaukee. Each year the theme is based on Dr. King’s speeches or writings.

Deck the Halls

The MPS Fine Arts Department will present school vocal and instrumental ensembles in the halls of Central Services, located at 5225 W. Vliet Street. This is an opportunity to perform winter concert material for an enthusiastic audience of MPS Central Services staff.

Drumline Competition

Middle and high school drumlines have the opportunity to participate in competition and receive feedback from drumline performers and educators. 

WSMA Solo and Ensemble

Middle and high school students prepare vocal or instrumental solos, duets, trios, or small ensembles to perform before an adjudicator. The festival is free and open to the public.

WSMA music festivals provide students with the opportunity to perform and be evaluated. Over the years, the emphasis of these musical events has changed from “contests,” where ratings were the most important, to “festivals,” which are clearly focused on providing a positive learning experience for students.

WSMA Concert Festival

School bands, choirs, and orchestras perform two to three selections – one of which is chosen from the WSMA Festival music list – for a panel of adjudicators. The adjudicators provide written and verbal critique for the ensemble and award a rating based on defined criteria. Directors also have the option of performing for “comment only,” for which their group will receive written and verbal critiques but no rating is given.

MPS All-City Arts Festival

Building on the success of the Biennial Music Festival, the MPS All-City Arts Festival is now expanding to showcase all art forms offered in City of Milwaukee schools. This event will involve students from all regions at the elementary, middle, and high school levels presenting music, dance, art, and theater performances. This work is supported and enhanced by the number of partnerships among various public and private schools, artists, arts organizations, and the community.

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Fine Arts in MPS


Deb Jolitz, Fine Arts Manager

Phone: 414-475-8865

Anthony Soyak, Music Curriculum Specialist
Phone: 414-475-8175

Sarah Zawadiwski, Instrument Specialist
Phone: 414-475-8177

Theresa Harmon, Secretary
Phone: 414-773-9887
Fax: 414-475-8277

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