A Canvas for Success

Through access to the arts, Boys & Girls Clubs members strengthen their problem solving and critical thinking skills while exercising their creativity.

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Boys & Girls Clubs provides all members at each of our 51 locations the opportunity to participate in quality art programs led by trained artists and staff members.

While all members are exposed to arts programming, the Clubs give further professional and career building opportunities to youth who demonstrate interest and talent. We believe it is critical that members are exposed to the vibrant arts community within their own city and understand they can have a real future in the arts – as artists, performers or patrons.

Members are given the chance to meet with professional artists and tour art studios and museums in Milwaukee, such as the Milwaukee Art Museum and Red Line Milwaukee, as well as attend performing arts productions, such as those at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Ballet.

In addition, significant support from Keith Mardak and Mary Vandenberg allowed youth more access to the highest quality arts instruction and experiential learning. This generous support opened the door to partnerships with First Stage Milwaukee, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and more than 1,000 members learning drama and music skills.

“Seeing The Lion King musical on stage as part of film club was perfect because watching people acting out the animal parts was awesome, exciting and fun!”

Allenton Riley, Fitzsimonds Boys & Girls Clubs member

Did you know: 51 Boys & Girls Clubs locations offer art instruction to members, exposing nearly 41,000 kids to different genres of art each year?

Visual Arts

  • Drawing
  • Pastels
  • Sculpture
  • Painting
  • Fiber Arts
  • Photography
  • Floral Artistry
  • Print Making
  • Woodworking
  • Pottery
  • Collage and Multi-Media
  • Filmmaking

Performing Arts

  • Jazz Elements
  • Private/Group Lessons
  • Calypso Camp
  • Drama Club

Youth Arts Initiative

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee was one of only three Clubs in the nation to receive a multi-year, multi-site significant investment from The Wallace Foundation, which allows us to deliver innovative, high-quality arts instruction at a select number of Clubs.

During the next two and a half years, the Youth Arts Initiative will study The Wallace Foundation’s 10 success principles of high-quality arts programming, and the knowledge gained will serve as a model to elevate the quality of arts instruction nationwide.

The Youth Arts Initiative started at the Davis Club location with the completion of a professional dance studio that allows members to learn various dance genres with a professional instructor. The Club’s dance group, Dance Fuzion, performs throughout the community. At the Fitzsimonds Club location, a video lab allows members to learn how to film, perform and edit. Two additional Youth Arts Initiative programs include mural art and drawing.

National Fine Arts Show is a local, regional and national competition for Boys & Girls Clubs members across the country. Members submit their best art pieces in a variety of categories (monochromatic drawing, multicolored drawing, pastels, water color, oil or acrylic, print making, mixed media, collage and sculpture) and have it displayed at art exhibitions.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee hosts a local Fine Arts Show where judges select three winners to have their pieces submitted to the regional competition. The top three are also hosted at a local gallery for a week.

By the Numbers

300 PIECES of artwork shown in the Annual Fine Arts Gallery Show

11 PHOTOGRAPHS advanced to the regional art exhibition of Boys & Girls Clubs of America

465 MEMBERS are involved in photography

2,000 MEMBERS participated in drawing and illustrating classes

452 MEMBERS took floral design lessons