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Help PMA Thrive!

A message from the Prairie Music & Arts Board of Directors:

“Resiliency is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.” – Jamais Cascio, futurist

Dear Friends of Arts Education, 

Whether it is learning a new composition or musical technique, creating art with an unfamiliar medium, or becoming a new person for a moment as the character in a play, Prairie Music & Arts teaches its students in every lesson or class to seize the difficult moments of artistic creation – not to just get through them, but to create something new in the process. 

With that spirit of finding the opportunity in a crisis to not just sustain, but to thrive and emerge better than when we entered it, we took the pandemic head on, choosing to build virtual programs and engage in artistic outreach to our community that would not only get us through this period of distancing but that would also provide exciting possibilities to enhance and supplement programming when we are finally all able to create music, art, and drama together again.

But like so many organizations in these difficult times, we cannot meet that goal without your help. Will you stand with our artistic community here at the end of 2020 and help our students not just survive, but thrive?

Building Virtual Programming

In the summer, we had a choice. We could design our fall programs to be held in the school while knowing we would likely need to pivot back to the same virtual programming in the spring. Or, we could take on the challenge of building virtual programs that meet the needs of our students by investing in equipment, training our staff in instruction, and developing innovative online programming. We chose the latter, realizing immediately that our families would benefit from virtual lessons and classes intentionally designed from the ground up, rather than implemented in panicked hurry.

We also recognized that what we learn from this endeavor will serve us well when we return to meeting together again in the not-so-distant future. Virtual learning will help us expand our reach to serve children who have less access and will keep learning more consistent when family homes are experiencing illness. And the new technology can even be used to enhance in-person lessons with “visits” from collaborating artists far away from our Sun Prairie school. From the crisis of a pandemic, we saw possibilities.

 But all this work comes with a price, at a time when it is harder than ever for some in the community to maintain their lessons. And, we understand a virtual environment is not for everyone. Will you help us invest, train, and build the programs and technology that will take us beyond the pandemic with an end of year donation? 

Artistic Outreach

Even in non-pandemic times, many children face difficult barriers to participation in arts education and the pandemic has only made those barriers taller and more widespread. That’s why Prairie Music & Arts remains committed to working with community service organizations to bring the arts to those children. We’ve retooled our partnership with Sun Prairie Community Schools, called “Sun Prairie Education in the Arts for Kids” (SPEAK) from an in-person program putting after-school art and drama classes into elementary and middle schools to a virtual program reaching those children in their own homes. Over the summer we even handed out art kits along with school lunch distribution. And there is so much more we could do.

Outreach activities are funded in part by other charitable organizations like the Sun Prairie Education Foundation. But grants don’t cover all of our costs, and oftentimes being able to show community support – through the financial commitment of people like you – is crucial in getting those grants in the first place. Together, even in the midst of a pandemic, we can bring music, arts, and drama to everyone.

Will you contribute to the Prairie Music & Arts 2020 Holiday Campaign and help bring music, arts, and drama education to everyone in our community?

You can make a difference. Prairie Music & Arts wants to thrive, not just survive, in this pandemic, and you can be a part of that. Your donation will support an organization making the best of a difficult time in a way that will benefit our students and community long after our social distance finally shrinks to the point where we are all together again. That day will come, and Prairie Music & Arts will be stronger than ever. Will you help us get there?

 With heartfelt thanks,

Michael Engleson,
Rebecca Ketelsen,
Lizzi Neelsen
Kristina Boardman
Marni Bekkedal

The Board of Directors of Prairie Music & Arts

P.S. Visit our website to become a member in our new weekly class subscription program, the Virtual Arts Passport! And don’t miss our virtual winter concert with the theme The Power of the Arts to Connect!, online January 30, 2021!

And thank you for connecting with the arts with your Prairie Music & Arts 2020 Holiday Campaign donation!