Local arts organization Prairie Music & Arts (PMA) received a generous gift of $14,196 from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) at the annual International Conference held at the Monona Terrace from September 26-28.
A nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts education organization in Sun Prairie, Prairie Music & Arts, goes directly to youth at after-school community sites throughout the area. At the conference, PMA Executive Director Kari Walton shared, as stated in Mental Health America and by the Children’s Defense Fund, that ‘1 in 10 youth in the US are experiencing severe depression,’ and ‘11 million children live in poverty.’
Walton explained, “The arts go beyond simply learning a musical instrument or painting a picture; through these creative experiences, youth can find their voice, reflect inwardly, understand the surrounding world, and connect with others, building resilience, strengthening life skills, and supporting emotional well-being. This is where afterschool arts programs, such as Prairie Music & Arts, can play an important role – removing barriers to arts education and offering programming that fosters resilience against mental health challenges.”
Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2023, AAMVA, as stated on the organization’s website, “represents the state, provincial, and territorial officials in the United States and Canada who administer and enforce motor vehicle laws,” “developing model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement, and highway safety.”
Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and conference chairperson Kristina Boardman expressed more about the award, “It is a tradition for AAMVA to support a local charity during the annual events, and when asked to provide input on a local candidate – Prairie Music & Arts immediately came to mind.”
“A key tenant of quality government is accessibility to all, and this concept of accessibility is exactly what Prairie Music & Arts has been doing to bring quality opportunities for exposure and participation in the arts to everyone,” said Boardman. “I am so pleased that the AAMVA community stepped up and recognized this goal with their financial contributions. I encourage others in the Sun Prairie and Madison community to do the same.”
PMA programs rely on funding from the community to ensure they are available and accessible. “We are honored to receive the contribution from AAMVA,” conveyed Walton. “Through the support of organizations such as theirs, we can expand our mission to offer accessible arts-based programming that enriches the lives of youth.”
PMA invites community members to help match the AAMVA gift at https://givebutter.com/donatepma.