2023 Year-end Message

An artist has gotta be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he’s at somewhere. You always have to realize that you’re constantly in a state of becoming.

Bob Dylan

Over the past year, Prairie Music & Arts has embraced Dylan’s sentiment of always ‘becoming.’ Through the generosity of community members like, in 2023, we have offered arts-based programs at 11 locations for youth to develop their voices, connect with others, and strengthen mental health resilience — With 1 in 10 youth experiencing severe depression, the arts have never been more important! 

This year, PMA has focused on building no-cost programs that go directly to youth, partnering with local schools and organizations on projects to ensure access to an arts education. Today, 11 million children live in poverty, making the cost of after-school enrichment challenging or impossible to meet. PMA offered over 100 hours of free arts education through the following programs in 2023.

  • Prairie Home Show – A student-driven recorded and live production in the style of late-night TV for grades 6-12 in which students composed original music, created comedy sketches, and led guest interviews at the Sun Prairie Media Center and McKenzie Family Boys & Girls Club.
  • Sun Prairie Creates  – An immersive project for grades 3-12 built on the foundations of hip-hop: music production, songwriting, creative writing, dance, and theater at four Sun Prairie Community School sites.
  • Afterschool Arts – Visual art and drama classes for grades K-6 at the McKenzie Family Boys & Girls Club.

And we’re working hard to reach deeper in 2024 through the new Go-kARTS project!

  • A mobile arts trailer that will meet kids in the neighborhoods and city parks where they live and when school is out reaching over 1000 youth annually with quality, free music & arts education!

In 2023, we took a leap of faith to reach the community more deeply. By closing our brick-and-mortar doors, we have reduced overhead and increased potential. Doing so has presented a new stage of growth that relies on public support through grants and donations. However, this reliance presents challenges; we can’t do this without individual and business support.

Thank you for being a part of PMA’s history and future; we look forward to ‘becoming’ with you and wish you a happy and healthy new year! 

With gratitude,

Kari Walton

PMA Executive Director