By Evan Casey
MPS students will be showing off their best this May at the first ever All-City Arts Festival at Henry Maier Festival Park. Over 8,000 students will be participating in the festival on May 9-11, which promises more than 180 performances from 125 Milwaukee Public Schools, alumni and partner groups.
The festival will include an art gallery with artwork from students spanning 40 MPS schools. The festival is a partnership with Milwaukee World Festival Inc. and the Summerfest Foundation, and will also include vocal and instrumental music, culinary, dance, theater and spoken word performances, according to a press release.
This event is a new addition to the MPS Biennial Music Festival, a tradition which dates back to 1924. Elementary, middle and high school students will all participate.
Deb Jolitz, Fine Arts Manager at MPS, said the festival is one of the largest events MPS has ever organized. She also said that in prior years, the Biennial Music Festival only focused on music, but this festival will show the variety of art forms that exist within Milwaukee Public Schools.
“A lot of time we think that the arts are forgotten,” said Jolitz in an interview. “This proves that the arts are alive and well.”
She said that Friday afternoon will be geared for the outdoors, as many MPS orchestra bands and choirs will be performing as well as the MPS Alumni Choir.
“We are really excited to showcase all of the wonderful artists within Milwaukee Public Schools,” said Joilitz.
The festival will take place at the south end of Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr., on Wednesday and Thursday, May 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Friday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking and admission is free.
You can find more information about the festival at http://mps.milwaukee.k12.wi.us.