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Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Performing Arts Centers

Mission: The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary cultural arts center that presents performances by world-renowned artists and ensembles, offers arts education opportunities, and curates the Ploch Art Gallery, which features both national and Wisconsin-based fine artists. It is our mission to be the catalyst for lifelong discovery and exploration of the arts.

Results: As an integral part of its mission, the Wilson Center promotes lifelong learning in the arts, offering innovative programs and classes for children, teens, and adults of all abilities in state-of-the-art studios and classrooms, and onstage. These dynamic programs include: Beyond the Classroom (daytime school series), Arts Camp: The Art of Nature, and visual arts classes. To ensure opportunities for all children, the Wilson Center offers scholarships and tuition-assistance to partner schools in the Waukesha and Milwaukee communities. As one of the region’s most important cultural anchors, the Wilson Center has achieved widespread recognition for its eclectic programming featuring internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles. Audra McDonald, Pilobolus, Mandy Patinkin & Patti LuPone, The King’s Singers, Rosanne Cash, Parsons Dance, and many more artists have graced the Wilson Center’s stage as part of the annual Performing Arts, Matinee, Club, Classical Progressions, and Starry Nights series. In addition, the visual arts are a significant part of the Wilson Center’s diverse programming, featuring the work of artists who spark conversation, engage imagination and connect us to our humanity. Our acclaimed Ploch Art Gallery presents five rotating exhibitions each year, showcasing Wisconsin fine artists that have achieved national acclaim. The Wilson Center also presents one of the region’s most distinguished art festivals, the Hidden River Art Festival, which features 100 of the Midwest’s finest artists.

Target demographics: lifelong discovery and exploration of the arts

Direct beneficiaries per year: 9,000+ students in Southeast Wisconsin experience the arts

Geographic areas served: Brookfield

Programs: arts education, performing arts and visual arts

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A few months ago I was invited to attend one of the "Beyond the Classroom" performances at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. This unique daytime school series not only entertains our children but teaches important life lessons as well. I wish everyone could have seen the joy on those kids faces! The topics are varied: history, literature, music and drama, and their interpretations are discussed after each performance to further enrich the experience. There were so many hands being raised the actors could hardly contain all the excitement in the room. If everyone could experience an event like this they would know how vital the Wilson Center is to the Wisconsin arts landscape. Our children deserve education in the arts and unfortunately not all have the means to do so. It's programs such as these that will help ensure a better future for each one of them who is lucky enough to be touched by the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended a number of events at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, including concerts, plays and festivals. Most notably, in January of this year, the Chairman of our law firm sponsored a day trip for a number of 5th & 6th grade students from a charter school to attend "Warriors Don't Cry". The staff and volunteers at the SLWC made sure each student felt welcomed and valued. The performance was also exceptionally remarkable, with one woman playing about 10 different characters. Top notch!

The offerings are varied, unique and plentiful. There is something for everyone, at anyage and during any season. My friends and I have enjoyed the variety of events, but especially the personable, enthusiastic and professional personnel. I can hardly wait to see what Jon and the gang have in store for 2015!

Mary Multhauf

Board Member

Rating: 5

Currently in its twelfth season, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center is committed to continuous growth and keeping the arts alive and growing in Southeastern Wisconsin. Since it's inception in 2002, the Center has hosted over 500,000 individuals of all ages and walks of life. They are a group of professionals truly dedicated; not only to bringing the arts to the community, but also in showcasing Wisconsin talent, bringing arts education to our children, and banding together local businesses in support of their cause. Because of the Wilson Center, Waukesha County has become a more vibrant place to live, work and play.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts is a phenomenal non-profit organization with excellent educational programming. Not only do they have classes for people of all ages, but they also host Beyond the Classroom performances to give local schools the chance to come in, see a show, and learn all in the same day. Their education department is truly dedicated to everything they do.

The Wilson Center is a wonderful organization!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great education opportunities for kids and adults. The mission of the center is to foster life long learning and their programs certainly do that. I took a mosaics class and continue to do mosaics today. The shows at the center are great as well. High caliber artists make the difference!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The education programs at the Center are so personal, I cannot believe how engaged each and every student it. All activities are tailored to each classroom's needs, everyone on staff is amazing!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Wilson Center is a top notch organization that I have had the pleasure of working with through my volunteer involvement in emerging leaders group. The variety of programming and outreach the Center offers our community is outstanding and the Center is making our community a more vibrant place!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The greater Milwaukee arts community is especially fortunate to have The Wilson Center, one of the truly integrative arts venues in Southeastern Wisconsin. The Center offers so much! Not only can one and one's family enjoy an innovative array of performing and visual arts, the Center is growing in its importance in arts education for the area, instilling a cultural experience at an early age that benefits our children throughout their lives. What separates the Center from other institutions like it is its continual growth, offering new experiences to our communities with each passing year. The quality of life it brings is vital to the health and growth of not only Waukesha County, but surrounding counties as well, and adds to the attractiveness of Wisconsin as a place to not only work, but to play and raise a family. There is something for everyone at The Wilson Center. It is a very special place. I have been honored to serve as a Board Member for this year which is my way of saying "Thank you" for all the years my family has enjoyed performances and the people on staff and who frequent its events.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Wilson Center's breadth of programming offers performance and exhibition offerings that expand my understanding and appreciation of creativity. The size of the stage provides a venue capable of fabulous dance performances. And the artist receptions provide the opportunity to see the art through the eyes of the artist. Ever enriching!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a treasure in my own backyard! The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center has a great offering of concerts to please any listener, and they make it easy to pick and choose to tailor a season ticket selection to meet your own desires. My husband and I purchased a series for the very first time, and really enjoyed the first event.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts provides our area with a fantastic mix of visual and performing arts offerings. Through its educational programs, SLWCA also gives students from varied backgrounds opportunities to experience the arts that they would likely not otherwise have. Get involved with SLWCA and find out for yourself!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While the live performance offerings are varied and outstanding, what makes the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts special are the youth arts education programs. They serve children year round from the entire SE Wisconsin area, including MPS, with programs ranging from live educational performances to hands on art classes. A wonderful learning environment.

Paul143

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts could very easily be the best kept secret in southeastern Wisconsin. From a performance venue with world renowned entertainers to arts education, the Wilson Center has been able to fill avoid for the last 12 plus years. If you haven't experienced it...perhaps you should. Soon.