Three projects led by School of Education faculty and staff are among eight projects and 10 seed projects selected to receive grants from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment. These projects show the range of how UW–Madison faculty, staff, and students can collaborate with community members to co-create and share knowledge and solutions that will benefit and enrich the lives of the people of Wisconsin, the nation, and the world.
Two projects led by School of Education faculty and staff received larger Project Grants of up to $120,000. They are:
Arts for Everyone, Everywhere: Interdisciplinary Arts Outreach Initiative
This project is led by Christopher Walker, the director of UW–Madison’s Division of the Arts and a professor in the School of Education’s Dance Department, and Heather Owens, a communications specialist in the Division of the Arts.
Artists, designers, architects, performers, educators, and creative scholars are essential to solving problems and advancing civil society. They are a source of strength for our economy, annually contributing over $10 billion to the state’s GDP. Yet, our state is falling far behind in its investment in the arts. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies ranks Wisconsin 48th in the nation in arts funding per capita. Lack of state government support negatively impacts arts programming and arts education research in schools and communities, which in turn exacerbates disparities of race, class, and access.
The Division of the Arts formally launched its “Arts for Everyone, Everywhere” initiative in September 2021, acknowledging its history of leading and promoting arts engagement involving scores of campus units and community stakeholders, and committing to broadening its reach and its accessibility even further. We will expand “Arts for Everyone, Everywhere” statewide, bringing impactful artists to underserved regions, forging new connections, and developing a model for arts engagement that will continue to expand and strengthen access to the arts as a long-term investment in our citizenry. This statewide outreach will be modeled on the highly successful and far-reaching Interdisciplinary Artist-in-Residence Program that the Division of the Arts has managed since 1999. The arts-based collaborative programming and community outreach will take place in various parts of the state with UW System campuses, K-12 schools, cultural venues, in community-based arts spaces, and in other public places.
Youth-Driven Research and Evaluation for Systemic Change in K12 Schooling
This project is led by Annalee Good, a scientist within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) that is housed in the School of Education, and Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, co-director of the WCER Clinical Program and an evaluator with the Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative.
Our K-12 schools require change driven by those closest to the inequities and inadequacies of our current system. Yet, educational reform rarely engages the expertise and power of young people. Through the creation of a Youth Research and Evaluation (R&E) Team, we will establish an operational infrastructure that fosters youth-driven research and evaluation. The Youth R&E Team will coordinate capacity-building efforts, conduct training in youth-driven research and evaluation, and consult on studies and grant proposals at UW–Madison. This project serves youth in the two largest school districts in Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison, by expanding opportunities to take advanced training or coursework in research and evaluation, build their experience in a professional field and policy advocacy space, and build coalitions with other young people doing the same. With support and engagement from the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Milwaukee and Madison school districts, and community-based organizations (Centro Hispano of Dane County, Goodman Community Center, Urban Underground, Warner Park Community Center), this project seeks to engage youth with the capacity and resources to lead change in their communities and schools.
The following project led by a School of Education faculty member was selected to receive a Seed Grant. Seed projects often seek to explore or expand new dimensions of existing translational outreach, community-based research, and public engagement activities. Seed Projects are animated by innovative ideas and are shaped by the priorities, needs, and interests of the communities they serve.
Children’s Museum Educator Network: Piloting Working Groups to Support Improvement
This project is led by Peter Wardrip, an assistant professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
Wisconsin has a remarkably high number of children’s museums. At least 14 currently operate with more emerging. Museum educators support creative and play-based learning experiences. In the past year, a network of these children’s museum educators has been initiated. As a network, museum educators hold the potential to learn from each other, share resources and further improve their own practice to impact thousands of learners annually. We will pilot a working group structure to explore productive ways for participating museum educators to share knowledge and resources and work together to develop new resources.
Learn more about all of the projects that were awarded Baldwin Wisconsin Idea grants.