This nationally acclaimed program enhances students’ education through the integration of music and art into the school curriculum, accomplished through six ACE program components.


  • ACE integrates music and arts into daily core subjects, giving students a comprehensive learning experience
  • Nationally recognized as a model in arts education
  • ACE is celebrating its 30th year during the 2019.20 school year
  • 16 public and private schools, comprised of six districts
  • 5,700+ students and 400 faculty and staff
  • 22 Cultural Partners – local arts organizations including Milwaukee Ballet, Skylight Music Theatre, and American Indian Center
  • Primarily for grades K through 5, also a middle school component
  • Half of participating students are minorities and half come from low-income families
  • Nine ACE schools are in the Milwaukee Public School District


  1. ACE Curriculum – Teachers receive an ACE Resource Handbook, lesson plans, integration activity ideas, project planning frameworks, musician/artist visit preparation and follow-up, access to recordings of ACE repertoire, and more. Each grade level has a different ACE theme, which is reinforced throughout the year through all ACE components.
  2. Teacher In-Services – Annual fall and winter teacher in-services facilitate orientation of new teachers, interacting with ACE music, teaching ideas, activities, planning, etc.
  3. Musician/Artist Visits – Every year, each ACE classroom receives three visits from ACE Ensembles, which are comprised of MSO musicians and/or artists from local arts organizations such as the Milwaukee Ballet, Skylight Music Theatre, and many more! These visits energize ACE themes and classroom learning.
  4. Family Concert & Parent Newsletter – ACE involves parents as well as teachers and students. Each school hosts an ACE ensemble for a school-wide evening Family Concert and parents receive regular newsletters to update them on ACE happenings.
  5. ACE Concert – The MSO performs a unique concert for each grade level, incorporating the themes and bringing all ACE classrooms of the same grade to Uihlein Hall.
  6. Multiphase Project – ACE classrooms work throughout the year on a culminating group project which integrates the themes and grade learning targets and is used to assess progress.


  • Kindergarten – ACE Family
  • 1st Grade – ACE Storytellers
  • 2nd Grade – ACE Detectives
  • 3rd Grade – ACE Architects
  • 4th Grade – ACE Explorers
  • 5th Grade – ACE Inventors

For more information about bringing ACE to your school, contact Michelle Pehler, ACE and Education Manager, at 414.226.7812 or at

The MSO thanks the following funders for generous annual support that makes the Arts in Community Education (ACE) program possible: the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF); Eleanor N. Wilson, ELM II, and Irene Edelstein Memorial Funds as managed by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation; endowed funding from the Hearst Foundations; Bader Philanthropies, Inc.; the Joy Global Foundation; the Bert L. and Patricia S. Steigleder Charitable Trust; the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation; the Gene and Ruth Posner Foundation, Inc.; the Krause Family Foundation; the Brewers Community Foundation; the Albert J. and Flora H. Ellinger Foundation, Inc.; U.S. Bank; the Vilter Foundation; General Mills; MGIC, and the Steinway Piano Gallery of Milwaukee. ACE is also supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.