AN UPDATE ON THE 2020-21 SEASON

Your health, safety, and well-being—and that of our musicians, staff, and community—is our top priority. We are committed to providing you with a safe and welcoming environment to experience thrilling musical moments. And we promise to be your trusted partner as we navigate the future together.

When the pandemic began, we made the necessary—but difficult—decision to cancel the remainder of our 2019.20 season. Our hope was that by taking that essential step, enough time would pass to allow the community and country to weather this crisis with us all staying as healthy and safe as possible. When we cancelled the remainder of the 2019.20 season, we intended to return to performance in October 2020.

As you may have heard through the media, the basement of the Bradley Symphony Center sustained significant flood damage following an intense rainstorm and steam tunnel failure on May 18. Over the summer, C.D. Smith and partners have been repairing the damage while still working to complete the facility. Unfortunately, this caused a delay and pushed back our occupancy date until January 2021. In addition, the world still struggles to react to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has become clear that large-scale gatherings will likely not be a possibility when the building opens in January.

We appreciate the continued support and patience of our patrons and community during this time and we remain committed to keeping you informed and serving you with flexibility and  empathy as we navigate these changes together. You can contact us any time at info@mso.org.


Questions about Arts in Community Education answered


Do I have to have a music or arts specialist in my building to participate?

No. While ACE will work closely with a school specialist, it is not a requirement.


What grade levels participate in the ACE program?

The classic ACE program begins in K5 and adds a grade level each successive year until fully integrated at 5th grade. Schools may choose to integrate more quickly. A middle school component, which works like a mini artist-in-residency, is also available.


Is there an ACE curriculum?

ACE aims to support teachers in integrating the arts into their own curriculum. Multiple resources are available to assist teachers with the process.


What art forms does ACE use?

While it is a program of the Milwaukee Symphony, ACE embraces all the arts: dance and movement, drama, visual arts, spoken word, and all genres of music. Our ACE ensembles are made up of both MSO musicians and Cultural Partners including the Milwaukee Ballet, Ko-Thi African Dance Company, Skylight Music Theatre, and many more. You get access to the best arts organizations from Southeastern Wisconsin (and beyond) all in one program.


Is ACE compatible with school models currently in use?

Yes, ACE complements IB, EL, STEM, Montessori and other school models.


What are the benefits of ACE for students?

Much research has been done on the positive impact of the arts on student learning and development. ACE fosters an environment for enhanced student learning through arts integration, and inspires excellence and creativity through high quality, novel arts experiences. ACE also supports whole child development, broadens perspectives, and encourages appreciation of diverse cultures.


What are the benefits of ACE for teachers?

ACE supports teachers in becoming more effective and creative educators. Many teachers also use ACE to assist them in fulfilling their Educator Effectiveness requirements and documentation, including SLOs and PPGs.


Who is responsible for managing the ACE program in our building?

Each school names an ACE Contact who becomes the point person with the MSO. Our MSO ACE Manager is in close communication with the ACE Contact to schedule ACE visits (based on your school’s unique schedule), collect needed information, and manage and support the partnership.


How often do ACE ensembles visit my school?

Each grade level in the program receives three ACE ensemble visits per year (K5 gets four). These visits are spread throughout the school year. Each visit lasts approximately 30-45 minutes.


What does ACE cost, and what is included?

ACE fees are based on school size and the number of students participating in the program. ACE fees are all-inclusive. The only non-covered cost is bus transportation to the MSO ACE concerts. For a full explanation of the ACE fee structure, please click here.


How do schools pay for ACE?

Some schools include ACE in their budgets, some add it to student fees, and others do specific fundraising for the program. At some schools, PTOs pay all or part of the program.