The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield is not just a beautiful venue that showcases the performing arts. Their commitment to education and youth in South Eastern Wisconsin has been part of their mission for the last 10 years.
Over the last decade, Beyond The Classroom has served more than 51,500 K through 12th grade students and teachers from 29 cities throughout the region. Kids are invited to the Wilson Center to see performances of local and touring acts. These productions are combined with classroom experiences that provide a deeper understanding of history, literature, drama and music. The Wilson Center offers supplemental study guides and resource materials to students that participate in BTC.
"The whole philosophy is how can we use the arts as a tool to connect what is happening in the classroom with social justice, racism, segregation and literacy?" explains Christina Ratatori, the Educational Director at the Wilson Center. "There's something amazing about that immediacy that not only connects the classroom with the stage, but could lead to a new young musician, actress or dancer."
On the day I visited, the kids saw Sticks & Stones, a one-woman musical written and performed by Lyle Cogen. Using theater to explore the topic of bullying, Sticks & Stones has toured national to theaters, schools and anti-bullying conferences. Click the player below to hear more from Lyle Cogen.