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ArtsECO stands for Arts Education/Community Ecosystem. Centered in UWM’s Peck School of the Arts Department of Art & Design, it develops teachers as change-makers. ArtsECO is backed by a strong and sustainable community of arts organizations, nonprofits and K-16 school partnerships.

We recruit and develop thoughtfully engaged, social justice-oriented pre-service teachers and support them as they grow into inspired mentors who integrate the arts into the classroom. We also develop teachers’ abilities to leverage and share the rich assets of Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin.

ArtsECO Empowers Educators Through The Arts

ArtsECO Meetups
ArtsECO Teacher Meetups

Teacher MeetUps

Teacher MeetUps are professional development and networking opportunities for Milwaukee area teachers who teach or are interested in teaching through the arts. They are open to any educator, and no prior experience is needed. Each MeetUp has a different focus and includes instruction on a particular art tool/skill, opportunities to meet/network with other educators and time for teachers to make art. MeetUps occur monthly throughout the school year on a weekday evening.

Innovative Educators Institute

We are proud to offer collaborations with Lynden Sculpture Garden through the Innovative Educators Institute, an intensive, hands-on, year-round professional teacher development experience. The Institute brings together pre-service, early-career, and veteran teachers with artists, Lynden staff, and university faculty in a community of practice centered around the week-long summer lab.

Cross-disciplinary, school-based teams focus on developing and sharing interdisciplinary, arts-integrated strategies and methodologies that are easily adapted to the classroom. The Institute supports teacher-as-artist practices and provides resources and opportunities to the classrooms of participating teachers, such as free field trips to Lynden and school-based residencies with Institute artists. The Institute also works closely with teachers to develop unique programs to support their individual teaching experience.

ArtsECO Develops And Supports Future Educators

ArtsECO Fellowships


ArtsECO Fellows are UWM Art Education and UWM School of Education art-interested students who embark on a yearlong engagement with arts and arts integration. Fellows receive renewable scholarships typically between $1,000–$2,000 per academic year. Fellowships are awarded annually in the categories of New Student, Art Education Pre-Service, Art Education Student Teachers, Part-Time UWM/Part-Time MPS and School of Education Arts Integration.

Paid College Internships

The ArtsECO Internship program is for UW-Milwaukee Art Education and School of Education students interested in teaching in and through the arts. Students are paired with an arts organization/program for a semester-long paid experience in art and community-based education. Internships range from teaching/teaching assistance to museum/gallery education, art installation/archiving and arts administration. ArtsECO Interns attend mandatory orientation, training and debrief sessions before and after their semester of internship.

Interested in hosting a paid ArtsECO Intern? Review our guidelines for host sites and complete the host site request form.

ArtsECO Provides Opportunities To Young Artists

High school students Izzy and Angelina document their 2022 ArtsECO Pre-College experience.

ArtsECO Pre-College Art & Design Program

ArtsECO Pre-College provides college-preparatory art and design instruction to Milwaukee-area high school students. Students build their portfolio and art-making skills and venture into new media such as printmaking, sculpture and digital processes. Participants receive high-quality art supplies, have their work professionally photographed and exhibit their artwork at UWM. Tied to admissions, this on-campus experience may lead students to college applications, first-year opportunities and scholarships.

For information about income-based scholarships or other questions about the ArtsECO Pre-College program, please contact Carrie Kim at

Participants in Milwaukee Recreation’s Arts Internship reflect on their experiences.

Paid High School Internships

ArtsECO partners with MKE REC Arts Internship Program to offer paid internships to students who participate in ArtsECO Pre-College classes. That means you can get paid to make art with us!

Every summer, we seek curious students who love to make visual art, are open to new ideas and challenges and enjoy working with others. Interns provide feedback to instructors and serve as peer mentors to other students.

Milwaukee Visionaries Project

Milwaukee Visionaries Project (MVP) gives Milwaukee-area middle and high school students a chance to tell their stories through video and animation. Participants use industry-standard professional tools to create films that are submitted to the Milwaukee film festival each year. MVP has had several award-winning films featured in the Milwaukee Film Festival!

Students meet on Thursdays evenings during the school year. Contact if interested.

Connect with us!

We’d love to hear from you. Email us at for all questions, comments or connections.

If you’re a current UWM student interested in joining our community of engaged student organizations, check out TEACH – Art Educators for Social Justice.

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