ARTS for ALL Wisconsin began as a member of the Very Special Arts Affiliate Network, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts.
ARTS for ALL Wisconsin programs began with a one-day festival for school-aged children in 1977, and remained the only programming until 1985. After incorporation, the organization quickly moved to initiate ongoing programs leading into the festivals. Integration of people with disabilities into the mainstream was a priority. Statewide initiatives began to serve people of all ages, providing an outlet for creative expression and unlimited possibilities for personal, academic, and professional success.
Over three decades later, ARTS for ALL Wisconsin continues to successfully conduct effective and well-loved arts programs for people with disabilities throughout the state. ARTS for ALL Wisconsin is unique among all other arts organizations in providing statewide, in-depth, and comprehensive programming across the full spectrum of arts activities and disabilities.
Each spring, jurors select ten works of visual art and at least four poems from over 200 submissions to the annual ARTS for ALL call for art to be added to CREATIVE POWER: The ARTS for ALL Wisconsin Traveling Exhibition, an exhibition of 30 visual artworks and four framed poems that travel to libraries, galleries, and public buildings throughout the state each year. Each award-winning work spends three years as part of the Creative Power Traveling Exhibition.
Starting March 15, 2022 all Covid-19 restrictions will end for all events and classes at the Monroe Arts Center. Masks will be optional.