Wispact Foundation Grant Spotlight: Arts for All Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin

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Interview with Christina Martin-Wright, Executive Director

AFA Madison Choir sings for tree lighting at Governor’s Mansion-photo courtesy of AFA

Although their name has changed several times, the mission of Arts For All Wisconsin has remained the same: using the arts to “expand the capabilities, confidence, and quality of life for children and adults with disabilities.” They were founded 38 years ago, and the Wispact Foundation is honored to provide Arts for All Wisconsin with this grant to help them continue to provide this important service.

When asked how the grant helped them, executive director Christina Martin-Wright said “The grant is especially significant not only because of the dollar amount, which has allowed us to truly invest in our programs, but because the allocation. The focus of this support is for adults with disabilities. Very few organizations and businesses understand the value in supporting adults with disabilities.” Like many other organizations, Arts For All Wisconsin has seen a drop in corporate and foundation support they have relied on in the past due to the pandemic. This grant has been able to support “the programs that we know are really crucial for the well-being and social opportunities for the adults that we work with,” she said.

Martin-Wright was proud to share the following story about how the grant directly impacted an individual. She said, “We had a choir member who, because of changes in her support and her financial situation, couldn’t afford to pay the very modest low fee for choir membership. She came to us and said that she needed support for that and really wanted to rejoin the choir because that’s where her friends were, and we were able to say yes. So, support like this really means that we can say yes to people who aren’t finding these social opportunities in other places or in other areas in their life. She was able to come together every week to sing and laugh and dance with her peers.”

Wispact understands that applying for grants can be daunting. We work hard to ensure that this process is as easy and straightforward as possible. Martin-Wright confirmed this by saying, “I think that the application is very straightforward. You make it very clear what the information you’re looking for is, and what the expectations are.” Martin-Wright went on to say: “It’s so satisfying when representatives from an organization or foundation come to us to really see what it’s all about. There’s so much that is lost in just an application, so having an opportunity to sit down and talk to one another and see the environment that we create was really, really lovely.”

Martin-Wright concluded by saying, “This support also allows our staff of teaching artists and choir directors to do what they do best, and that’s to interact with our participants with the respect and dignity that they deserve and create memories together.”

To learn more about Arts for All Wisconsin, please visit www.artsforallwi.org.