Twenty years is a long time! I remember offering 15 years ago to be the interim executive director for this new arts group while they found a permanent replacement and here I am now, still at the helm of Gathering on the Green. I can’t complain though, we have brought so many shining stars to Rotary Park and made an incredible impact on the community. I am sure you all have your favorite performance; a few of mine were: Milwaukee’s own Al Jarreau and the experience of bringing together the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Milwaukee Ballet Company and the Florentine Opera. And we still do this all without any support from the United Performing Arts Fund or any level of government.
One of the things I am most proud of is the expansion of our youth education program called Summer STEAM. STEAM puts an “A” for the arts into a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) education program for children ages 8-10. It is the first program of its kind to mix urban and suburban youth in a week-long, experiential learning program. We are committed to raising the necessary funds to offer the program to 100 students this summer at no cost to their families.
Thank you for your continued support of our mission; only with your continued support will we be able to celebrate another 20 years of performing arts in our community.
Check back in the New Year to see who will be headlining our monumental 20th anniversary festival Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12, 2014. Here’s a hint: it will be our most exciting event yet and we will welcome both old friends and new ones. And we hope to see you all there!
Beth Sampson Bauer, Executive Director, 1999 – 2015