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Stoughton Area
Community Foundation

Stoughton, WI 53589
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The Stoughton Area Resource Team, Inc. (START) provides a safety net for those in crisis. Recently, a 30-year old single father of two struggled to find work, to pay for daycare for his children and to secure a home; so much time was spent homeless and hopeless.

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Stoughton Center for the Arts Guild

2320 Jackson Street
Suite 1
Stoughton, Wisconsin 53589

Phone: 6088730717
Contact Name: Natalie Norlin
Organization Profile
Grants Info
Stoughton Arts Guild Scholarships - 2023 Amount Funded: $5,000.00
The funds will be distributed monthly to the account balances of the 25 students who applied and qualified for scholarships. In addition to the monthly fundraisers that the Guild makes available to SCA students to offset the cost of classes, the Guild is holding a Gala Fundraiser called Concerto. SCA students will perform at the SHS Performing Arts Center. Invitations are being sent to area churches for a community choir, along with invitations to the SHS Choir, Band and Orchestra. It will be an evening of beautiful performances of Ballet (The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, and Kitri), Music (Voice and Instrumental) and Theater. The performance will be followed by apps and drinks at The Chorus House downtown. All of the profits from the event will go to the Scholarship Fund. The Stoughton Arts Guild and Stoughton Center for the Arts has heard from the families about the positive impact made on their student by their education in the arts. “I truly feel that my children would not have half the confidence and spark that they have without the experiences at SCA. I can’t fully explain my gratitude, so I’m going to have to just say thank you and hope you understand that I mean so much more than just thanks.” Since the pandemic, we’ve worked with students who’s anxiety has caused them to do school from home, need treatment at Roger’s Memorial, struggle with eating disorders, and cause fainting requiring them to be wheelchair bound for their safety. These scholarships provide more than just access to arts education. “Thank you for all that you and the entire SCA staff have done and continue to do to provide a safe environment for our kids. Dance class truly has been the sunshine in my student’s weeks. I have endless appreciation for it!” Our main goal is to continue to expand access to students in Stoughton so they can be positively impacted by an arts education, especially for those that would otherwise not have access to it due to their family’s financial situation.
The Stoughton Arts Guild exists to make arts education provided by Stoughton Center for the Arts accessible to all students regardless of financial status. Historically, arts education was only offered to the elite. According to a National Endowment for the Arts survey, arts education in public schools has been on a steep decline for over 3 decades which disproportionately impacts certain students. The last NEA survey in 2012, represented in a 2020 American Academy of Arts & Sciences report identifies white students with educated, affluent parents as more likely to be taught art or music outside of school. 48% of families with an income over $100,000 report their students are taught art/music outside of school compared to 21% of families with income under $50,000. 48% of families where the parents are college graduates enroll their students in an outside arts education while 19% of families where the parents are high school graduates do the same. The American Academy of Arts & Sciences opens the report, Arts education was already in a state of crisis and dire need before the fraught year of 2020, and the pandemic has intensified that crisis exponentially. In Stoughton, we are aware of the pandemics impact on families finances. Recent data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (August 2023), 27.85% (Fox Prairie) and 35.89% (Sandhill) of Stoughton students qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch. Stoughton Arts Guild sees similar trends with increasing requests for scholarships. Our 23-24 Season Scholarship demand is $4,000 per month. Meeting this need positively impacts 25 families. Last Season, the Guild reduced the price of Art Classes for students from Ukraine. An area student displaced from their home during their Senior year at SHS was given a scholarship to take any class. In addition, the Stoughton Arts Guild held a college scholarship fundraiser for this student. The American Academy of Arts & Sciences Report details the benefits of an arts education: Builds well-rounded individuals Broadens our understanding & appreciation of the cultures & histories Supports social & emotional development Builds empathy, reduces intolerance, & generates acceptance of others Improves school engagement & culture Develops valuable life & career skills Strengthens community and civic engagement