Big Arts in the Little Apple is Unveiled at Appleton Area School District In-service

Published Monday, September 12, 2016

The Building for Kids Children’s Museum and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra recently unveiled their newest program, Big Arts in the Little Apple, to Appleton area music and art teachers at their department meeting. This program, which is in partnership with the Appleton Area School District, is designed to teach kids to find inspiration and reinforce curiosity through a collaboration of art and music.  


As part of the program, students in grades 3 and 4 will listen to a piece of music, then create visual art inspired by the music. The selected musical work is an orchestral tone poem, “Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), TrV 190, Op. 40” by Richard Strauss, that musically tells a story about a hero in a historical context. Students will be encouraged to imagine the visual aspects in the music as they listen and how different elements in the song make them feel. Then use that to create their art pieces.


“Music and visual art are very closely related. Both have the ability to convey emotion and provoke thought without words," said Jarrad Bittner, Executive Director for The Building for Kids Children’s Museum. “This program also encourages students to investigate the question of how sound and music can inspire visual art.”


School Specialty, a leading distributor of supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources to the education, healthcare and other marketplaces, was on hand to distribute an assortment of donated art supplies to area art teachers to help support the new program as well as other art classes. Items included crayons, paint, paper, pencils, brushes and more.


“We’re very excited to continue our partnership with The Building for Kids Children’s Museum and now the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, especially in support of the new and innovative Big Arts in the Little Apple program. Helping our local teachers and students means a lot to School Specialty, in terms of championing the advancement of music and art education in the Appleton area, where we call home,” stated Rich Harney, Vice President of Marketing at School Specialty. “We believe the donated supplies will serve to inspire the creativity and learning experience of all the children who will be participating in the program.”


“The oohs and aahs the art teachers made when they saw the amount of donated art supplies for their students were priceless,” said Renee Ulman, Coordinator of Fine Art for the Appleton Area School District. “We are so fortunate to have community organizations that support the arts, our teachers and show students that their creative work is valued.”


Appleton area students will create over 500 pieces of art, with 50 being displayed at a Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra concert on November 19th at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. The Symphony will perform “Ein Heldenleben” during their concert, with images of the students’ artwork projected during the performance. Attendees will also be able to view the student created art work before and after the concert.


In the spring 2017, all of the art pieces will be on display at various locations, including The Building for Kids Children’s Museum. After the exhibit, students will be able to take their pieces home.


Big Arts in the Little Apple was made possible with the generous support of the Appleton Area School District, Heid Music, the Mielke Family Foundation, Octoberfest, Richeson School of Art & Gallery and School Specialty.  


The BFKCM has been empowering children, engaging parents and energizing the community since 1992. For more information about the BFKCM, including its programs and events, visit   

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