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Milwaukee Recreation's Arts Internship Program receives two MANDI awards

Milwaukee Recreation’s Arts Internship Program received two MANDI (Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation) Awards for its service to young people throughout the city. The MANDIs, which are sponsored by U.S. Bank in partnership with LISC Milwaukee, recognize excellence in individuals, organizations, and projects that are improving conditions in Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. Finalists were selected from public nominations by a 40-member independent, cross-sector volunteer committee.

Winners were announced on Thursday, Aug. 19 during a virtual event. The event had over 600 views from a diverse audience from the private, philanthropic, and nonprofit communities.

Milwaukee Recreation’s Arts Internship Program received the Chase Economic Development Award for economic and business development (click here to see the live stream of the award). The Arts Internship Program also received the Wells Fargo People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice Award was given to the top three finalists that received the most public votes from Aug. 6-16. Winners of this award received $1,000 for their program (click here to see the live stream of the award).

The Arts Internship Program was launched in 2010 to provide high school students with practical job experience in art-related positions. The program allows students to connect with arts opportunities outside traditional school hours. In 2021, Milwaukee Recreation partnered with 12 arts organizations for this program who combined to host 39 interns this summer. During the history of the program, Milwaukee Recreation has now served over 500 total interns. 82 percent of the interns are people of color. High school students have collectively earned more than $450,000 from nearly 55,000 hours of work in the Milwaukee community.

“The Arts Internship Program addresses the need for diversity in the creative fields, both locally and nationally,” April Heding, Milwaukee Recreation's Arts & Humanities Supervisor, said. “We are thrilled to have received these awards alongside so many incredible Milwaukee-area organizations and we are very of proud everything our student interns have accomplished over the years.”

View a video recap of the Arts Internship Program below, created by LISC Milwaukee for the MANDI awards.


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