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Paine Arts Center and Gardens–a historic estate that serves as a multi-faceted museum for learning and inspiration. Located in Oshkosh.

ArtsCore, a new partnership between the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the Paine Art Center and Gardens, provides arts integration professional development opportunities for pre-service and early career teachers, and will launch its pilot Colony at the Paine in August.

The pilot ArtsCore Colony at the Paine: Arts Integration through Storytelling, kicks off with a three-day retreat at the Paine Aug. 10 through 12.

Five to six teams, each consisting of three to four teachers each in their second to fifth year of teaching, will participate in programming designed to help develop an arts integrated curriculum and enhance their confidence to implement it at their schools.

The Colony consists of a three-day retreat, followed by three days in the fall semester and three days in the spring semester for nine days of professional development. Teachers in the Oshkosh Area School District may be eligible for professional development credits for their participation.

“This year ArtsCore Colony at the Paine will revolve around the theme of storytelling and will help early career teachers use storytelling and the arts to enrich and inspire their teaching practices. Storytelling connects to every discipline, every culture, and every era and will provide a rich base on which participants will collaborate and build,” Wendy Strauch-Nelson, coordinator of ArtsCore, said.

The Colony also provides opportunities for participants to network and builds confidence in integrating the arts into curriculum.

“The ArtsCore Colony will offer new arts teachers support, enrichment, mentoring and networking,” Aaron Sherer, executive director of the Paine Art Center and Gardens, said. “The goal is to ensure that arts teachers offer exceptional arts instruction to their students, and that exceptional arts teachers keep teaching for years to come.”

The ArtsCore program, which consists of the Colony at the Paine, Teacher in Residency program and an on-campus component, is funded through a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, and is free for participants.

“There is no cost for participants, and we will pay for substitute teachers for the six days during the school year that teachers will be participating in the ArtsCore Colony,” Strauch-Nelson said. “We even plan to provide financial aid for schools needing materials to implement the new arts integrated curriculum.”

As part of initial brainstorming for the grant, UWO invited arts teachers and leaders as well as community and school leaders from throughout the region to attend planning sessions, Sherer said.

“I attended all of the planning sessions representing the Paine and I am passionate about arts education,” Sherer said. “I had great arts teachers in my own education, and I was very excited about the potential for the Paine to help foster the success of new arts teachers.”

Teachers interested in participating in the ArtsCore Colony at the Paine should be early career teachers in their second to fifth year of teaching and interested in arts integration as a means of engaging and inspiring students across the curriculum. Teachers sign-up in groups of two to four teachers, and at least one of the team members must be an art or music teacher.

Contact Wendy Strauch-Nelson at or (920) 424-7063, or email for more information or to sign-up.

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