Art Matters! Reflections from our young people

2:39 PM
Art matters! When you make it, it’s yours and it might change the world. Or just give it a nudge toward a world filled of love. – Annie in NATE THE GREAT

In First Stage’s world premiere musical, Nate’s friend Annie painted a picture and she can’t find it anywhere. Nate vows to find it because Annie loves that picture. In fact, Annie loves to paint: it brings her happiness and joy. She loves making something brand new out of her imagination.

Art in its many forms is vital for young people, for a variety of reasons. First Stage was “on the case” in discovering how art is important to young people in our community. We interviewed 31 Milwaukee-area students – third through sixth-graders in our summer arts-based program at Kluge Elementary School, and high schoolers at our Theater Academy.

Armed with a camera and a recorder, First Stage collected their answers to the question “Why does art matter to you?” Some of their insightful responses included:

“Art helps me express my feelings” – Nathan C.

“Art is colorful and I like it because it’s everything that comes out of your mind.” – Demund O.

“Art gets different people together who wouldn’t otherwise come together. Art instills a sense of community and community is love.” – Kamani G.

The final result is a series of portraits of these students with their sentiments on the importance of art in their own lives, now on exhibit in the upper lobby of the Todd Wehr Theater. We invite you to visit the Art Matters! exhibit during intermission of NATE THE GREAT.

With the help of a parent or guardian, visit our Facebook page (, or tag us on Instagram (@first.stage) and share a photo of yourself performing your art or of an art piece you have created using #artmattersfirststage. We look forward to seeing/sharing your responses!

Don't miss the world premiere musical of NATE THE GREAT, opening Oct.12.

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