ARTS for ALL Wisconsin

Using the Power of the Arts to Change Lives



The mission of ARTS for ALL Wisconsin is to expand the capabilities, confidence and quality of life for children and adults with disabilities by providing programs in dance, drama, creative writing, music, and visual art

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Christina Martin-Wright

Main address



Show more contact info

Formerly known as

VSA Wisconsin



NTEE code info

(Arts Education/Schools) (A25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2019.
Register now


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ARTS for ALL Wisconsin exists to improve the quality of life for all people with disabilities throughout the state of Wisconsin by providing opportunities in the arts for non-artists and artists alike. Research has shown that participation in the arts improves community cohesion, which leads to better understanding of people with disabilities and the people who support them. Further, as funding of arts education programs has dwindled, AFA continues to work with students of all ages in order to provide arts education to all people, both with and without disabilities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

School & Community Arts

Led by professional teaching artists, School & Community Arts programs actively engage children and adults throughout Wisconsin in multi-sensory activities in music, drama, visual art or creative movement. Activities promote creative expression, peer interaction, language development, as well as other early learning skills.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Children and youth

AFA Wisconsin choirs are conducted in several Wisconsin communities including Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, and Wisconsin Rapids.

The choirs are comprised of individuals with and without disabilities who rehearse regularly and give public performances.

Choir members learn about pitch, tone, rhythm, movement, and composition. Some choirs use instruments, such as tone chimes, drums and rhythm sticks to broaden the musical experience and maximize participation by everyone.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

The Veterans Arts Studio uses a three-part structure: 1) vet-to-vet social interaction; 2) a teaching
artist, to guide the creative process; 3) a vet readjustment counselor, to aid the therapeutic process.
Participating veterans are not required to have any previous experience in the arts.

AFA offers Vets programs in visual art and creative writing.

Population(s) Served

Hour-long classes are offered throughout the year. Sessions range from 5-10 weeks. Adults with disabilities ages 16 and older will explore the creative arts through classes and workshops in visual art, movement/dance, drama and music. Classes are taught by professional teaching artists and each session has a unique array of classes. Join us for ceramics, visual arts including watercolors, acrylic painting, mixed media, sculpting and photography. Our music and movement classes including drumming, singing, stretching, dancing, students explore a large variety of music styles and instruments, props and much more!

Population(s) Served

SPARK! is an arts and culture program for people with early to mid-stage memory loss and their care partners. Programs are designed to keep participants actively engaged in their communities by providing experiences that stimulate conversations, provide peer support, and inspire creativity through engaging workshops.

All SPARK! programs are free for participants and care partners to attend together, in the comfortable and accessible environment of our Madison Art Center.

SPARK! programs at ARTS for ALL Wisconsin take place on the first Friday of each month, from 10-11:30am. Each 90-minute program is unique, including creative experiences in artmaking, drama, movement/dance, music, poetry, or storytelling.

SPARK! facilitators and volunteers were trained by the Dane County Aging & Disability Resource Center and collaborate with community partners and professionals to continually enhance programming.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
People with disabilities

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

AFA Wisconsin goals are
1. Present engaging and innovative exhibitions featuring art by people with disabilities and/or art about disability-related topics
2. Increase the promotion, marketing, and sale of art by people with disabilities
3. Increase access to exhibitions and raise awareness regarding disability, inclusion, and accessibility
4. Increase opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to participate in a arts programming
5. Increase recognition for artists with disabilities
6. Increase public awareness regarding the artistic and creative talents of people with disabilities
7. Build self confidence and sense of accomplishment of people with disabilities
8. Promote positive social interactions and relationships

Our primary strategies for achieving our goals are to both continue to provide programming throughout the state as it applies to our goals and is found to be successful, as well as identify new areas of research, programming, and application to expand and improve our current initiatives. For instance, we provide a statewide juried exhibition of artists with disabilities as a strategy to engage and increase access and recognition for people with disabilities of all ages. We also promote positive and social interactions and relationships through our Choir programs, Vets'Art Studios, and Art center classes.

AFA Wisconsin has been in existence for nearly 35 years, continually operating as a statewide organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities of all ages. We continue to keep any programming fees low and provide free programming to anyone in need. Our ability to raise and attract funds continues to be strong and is supported by a small but dedicated staff and board of directors.

Since its inception in 1985 as Very Special Arts Wisconsin, AFA Wisconsin has provided services and programs to thousands of people with disabilities throughout the state of Wisconsin. We have recruited and trained hundreds of teaching artists with expertise in multiple art forms by providing professional development opportunities -- as well as fairly paid positions for all staff and contracted employees. As we move into our future, we plan to focus on telling our story better to all of our connected communities in Wisconsin so that we can reach more people that would benefit from our programs.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


ARTS for ALL Wisconsin

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

ARTS for ALL Wisconsin

Board of directors
as of 04/06/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jason Rasmusen

Thompson Investment Management

James Riordan

WPS Health Insurance (retired)

Leslie Broadhead Griffith

Staff Attorney, Western District of Wisconsin

Matthew Vogel

Quarles & Brady, LLP

Robert Tarrell

Edgewood College

Jason Makowski

Associated Bank

Jason Rasmusen

Communication Consultant

Leane Tyska

K-12 Educator

Sherrye Smith

K-12 Educator

Myranda Gereau


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/6/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/06/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.