Responsibilities: Organize programming, write grants, other management duties
Volunteer work led Page Remmers to uncover a need that her organization now fills.
“I was working at an after-school program as a volunteer, and I saw the difference it made in the kids’ lives,” Page said. She saw something, else, too: “Most programs stop at 12, when many kids begin to struggle the most.”
Page vowed to start a non-profit for that 12-plus age group when she graduated, and she did exactly that. Waukesha Community Arts Project opened in the basement of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church on Grand Avenue in 2007. A few years later WCAP moved into its own space on Grand Avenue, and a few years after that settled into its current home at 320 South St.
The early years were a struggle, but of course those times teach valuable lessons, too. “You never knew who would show up, so we focused on paying attention to who was there – making sure they were having a good time,” Page said.
The numbers steadily improved, as have the offerings. Creative writing, dance and drama have since been added to the original visual arts programs.
“I think the biggest success is the consistency of the attendance,” Page said. “They say kids vote with their feet,” and their feet consistently make their way to WCAP. “Also, the kids come back when they’re older and tell us it made a difference.”
Sometimes Page overhears the current participants talk about what WCAP provides. She finds it rewarding that the kids and adults are all on the same page.
“They say they can be themselves, and that they’re willing to take risks and aren’t afraid to make mistakes,” Page said. “It’s almost like they’re reading the mission statement.”