By Callie Atanasoff | Events, Middle School, Student Life

Basketball teams and living on Mars.

Flamenco and musical theater.

The connection in these topics lies in the presentation — the artists and authors who come to campus, bringing music and books to life for our students.

Since August, Prairie has welcomed several inspiring authors. Prairie alumni parent Caron Butler and bestselling writer Justin A. Reynolds discussed their book Shot Clock — a story about the love of basketball and the importance of friendship, mentorship, and community — with Middle and Upper School students. Stef Wade, author of Moving to Mars, challenged our Kindergarten through 3rd Grade students to consider what life would be like on another planet, and opened the floor for questions about her creative titles.

In addition to talented writers, Prairie’s students are immersed in the world of music through the Visiting Artist series. Launched in 2016 – or relaunched as the case may be…Prairie has welcomed visiting artists as far back as the seventies – the series brings world-class performers into the classroom to provide students with direct and meaningful interaction with both established and emerging artists. This year, award-winning flamenco guitarist Evan Christian — a Milwaukee resident who has become one of the most dynamic and sought after solo performers in the world — brought the sounds of Spain to the John Mitchell Theater. Additionally, the Leipold Family Recital Hall hosted its first visiting artist, Lauren Jelencovich, a talented vocalist whose operatic and musical theater roles have taken her across the country and abroad.

At Prairie, it’s more than just reading chapters and musical notes. It’s asking a popular children’s author how they came up with the storyline or composing a new beat alongside a nationally recognized DJ and music producer. It’s the opportunity to explore and experience that can impact a student’s pursuits on campus and beyond.

The Prairie Fund makes author and artist visits possible, allowing our students to discover what happens when life and art come together. Visit the Prairie Fund to learn more about how you can get involved.