1,000+ expected at Marcus Center for performance celebrating diverse cultures in MPS

MILWAUKEE – More than 1,000 people are expected at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts Friday night for a free public concert celebrating the diverse cultures represented in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Cantos de las Americas will showcase students from 13 Milwaukee Public Schools in drumming and dance performances, among others. The students include the youngest in the

district all the way up to middle-school artists and musicians who perform regularly.

“As an educator, it’s what you dream about for your kids,” said Dena Radtke, MPS coordinator for school social workers, school-to-work transition and community services. “They get to experience downtown Milwaukee, a wonderful venue and 1,000 people looking at them. They’re proud. Their parents are proud and they’re excited to be there.

“When you go stand in the hallway as the students are waiting to go on stage and they’re getting their costumes on and getting their last-minute directions — the kids are so ramped up,” Radtke said.

The Friday night event – sponsored by the Forest County Potawatomi Community Foundation, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Marcus Center and MPS – is set for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton is scheduled to make opening remarks.

“We celebrate diversity in this district and in this city,” Dr. Thornton said. “I’m excited to see our students showcase their talent as they learn about different cultures. Our teachers do an excellent job of working with students on these performances. This is a great way for parents to celebrate with their children in a beautiful venue.”

Performances include those representing Latin American, Hmong, African and Native American cultures. Schools include La Causa, Longfellow, ALBA, Allen-Field, Burbank, Kagel, Holmes, Morgandale, Vieau, Mitchell, Hayes, Fratney and Milwaukee Spanish Immersion.

Media are invited to attend. Contact Tony Tagliavia, MPS media manager, at 414.475.8675, for more information.