Sharon Lynne Wilson Center chosen as a 2015 Signature Charity for Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s Heart of Canal Street program

Wilson Center to take part in Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s Heart of Canal Street as a 2015 Signature Charity

Funds Raised by Casino to be Used for Arts Camp: The Art Of Nature

Brookfield, WI (August 5, 2015) Ninety children from the Greater Milwaukee area will have the opportunity to attend Arts Camp: The Art of Nature 2016 as scholarship campers after the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (Wilson Center) was chosen as one of 10 signature charities to take part in Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s annual Heart of Canal Street program.

Heart of Canal Street serves as Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s signature community program. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for children in southeastern Wisconsin. Through funds raised primarily from special bingo games and the generosity of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino guests, the program focuses the joy of holiday giving onto those who are the hope for the future.

“Through the philanthropic leadership of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, the Wilson Center will be able to provide more children than we have in the past with an opportunity to experience integrated arts-based activities in a natural setting,” said Wilson Center President & CEO Jonathan Winkle. “These types of experiences can be transformational for a child, and we are very grateful to have the ability through Heart of Canal to make this a reality.”

This year, 31 local children’s charities will participate in the 2015 program, with 10 being signature charities chosen by media partners. The Wilson Center was chosen by WISN 12. Twenty of the remaining charities will be chosen at random Thursday, Nov. 10, and the announcement of the grand total will take place Friday, Dec. 11. In addition, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has added a Charity of Choice to the Heart of Canal Street program. The first $100,000 raised will go towards a program that will address the most critical issues facing youth in our community—violence in the central city. The 2015 Charity of Choice is Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board’s pilot program, Youth Works MKE, which will work to help reduce the effects of gun violence in Milwaukee.

“It is incredibly exciting that the Heart of Canal Street program will make it possible for us to provide the Arts Camp experience to so many more children next summer,” said Wilson Center Education Director Christina Ratatori. “I have seen first-hand that the campers who come to us on the Monday morning of Arts Camp are not the same kids who leave us at the end of the week. After almost 20 years in education, our campers are the happiest kids I have ever been around.”
Arts Camp: The Art of Nature 2016 will take place over two one-week sessions: June 20-24 and July 11-15. To learn more about Arts Camp, visit

For more information, contact:
Nichole Cooper, Vice President-Marketing & Public Relations
773-398-3252 (c) | 262-373-5034 (w) |
Megan Huse, Vice President-Development
262-373-5032 (w) |

About Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts
The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary cultural arts center that presents performances by world-renowned artists and ensembles; offers arts education opportunities; curates the Ploch Art Gallery, which features both national and Wisconsin-based fine artists; and is committed to extending the arts beyond the walls of the Center through Lynn Chappy ArtsPark—a vibrant, outdoor sculpture landscape that will engage and inspire the broader Southeastern Wisconsin Community. In August, the annual Wilson Center Guitar Competition & Festival celebrates the world’s leading classical, rock/blues, jazz, and fingerstyle guitarists. Wisconsin fine artists are showcased at the Hidden River Art Festival each September. The Wilson Center nurtures lifelong learning through innovative programs and classes for all interests, ages, and abilities in state-of-the-art studios and classrooms. Some of Southeast Wisconsin’s finest arts organizations offer professional instruction at the Wilson Center, including First Stage Theater Academy and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. To learn more, visit

About Heart of Canal Street
Since its inception in 1994, Heart of Canal Street has made more than 500 donations totaling more than $14.6 million to fund children’s programs throughout southeastern Wisconsin. In 2014, 30 children’s charities in southeastern Wisconsin shared in funds totaling more than $1 million. Money raised last year improved the lives of children in our community by addressing multiple needs—from educational services to basic services benefitting newborns to teens. Funding in 2014 helped support a wide variety of charity projects including providing preventative child abuse programming to low-income families, building children’s’ confidence through sports programs and maintaining educational music programs that expose young people to the arts.

About Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Set in the heart of Milwaukee, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is Wisconsin’s premier entertainment destination, offering guests the best in gaming, dining and entertainment. The property features a luxurious 381-room hotel, seven award-winning restaurants, the intimate 500-seat Northern Lights Theater and more than 60,000 square feet of event space. Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is committed to raising awareness of the risks of problem gambling, maintaining a level of first-class customer service, while investing in its most valuable asset – its 2,900 multicultural employees. Through the Forest County Potawatomi Foundation and Heart of Canal Street, the casino supports numerous local charities and community organizations. To discover more, call 800-PAYS-BIG or visit

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