Springfield Area Arts Council

Formally named the Penny Wollan-Kriel Arts in Education Program, in honor of the long-serving, retired executive director of SAAC, this program seeks to provide visual and performing arts experiences to students in Sangamon and Menard counties.  Funding is awarded to both public and private schools so that individual artists are able to provide enrichment by offering what might be a student’s only exposure to the arts.

Teachers may request funding throughout the school year by contacting Program Administrator Sheila Walk at programs@springfieldartsco.org.  

Donations to fund this important program are welcome and encouraged.

2022- 2023 Program


Lanphier High

Enos Elementary

Cantrall Elementary

Riverton Middle

Iles Middle

Matheny-Withrow Elementary

Riverton Elementary

Tri-City Schools

Franklin Middle

Hazel Dell Elementary

Ball Charter School




Children’s Literature

Children’s Literature




Visual Arts

3D Printing

Poetry, Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Julio Barrenzuela

Shatriya Smith

David Biedrzycki

Jordan Sonneblick

Brian Ellis

Bright Star Theater

Patrick Ryan

Jeff Williams

J. McClure, C. Vannier

Shatriya Smith, John Crisp

Supply Purchase

2018- 2019 Program

There was no funding available for the 2018-2019  academic year.

2017 – 2018 Program Summary

Students = 2,425

Teachers = 184

Artists = 18

Funding from the Susan Cook House Educational Trust made these school visits possible.  The Trust’s support is acknowledged with much gratitude.

Cantrall Elementary School hosted muralist Troy Freeman

Black Hawk Elementary School learned African Drums and Dance

Past Program Highlights 

At Enos Elementary School, Magician Richard Landry presented an anti-bullying message to an all-school student assembly.  The kids were captivated by the magic and by Snowball, the rabbit.

Enos Elementary

At Grant Middle School’s “Rhythm and Poetry Night,” percussionist Mark McKnight offered entertainment.  Students participated in the evening activities.


At Lutheran High School, local Singer/songwriter Ben Bedford presented “History and Crafting of a Song.”


Montessori Children’s House hosted the Windy City Players, who performed “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”


Riverton Elementary School hosted Storyteller Patrick Ryan–a popular favorite.