Artist-in-residence program coming to South Cesar Chavez Drive

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:15 pm

The Cesar E. Chavez Business Improvement District is collaborating with Newaukee to develop an artist-in-residence program that will renew public spaces in the neighborhood through a concept known as creative place-making.

“We believe an artist should be the center of community and economic development planning,” said Jeremy Fojut, chief idea officer of Newaukee, a social architecture firm. “An artist that uses the framework of creative place-making animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.”

The residency program, to begin in 2015 and span six months, will include a $15,000 honorarium, an artist studio and an apartment within the district. The program will be curated by a group of community organizations, including Clarke Square, Journey House, UMOS, UW-Milwaukee Roberto Hernandez Center, and Jazale’s Art Studios.

The resident artist, to be selected after a public call this fall, will be charged with developing “socially engaged and relevant public spaces that incorporate the local business and resident communities,” according to an announcement from Newaukee and the BID. The artist’s projects will center on social action, problem solving and relationship building.

“The BID is excited to work on this project,” said BID board member Ivan Gamboa. “It will ensure that South Cesar Chavez Drive will continue to be the cultural and commercial center for Wisconsin’s Latino community.”

Both organizations plan to pull together a project advisory committee of constituents this summer as well as hold community input sessions open to businesses and residents in the district. The first session is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, at 1224 Cesar E. Chavez Dr.

Newaukee is currently fundraising to make the artist-in-residence program possible.

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