Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:43 am
The Artery, a former rail corridor bridging Milwaukee’s Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods, and a 10-block stretch along West Wisconsin Avenue will be enlivened with interactive art in the coming months thanks to a $350,000 grant funded by ArtPlace America.
The art is part of a community program titled “Creational Trails,” driven forward by the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative, and seeks to beautify pockets of the city that have been vacated as well as accelerate foot and bike traffic.
ArtPlace America, a national alliance of foundations, banks and federal agencies advocating art as an integral part of economic and community growth, selected “Creational Trails” as one of 54 projects from more than 1,200 applications submitted by organizations across the country.
Earlier this year, ArtPlace America designated Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward as one of the Top 12 Artplaces in the country for incorporating art into its business district.
The evolving “Creational Trails” program received funding dollars for the breadth and depth of the collaboration it will spur among public, private and civic entities, said Jeremy Nowak, interim director of ArtPlace America.
The way the art initiative will “create a connective tissue” among neighborhoods and residents and its incorporation of local artists also added to its appeal.
“There’s a certain authenticity to it,” Nowak said.
The art at each space will include visual and audio components and will promote public safety among community members.
The art pieces installed at both sites will be temporary, but community organizers hope they spur long-term economic development and stability by highlighting the potential of both locations.
“Creating flourishing places has the potential to generate additional innovation and economic activity, which broadly benefits the entire community,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “This project will be a real catalyst to energize many of the existing initiatives in these two locations.”
A public information meeting about “Creational Trails” will be held on July 15 at 6 p.m. at OPEN MiKE in The Shops of Grand Avenue, located in the Plankinton Building at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 2145, in downtown Milwaukee.
MiKE has not yet finalized the art to be featured within “Creational Trails” but plans to announce its process for completing each site at the July 15 meeting.
For more information about ArtPlace America’s grant programs, visit www.artplaceamerica.org.