Creative Placemaking

Newly Opened ARTery Path Extends Beerline

Published August 25, 2015
From Urban Milwaukee

Local elected officials gathered yesterday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of the Beerline Trail extension. The extension adds a 10-foot wide asphalt trail to the Beerline Trail where there once was just a dirt path and is meant to encourage non-motorized transportation like walking, bicycling, and more (motorized wheelchairs and assistive scooters are allowed). The 0.67 mile long trail stretches from North Richards Street (just north of the intersection on E. Keefe Ave. and N Richards St.), through the railroad bridge over East Capitol Drive, and to a cul-de-sac just north of the railroad bridge. The trail connects the Harambee and Riverwest neighborhoods.

The trail is part of a larger space known as the ARTery, an “art park” that was home to Vedale Hill’s “Hoop Dreams” art project last year. The ARTery has taken over land that was once a railroad providing transportation for breweries, hence the Beerline name. After its decline, the area became “a hub for graffiti, drugs, and many shady things,” as Hill has noted. But now the area is open to public performances to any group in the area and is home to a performance space, sculptures, and many signs indicating the area has been reclaimed. In recent years, the park has hosted a variety of events meant to engage the community, including potluck dinners, open mic nights, musical and dance performances, mural painting and trivia games.

Dasha Kelly, Creative Consultant and Director of Still Waters Collective, said the project used community feedback to develop the activities and infrastructure that will go into the park. They invited the business community, arts community and residents to engage in different activities and events to envision how to make a space “that would be relevant to their everyday lives,” Kelly said. At last year’s summer music series here, Kelly noted, “people were amazed they were able to come together on this once abandoned space and not feel abandoned as themselves, abandoned as a network and abandoned as a voice.”

As part of the project, the group is not only developing the trail but also doing community development with the different businesses within the neighborhood.

The ARTery is part of the Creational Trails effort, which aims to “activate spaces as a means of encouraging acceptance and growth of the cultural diversity in Milwaukee,” according to its website. The project was initially funded using half of a $350,000 grant from ArtPlace America (which also funded other projects in Milwaukee). The ARTery project is led by the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative, and is managed by a non-profit organization called Beintween. The railroad property was bought by the city from a private owner before trail construction.

Read the full article here.

 

Community celebrates Beerline Trail extension

Published August 25, 2015
From the Neighborhood News Service

City officials and community leaders officially opened the extension of the Beerline Trail, part of a former railroad line that historically served the brewing industry. The abandoned rail right-of-way is now a multi-use trail for walking, running, biking and skating. The extension is at the north end of the existing Beerline Trail, which goes through the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods. The project is the result of a partnership between the City of Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC), the Riverworks Development Corp., the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative, MKE<->LAX, beintween and other arts, cultural and community organizations.

Check out the slideshow here.

Ribbon cut for extension to Beerline Trail; now open for walkers, runners and bikers

Published August 24, 2015
From Fox 6

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee’s Beerline Trail is now open for walkers, runners and bikers.

The ribbon was cut on Monday, August 24th on the extension for the Beerline Trail.

This project is the result of a partnership between the city of Milwaukee and a number of community organizations.

The Beerline Trail is a former railroad line that historically served the brewing industry.

The extension runs through the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods.

“Let’s make it a space that the community can use, so we worked with some of the property owners along the way, with a paramount concern about security to make sure people could have access into and out of the path and how do we bring the neighborhood together and what you’re seeing today is a culmination of all that work,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Read the story and view the video here.

Newly opened ARTery path extends Milwaukee’s Beerline Trail

Published August 24, 2015
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A former rail corridor that had become a dumping ground for trash and old tires between the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods was celebrated Monday as a new extension of the City of Milwaukee’s Beerline Trail.

The modest, 10-foot-wide asphalt path runs two-thirds of a mile from the intersection of N. Richards St. and E. Keefe Ave. north to Capitol Drive and is appropriate for walking, biking, running, skateboarding, motorized wheelchairs and scooters.

The cost of the trail extension was $1,141,915, about 80% of which came from a federal program designed to promote non-car transportation alternatives. The property was purchased by the City of Milwaukee from a private owner.

The site was identified as a possible linear park by community organizer Keith Hayes a few years ago. Last summer, long before the area was paved, cooking classes, poetry readings, drumming, dance performances and unique game shows were staged in the space, which Hayes had dubbed the ARTery.

A year of additional programming will begin on the heels of Riverworks Week, Sept. 15-19, organized by artists Dasha Kelly and Brad Pruitt, among others. The Riverworks Business Improvement District calls the area “Milwaukee’s creative district” and is working to attract more creative businesses and projects.

The site has attracted two national placemaking grants. The Greater Milwaukee Committee was awarded $724,500 from the Kresge Foundation last year. Half of those funds have been spent on community organizing, planning and implementing of arts programs. ArtPlace America, a consortium of national and regional foundations and banks that works with the National Endowment for the Arts and other federal agencies, awarded $350,000 to the GMC in 2013, half of which was invested in the ARTery.

Read the full article here.

Beerline Trail extension opens in Milwaukee

Published August 24, 2015
From TMJ4

MILWAUKEE — A former railroad line that once served Milwaukee’s booming beer industry is getting a second run as a recreational trail.

The Beerline Trail is being extended through the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods. Not only will it serve walkers, runners, bikers, but it will support businesses along the trail.

Community leaders gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday morning.

“Let’s recapture our public spaces,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “And let’s use them for families, let’s use them for people who want to get out for recreation, let’s do it in the safest way possible.”

Check out the full story and video here.

 

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