Creative Placemaking

GMC gets $724,500 from Kresge Foundation for placemaking

Published December 2, 2014
From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Greater Milwaukee Committee has been awarded a $724,500 grant from the Kresge Foundation for the continuation of a placemaking project along a former rail corridor between Riverwest and Harambee called the artery.

The Kresge funds were awarded to the GMC, which is working with the group beintween, Riverworks Development Corporation, Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative, the City of Milwaukee and artist and consultant Sara Daleiden.

It is the second significant grant for the project. Last year, ArtPlace America awarded a $350,000 grant for the artery and another art-related project along W. Wisconsin Ave.

Read the full article here.


GMC Wins $724,500 Grant to Help City

Published December 1, 2014
From Urban Milwaukee

The Greater Milwaukee Committee has won a $724,500 grant from the Kresge Foundation to combine arts installations and activities with economic development in the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods, GMC president Julia Taylor announced today. “It’s a very exciting opportunity for Milwaukee,” she says.

The grant builds on the $350,000 ArtPlace America grant the GMC previously won for its “Creational Trails” project, which created temporary art installations and a night market on W. Wisconsin Ave. and began development of the Artery, a one-mile long park and bicycle trail along an abandoned railroad track just north of Keefe Ave. that runs through the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods. About half of the $350,000 ArtPlace grant went to the Artery and the entire Kresge grant of $724,500 will go to the project, too.

“It will be used to grow the Artery and do economic development in the area as well,” Taylor says. “Especially for the Harambee neighborhood, which is one the most economically depressed areas in the city.”

In addition to all the foundation grant money, Taylor notes, “the city has invested close to $1 million for the Artery trail.”

Read the full article here.


City Leaders Plot New Urban Placemaking Effort

From Urban Milwaukee
Published September 9, 2014

Back in March, I wrote that the Greater Milwaukee Committee had been awarded an Art Place America grant for “Urban Placemaking” with support of the Kresge Foundation.Following the grant, an evening urban market was held on W. Wisconsin Ave., and the Artery, a “Creational Trail” along old railroad tracks bridging in Harambee, is being developed.

The Kresge folks liked what they saw, and invited the GMC to apply for further funding to continue to develop the Artery, GMC president Julia Taylor said. The GMC will also form a Placemaking Committee to guide its efforts.

The city will add a 2.1 mile extension of the trail in 2015, and big plans are in store for Walker’s Point, Taylor said during a panel at the group’s monthly membership luncheon at the University Club Monday. Her remarks are further evidence that the relatively new concept of urban placemaking is here to stay, and is bringing change to “disinvested neighborhoods” nationwide.

In fact, the “Milwaukee Method” is being adopted in other cities as a model for placemaking, Taylor said.


Read the full article here.

Creative Placemaking Forum

Creative Placemaking ForumWednesday, April 16, 2014
Turner Hall
Program: 2:45-6:00 p.m.
Networking: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Register and get more info here

Please join us for a forum on creative placemaking featuring local and national case studies hosted by the Greater Milwaukee Committee, in partnership with Creative Alliance Milwaukee and the Mandel Group, Inc.

Featured speakers include:

  • Omar Blaik, U3 Advisors
  • Adam Carr
  • Alice Carle, Kresge Foundation
  • Lyz Crane, ArtPlace America
  • Kimberly Driggins, District of Columbia Office of Planning
  • Michael Fleming, Upper St. Clair Development Corporation
  • Ellen Gilligan, Greater Milwaukee Foundation
  • Marilyn Higgins, SALT District Syracuse NY
  • Neil Hoffman, MIAD
  • Darryl Johnson, Riverworks
  • Dasha Kelly, Still Water Collective
  • Barry Mandel, Mandel Group
  • Polly Morris, Milwaukee Arts Board
  • Michael Murphy, Milwaukee Common Council
  • Donna Neuwirth, Wormfarm Institute

To learn more about the principles of creative placemaking, please click here for a video put together by the Kresge Foundation.

Community Partners

  • Arts Wisconsin
  • City of Milwaukee – Mayor’s Office
  • Creative Alliance Milwaukee
  • Greater Milwaukee Committee
  • INOVA (Institute of Visual Arts) – UWM
  • LISC
  • Mandel Group, Inc.
  • Milwaukee Artist Resource Network
  • UEDA
  • Urban Ecology Center
  • WAM-DC

West Wisconsin Ave.: Call for Placemakers

‘Creational Trails

Project Update: West Wisconsin Ave.

In the past month, we have been working extensively on building a vision for placemaking in Milwaukee, as well as coordinating with over 25 organizations involved in the first steps of our project. The public call for two to four ideas to activate the space along Wisconsin Ave. through placemaking has launched; this process is called Tournavation.

Tournavation is a crowd-sourced pitch platform to garner community buy-in, spark creative ideas and host a culminating community event with ten finalists. Two to four ideas will be selected in a “shark tank” social event to encourage dialogue, debate and a collusion of people that want to better the city of Milwaukee through art placemaking.

Three Recent Wins:

1)      The successful building and launch of the Creational Trails website
2)      The buy-in from a major university and civic task force for the West Wisconsin Ave. Tents project that involves pioneering public space and allocating a possible white-box grant for a startup DIY Bike Café
3)      The selection and confirmation of five distinguished jurors for the Tournavation process


New Insights:

The notion of “social” is often overlooked in conversations about urban planning, development, and art. With the rise of social media connecting people online, most millennials are actually using it to organize offline. By focusing on the social component of placemaking events and programming, it opens the door for more collisions and opportunity to build deeper collaboration.

The focus on social: furniture, events, opportunities, transit and art is a large focus for the Wisconsin Ave. ‘Creational Trails initiative. By creating an art program that is highly social, it leads to more conversations about the marketing of art, funding of art and a deeper drive for self-art education. It also takes the pretentiousness out of art and allows a pathway to deeper understanding of its value to the community and to the public.

How can temporary activities have a permanent effect on place?

Temporary activities lead to ownership of an area of town and can create tradition. Once you are able to create an experience, it creates a memory. Once you create a memory, you create a story. In the hands of a social organizer and/or a storyteller, you create a word of mouth message that triggers organic movements and growth.

Activation of space through the arts is an important investment and value of a space. When creating a space fueled by the arts, buy-in happens. A key learning is not to rely on just one medium of art. By recognizing all arts as important to the growth of a space, you can spur performances, culinary food carts, live music and film, which put a stamp on a space as a place that values community. If the community values a space, development follows. Where development goes, often, larger development happens. The key is to foster multiple uses of the space, having a flexible vision that nurtures the arts and, in turn, develops the community.


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