Creative Placemaking

‘Creational Trails Update

‘Creational Trails

‘Creational Trails is a network of improv(is)ed spaces projecting identity through light and sound to activate spaces as a means of breaking down barriers in Milwaukee. The trails will activate two linear pathways to connect neighborhoods that are divided by physical, racial and economic barriers by installing interactive light and sound art pieces in residual spaces, turning them into safe, walkable and bikeable destinations. ‘Creational Trails also seeks to provide amenities such as bike lanes, cafe seating, edible landscaping, pop-up businesses and lighting.

Update and a new partnership

We continue to “live” in the planning stages for our project, but all the pieces are slowly coming together!  The team has been a part of conversations with the City and other key partners in order to begin laying down the foundation to make the project successful. One of the key pieces we have identified has been a partnership with arts advocate and consultant, Sara Daleiden, who we are thrilled to have joining the ‘Creational Trails team.

Based both in Milwaukee and Los Angeles, Daleiden, through her agency s(o)ul, focuses on cultural production and exchange through the creation of social interactions in developing landscapes. With a background in arts, education, and advocacy, Sara will help us to navigate the relationships and spaces around each of the trail sites, along with assisting in the curation of the art pieces to be featured on the trails. A definite “win” in our books!

Daleiden had the opportunity to visit the Artery and West Wisconsin Ave this week, so we decided to sit down with her get some of her initial thoughts on the project and its two unique sites. Here is Daleiden’s first impression:

“Let’s start with West Wisconsin Ave, an eclectic space with a lot of history of development and many layering pockets of success. I want us to think about what we can do to help create a flow throughout downtown by utilizing what already exists and giving it meaning. We can focus on perforating the spine of this main street to consider connections to other nearby cultural assets…

Image via Sean Ryan, BizJournal

The Artery is a tunnel of a different form; its urban nature, a wild space that is a product of industry transportation. I love the history of the Beerline and what it meant for Milwaukee. Ultimately, there are sensitive social conditions in the neighborhoods surrounding the Artery that will take careful thought in how we suggest to use the space.


left image: Heather Hall; right image: flickr itrsports

We have the opportunity to model how the city can invest in what it hasn’t always known how to; creating a partnership to continue to activate spaces throughout the community….”

Next Steps

On July 15th, we are hosting our first information session for the creative arts community of Milwaukee. We hope to get their feedback on our initial ideas for place-making along the two sites. Their feedback will help to guide the team as we develop a process for selection, production, and installment of the temporary artwork. At the core of ‘Creational Trails is community. Although each site has its own unique identity, we believe in continuing to make this project a collaborative effort.

Civic leaders push Wisconsin Avenue plan

From The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee
Published July 5, 2013

Many of Milwaukee’s civic and political leaders were out of range for two days last week as they brainstormed ideas and action steps for the struggling West Wisconsin Avenue downtown.

And while participants aren’t revealing many details of what was discussed, several said it was a productive session that could result in real change for the neighborhood.

The event was organized by the West Wisconsin Avenue Workgroup appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett and led by Milwaukee attorney Stephen Chernof. The group privately raised more than $100,000, less than it originally planned to spend, to hire consulting firm Marble Leadership Partners Inc., Chicago.

“Wisconsin Avenue is sort of like a living room in some ways to the city,” said Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. “How do we make sure that our living room is inviting as possible?”

For the full article, please click here.

 

‘Creational Trails: Introduction

‘Creational Trails: A Placemaking Experience in Milwaukee

With a nod to the many gorgeous recreational trails throughout Milwaukee, our project ‘Creational Trails creates a network of improv(is)ed spaces, projecting identity through light and sound to activate spaces as a means of breaking down barriers in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee is one of the most racially segregated cities in the country. In the predominantly African-American area of Harambee, some residents need to go down a steep foot path and then cross six lanes of traffic to reach the Riverworks Center retail area, which is a more Caucasian and successful middle-class neighborhood.

The Artery, a two-thirds of a mile linear trail connecting the Riverworks Center to Harambee, is home to an abandoned rail corridor that today is used as a dumping site for construction debris, auto tires and old televisions.

West Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee is a strip in the heart of the city that serves three communities with little interaction: business professionals commuting downtown for work, downtown and central city residents, and students from Marquette University who rarely venture east of their campus. The neighborhood’s woes are a problem for the entire region as Milwaukee tries to attract more business, conventions and visitors and create perceptions about safety and vibrancy. The Delta Center is the city’s main convention facility on West Wisconsin Avenue and many of the downtown hotels and entertainment facilities are concentrated nearby.

Our project ‘Creational Trails will activate these two linear pathways to connect neighborhoods that are divided by physical, racial and economic barriers by installing interactive light and sound art pieces in residual spaces, turning them into safe, walkable and bikeable destinations. ‘Creational Trails also seeks to provide amenities such as bike lanes, cafe seating, edible landscaping, pop-up businesses and lighting.

The project will be led by us, Greater Milwaukee Committee’s MiKE initiative, and managed by local organizations, Art Milwaukee and Beintween. We are also working closely with Riverworks Development Corporation, the City of Milwaukee, the West Wisconsin Avenue Task Force and dozens of other community leaders.

To kick-off the project, we held a press conference in May to announce the ArtPlace America award and present the ‘Creational Trails project to the larger community for the first time.

Mayor Tom Barrett weighed in on the importance of this project stating, “Creating flourishing places has the potential to generate additional innovation and economic activity, which broadly benefits the entire community…this project will be a real catalyst to energize many of the existing initiatives in these two locations.”

For more, check out the ‘Creational Trails ArtPlace blog here: http://www.artplaceamerica.org/articles/creational-trails/

Greater Milwaukee Committee Receives $350,000 Grant from ArtPlace America

Grant will fund art projects to connect and animate communities in Harambee, West Wisconsin Avenue

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – (May 20, 2013) – ArtPlace America announces today the award of a $350,000 grant to the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative for ‘Creational Trails, a new program in Milwaukee. ‘Creational Trails was chosen from over 1,200 applications as an exceptional example of creative placemaking.

Read more here: http://innovationinmilwaukee.com/greater-milwaukee-committee-receives-350000-grant-from-artplace-america/

ArtPlace Interim Director Jeremy Nowak speaks while Mayor Tom Barrett and GMC President Julia Taylor look on

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