Creational Trails

The Greater Milwaukee Committee

Funding Received: 2013
Milwaukee, WI
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
July 26, 2013

‘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…

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 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.