Creational Trails

The Greater Milwaukee Committee

Funding Received: 2013
Milwaukee, WI
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
January 24, 2014

Resources, relationships, creativity transform waste into shoebox stages + seating to support the Call for Performance Ideas @ the artery

Creational Trails has been met with a number of challenges over the course of an especially cold Milwaukee winter. Having reassessed and refined our process, the team has set forth a number of new targets and a budget for 2014.


After a number of neighborhood presentations, commissioned pieces along the artery have been identified to compliment the Call for Performance Ideas (submissions are being accepted until February 7th at 5:00 p.m.). beintween is now setting up contracts with artisans and specialists whose body of work can transform these concepts into a schematic design in order to begin fabrication of the different components and siting for the pieces can be identified within the next two months. One will provide seating and continue to rid the neighborhood of used tires to create an amphitheater on site.

A very pro-active outreach strategy has been set forth to help develop localized interest in this non-place. Outreach for getting this call deeper into the community is supported by 4 strong community leaders and organizers. The team has also invested in Milwaukee community hero, Tyrone Dumas, and shero, Dasha Kelly, whose leadership is assisting not only with the call, but with the consultation, coordination, and facilitation of two the artery’s major goals through the spring opening of ICAN 2 LABS and the summer series of Performances Ideas.


Beyond the social value of placemaking, beintween is committed to its spatial relationship to the site, and the long range visioning for the artery, the overground trailroad. Coordination is underway with the City who will extend the Beerline trail 2/3 of mile in spring 2015. Despite a missed opportunity to apply this vision and parallel initial investment from ArtPlace with the Milwaukee Arts Board through the National Endowment for the Arts 2014 Our Town grant, we are actively seeking additional partnerships to engage more artisans in the activation of both the artery and The Avenue.

Recent Wins
Donation of triple wide shipping container facility by Zach Felknor of Milwaukee Intermodal Transit which will be repurposed to create ICAN 2 LABS, and two shoebox theaters for summer performance series. Completion of “inside the box” community workshops ; participants spanning 50 years of age, leading to design of ICAN 2 LABS. Special thanks to Flux Design, Milwaukee Enterprise Center, and American Design. Two major collaborators and outreach coordinators on board: Dasha Kelly, Tyrone Dumas, Hyrom Leon-Quartez Stokes + Erika Wolf


Projects setbacks are often what spur creative thinking, promote innovation, and build relationships. Lily Yeh, whose international practice in community building through art Barefoot Artist, shared upon a recent trip to Milwaukee, “You have to remember, your journey is like that of train engineer: though you know your track and your destination, there will be delays and unexpected stops along the way; also be aware that those who get on and off the train may not share the same vision but are each an important part of your journey and job as the engineer.”