Creational Trails

The Greater Milwaukee Committee

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

Creational Trails is already making a place in the creative minds and industrious nature of Milwaukeeans. In the past month, we’ve learned that many people are now seeking a definition of what it means to combine the two terms “place” and “making.” The “Journal Sentinel,” one of our local papers, is now endorsing this term as public knowledge when they recently compiled an analysis of existing placemaking efforts and documented these efforts through maps and diagrams. The Milwaukee Arts Board is considering an alliance with the Greater Milwaukee Committee and beintween to partner on a project for 2014 Our Town funding, made available by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Call for Placemakers on The Avenue has just wrapped up with 160 responses, the last 60 of which came within the last 24 hours of the deadline. Those who responded to the $50K call are varied in team size and represent a broad array of creative professionals.

The Call for Performance Ideas on the artery has been refined a multiple times in consultation with local artists and is set to launch this week. This call will select the Top 20 Best Performance Ideas by a juried talent show on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This call has set aside $40K to host an Idea performance every single week throughout summer 2014.

Commissioned pieces at the artery have been reviewed by an extremely talented group of artists; those installations have evolved into proposals, which are less subversive and more interactive to expand the definition of stage. These proposals, such as lighting elements imagined from inverted trees (shown above), a horizontal band of art stretching several thousand feet, as well as a large bicycle sculpture, and an amphitheater, are designed to support these performances,

In addition to these elements, beintween has already two feet on the ground, having completed its first spatial + social community experimental piece at the artery, a permeable geo-textile known as matireal. Over 1,200 tires were repurposed from 7 local garages to create a 300’ long trail with the support of over 50 different individuals over the past 6 months. This has opened up an old overpass to bridge a community gap across the Capitol Drive. Next are plans to transform a shipping container inside and out with an atelier educational model for youth known as ICAN 2 LABS, now located on the artery (shown below).

Nov Blog_Pic2

Volunteers all pulled together to fabricate, install, and backfill the first matireal trailroad, allowing pedestrians to access to and over the bridge.

Recent Wins
-- The activation of the creative community in attracting 160 ideas to the Call for Placemakers for West Wisconsin Avenue.

-- The communication between local organizations and civic leaders is appropriating the term art, even expanding its definition, to incorporate its’ creative and competitive notions to connect people to places.

-- The completion of the first ever matireal trailroad, which has become a catalyst to create a number of strategic alliances that are considering the social, environmental, and economic impacts of place making.

Potential through Collaboration: The right people collaborating, in this case the City, the Milwaukee Arts Board, and the Greater Milwaukee Committee, can leverage an incredible amount of place through the arts, and so too, arts through a place.