Creational Trails

The Greater Milwaukee Committee

Funding Received: 2013
Milwaukee, WI
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
April 15, 2014

Call for Performance Ideas at All People’s Church, 02.22.14

We’d like to think that Creational Trails is starting to become a household term in Milwaukee or at the very least placemaking is, as it becomes a regular part of the city’s dialogue. After a number of alignments and relationships sparked by the discourse around cultural assets, this process is operating at a number of scales. This effort, led by the Greater Milwaukee Committee and project consultant Sara Daleiden, has generated a task force including city officials, local organizations, business owners, and residents who want to continue investing in these two geographies as models towards a more comprehensive citywide plan beyond 2014.

In early February, the Call for Performance Ideas for the artery brought in 116 submissions. After much deliberation, 55 of these proposals were selected to give a 3-minute audition on February 22nd at All People’s Church in Harambee. After 6 hours of auditions, the jury selected the top 20. The broad set of ideas for how to perform in public included everything from a lemonade and face painting stand to a paint by balloon/local trivia mural. The submissions represented not only a diverse range of cultural and typology, but also age. The top 20 finalists were awarded a cash prize of $500 for their ideas.


Diagrams of program with streets overlaid and proposed trail extension at the artery, 03.11.14

In tandem with this structure, the City of Milwaukee has been diligent in its plans for extending the Beerline Trail in Spring 2015, as well as exploring park infrastructure and related development in the Riverworks area. The longer-range vision planning around this future park will incorporate the wishes of the adjacent community and honor the significant history of the rail line. Conversations around this vision planning for the artery are also including the Milwaukee Arts Board, following a recent board meeting where Creational Trails served as a platform for a broader discussion on the relevance of creative placemaking in Milwaukee. The growing alignment with the local municipal government as core collaborators for the Avenue and the artery pilots for ways other neighborhoods in the city can coalesce through public-private relationship building


I CAN 2 LABS under construction at former American Motors Company, 03.12.14

beintween is continuing to make (art) do (work) at I CAN 2 LABS, which is under construction at an incredible industrial warehouse adjacent to the artery. Thanks to shared resources, a collective effort to transform a shipping container into a creative learning environment is nearly complete. Among those that have helped to author the realization of this model are the MCR Group, the Milwaukee Building Trades, CG Schmidt, Home Depot, Wallace Tree and Landscaping, Big Step, Freedom by Design, Troy Diburgo, and a host of volunteers.

Recent Wins
-- Creative Placemaking Forum, to occur on April 16, will feature local and national case studies presented by Lyz Crane (ArtPlace America), Alice Carle (Kresge Foundation), Donna Neuwirth (Wormfarm Institute), Michael Fleming (St. Clair Superior Development Corporation), Marilyn Higgins (SALT District Syracuse), and Kimberly Driggins (District of Columbia Office of Planning).

-- The devotion and investment of the Greater Milwaukee Committee and Mandel Group in Sara Daleiden, a project consultant and mentor on both Creational Trails, whose national leadership in cultural networking has stimulated critical alignments in Milwaukee.

-- A community Q&A session for the artery call, which evolved into a discussion about opportunities the artery can provide as both as a cultural landscape, as well as a creative forum to engage and embrace community driven solutions together.

We’re learning about the profound role of dialogue and trust towards generative relationships: not what is done, but how a task is accomplished—in other words, the fundamentals of placemaking, which favors process over product. The potential to be inclusive in process has engaged a number of individual’s capacities to collaborate and transform long-term challenges into real opportunities. It has enabled a number of partners to identify ways to channel their own instincts and contribute toward a collective vision. Also, Chakaia Booker, internationally reknown sculptor, urged the Creational Trail team to invest in craft, and “keep going.”