Urban Alchemy began a dialogue to address racial inequality, separation, segregation, brokenness, poverty, lack of community-driven solutions, disempowerment, isolation in Milwaukee. It engaged residents in connecting through public art to heal and create as well as participate in a process within a unique environment that bridges neighborhoods. Urban Alchemy involved two phases, both included day long workshops and installations underneath the Holton Street Viaduct. In addition to the activation of this space, connections and relationships were produced between a core group of artists, a network of community members , led by a renowned international artist whose lifelong practice has enabled public art to bring people together and create harmony in places often underlooked. This two phase process included many planning and reflection meetings which has fortified relationships with five local artists who have also supported the community and cultural development of the artery.
funding: ArtPlace America, Greater Milwaukee Foundation Mary L. Nohl Grant, City of Milwaukee Neighborhood Development Improvement Corporation, Greater Milwaukee Synod
in kind: shop rental, corrugated sheets, timbers, hula hoops
partners: Barefoot Artists, Playback Theater, MKE-LAX, Greater Milwaukee Synod, US Corrugated, BIG MPG, All People’s Church, Tamarack Waldorf School, Cass Street School, Brady Street BID, City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works, La Lune Collection
materials: corrugated, ribbon, tape, ink, photo paper, pvc, hose, buckets, extension cords, light bulbs, basket, concrete, timbers, twigs, acrylic, spray paint
installation: 10/04/2014 (phase I) + 11/15/2014 (phase II)
project team: Lily Yeh, Keith Hayes, Rhonda Hill, Ashley Oberst, Sara Daleiden, Tia Richardson, Gabrielle Tesfaye, Fonde Bridges, Mikal Floyd-Pruitt, Vedale Hill, Willie Fields, Rob Zdanowski, Mitch Branscombe, 30+ community members urban alchemy