Neu-Life Community Development teens began working in January of this year to create a public art project. They talked about different issues they saw in the community and decided to do their project on the topic of joyriding in stolen vehicles. Car theft committed by youth has been on the rise in Milwaukee, often resulting in fatalities. The teens chose artists Ammar Nsoroma and Dario Allen to help realize their creative vision. Together, they learned more about the topic through a session with Safe & Sound’s, Derrick Shoates.
The mural will be a memorial honoring victims of stolen car crashes in Milwaukee. They want the mural to be the last memorial that has to be made. Through this project, they hope to create change by spreading the message that everyone in the community is affected by joy-riding. Neighborhood resident, Renaldo Johnson, is hopeful that the project’s message and the Neu-Life Community Development teens’ presence will be a good influence on youth in the neighborhood, calling the project “a powerful statement.” Dejah Brown, a participant, shares, “We want to let them know that we care. We care about everybody’s life.”
Neu-Life Community Development teens will host a community sharing and painting session on the topic of joy-riding in stolen vehicles. Community members are encouraged to participate in the conversation, the painting of the mural, and learn more about prevention. The event will take place on Thursday, August 18 from 5-6pm at the corner of 19th & Meineke. Artists Working in Education, Inc. (A.W.E.) has partnered with Neu-Life Community Development, Safe & Sound, and artists, Ammar Nsoroma and Dario Allen to create a public mural.
“Stop the Stolies” is one of five 5×3 projects A.W.E. will unveil in five neighborhoods this year as a part of its Artist in Residence program. A.W.E. 5×3 projects challenge teens to identify and address an issue that matters to them through large-scale public artwork. Through the projects, youth gain an understanding of the public art process, talk to key decision makers in their neighborhoods and present their ideas to the wider community. The artists and youth learn from each other and work together, sharing input that shapes the final product.
This project is funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Racial Equity and Inclusion grant, MPS Partnership for the Arts and Humanities. Special thanks to Derrick Shoates of Safe & Sound for your work on this project.