Promoting Youth Leadership: 5×3 Update

Neu-Life Community Development teens preparing to interview lead artists

The 2017 5×3 Artist in Residence programs have officially launched! This year we’re working with teens from Neu Life Community Development (Lindsay Heights), La Luz Del Mundo Family Services (Clarke Square), COA Holton Teen Center (Harambee), Our Next Generation High School Connection (Washington Park) and Escuela Verde (Silver City).

The groups have been meeting with artist facilitator Katie Loughmiller, Program Assistant Gabriela Riveros and Community Organizers from each neighborhood to discuss social justice themes, resident engagement, site selection and have interviewed artists to work with them on the design and creation of a public art piece.  The teens have hired a talented group of artists to partner with them on the projects including Jenie Gao, Gabrielle Tesfaye, Anwar Floyd-Pruitt, and George Jones.

“I’m excited because I’m glad to actually make something that a lot of people will see and take pictures with. I’m glad to be working with George because I’ve never worked with an artist like this before. We want the community to be peaceful and clean, and we’re going to help make that happen with this project.”Amenah Crosby, age 13, Escuela Verde, 2017 5×3 participant.

Topics the teens have chosen this year include environmental justice and sustainability, food security, gun violence and a neighborhood’s cultural history and identity.

The 5×3 Artist in Residence programs invite Milwaukee youth to experience the entire process of creating public art. They reflect on issues facing them and their community, consult with key decision makers in their neighborhoods and decide on an issue to inform their project. They then interview and hire a professional lead artist, collectively form a concept for their project, and get to work creating it. The real magic happens when youth see the impact that public art can have on a community, when they take pride in their message and their contribution to their community.

5×3’s are funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Racial Equity and Inclusion grant, MPS Partnership for the Arts and Humanities, Milwaukee Arts Board through the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, the Herzfeld Foundation, the Zilber Family Foundation, and the Mary L. Nohl Fund.