Artist In Residence
I love the fact that I get to work with experienced and professional artists that leave an impact on me as a new artist.
- Nicole, age 16
MPS Intern

AWE’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program provides opportunities to engage youth in making decisions about land use, public space, and neighborhood revitalization through the creation of public art within their neighborhoods. Thriving neighborhoods are those where people have a sense of agency to make real change. Together, We Create inclusive & collaborative public art projects that align youth driven planning with broader community goals. Projects may create neighborhood infrastructure, contribute to neighborhood beautification, or tell a story about a pertinent community issue through public art.

Why Public Art?

Public art has the ability to bring the arts into people’s everyday lives, brighten blighted blocks and inspire a new vision of what is possible when we think creatively. These factors demonstrate the ability of the arts to shift perceptions, create identity and inspire us as individuals and as a collective.

Why Youth?

AWE believes in enhancing the potential of young people, and providing access to arts-rich experiences to cultivate community. Research shows students from low-income families participating in arts-rich experiences were three times more likely to earn their bachelor’s degree than those with low arts exposure.*

*The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies, from the National Endowment for the Arts

What We Do

Creative Partners! AIR programs include project management and hire more than 20 local professional and emerging artists annually to work with 6th – 12th grade students, in schools and youth-serving community settings. Programs run year round, during the school day, after school hours and summer.

5×3 Projects

Operated by the Artist in Residence program, the 5×3 projects began in 2016 as a means to provide opportunities for youth of color in Milwaukee to create public art alongside a team of professional artists in five target neighborhoods over the course of three years.

Learn More


AIR Artists are assisted by an emerging artist or team up with another professional artist to teach multi-disciplinary projects combining visual art with topics such as creative writing, the sciences and performance based art. Artists also design field trips as inspiration or that reinforce project themes, and include places like Redline Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee Makerspace, the Milwaukee Art Museum and Lynden Sculpture Garden. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified of job announcements.


The Artist-in-Residence program hires local professional and emerging artists and art educators to work collaboratively with youth to create large-scale public artwork. Ideal Lead Artist candidates have prior experience working with youth, creating large-scale +/or public artwork and reside in or have a relationship with the neighborhood where the project is taking place.


Apply for any of the following positions...