Riverworks Development Corporation has partnered with Artists Working in Education, Inc. (A.W.E.) to engage neighborhood youth in transforming a Tot Lot into a superhero hide out. Youth have been working alongside A.W.E. Satellite Studio lead artist Jasmine West, assistant artists Michaela Murry and Kailee Evans, high school intern Nia Wilson, Riverworks Neighborhood Ambassadors and numerous CarMax volunteers on the Harambee Superheroes project. Community members are invited to the celebration and unveiling of artwork on Friday, July 10th, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., at the 1st & Keefe Tot Lot, 109 E. Keefe Ave.
“The art project is a catalyst to our ongoing community development relationship with the The CarMax Foundation, working together to make this neighborhood better.” said Darryl Johnson, Executive Director. “It creates social connections, impacts the neighborhood aesthetics and celebrates art and culture in the Harambee community. The project is part of a bigger initiative that RDC is partnering with the Greater Milwaukee Committee around Creative Placemaking in the area”
This community art project teaches youth that everyone can be a superhero, and asks, “As a superhero, how will you help Milwaukee become a better city?” Through creative thinking, art making and teamwork, the artists and youth are painting and creating all the elements for the top secret hide-out, from a mission control station to superhero vehicles. In the process, they have considered questions such as, “What superhero powers do I have that can help my neighborhood?” and, “How will I change the world today?” When youth aren’t turning the planter benches into superhero vehicles, they’re decorating their own superhero capes and making power-up amulets (aka rocks covered in glitter). Youth are also creating and painting portraits of their sidekicks, some of which will be displayed permanently at the site.
“The park just keeps getting better and this free art program gives youth an opportunity to work with artists and create art for the park,” shared Ali Carlucci, A.W.E. Program Director. “They’re making a big visual and playful impact, by turning almost every piece of furniture into something that promotes imagination and exploration.
The project began June 29th and runs through July 10th.
This project would not be possible without the support of CarMax, Milwaukee Arts Board, Burning Man, MPS Partnership for the Arts, MPS Arts Internship Program, Riverworks Development Corporation, Keefe Avenue Safety Task Force, Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative and Greater Milwaukee Committee.