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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

TypeFace project installs public art

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  • Volunteers install a huge free library in a vacant lot near Tuetonia and Center.
  • Baylor stocks the artwork with books, which are freely available to the public.
  • Storyteller and 88nine alum Adam Carr.

Milwaukee has four new pieces of installation art, in four neighborhoods around the city.

The project is called TypeFace, the brainchild of local artist Reginald Baylor and storyteller Adam Carr.  It makes use of underused and abandoned properties by converting them to highly visible, artistic expressions.

The installations are now in place in Burnham Park, Sherman Park, Lindsey Heights, and Harambee.

Inspiration for the artwork came from real conversations.  Carr collected hundreds of hours of audio over the summer, asking people who live in the neighborhoods for their perspectives, stories, and memories.  

Those conversations were then transcribed, and the text was used in each piece of artwork.  The result is a genuine, unvarnished, and honest representation of urban Milwaukee, and each piece reflects the unique character of the neighborhood.

Funding for the project came the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, which awarded TypeFace with a $50,000 grant.  Additional funds were donated by local groups such as Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Zilber Family Foundation, the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Helen Bader Foundation, and the Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation.

TypeFace has a companion website, which includes photography from the project as well as raw audio from Carr's interviews.

Click the above podcast player to hear from Carr and Baylor.