88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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"The Neighborhood Project": Harambee | Reynaldo Hernandez

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Listen: If you've been around the city of Milwaukee for any length of time, you've likely seen one of Reynaldo Hernandez's murals, whether you know it or not. His most visible murals are probably the Inner City Arts Council mural on North Avenue and his Esperanza Unida mural on 6th and National, but you can find his work all over the city and state. Today, Reynaldo's studio is in the Milwaukee Enterprise Center, a small business incubator near MLK Jr. Drive in the Harambee neighborhood. Additionally, Reynaldo has been working with the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative to work with youth as well as bring Milwaukee's Gallery Night to their neck of the woods. And apart from his experiences in the Harambee neighborhood, Reynaldo's personal story is pretty interesting: [audio=1] In this first piece, Reynaldo discusses how painting a mural on the side of a nightclub in Harambee (the image just above), jump started his career in community art and murals: [audio=3]Since Reynaldo has had extensive experience in Harambee, I asked him to share some of his impressions of the neighborhood: [audio=3] Total sidetrack. This is a fun job. I get to talk to a lot of amazing people that do exceptional things. Case in point -- while I was chatting with Reynaldo, the conversation veered towards a side-business he has with his children: [audio=4] He's a world class caricature artist! Why not have him do mine? Reynaldo got out some supplies and I set the microphone down on the table next to us. The result was outstanding (see below) and just as Reynaldo started drawing, I hit the record button on my microphone to record our conversation: [audio=5] Hopefully, Reynaldo will be into the 88Nine studios soon to do the whole staff. How wonderful is that? Want to learn more about Harambee? You can start at the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative blog. You can also check out the Harambee Connection section of the Riverwest Current. Produced by: Adam Carr