Refoundation was a sequence of three annual summer workshops in Milwaukee’s Melvina neighborhood park field. In the shadow of the long-closed A.O. Smith auto factory, the triangular park site was known for prostitution and gambling, even in a family area with many kids. Working with youth, elders, and civic organizations the project explored themes of home and neighborhood history and articulated future visions of the site.
An on-site trailer and storage pod hosted open hours for sculpture building, photography, painting, interviews, play, and conversations. The workshops culminated in installation-based exhibitions and celebration cookouts with local performances, attended and cherished by approximately 100 local residents each year.
Refoundation started in 2011 through a partnership with IN:SITE temporary public arts group and City of Milwaukee Neighborhood Improvement District, and was exhibited at City Hall. The project was invited to occur again in 2012 and 2013 and was supported by Neighborhood Improvement Project/NIDC, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Century City Tri-Angle Neighborhood Association, and Riverwest Artists Association.
Read about the project on Patricia Briggs’ Scene/Unseen blog and on John Schneider’s Express.