Initial e-mail to Nancy Bush at Mitchell street BID#4

Hello Nancy,
Our names our Sonja Thomsen and Adam Carr, two artists living and working in Milwaukee. We are currently planning our second collaborative public art project, and in the process, we’ve become extremely excited about the prospect of Historic Mitchell street as a location. Before we get ahead of ourselves, some background.
This past winter and spring, we collaborated on a project named here, mothers are, a project bringing images and words from the home spaces of community members around the Dominican Center for Women (on 24th and Locust) to a popup gallery and the boarded windows of a foreclosed home across the street from the DCW. The process included a three month interview process with community members, a multimedia-rich website, yard signs in the neighborhood, a number of associated events, and continued media attention, as the installation will continue to be up until the end of October. More on the project here: <>.
As artists and longtime Milwaukeeans, we both found this project immensely challenging and rewarding, both for ourselves and community where we worked, and we’re excited about another iteration of the project. While the second time around will vary slightly, our focus on generations, families, and bringing intimate spaces to the public remains the same. Currently, we are thinking about where we could mount such an effort and this is where we would love Mitchell street to come in.
Mitchell Street has such a unique energy and place in Milwaukee’s history. It embodies the exact kind of change and continuity we’re looking for. We both get giddy at the prospect of making a public art piece harnessing those layers of rich relationships and culture, which could become a point of pride for community internally, as well as a means to attract the attention of outside communities. And we know a project of larger scope like this wouldn’t be possible without the shared excitement and interest from a range of businesses and stakeholders along Mitchell.
We are currently early in the process of applying for a Milwaukee Arts Board grant, either for this year or next, as well as funding from the City of Milwaukee’s Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation, and we’re hoping to begin a discussion about the potential of Historic Mitchell Street as our site. As the Greater Mitchell Street Association, we would look to you for assistance in: (1) leveraging relationships with business owners in the community, (2) gaining access to spaces for display and (3) potential funding for the project.  The exact timing of the project has not yet been determined, but would take place sometime next year, so we are not in a rush.
That said, we are reaching some deadlines for some funding opportunities. Would you be available to meet next week to further discuss this project?
Hope this wasn’t too overwhelming! Look forward to hearing from you soon. Best,
Adam & Sonja
What an exciting project, Adam and Sonja! And my Board has been discussing a public art project here on Historic Mitchell Street in the past couple of months.
I can meet with both of you next week — here are openings in my schedule (at this point):   

             Wed., Sept. 12th — 11 am or2 pm
             Thursday, Sept. 13th – 12 Noon

Please let me know if either work for you. We can meet at our BID office, 1635 S. 8th Street.
Will wait to hear from you. Thanks!

Nancy Bush
Executive Director
BID #4 City of Milwaukee 
1635 S 8th Street 
Milwaukee, WI  53204

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