Murals! Everyone loves murals! It seems a week doesn’t go by without another public art masterpiece popping up somewhere in Milwaukee. But now, in a nice twist, a call is being issued for the location of a new mural. Yes, if you own property in downtown’s East Town neighborhood and have a wall you think could use a mural, you can totally get a mural. Maybe. Just sign up for a new mural project called “Call for Walls”!

“The goal is to identify a site or sites in downtown’s East Town neighborhood by the close of Q1 2020,” reads a press release from Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, and East Town Association. “Once the site is selected, a public request for qualifications (RFQ) will be issued for local, national and international artists to submit their ideas for the mural, which is tentatively slated for a summer 2020 installation.”

But not just any wall will do. The wall needs to be a “public-facing wall with clear site lines, unobstructed from billboards and trees in downtown’s East Town neighborhood.” Oh, and you’ll have to pay for half of the costs.

“We’re excited to offer this unique opportunity to East Town property owners. Murals have proven to be a unique way to draw customers and attention to businesses, especially as we prepare the city for the Democratic National Convention,” says Emily McElwee, executive director of East Town Association, in a press release.

Click HERE for more information on “Call for Walls.” A full press release is below.

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 and East Town Association issue “Call for Walls” for new mural project in East Town neighborhood

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (February 6, 2020) – Have a wall that needs some pizzazz? Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District (BID) #21 and East Town Association are issuing a “Call for Walls” for downtown’s next mural project. The goal is to identify a site or sites in downtown’s East Town neighborhood by the close of Q1 2020. Once the site is selected, a public request for qualifications (RFQ) will be issued for local, national and international artists to submit their ideas for the mural, which is tentatively slated for a summer 2020 installation.

Requirements of the property owner are to provide a public-facing wall with clear site lines, unobstructed from billboards and trees in downtown’s East Town neighborhood, and assist in funding. Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 and East Town Association will partner to provide half of the overall project costs.

In recent years, downtown Milwaukee has experienced a noticeable uptick in murals. Recent completions by the Downtown Placemaking Task Force include “Heart & Sol” by Mauricio Ramirez (2019), “Westown in Bloom” by Emma Daisy Gertel (2019), and “Migration” by Katie Batten and Janson Rapisarda (2018).

In addition, an artist for the 2nd Street skywalk mural project is expected to be announced in the upcoming month with the project slated for completion by spring 2020. Since 2017, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 has activated $133,500 in public art mural projects, of which over half of the funding has come from the private sector or grants.

“Street-level activation through public art has been a top initiative for our organization,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “Property owners enjoy the recognition murals bring to a building, and tenants and guests feel a stronger connection to the community when a piece of artwork can resonate with them. We look forward to adding our first mural in East Town this summer.”

Interested property owners can submit their walls for consideration to Gabriel Yeager, Downtown Environment Specialist with Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, at gyeager@milwaukeedowntown.com. Walls will be reviewed by the Downtown Placemaking Task Force, which includes representatives from Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 and East Town Association.

“We’re excited to offer this unique opportunity to East Town property owners. Murals have proven to be a unique way to draw customers and attention to businesses, especially as we prepare the city for the Democratic National Convention,” said Emily McElwee, executive director of East Town Association.

For more information on the “Call for Walls” in the East Town neighborhood and other placemaking initiatives, visit www.milwaukeedowntown.com.

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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