Happy Milwaukee Day, Milwaukee. Or MKE Day. Or 414 Day. Or 414 Milwaukee Day. Or 414MKEDay. Or Milwaukee Cyber Monday. It’s all the same. It’s all about Milwaukee.

In that spirit, please enjoy this year’s “love letter to Milwaukee’s arts and culture” from Imagine MKE. The 2023 video—created by Johnson Media Consulting—features a newly commissioned poem, “Chosen,” read by spoken word artist, performer, musician, community healer, and facilitator Brit Nicole.

The poetm “reflects on the purpose, ferocity, discipline, and unique perspectives of the Milwaukee creatives at all stages of development who share their gifts and make this community overflow with creativity.” A description from Imagine MKE continues:

The poem and video celebrate the diversity of creators and artistic mediums that makes our community distinct. Milwaukee’s arts and culture is represented across a range of artistic disciplines, expressed through individual creators and performers as they explore, rehearse, and hone their craft. The video highlights a spectrum: from young student artists, to mature, established artists, and those in between. But all of them are unified by their drive, their gifts, and through their associations with some of the most impactful organizations within Milwaukee’s creative sector including Ko-Thi Dance Company, Saint Kate Arts Hotel, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, First Stage and Milwaukee Ballet.

“My only ask of you / Is that you never lose your identity / Behind the opinions of others / Remembering that your blueprint is uniquely yours,” Nicole says in “Chosen.” That’s fantastic advice, Milwaukee.

By Brit Nicole

To be chosen
As a Creative to put on for the city I was home grown in
Is a labor of love
A birthright, never to be taken for granted
Using the gifts I was blessed with
To help change the narrative
Highlighting both the beauty and resilience
That combats the distorted lens inflicted upon her, Milwaukee

Backing her artists like a mother who fiercely protects her young
Never forgetting the promise that was bestowed upon them
Before our debut into this world
So it’s our duty to share her stories
Through lyrics, sound and canvas
Planting hope within her concrete jungle
There, we have created beloved community
Fostering healing through shared growing pains
Cultivating these talents in preparation to take on any stage
Witnessing lives changed for the better
Restoring broken hearts with our art
Being at the right place at the right time
Is how we stay aligned to let our lights shine
Illuminating the darkened clouds pushed upon the place we call home

So I call out to you
Messengers to the masses
You’re more than just your gifts
But worthy from existence
My only ask of you
Is that you never lose your identity
Behind the opinions of others
Remembering that your blueprint is uniquely yours
You didn’t ask for these gifts attached to your DNA
Understanding that they were planted inside for you to thrive and for survival
So believe in the value of the seeds you’ve sown
They are necessary like you simply from being your own
Knowing that the message may only be received through you…

Exclusive articles, podcasts, and more. Support Milwaukee Record on Patreon.


A guide to Milwaukee Day 2023 events and deals

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

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