See Me Because: Transit Art Campaign on the importance of young voices installed along the Hop Light Rail route

The Hop, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, unveiled a new partnership with Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 and the nonprofit Art Start to bring youth-focused public art installations to Milwaukee on July 28.

Art Start’sSee me because” initiative is a transit art campaign providing historically marginalized youth in Milwaukee and New York City with a large-scale platform sparking dialogue around youth identities and self-determination in a public space.

“These young people have voices and accomplishments that should be known, and this is an opportunity to make that happen,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson. “I’m thrilled that we have this new approach to showcasing their thoughts and dreams.”

During the month of August, seven Hop stations will present a series of black and white photographic portraits of teenagers from both cities, accompanied by the personal story of each told in their own words.

The effort in Milwaukee is part of the larger “Year of Youth” campaign unveiled earlier in 2022 by Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, a collaborative effort between the county, city and organizations across the country. civic spirit as Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 to encourage and inspire the youth of Milwaukee by creating opportunities for mentorship, education and artistic exposure.

“Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 is proud to stand alongside our county and city partners in uplifting our local youth, who have faced unprecedented challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Beth said. Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee. Downtown Submission #21. “When the Crowley County Executive proclaimed 2022 the ‘Year of Youth,’ our organization incorporated youth-centered public art projects into our summer programming, including this wonderful campaign.”

“See Me Because” is a year-long project and a platform for young people to establish their own narratives, explore the complexity of their identities, envision their future and express how they want to be seen by the world. Through ‘See Me Because’, young people are declaring out loud and publicly why they should be seen and why their voice matters and has power.

“Art Start is proud to partner with the youth of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Downtown, and The Hop to build this public platform for the voices and visions of our city’s youth,” said Johanna De Los Santos, Executive Director of Art Start. “Having a safe and creative space to explore identity and practice self-determination is essential for everyone, especially young people of color in the city of Milwaukee. Most express their desire to transform our world. They need to know that we ask and listen to their courageous responses.

Art Start’s “See Me Because” portraits have been installed at the following Hop stations:

  • Third WB Historic District – northeast corner of St. Paul Avenue and Water Street
  • Avenue Wisconsin N.B. – Milwaukee Street between Wisconsin Avenue and Michigan Street
  • NB City Hall – Milwaukee Street between Wells Street and Kilbourn Avenue
  • Cathedral Square EB – Kilbourn Ave between Jefferson St. and Jackson St.
  • Jackson to Juneau SB – southwest corner of Jackson Street and Juneau Avenue
  • Ogden/Jackson WB – southwest corner of Jackson Street and Ogden Avenue
  • Burns Commons- Ogden Avenue between Farwell Avenue and Prospect Avenue

“The Hop is honored to play a role in creating this important platform for young people in Milwaukee to pursue their artistic passions and have their voices heard in our vibrant downtown community,” said Jerrel Kruschke, Acting Commissioner. City of Milwaukee Public Works. “We appreciate the work that Art Start and Milwaukee Downtown are doing to support ‘The Year of Youth’ and we hope our runners will be inspired by this project in the month ahead.”

Local young people featured in the campaign have taken part in Art Start workshops, in-depth dialogue sessions, interviews and photo shoots, where they are encouraged to explore their personal identity and envision their life beyond. beyond circumstances and stereotypes. With the support of world-class photographers, retouchers, stylists and oral historians, these visions are brought to life through multimedia exhibitions and this public campaign.

In addition to The Hop stations, the “See Me Because” campaign is also featured on digital billboards in three New York MTA subway stations. Art Start is a nationally recognized organization that uses the creative process and collaborations with the arts and media industries to nurture the voices and minds of historically marginalized youth.

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