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Agenda Item

8. 200429 Resolution relating to a Certificate of Appropriateness for placing a mural on the south wall of 229 E Wisconsin Avenue, the Railway Exchange Building, in the East Side Commercial Historic District, for Patti Keating Kahn.

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    Susan Mikulay about 2 years ago

    I strongly support this mural and believe it is vitally important to Milwaukee's continued growth and prosperity. Please approve.

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    NJameh Camara about 2 years ago

    Money aside, what are you saying about Milwaukee when you don’t use a Milwaukee artist? This is slap in the face and if you put this mural up, it will be a constant reminder of what you truly think about your own city, and how you view local artists and artists of color. You don’t want this being part of your history. Do what’s right. Everyone is aware or becoming awake to the decision making in this city.

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    Jeff Redmon about 2 years ago

    This is not the time for a white artist with a history of appropriation to be doing such a prominent piece of public art that centers around Black voting. It is also important to look at the landscape of the recent large mural projects in Milwaukee, and realize that many of the biggest, most prominent murals have come from the same group, featuring artists that are not from Wisconsin, resulting in no real connection to the community. Space must be made for meaningful projects of this scale to be given to local artists, especially BIPOC artists.

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    Cristina Ossers about 2 years ago

    I want to echo, "Work with BIPOC artists and consultants to create a transparent, community feedback
    process for projects of this nature." In addition to the leadership of those who have contributed to this call to action, "Young People For", a national program, is an example of the leadership that I crave in Milwaukee, because they meet their community where they are. Thus far, the Fairey mural makes me feel "talked at" not "talked with".

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    Daniel Schuyler about 2 years ago

    In this time of unlearning racism I don’t think a white artist that has profited off the work of black and brown people should be spotlighted.

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    Ben Tyjeski about 2 years ago

    For as forward-thinking and culturally-responsive as many creatives are in Milwaukee- it shocks me that this commission would even be considered. This mural is more about the Fairey name than the content it represents- which is probably a key move to use a big-name artist as a downtown decoration to keep millennials there. Is Milwaukee really sinking to to this level? The mural content claims to be honorable as well- but it is not relevant specifically to Milwaukee. It’s a billboard for Fairey, not a call to action for social justice.

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    Stacey W Ng about 2 years ago

    This Historic Preservation Committee does not have any legal right to make approvals, or even discuss, the content of the art submitted. If they ever obtain this right, it would amount to censorship in Milwaukee using this as a precedent, and it would add yet another, non-democratic, barrier to our arts community. Any discussion of the art belongs outside this forum.

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    Jolena Corona about 2 years ago

    There are many talented artists living in Milwaukee who deserve an opportunity such as this to display their work.

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    Emily Oliver about 2 years ago

    This project shows a lack of cultural equity at a time it’s imperative we uplift BIPOC voices. If the intent of the mural is to highlight voter suppression- an issue that predominately impacts marginalized communities - it’s unacceptable to eliminate these voices from the conversation. At the very least, this project should be postponed for further dialogue surrounding the cultural appropriation and the nuanced reasons why this mural is problematic to BIPOC artists.

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    Sarah Kennedy about 2 years ago

    Trust in Black leadership is of utmost importance in order to advance Milwaukee to a place of liberation for all.

    Postpone until Shepard Fairy meets with people dedicated to the prosperity of the Black community & an agreement is made about how this project will benefit BIPOC.

    No agreement no mural.

    Nothing can be separate from the conversation that Black Lives Matter until the city acts like Black Lives Matter.

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    Judith Austin about 2 years ago


    Imagine how uplifting an original art installation created by Milwaukee’s own talented BIPOC community.

    Imagine then that a brick and mortar part of Milwaukee’s rich history would have art painted by a wealthy artist who often times includes subtle (and not so subtle) messages in his work.

    The thought that this issue being pushed out without any community discussion is highly disturbing. It rings of the one-sided decision to move Mary Nohl’s Art Environment. Maybe the Committee should take a lesson from that. An awareness campaign saved that from being erased from our history.

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    Stacy Blint about 2 years ago

    At the bare minimum, this project needs to be postponed to open up space for community dialogue.

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    Natasha Woods about 2 years ago

    SF should not be able to benefit or take profits from the people of MKE. It 's highly inappropriate for a few reasons including that he has profited off the labor of POC folks in the past, does not reside in or reflect the people of Milwaukee. There are plenty of qualified BIPOC artists within the city. This is an opportunity to support and uplift those voices, especially as a lot of artists have missed out on income from the pandemic and loss of the DNC. At the very least, pay BIPOC artists for consolation on this as a city known for segregation & racism its time to step down & move forward.

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    Jill Schanon Macek about 2 years ago

    I support the creation of this mural.

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    Trevor Wold about 2 years ago

    Committee members should be listening to the voices of the community (especially BIPOC) who are expressing concerns over this mural, this particular artist, and about the way these projects are brought to fruition in the future.

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    Monica Miller about 2 years ago

    I would ask that the committee take a position of deep listening, humility, and reflect on the research that has been brought to it by professionals in the city. Further, I would ask that the committee articulate how they are achieving these acts of deep listening and humility to make space for all of the information brought to them. Thank you.

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    Gisela Ortega about 2 years ago

    Many Milwaukee institutions and leaders continue to ignore including our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities as part of the conversation. BIPOC communities should be the sole voice speaking about their experiences and should be the driving force behind arts and culture that is about BIPOC. Shepherd Fairey is NOT it PERIOD.

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    Alvaro Saar Rios about 2 years ago

    As an artist who works with Milwaukee's historic Latinx community, I feel it important to have a public discussion with this community and the various other BIPOC communities of Milwaukee PRIOR to moving forward. We cannot to continue to have business as usual when it is apparent that these communities continue to be ignored when it comes to art that represents Milwaukee.

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    Chelsea Wait about 2 years ago

    While I support the choice of a high-profile national or international artist, Shepard Fairey is NOT a good fit. His work appropriates the cultural work of people of color and his commercial branding has diluted the social messaging around his work. I am confident that there is a high-profile artist who is also a person of color that would be a much better fit for this wonderful addition to our city.

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    Sara Caron about 2 years ago

    Shepherd Fairey has a history of appropriating the work of artists of color and of profiting off of the social movements he claims to support. There are radical BIPOC artists who create and support culture in Milwaukee, in this country and around the world. Fairey is not one of them. BIPOC artists, and community members must lead any project intended to enrich their communities. At the very least this is a missed opportunity to support BIPOC artists at a time when they are suffering the most. BIPOC Milwaukeeans are being sold out to create a pathetic tourist attraction.