RedLine Milwaukee Hosts Open House
Earlier this year we ran a series of articles on Milwaukeeâ€™s rising talent. It wasnâ€™t just meant as an exercise in optimism for what the city has to offer by way of young talent, but a way of opening up discussions on what the city can do to keep that talent from migrating elsewhere.
Â Aligning itself with that very cause is the non-profit organizationÂ RedLine Milwaukee, a new arts incubator that has taken residence in a former storage and office space on 1422 N. 4th St. Although still undergoing renovation (set for completion around June/ July) Redline opens its doors to the public on Saturday between 10 a.m and noon in an open house intended to introduce convey the organizationâ€™s multi-layered mission to the public.
Â The term â€śarts incubatorâ€ť is one cropping up in cities all across the U.S. looking to create nourishing and interdisciplinary environments for the art-making. It may sound horribly clinical but also speaks to the increasingly blurry boundary between art and science/technology that we are experiencing today. In RedLineâ€™s case itâ€™s also an apt description of the experimental approach applied here in bringing different strands of civic and cultural engagement into one space: studio and social spaces for artists in residence; exhibition spaces accessible to the public; workshops for children in grade K and above, printmaking and papermaking facilities a video and photo editing studio available to the public at a set cost and a venue where other organizations around the city can share what they do. â€śWeâ€™re trying to grab all these organizations and give a place where everyone can come together and strengthen everybodyâ€™s programming,â€ť says Lori Bauman, a video and installation artist and teacher who is one of the founding members of Redline. She and other founding member Steve Vande Zande both have a strong background of working with teens, and these are one of the target areas for the organizationâ€™s outreach. â€śTeens are really at the stage where theyâ€™re creating their identity,â€ť says Bauman. â€śOur hope is that [Redline] will serve as a place to strengthen their characters and help them become civic transformers.â€ť Already theyâ€™ve begun working with Teen Challenge and TruSkool, offering the latter plenty of walls to adorn with the kind of graffiti art little appreciated in the public realm.
Â For these teens and other members of the public usually intimidated by the cityâ€™s more elite cultural establishments, Redline see their enterprise as an important cultural primer.â€śWhat we want to be is a really user friendly cultural institution thatâ€™s sort of a stepping stone to the art museum and other institutions,â€ť says Bauman. â€śPeople can come here, access it easily, get comfortable, learn to navigate this kind of public space with all sorts of shows and curriculums.â€ť
Â With this in mind, finding the right location was important from the get go. â€śIt took 3 years to find the right location,â€ť says Bauman. â€śWe wanted it to be on a bus line, and this neighborhood is situated right in the middle of a unique area,â€ť says Bauman. â€śTo the south you is the business district and possible collectors. To the north you have brewerâ€™s hill which is already gentrified; to the east you have an area thatâ€™s developing residentially and its got Brady Street and to the west the industrial and residential area and a community that has a lot of little non-profits we can collaborate with and can help strengthenâ€¦ it was a good location to access a broader audience.â€ť
Â Redline is now accepting applications for Artists in Residence. To apply or to find out more about RedLine go to www.redlineartmke.org.