A positive solution for our city: Making Milwaukee more beautiful, combating crime through art

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Making Milwaukee a better, safer community -- one step at a time. On Saturday afternoon, August 30th, dozens walked along a path connecting two neighborhoods...through art!

"We live in art to express the truth in life.  The beautiful and gritty.  We live in art to grow in the sunlight and dance to the rhythm of the raindrops," Tiffany Miller said.

Miller and her son, Kweli joined others on Saturday morning -- walking "The ARTery" -- a former railroad track between Keefe Avenue and Richards, that leads up to Capitol Drive in Milwaukee's Harambee neighborhood.

The ARTery is a social initiative, founded by "beintween" to reclaim the former industrial rail corridor as a exhibition space for community-based art.

The goal of The ARTery is to create a physical connection between neighborhoods, to beautify a forlorn industrial corridor, and to engage the Milwaukee community.

Miller and her son have created artwork on the path.

"It's a creative outlet to express how we feel," Tiffany Miller said.

Years in the making, the road-to-trail project utilizes leftover materials to create makeshift classrooms and performance space. It connects Milwaukee's Harambee neighborhood with Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood.

"Really as a way to bring people together to express themselves and leave a little piece of themselves here.  It`s creating a sense of ownership for an area that used to be a no-man`s land," The ARTery spokeswoman Erika Wolf said.

The ARTery is an effort to make Milwaukee more beautiful, to connect neighborhoods -- and it has also become a part of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's "Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days" initiative -- an effort to encourage families to lead more active lifestyles.

Young people who participate in The ARTery project consider it an effort at making Milwaukee a more peaceful place to live, work and play.

"It just makes me mad whenever I hear someone just got shot and killed.  It`s just really frustrating," Kweli Miller said.

"Right now, there aren`t a whole lot of safe places to play," The ARTery project coordinator Keith Hayes said.

There's hope that art may a big step toward a positive solution for our city.

Currently, The ARTery is privately-owned -- but the city of Milwaukee is in the process of acquiring the property. Eventually, the trail could stretch all the way to Grafton!

CLICK HERE to learn more about The ARTery, and how you can get involved.

CLICK HERE to access "beintween's" website.