Reckless driving in Milwaukee: Artist in residence program to take aim

A soon-to-be-selected artist will be placed in Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works (DPW) to develop new approaches that will help address reckless driving and create safer, stronger neighborhoods throughout the city, officials say.

This news comes out after the Milwaukee Arts Board approved the Public Artist in Residence (PAIR) pilot program. It will invest in the city’s cultural creators by leveraging the knowledge and practices of local artists to build a stronger Milwaukee.

A news release says under the PAIR program, a local artist will be hired by a City of Milwaukee agency or department to develop, strategize, promote, and implement artist-driven solutions to complex civic challenges. The intended outcome is for the artist and City representatives to assess community needs, as well as develop and improve programs and initiatives through creative problem-solving.

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The release says the PAIR program residency will take place over a minimum of one year, beginning with a three-month research phase where the artist will shadow city staff and learn about operations and initiatives. After the research phase, the artist will spend three months prototyping and field-testing their project, followed by a five-month implementation and evaluation period. This program will also facilitate cross-sector collaboration with Milwaukee’s various BIDs, NIDs, and partner organizations to carry out new artist-driven efforts.

Milwaukee has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to hire the artist in residence, who will begin work in the fall. The city also issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to hire a liaison who will manage the relationship between the selected artist in residence and City departments. The deadline to apply is August 22. Learn more at