The City of Milwaukee is taking a unique approach to combating reckless driving — through art.
The Milwaukee Arts Board approved a Public Artist In Residence (PAIR) pilot program with the hope of using local artists' knowledge and practices to create a stronger community. Under the PAIR program, the City of Milwaukee plans to hire a local artist to help develop, strategize and promote artist-driven solutions to all kinds of problems.
For this first year of the PAIR program, an artist will be placed with the Department of Public Works to find ways to address reckless driving.
"This is an opportunity for new collaboration between Milwaukee's artistic community and city government," says Mayor Cavalier Johnson. "We know that creative solutions, access to resources and a renewed commitment to partnerships will help address the challenges we face as a community... The PAIR program will be another tool for the City to utilize in creating safer neighborhoods and improving the quality of life for Milwaukee residents and families."
"In order to solve challenges like the dangers of reckless driving, we need to deploy innovative solutions form a variety of perspectives, including Milwaukee's arts community," says Alderwoman Milele A Coggs, who was recently elected the new Chair of the Milwaukee Arts Board. "I have worked with many local artists and creatives over the years in the 6th district and they have the creative mindset to help address complex issues in our city."
The PAIR program will take place over a minimum of one year, starting with a three-month research phase. During that time, the artist will shadow city staff and learn about operations and initiatives. Then, the artist will spend another three months prototyping and field testing their project, followed by a five-month implementation and evaluation period.