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  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Gasparka

Championing Arts + Culture in Milwaukee

In part 2 of our discussion about the Vel R. Phillips Plaza public art commission, Elisabeth and guests City of Milwaukee Commissioner of City Development Lafayette Crump and arts leader Marilu Knode reflect on the wider context of the project. (Click here to listen to Part 1

Crump and Knode discuss the relevance of public art and the presence of artists to the city’s 2040 downtown plan, the power of the arts on individuals’ lives, as well as the collective power of Milwaukee’s creative industry. Knode shares specific suggestions of how the city can continue to turn the tide towards a more robust and supported creative sector: 

John Kowalczyk's "414 LOVE" mural at 125 E. Juneau Ave. in Milwaukee
414 LOVE by John Kowalczyk (image:

A dedicated arts office within the city; a 1% Law: Art for All, and increased public support for the arts. To that, Crump adds on the need for more affordable housing for artists, so that they can live, work and contribute to Milwaukee’s culture, long-term. 

Vel R. Phillips Plaza will be constructed by July 2024, and the public art installation is estimated to be completed in 2025. Learn more about the project.



Full Interview Transcript (Click to Expand):




Mentioned in this episode:

Marilu Knode Bio  (Click to expand)

Lafayette Crump Bio  (Click to Expand)


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