Painting Together for Good
Last Friday, Feb. 14, nearly 80 friends and neighbors came together at the Black Historical Society for "Paint and Sip: For the Love of Black Culture." The timing was perfect to celebrate Black History Month and Valentine's Day - and the love was definitely felt. In lieu of an entry fee, generous attendees offered donations in honor of neighborhood activist Tay Jackson (a singer herself), who the community lost to gun violence over the summer.
Tay played a key role in helping us and our partners organize a community-led, arts-filled weekend in Moody Park that included a backpack giveaway, a three-on-three basketball tournament, and the the creation of the "Let Peace Live" mural at the COA Goldin Center.
The Paint and Sip brought together so many aspects of the deep, authentic community engagement work that is being done in our Neighborhood Partnerships group and shows the power of the arts as a tool for strengthening communities. Antoine had heard from residents about how much they wanted a Paint and Sip event in their neighborhood. No one was producing such an event, and so he worked with community members to plan one.
Donations received in honor of Tay will go towards a Moody Park basketball court renovation in her memory. But we're only part of the way there - there is still a nearly a $10,000 fundraising gap. You can join in helping us and our partners (COA Goldin Center, the Office of Violence Prevention, Amani United, the Dominican Center, Arists Working in Education, ActivateMKE, Milwaukee County Parks, and Program the Parks) get to that goal. Please consider making a gift here.
And yet, it was such a warm, celebratory, loving community event in the neighborhood, with people from the neighborhood painting, sipping, and dancing. This was just one way we Imagine how arts and community building come together to create vibrancy.