Art and the Relationship to Culture
Washington Park is a diverse neighborhood that is identified by its culture. Throughout the area, music, dance, sculpture, painting, and local economy have become the glue that holds the community together.
When looking at culture displayed in artistic form, visual representations are usually the strongest and most direct. Throughout Washington park buildings are decorated with all sorts of visual art that creates an identity for the building it occupies. Much of the building artwork is oriented to be seen from high traffic streets such as W. Vliet Street, W. North Avenue, and W. Lisbon Avenue. Many of these murals take the form of advertisements for local businesses, usually depicting a company's historical start or promoting the work offered there. Many of the buildings on which these murals are found are located within clusters of houses and are treated as meeting spots after work to relax and have fun.
On a larger scale, organizations have begun connecting community members through broader artistic and environmental branches. Express Yourself Milwaukee is an institution that develops the neighborhood youth's creativity and shares it with the rest of the community.
Washington Park Partners is also a flagship organization that utilizes the youth's diversity in an artistic manner. WPP are the organizers of various band shell events such as musical, theatrical, and historical shows that involve the community as a whole. One of the newly organized events that takes place throughout the summer in Washington Park is the Vliet Street Green Market. This is a chance for local urban farmers to sell their produce and is a great place to buy fresh ingredients for home cooked meals.
In creating a place for children to interact with older community members, these institutions act as central hubs, much like schools or churches would. Instead of creating a religious or intellectual awareness, these centers create a new cultural awareness that the children share. Washington Park is an incredibly diverse neighborhood from which much of Milwaukee can learn. The neighborhoods have always been a prime example of what Milwaukee can become; the culture taught in Washington Park might hopefully one day make its way throughout all of Milwaukee and create an even more diverse city.