CSNI Community Building and Engagement

What is the CSNI Community Engagement goal?

Promotion of art as a centerpiece of the neighborhood, in the Cesar Chavez Business Improvement District 38, and throughout the 40 continuous blocks showcasing art projects that provide engagement opportunities for the residents of the area. Youth, adults and other stakeholders create engaging spaces celebrating art forms, rejuvenating buildings, streetscapes, and building hope with arts and culture in the community.

Building the Identity of CSNI Explosion of Culture, Arts, and Wellness

Cesar Chavez Drive is known for a partnership between the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative (CSNI), Cesar Chavez Business Improvement District 38 to seed arts, culture and small business development in the Clarke Square neighborhood.  The goal is to cultivate Chavez Drive as a destination for both cultural and economic investment. To this end, the partners have sponsored annual competitions for Artists in Residences to incorporate art that speaks to the people of the community.  Over ten large scale murals exist on Cesar Chavez Drive, a six foot bronze Cesar E. Chavez sculpture, and decorative utility boxes.  



Creation of La Placita (Plaza), a gathering space adjacent to the Cesar E. Chavez sculpture. 

Activity:  Identify an artist that will create a plaza-like setting with mosaic benches around the sculpture, highlighting the rich history of art and design, incorporating ideas of the human rights leader for farmworkers.  

Activity:  Host a community-wide event that will allow residents of all ages to inscribe tiles of love, courage, and hope that will be used in the design of La Placita. 

Creation of art project on each block in the 40 square block area.

Activity: Identify resident, public, or private organization (church, school, municipal building) or business that would like to highlight interests, images in an art form.

  Create a mobile app tour or audio tour of Clarke Square Art 

Activity:  To increase awareness and connection of 12 mural projects in the Clarke Square neighborhood with self-guided Mural Tours connecting oral histories of individuals who have themes related to artist work.

 Create Clarke Square Water Tower Landmark structure

Activity:  Engage with residents about idea, images and location of structure.  One idea is to create a steel structure water tower about the “The Knitting Factory” paying homage to the original owner, the garment industry and workers. 

Accelerating Civic Impact in Clarke Square and promotion of interNational Avenue 

Activity:  Convene Co: Lab MKE, residents and other interested stakeholders in promotion of diversity of the Clarke Square neighborhood, nestled in the heart of Milwaukee’s Latinx community, a growing Southeast Asian community and African American presence.  What big ideas could be generated to promote National Avenue as a destination for arts and culture?  See full presentation of award winning Clarke Square Video – Check it out below!

Accelerating Civic Impact Video