Art Stop funding update
July 2, 2012
The Milwaukee County Board Finance Committee did not vote on a resolution June 21 that would have provided a $120,000 federal transportation grant for the Bay View Art Stop project. Art Stop is a project designed to meld public art with a bus stop in the traffic triangle bounded by Kinnickinnic, Lincoln, and Howell avenues. Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, author of the resolution, requested that it be withdrawn before the vote. The grant was to be used in lieu of $50,000 from Milwaukee County’s public art fund.
County Board spokesperson Harold Mester said Dimitrijevic withdrew the resolution because there were not enough votes to pass it but that she strongly supports the project. Dimitrijevic is a member of the Art Stop Selection Committee.
County officials confirmed that $50,000 has been “set aside” for the Art Stop project.
Milwaukee Arts Board (MAB) had pledged $5,000 for the project but has decided to withhold the funding. Polly Morris, chair of MAB’s Public Art Subcommittee, said that Román Montoto, the winner of the Art Stop design, is an architect, not an artist and that when they decided to fund the project, “we wanted an artist directly involved.” She said the board would reserve the money for art programming on the traffic triangle. Morris said she hopes MAB’s contribution will be used to bring in artists, curators, or performers with a coherent plan for “activating that space” with projects that are more in concert with MAB’s concept of public art.
The Common Council’s Public Works Committee voted to give 50 percent of the David Dombrowski estate to the Art Stop project. Dombrowski, a long-time employee of Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works, bequeathed his estate to DPW. The estate’s value is estimated to be $300,000 – $325,000. The full council will vote on the resolution July 6.
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