The folks behind Beintween have a way with words, and according to them Matireal is a win-win-win-win-win situation.Â
Between being an artistic installation, a hazardous waste removal system, a provider of measurable carbon offset, a funder of manufacturing jobs and a catalyst to help integrate the city, Keith Hayes and Rob Zdanowski, founders of Beintween.org and the brains behind the ARTery, have lofty goals for their new project, Matireal, a "creational" trail. But now they need your help.
First, letâ€™s define some of that:
- Beintween: A social and special network started in 2010 dedicated to improv(is)ing spaces to build community, whose agenda is to make the most of leftover time and space. You may be familiar with Beintween's last project, the pop-up tire swing park under the Holton Street Bridge.
- Matireal: A geo-textile made up of local flora, stone and discarded tires that can transform an environmental nightmare into an ecological dream and inspired a new park called the ARTery.
- the ARTery:Â A linear park project being planned by beintween for the old rail corridor between East Townsend Street and Capitol Drive, in the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee. "We see this as a creational trail, not a recreational trail," says Hayes, who asks, "What sort of things can we create to stitch these communities together, which right now are terribly segregated?"
Simply put, Beintween wants to see Matireal laid as the surface of the ARTery recreational trail.
Got it? Good.
The city and many private property owners have been very cooperative with the project so far. The owner of the rail land, Brian Monroe of Earthbound Development, has been including a plan to integrate neighboring school LAD Lake into the ARTery while Mayor Tom Barrett is working with the city to acquire land use before the year's end. Even the Department of Natural Resources is interested in seeing where the project goes. "I thought they would require 10 years of research," Hayes joked. Riverworks, a business development group, declined interest until property negotiations began.
For the most part, the ARTery has moved forward through the dedication of members of Beintween and outside volunteers. This summer the group took advantage of the Riverwest 24, whose racers helped to dismantle 200 tires in short order.
"Unfortunately," says Hayes, "this is the most we were allowed to store on site for the event. They were reduced in less than 45 minutes of the two-hour checkpoint."
"This grant for programs was originally intended to fund a shipping container to get us started in early fall of 2012, but due to the nature of this funding, it may not even be available until 2013," says Hayes.
This is where their Kickstarter enters the picture. In order to create the unique paved trail, they need to gather and store discarded tires. Lots and lots of discarded tires.
"We're required to haveÂ a shipping container to store and reduce tires on site.Â WeÂ also need to make a few modificationsÂ and purchase our own Milwaukee power tools and several hundred bladesÂ to makeÂ the local reduction ofÂ tires more efficient."
You may think a Kickstarter to fund the purchase of a shipping container sounds pretty boring, but as you could expect from a group that is trying to waste less and make the most of their environment, this shipping container would become integral to the project.
According to their Kickstarter page, "Elevated above such a well-traveled road,Â a shippingÂ container has the capacity to become a functioning billboard as well, which we refer to as a 'fillboard.' We willÂ askÂ the community to assist us in collecting tires and filling full the inside, then outside,Â fulfilling an immediate goal of the ARTery,Â to create circumstances for improvisational engagement." It goes on, "OurÂ fillboardÂ will become the first of a series of 'temporaneous,' interactiveÂ art pieces 'improv(is)ing' this leftoverÂ corridor to build community."
I told you these guys had a way with words.
Beyond paving the trail, Beintween has other lofty goals to continue to improve the area, from a safer way for residents to cross Capitol Drive to helping to stitch together extremely segregated tracts within the city.
"Locals haveÂ confirmed that a park wouldÂ benefit the area," says Hayes, "and have offered their help as well as their tires.Â Neighbors passing by on Richards at the southwest end are usually curious whatÂ the ARTery is. Residents at the Williamsburg Heights block club expressed the current danger in getting to the east side of the Capitol overpass without descendingÂ a hazardous incline.
"They areÂ equally as eager to see some of this illegalÂ dumping taken care of. More than a couple youth have suggested an area for live performance or a stage."
Still not enough for you? Iâ€™m gonna let Keith talk a little bit more on the project, but first, here is how you can help support this project. At two weeks to go, the Matireal project is still not funded and, as of this writing, needs about $5,000 more to purchase the shipping container. If they donâ€™t reach their goal of $10,000 theyâ€™ll get no money. On Kickstarter itâ€™s all or nothing.Â
Be sure to click through and watch the video to more fully understand what this project entails, and consider supporting the project.
OK, take it away, Keith:
"Beintween's goals beyond paving the trail are to collaborate with local Harambee organizations and local urban gardening initiatives to create interactive opportunities for art and culture along the path, as well as edible landscapes.Â
We also plan to create a cross axial path that would connect Vienna across the ARTery to provide neighborhood access from the east and the west. More specifically, we are planning an amphitheater made from tiered tires, as well as two sculptural light elements that would illuminate the beginning and end of the two-third of a mile along phase one of the ARTery, one called
"Polarize" at the end of the existing Beerline trail which would employ a field of perforated PVC poles that would shed light on the census data tracking residential density, racial makeup and growth from 2000 to 2010 within a one-mile radius.
A second is called 'type lighter'Â atop the Capitol overpass which would employ supersized typewriter hammers (or arms) with the letters s-t-e-r-e-o, casting light not only on the path, but as a subversiveÂ message speaking of segregation and ensuing stereotypesÂ that exists east and west of this corridor.
Further, shipping containers used initially used on site for tire collection and storage will be modified,Â converted and equipped with tools to createÂ kinesthetic workshops/classrooms. Separate funding is being sought for these amenities, with a portion of this budget being available to the development of elements and amenities designed by and for the local residents."
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jason McDowell
Published Nov. 5, 2014
The Delphines' club shows were frequent and album releases were fast and furious. Eventually a full length album called "Hush" was released, but shortly afterward the band quietly broke up. Disappointment followed. How could we allow this to happen? This band felt like it was composed of sun-bleached driftwood, waiting for a match to drop and set fire to the music scene. It was a band that made Milwaukee's music scene vibrate. So I was surprised this morning when my phone lit up with a message...
Published Sept. 6, 2014
The theme is Steampunk, which is essentially a Victorian alternate reality in which electricity was never discovered, but steam-powered clockwork-based technology continued to move forward regardless. Thus the fashion show should feature gears, glass and leather laden corsets, top hats and other Victorian-esque paraphernalia.
Published Aug. 7, 2014
This week's weather has been a fine example of what makes summers in Milwaukee so beautiful. Looking ahead to the five day forecast it appears this fine example will continue. If you're looking for an excuse to get outside and make the most of it by engaging in a friendly competition, doing some good for your community, and maybe even learning something, too, you might consider signing up for the Amazing Milwaukee Race on Bikes (AMRoB) taking place this Sunday, Aug. 10 at noon.
Published Aug. 6, 2014
Midwest BikeShare announced their second kiosk opening today and the city is abuzz about it (or maybe they're bubbling about it?), so I had to check it out.
Published Aug. 1, 2014
If you're into unique forms of self-expression, Michael Mejia of uncoverbodyart is an artist to check out. Mejia's artistic style tends to be animalistic, with tigers, razor-toothed fish and exaggerated lizards. Beyond animals, Mejia's pattern work is also beautiful and surprising.
Published July 21, 2014
The strongest protection you have against bike theft is the perceived difficulty of what it would take to actually acquire your bike. Every lock can be cut, but in a row of bikes, you want to make sure yours looks the most annoying to acquire.
Published May 13, 2014
Wednesday, Wednesday, WEDNESDAY marks the middle of Bike to Work Week, and what better way to roll over the hump with a little competition, a friendly wager, and some additional cash for a local non-profit? The competition? A race between David Hobbs--a driver in the Indianapolis 500 and owner of David Hobbs Honda - and Ward Fowler, founding partner of the bicycle-friendly Colectivo Coffee.
Published May 2, 2014
Until now the "Fake A$$ Rappers" series of illustrations has only been shown for limited runs throughout Milwaukee. However, since the project has grown in scope, a new medium was necessary. "The book seemed like the best venue for them, especially since I'm adding so much more content 'about' the rappers," says artist Kristopher "Kpolly" Pollard. "Their albums, songs and sample lyrics. It'll be a lot of fun."
Published April 21, 2014
As I clicked my gears into lower and lower speeds, I found myself desperate for just one more cog in back. Just a few more teeth that wouldn't ever come. So I resigned myself to what I had, reached into my back pocket, pulled out a peanut butter energy bar and concentrated on spinning and eating. My mind alternated between stopping and walking and continuing to push through...
Published April 21, 2014
Struggling with poverty is a difficult challenge, especially when children are relying on you to provide them with a stable, healthy life. But helping families in need can be as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.