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88Nine Radio Milwaukee wants to start a conversation. The theme of their commissioned murals: 'listening to others.'

Milwaukee’s Near West Side and Walker’s Point residents will soon see new, original murals in their neighborhoods, thanks to 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s mural initiative. The station, now celebrating their 10th anniversary, received a grant from the Mary L. Nohl Fund for the project, part of a series of events and initiatives in honor of their decade in the community.

Radio Milwaukee’s idea behind the mural initiative isn’t just to bring art to the neighborhoods, but to also create a dialogue. According to Marketing Director Alyssa Feuerer, “Radio Milwaukee asked each artist to express the idea of ‘listening to others’ through their own artistic vision. The idea of having an open mind is a way we can start connecting more closely with each other.”

The first mural will be at 833 N 26th St., working together with the Penfield Children’s Center in the Near West Side Neighborhood. Vice President of Development and Communications at Penfield Children’s Center, Jason Perry, said they are excited to work with Radio Milwaukee and “appreciate the opportunity to spark discussion about how we can work together to make our neighborhood an even better place.”

That mural will be painted by artist Stacey Williams-Ng. Her concept for the mural will be about community cohesion and how music brings people together. The 122-foot by 27-foot mural will take shape from July 31 through Sept. 10.

The second mural in the works will be at 643 S 2nd St. at the Var Gallery in Bay View. Katie Mullen and Jordan Pintar of BlackPaint Studios will use vibrant colors, and elements of the mural will contain the word “listen.” The artists will work from Sept. 1 to Oct. 6.

While the Walker’s Point neighborhood has seen quite a transformation over the last decade, the Near West Side is awaiting a similar transformation. “We designed our mural program to create a long-lasting message from 88Nine to our community,” Feuerer said. “We want these pieces to propel dialogue. By seeding thought-provoking messages through the city, we hope to encourage people to be more accepting and empathetic with their neighbors.”

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