Skip navigation
Milwaukee Public Library Hours & Locations Close

Gathering Art, Stories and Place

Gathering Art, Stories and Place

The City of Milwaukee has been selected as a recipient of a grant of $150,000 from the National Endowment of the Art (NEA) to fund the Gathering Art, Stories and Place (GASP) at the Mitchell Street Branch (906 W. Historic Mitchell St.). Led by Milwaukee Public Library and Artists Working in Education, the project is supported by Ex Fabula as well as other nonprofits, schools and community centers. 

With this grant, the project team will utilize the library's maker space and other indoor and outdoor gathering spaces to host a variety of storytelling-themed programs, including a visual storytelling festival featuring deaf storytellers, an artist lecture series, writing workshops, a new archive of collected neighborhood stories, and two artist-in-residence programs. A mobile art studio accessible to youth is also planned, providing free art education and cultural enrichment activities.

The plans, developed in partnership with the Department of City Development and the Milwaukee Arts Board, create a unique hub for creative expression and cultural discourse will empower neighbors to create, share, and celebrate cultural diversity through storytelling and art. 

This project is in collaboration with community partners, Milwaukee Public Library, Listening to Mitchell artists Sonja Thomsen and Adam Carr, Ex Fabula and Artists Working in Education, Inc. The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment of the Arts, with additional support from the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation.


Gathering Art, Stories and Place Artist Residency Workshops

Wednesdays, June 5, 19, July 3, 17, August 7, 21, 4-6 p.m.
Saturday, August 10, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Mitchell Street Branch | 906 W. Historic Mitchell Street 
Northwestern Mutual Foundation Studio M Makerspace & Community Room

Join our artist-in-residence, Celeste Contreras, for creative art workshops all summer long! Celeste will be focusing on cyanotype, screen printing, drawing and cardboard books.

Networking & Branding for Creatives
A workshop series for musicians, visual artists and writers

Identify, Engage and Expand Your Network
Tuesday, July 30, 6-7:30 p.m.

How Values + Brand = Culture
Monday, August 12, 6-7:30 p.m.

Mitchell Street Branch |
906 W. Historic Mitchell Street 
Community Room


Gathering Art, Stories and Place presents two hands-on workshops for creatives that will provide tangible skills for jumpstarting or improving their businesses.

As a creative, understanding your brand and knowing how to articulate it is essential for making money from your art. Looking to finesse your networking skills? Not sure if LinkedIn is for you? Struggling to find the proper audience and generate money? These workshops are for you!

Register for this FREE two-part series on LinkedIn, Networking and Branding with Kennita Hickman. Call 414.286.3011 or register online by clicking on the dates above.

Kennita Hickman is an urban cultural and music writer, entrepreneur and health enthusiast. She is the Chief Culture Curator for Catera (formerly KIS Communications LLC), a brand strategy and management agency where she supports creatives and politicians. Her 20-year career has spanned writing, public relations, radio and artist management. Artists managed include The Cranberry Show, Tapebenders, and B ALXNDR. Prior to her work at Catera, she wrote for various music publications including Urbanology, Relevant and The Source. She currently serves as a board member for Above the Clouds, a faith-based arts and youth organization. She also served as Vice President for Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) and committee member at Repairers of the Breach.

Storytelling Workshops for The Deaf Community

Everyone has personal stories worth sharing! As part of the Gathering Art, Stories and Place project, Ex Fabula and Milwaukee Public Library invite you to discover, shape and share your stories about Labels - stories about misconceptions, rejecting stigmas and identity.

At this interactive workshop for the Deaf community, you will be guided by Ex Fabula coaches and Deaf community members Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez and Jose Barraza. Working in small groups, you’ll learn effective storytelling skills, connect with other storytellers, and express yourself. You’ll also learn about opportunities to share a story on stage at the first ever Deaf StorySlam on Sunday, September 22, 2019!

Dates: Sunday, August 4 and Sunday, August 25

Time: 1:30 p.m. check in, 2-4 p.m. workshop

Location: 5Wise Workshop, 3524 W. National Ave.

Cost: FREE!

Participants are encouraged to attend both sessions. Space is limited, so reserve your spot here:

Upcoming 2019 Programming 

  • Artists Books - September
  • Artist Residencies - November
  • Deaf StorySlam presented by Ex Fabula - September 22