TEDxUWMilwaukeeSalon Our City/Our Canvas

Videos of the TEDxTalks will be posted in the upcoming weeks!

Thank you to the students that contributed to the event's art gallery!

Dec 2 7:00p.m.

Fireside lounge, UWM Union

Milwaukee is a city of extremes. Extreme segregation, extreme entrepreneurship. Daunting crime rates, impressive institutions of education and healthcare. Underneath all of these extremes is the foundation of our city. This foundation is colored with art. From graffiti to murals, urban greenspaces to localized startups, how have these impacted our communities and youth? Our City/Our Canvas has delved into what Milwaukee's urban art can teach us about social justice, education, history, and more. Thank you to those who joined us for an evening of discovery and engagement.


If you are from Milwaukee you are familiar with the experience of being out somewhere on any given side of town and frequently crossing paths with other people you recognize. Is Milwaukee's smallness an obstacle to opportunity and success? Can we creatively use our overlapping circles as a strength? My radical invitation is that we see and understand ourselves as family; an organism of interdependent parts where everyone has something of value to bring to the table. How does stepping into community art as a supportive, creative framework help our attitudes shift towards each other? How does it actually build healthy connective tissue in our communities? I practice community art with organizations and people across all sectors of Milwaukee using visual art to share stories. When we become more empathetic and cooperative with each other, our organism is healthier - more responsive, wondering, seeing itself as an interdependent part of a whole. I invite you to play into this attitude, to test it out and consider where it may open doors and create new opportunities in your life.

Caitlin (1).jpg


Caitlin Sprague is a community-based social worker from the Milwaukee area and the creator of the Milwaukee Mural Map, an encyclopedic map that documents over 100 outdoor murals in Milwaukee and the stories behind them. She started the project after working with muralists in Chile while studying community organizing and after taking a tour of murals in Philadelphia. She believes so much can be learned through murals: a community’s goals, dreams, history, heroes, and values; and she sees them as tools to empower, unite, and create change.

This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED. Click here for information regarding an overview of the official TEDx initiative.