7:00 am

Milwaukee's City Hall

Islands of Milwaukee Performance/Exhibit




More people are aging alone at home than ever before.AARP has identified social isolation as a pressing challenge for aging societies.Research suggests that as a health risk factor, social isolation is akin to 18 cigarettes per day. And the effect is life-long, not just for older adults.Isolation and loneliness impacts people of any economic status – from urban to suburban and rural areas alike.

The Islands of Milwaukee (IoM) is a bold, innovative attempt to address social isolation among our aging population through the arts.

Disease, disability, job loss, loss of a spouse – there are many factors that can lead to social isolation.IoM is a multi-year and multi-faceted approach toward easing it – and its culminating performance and exhibit is coming to Milwaukee’s City Hall on September 20th and 21st.The exhibit will be open through October 20th.

IoM brings together internationally recognized Sojourn Theatre with internationally recognized scholar Anne Basting and Milwaukee-based artists and area care networks for older adults to ask – how can we stay connected as we age?How can we be part of creating a more connected community?

Over two years, the collaborative team behind IoM built a network of partnerships to bring creative engagement to older adults living alone or under-connected to their communities – inviting them to share thoughts and stories through art and in turn engage others.

IoM begins with simple, provocative Questions of the Day – distributed through home delivered meal drivers, volunteers, and home care providers.Questions of the Day can be answered by phone, hand-written cards, or the website/facebook page.The arts team in turn invites those who answer to engage more deeply – and connects them to others in the project.

The culminating exhibit and performance at Milwaukee’s historic City Hall invites us all to meet the people providing connections (through services and volunteerism) and some of those with whom the IoM teams connected - Bill, Jim, Angie, Taylor, Ernest, and June.The interactive performance will take place during “Doors Open,” when 2,000+ people pass through the building to get tickets and tour the tower.The exhibit will continue into October.IoM suggests that Milwaukeeans not just open their doors, but knock on the door of a neighbor to create a more connected community.

The team behind the project includes UWM’s Peck School of the Arts; Sojourn Theatre; Milwaukee Co. Dept. on Aging; Interfaith Older Adult Programs; Goodwill Industries of Southeastern, WI; and Stowell Associates.

The effort was funded by the NEA ArtWorks, UWM Research Growth Initiative, the MAP Fund, the Helen Bader Foundation, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and the Princess Grace Foundation.

Posted 3 months ago

Packard and Ramsey in Cudahy

Crossing Performance #3

Our third Crossing will take place Friday afternoon with elders from Williamstown Bay senior apartments and Evergreen Square.  We’ll be joined by Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt and County Supervisor Patricia Jursik, as well as UWM Dean of the Peck School of the Arts Scott Emmons. 

We’ll make a special stop at Pick N Save and CVS to share our thoughts on the importance of parking lot pedestrian safety. 

If you’d like to join us for this Crossing, please let us know through the Contact page.


Posted 6 months ago

St. Francis/KK

Crossings Performance #2

Our second Crossing takes place Friday morning from 9-11 at St. Francis and Kinnickinnic. 

For this Crossing, we’ll walk with an intergenerational group from the Sacred Heart Senior Apartments, Howard Village, St. Ann’s Intergenerational Center, and Thomas More High School.  

Joining us will be St. Francis Mayor CoryAnn St. Marie-Carls and County Supervisor Patricia Jursik. 
If you’d like to join us for this Crossing, please let us know through the Contact page. 


Posted 6 months ago

Intersection of Russell, Logan and Kinnickinnic

Crossings Performance #1

We’ve been working with local community groups to gather stories from older adults about which intersections they would like to cross, but don’t feel safe doing so. The Crossings performances demonstrate that Milwaukee can be a city that SEES and STOPS, to give our older adults a confident foothold in the public space of the street.

At this Crossing, we’ll walk with elders in the neighborhood, Bay View High School students, and several civic officials including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and WI State Senator Chris Larson.  

If you’d like to join us for the Crossing, email us through Contact. 


Posted 6 months ago

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