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"Make Milwaukee": Our Most Fun, Most Creative Campaign Ever

Listen: It's been awhile since I've had a chance to flex my writing muscles here on the Unified Milwaukee blog! I am elated to be back with the opportunity to exuberantly describe what we have coming for you in the next 8 weeks. Over the holidays, we featured 50 organizations serving human and basic needs in 50 days, a campaign that was both beautiful and challenging and complex and simple. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, it's all housed on this blog. During the winter months, we're not even thinking about slowing down. We're diving headlong into Make Milwaukee, a celebration of arts and culture in our wonderful city. Last year's Make Milwaukee campaign consisted of short features on working artists in Milwaukee -- while the content was interesting, we have challenged ourselves to go above and beyond this year. Better production, deeper connections with the community, more diverse, excited voices on the air. So bear with me for a moment, because I want to take you into the process we used for putting together this year's Make Milwaukee. When we plan one of our two or three month long initiatives, we bring in a group of advisors who are experts on the community we're engaging. We ask them questions that are simple, but ones they rarely get a chance to answer: -What does your community look like? -What in Milwaukee gets you really excited? -What do people need to know about? These questions lead to a conversation so full and thrilling that everybody leaves with a big smile on their face. In the ensuing weeks, we then overlay some structure over that excitement and energy, coming up with campaigns like "The Neighborhood Project" or "The First Summer of the Rest of Your Life" or "50 in 50." For this year's Make Milwaukee, we're going to serve that excitement and energy raw, attempting to capture that planning conversation in sound. As an example of that enthusiasm, here's a short little "audio logo" you'll be hearing throughout the campaign: Also, I never post promos, but I particularly like the one we put together for Make Milwaukee. Check it out: So what will Make Milwaukee sound like on the air? Here's a sketch of what we're cooking up: - The biggest part of our campaign will be a series of tour guides to the arts community taking on the challenge -- "Prove Milwaukee is a creative city." They're sharing what gets them most excited in the creative community. These pieces will be sound-rich fun, full of location and movement, and hopefully connect you to the best stuff going on in town. -Jordan’s Milwaukee artist domino interview series! We started with one person working in the arts community (my mother, Janet Carr, Community Outreach Director at Danceworks) to be interviewed on our morning show. Then, they get to pick the artists to come on the following week. That artist gets interviewed and chooses the next artist. And so on and so forth. Pretty cool, right? -Community voices talking about art. Questions like "What is your first memory of art?" or "What was your greatest creative accomplishment." So, if you're out and about, look out for the guy wearing the grey hoodie with a microphone in his hand, because I'll make you rummage around for some memories. -Creative challenges! All of our tour guide will provide a creative challenge that we ask our listeners to complete. I have no idea what this will yield, whether it be photos or videos or audio, but I just know we want to see/hear you! -Events. Per usual, we are going to be everywhere. There are so many arts events around town, and we're going to do our best to hit as many as we can. -Anything and everything else. I want to keep the possibilities open. If an idea comes across my desk and it sounds like it's worth putting some effort into it, who am to turn it down? If you have a good idea, let me know! (Really: Now, I just ask that you listen. I've been having a ton of fun tracking down all this audio and meeting all the great people in Milwaukee's arts community. So find something to get exited about! Find something to get out and do and like we'll be saying for the next two months, Make Milwaukee!