Wisconsin Humanities Project

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What is Community Powered?

Community Powered is an initiative that builds resilience among Wisconsin communities by helping them recognize, communicate, and act upon their strengths, their challenges, and their histories to envision a vibrant future. Residents of participating Wisconsin communities will experience new ways to unearth and tell stories of their communities and will take concrete steps toward making their hometowns even better places to live.  

How will Community Powered work?

For the 2022-23 pilot, CP will work with four communities from different regions of the state: Appleton, Racine, Spooner, and the Forest County Potawatomi nation. CP has partnered with a library or cultural organization to serve as the home base for Community Powered in each of these communities:

Alongside a selected local mentor from these organizations, CP will hire and train four recent college graduates from each of these communities. CP will train these young people and their local mentors in humanities and digital media skills, and then support them as they collaborate with local nonprofit organizations, businesses, and citizens to create a locally meaningful project.

Building on the work of the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures field school in Milwaukee, CP will teach these creative young people and their local mentors humanities-basedcommunity-engaged methods that prepare them to capture and share community experiences, values, and stories of the places they live and the people who live there. Through the process, community members will tackle a challenge identified by the community and will address it with a locally designed project. In the past, these methods have produced community gardens in vacant lots, or a pocket park and updated River Walk signs. These are just a few examples of projects that utilize community vision and local spaces to meet that community’s needs.

(Want to hear more? Check out Wisconsin Humanities’ Human Powered podcast!)