Public Art in Milwaukee turns into a rant about Civic Pride!

Wow. That was my first thoughts as I strolled around Milwaukee. The Public Art in this city is amazing. I started to question why do they have so much public art compared to Halifax. But first; what do we have in common and could Halifax draw from their success? Both cities have water surrounding them. Ok, We have ocean, Milwaukee has rivers and Lake Michigan. Then it became apparent that the Art Colleges NSCAD and MIAD have made their mark on the cities.

Again, I answered the question… Artists and Art Schools… but the answer I gave was only partially correct. Civic Pride was the key to Milwaukee. Halifax has no civic pride! It was lost in 1996 when our City was forced to amalgamate and be known by a long boring name: Halifax Regional Municipality or HRM (if you really want to add salt to an injury that has never healed). We call our home an acronym. This has to change.

Sure, it’s been 13 years… give it a rest. I probably could if we actually celebrated our history properly! I came home from Milwaukee to find that Rick Howe had written an article calling for another museum. Then it hit me. We do need to take our artifacts out of the warehouse over in Burnside and display them proudly to our children, immigrants and to our visitors but especially for ourselves.

We need to stop hoarding and start displaying! We were founded in 1749, but we act like we are bumbling depressed adolescents with no past, no present, and no future. A tourist asked me one day, “where is your historical museum?”  I was embarrassed to tell them our infamous history is stored in boxes in a warehouse outside our downtown area.

Rick, We do need a museum. We need a place of worship for our history. Halifax must embrace the past so it will have a future. This will then spur on the artistic people of our lovely home to decorate our parks, streetscapes, and urban areas.  Developers and private industry need to embrace this idea too.
Celebration comes from realization! So let’s realize our past, present and future by calling for a Halifax History Museum.

I know this will start the howls of the other communities… “What about us!?!” Well, with the money raised from such a museum, other parts of the municipality could then apply for the MIRF a funding source from the federal and provincial governments! Urban areas can’t apply unfortunately.

What do you think? 


RiverWalk Milwaukee’s Waterfront Stroll – Milwaukee IDA

tracing patterns