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Community Champion: Tia Richardson, Milwaukee Muralist Transforming a Community

Tia Richardson kneeling on a mural

Courtesy Tia Richardson

Milwaukee muralist Tia Richardson has seen firsthand the ways that art can transform a community.

A muralist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Tia Richardson has seen firsthand that making art can make community. “Murals offer a way to tell a big story across a scene in a way everyone can relate to,” she says. “And stories are so important because when we find ourselves in them, we can imagine how to use our strengths to move forward.” Richardson has completed more than 50 mural projects. They have been mounted in schools, businesses, and public spaces across Wisconsin and beyond. She particularly enjoys connecting with community members and the camaraderie that often develops. Once Richardson has been chosen for a project, she begins interacting with the community to learn about the issues it faces—for example, the need for inclusive, proactive education or the fight against prejudice and inequity. She then creates a mural that depicts a path toward a brighter future. “I love revealing the design to the community—and of course, it’s exciting when the mural is done and can be celebrated and enjoyed,” she says. Research shows that creative ritual builds emotional resiliency, and working together as a grou …

About the Author

Kate Madden Yee is a Bay Area-based freelancer, co-housing aficionado, and astonished mother of two college-age sons. She loves to write about women using their power and creativity to change the world.

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