Milwaukee Art Museum Hosts Block Party Inspired by Baltimore Native Derrick Adams

Black Life and Leisure

Black life and leisure are something traditional media doesn’t show often, which is why Baltimore native and Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams’s art “examines the role of the media in shaping identity.” Adams was commissioned by Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) to make an exhibition for their “On Site” series that started in 2001.

Adams’ exhibit, “Derrick Adams: Our Time Together” features a multimedia wall mural and sculptural installation the artist made specifically for the Museum’s East End. The mural is inspired by Victor Hugo Green’s “The Negro Motorist Green Book”, and it includes references to Milwaukee staples like Gee’s Clippers, Coffee Makes You Black, and the Wisconsin Black Historical Society, as well as photographs from the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Block Party

To match the vibes and goal of Adams’ exhibit, MAM Curator of Community Dialog Kantara Souffrant suggested the museum host a block party geared towards the Black community because a big part of our leisure is gathering, music, and food.

“I couldn’t imagine not doing a block party when I heard of the themes in the show,” said Souffrant.

MAM’s block party is being held today, May 21, 2022, from 11 a.m. CST to 2 p.m. CST at 700 N Museum Drive in Milwaukee.

According to Souffrant, this event is to let the Black community know that MAM is a space for them and that they should come as they are because a lot of our community doesn’t always feel welcomed.

MAM’s block party is May 21, 2022.
MAM’s block party is on May 21, 2022. (Picture by Milwaukee Art Museum)

“To focus on Black leisure and gathering…for me, those are the opportunities where we get to see ourselves and connect with one another.”

– Kantara Souffrant

The Block party will feature multiple activities, including a spades tournament, line dancing, face painting, and museum tours. There will also be Black-owned food trucks depending on the weather.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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