On Friday, July 27 youth, families and community organizations from all parts of the city will come together in Washington Park for a unique event showcasing and celebrating their collective work to prevent violence: the Summer of Peace Parade and Peace Rally. The annual Rally, created by and for youth, is now in its tenth year.
At 10:00 a.m., the colorful Summer of Peace All City Parade starts the day at the Sherman Park Mary Ryan Boys and Girls Club, proceeding down Sherman Boulevard into Washington Park. Children, youth, community members and professional artists created the giant puppets and floats accompanied by dancers and music around the theme of “Finding Your Voice” –developed in workshops conducted by Milwaukee Public Theatre and Milwaukee Mask and Puppet Theatre.
At 11:00 a.m. the Summer of Peace Rally will take place at the Washington Park bandshell. The Peace Rally will feature popular DJ’s, musicians and entertainers, exhibits of youth workshop projects and public awareness campaigns, information and resource booths, and arts and crafts. Food will also be available for free to registrants and also for purchase.
At 3:00 p.m. It Just Takes One (You), an anti-violence campaign developed by youth in Running Rebels after-school program, will be launched. The event includes a fashion show featuring Gg Collections, up-and-coming young singer and dancer AshleYY, re-creation of a dance scene from the movie “Honey” with FreeStyle Dance Studio, and more. Youth and adults will be encouraged to sign a pledge to be a peacemaker in their family and community. The Summer of Peace events will close at 6:00 p.m.
Founded in 2002 by Tanya Cromartie and Fidel Verdin, Summer of Peace 365 is a year-round peace arts program providing a platform for teens to create and promote principles of non-violence, racial justice and civic responsibility. Each year since, their work culminates with a public Parade and Peace Rally. For more information, or to sponsor, donate materials, volunteer, register for the Rally or participate in pre-rally activities, contact Tanya Cromartie-Byrd at (414) 326-0507 or [email protected].
Founded in 1974, Milwaukee Public Theatre (MPT) designs, produces and presents over 1,300 programs and events annually to engage the public in learning about issues which impact their lives: health, employment, education, citizenship and environmental stewardship. Working with over 160 community serving agencies yearly, MPT artists lead workshops and activities in the visual, performing and wellness arts for all ages, cultures and abilities. Free, public Make-A-Parade Workshops are being held at Milwaukee Public Theatre’s Artivity Place in the Shops of Grand Avenue through July 25. Details are available at (414) 347-1685, [email protected] or www.milwaukeepublictheatre.org
The Summer of Peace Coalition includes ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs, COA Youth and Family Center, Medical College of Wisconsin Violence Prevention Initiative, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Milwaukee Mask and Puppet Theatre, Peace Action, Running Rebels, Safe & Sound Inc., Sherman Park Neighborhood Association, True Skool, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee, Urban Ecology Center, Washington Park Partners, and many more.
The Summer of Peace All City Parade is partially funded by the Wisconsin Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts, City of Milwaukee Arts Board, Milwaukee County CAMPAC, ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation Abert Fund and Mary Nohl Fund, Helen Bader Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) The Max Fund, Medical College of Wisconsin Violence Prevention Initiative, Merrill Lynch, Milwaukee County Parks, MPS Partnership for the Arts, Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation (NIDC), Shepherd Express, UPAF and many individuals.