The Milwaukee Mural Map and website was created by Milwaukee area native and adventurer, Caitlin Sprague. She’s a social worker with eclectic interests, a quirky attitude, and a love of ice cream and hedgehogs (the perfect adventure companions). For many years Caitlin worked as a professional Community Organizer in Milwaukee, and although she recently transitioned into the public library system, she continues to work with residents in various collaborative capacities. Through her work she is able to meet amazing individuals in equally amazing neighborhoods, and without them and their stories the Milwaukee Mural Map wouldn’t exist.
The Milwaukee Mural Map is, at its core, a storytelling device. So much can be learned through murals: a community’s goals, dreams, history, heroes, and values – just to name a few. Caitlin started the map to share and preserve these stories, as many had already been lost by the time she started interviewing residents. She also sees them as more than just pretty pictures: she sees them as tools to empower, unite, and create change. She’s worked with activists in Chile who use murals as a means to challenge unjust government policies and in December 2015 gave a TED Talk at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on the community impact of murals.
When Caitlin’s not mural hunting or working on the website, she’s usually off geocaching, biking, reading or writing books, buying more tea than any one person could ever need, eating all the food (she won a pie eating contest at Old World Wisconsin not long ago), and getting hooked on Netflix.
She firmly believes that Milwaukee has more to offer than most people think, and she hopes that people will visit Milwaukee more often and explore it deeper after visiting this site. There are 75 neighborhoods in Milwaukee and there are amazing things to get excited about in each. How many have you explored?