Adopt a Community Program
As an organization, it is important for us to understand and infuse environmental awareness, sustainability, urban food production, and community gardens into our programs and services. Instead of always relying on dwindling community and government resources, we need to learn how to be self sufficient. We are learning how to grow our own food, create our own jobs and resources, beautify through public art and community clean-ups, and engage with and respect other cultures. "It takes a Viilage to Raise a Child" and we must work together to build and maintain our villages.
TRUE Skool takes a unique approach to strengthen and beautify communities through grassroots community-based social, environmental, and artistic initiatives. The Adopt a Community Program provides community service and volunteer opportunities through the following activities; clean-ups/illegal graffiti removal, community gardens/yard beautification/storm drain marking, and public art/community murals. All of these activities are offered to businesses and residents in the adopted areas at no cost. Our goal is to provide neighborhood beautification and community service opportunities from July-September each year. Expected outcomes are to create more green space and safer pedestrian walkways, create public art to help deter vandalism, teach youth and community residents about urban food production though community gardens and to provide over 200 hours of community service to youth and adult volunteers from June to September. We track all of the data and activity related information using Google Mapping and create a end of program report that is distributed to all program partners.
TRUE Skool works with local BIDs, Neighborhood Associations, and other community stakeholders to provide free services such as garbage clean-ups, illegal graffiti removal, storm drain marking and community gardens throughout the summer months to different communities each summer.
We believe our youth should not only be comfortable in every side of Milwaukee, but also should engage with youth and adults in communities they might not otherwise due to segregation, transportation issues, etc. Through the AaC Program, youth not only lead these projects, but also reach out to other youth serving agencies to partner and engage participants in community building.
2012 Adopt a Community Program w/All People's Church
To be considered for our Adopt a Community Program or to volunteer for clean ups, contact us.
We partner with agencies such as Probation/Parole, First Time Juvenile Offenders Programs, Community Partners and the Milwaukee Municipal Courts to recruit and refer young people who have received tickets and those identified as at-risk for tagging/vandalism related offenses to our Adopt a Community Program and Urban Arts Program to work off community service hours by giving back to the community through clean ups and community murals. We also include a community service component for all of our projects so youth can engage in responsible citizenship.
TRUE Skool is always looking for volunteers to help out with events, programming, general office duties, community clean-ups and special projects. We work with UW-Milwaukee's Service Learning Institute and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design's Institute of Service Learning. We provide college students with volunteer opportunitites that will fulfill their service learning requirements and earn credits for their time spent with TRUE Skool.
Our goal is to create and find public art space to heal and beautify communities through the power of ART!
We also identify walls that are commonly tagged and work with the property owner to paint over the illegal graffiti with themed positive artwork.
If you are a property owner, whether it is a business or home, looking for artwork outside or inside your property, contact us for details. We work with a variety of talented artists that can provide different styles, mediums and professional artwork to customize your home or business.
We have painted motorcycles, businesses, signs, storefronts, houses, murals, canvases, custom portraits, arcade rooms, and many more over the years. Portfolios available upon request.
PAST Community Murals:
2008- Community Mural on S. 12th & National Ave w/COPE2
This was our first community mural, as part of our Adopt a Community Program where we create art to beautify neighborhoods and adopt a 5-block radius around the mural location and conduct community clean-ups, storm drain marking for Milwaukee Riverkeepers, and illegal graffiti removal which is all tracked using Google Maps to present data on how community murals can deter illegal vandalism and beautify neighborhoods. The funding for this mural came from a grant from Safe & Sound, Inc. We started this mural a few days before our annual Block Party in July 2008 and had international Graffiti Artist, COPE2, out for the event who also helped with this mural. I met with the property owners prior to painting and since it was recently tagged, they loved the idea of a mural to avoid future tags/vandalism on their property. The youth artists, most of whom lived within blocks of this location, wanted to “give art to the community”, hence the title and artwork saying “From the Youth to the Community”. This mural created some controversy with the Anti-Graffiti Program staff because it incorporated graffiti style letters and they sent a letter to the property owners trying to say that because we had the www.trueskool.org website on the mural (as an “artist signature” so people knew who painted the mural), that it violated the signage ordinance and the website was a corporate reference (we are a 501c3 nonprofit). We immediately removed the website to avoid any issues and the property owners thankfully continued to support having the mural on their property by telling the Anti-Graffiti Program that is will stay up with their permission and nothing about the mural was illegal. It is still up today, 6 years later, despite adding a doorway where part of the mural is and changing property owners.
2009-Community Mural on Cesar Chavez Drive
This was our 2nd community mural and was in partnership with the Cesar Chavez Business Improvement District. Again, we held a large community clean-up to kick off the mural painting with over 100 volunteers from the Milwaukee Police Department, Safe & Sound’s Community Partners, South Division High School, Hope House, Latino Community Center, and Milwaukee Christian Center. We provided community clean-ups, illegal graffiti removal, storm drain marking for Milwaukee Riverkeepers, and yard beautification (planting grass and flowers for residents at no charge) throughout the summer.
2009-Commissioned Mural on E. North Ave
This was a commissioned mural from the tenant of the property.
2010-Community Mural in Walker's Point
This was our 3rd community mural and was in partnership with the Walker’s Point Neighborhood Association. Again, we held a large community clean-up to kick off the mural painting with volunteers from local businesses, Milwaukee Violence Free Zone, Bradley Tech High School, Hope House, and Urban Underground. We provided community clean-ups, illegal graffiti removal, and storm drain marking for Milwaukee Riverkeepers throughout the summer. Since it is called “The Historic Walker’s Point” the youth artists created a mural depicting historic landmarks and buildings.
2011-Commissioned Mural inside the ACLU-WI Youth Program Office
This was a commissioned mural for the ACLU-WI Youth Office located in the 3rd Ward.
If you are interested in volunteer opportunities please contact us.