Play in the Paint | 2019

Two years ago, college student Joe Franke and founder of ActivateMKE, whose mission is “to connect the community by activating people and unused space through the idea of sports and fitness, thus providing focal points where all can gather,” put together a team to renovate the two ragged basketball courts at Tiefenthaler Park in the Midtown neighborhood.

The first court was painted last summer.

“We believe basketball brings people together in a powerful way,” Franke told me two years ago when I wrote more in-depth about the project. “Milwaukeeans from all walks of life can coexist and share the experience through sport, music and art.”

“So, with this (project), we were lucky to take a step in the right direction. We updated the nets, rims and paint lines at Tiefenthaler Park. This is the first of many series of renovations to not only Tiefenthaler Park, but ideally more parks around Milwaukee. It will not only be basketball renovations, but bringing in art and music, as well.”

Recently, Franke, along with Activate Co., the PEAK Initiative, Artists Working in Education and the Friends of Tiefenthaler Park and a group of students participated in a series of art workshops called “Play in the Paint: Court Art Course and Curriculum.”

“This class was envisioned after two successful years of improvements made to Tiefenthaler Park using Sport and Art as the medium for change,” wrote Franke in an email.

“Throughout last summer’s HOME Court project, a question emerged: How can we build on the momentum of the past two summers while utilizing the significant investment we’ve made in a team of artists, court painting experience and content creation to develop a course for youth that would lead to a community-centric design, execution and activation of the second basketball court at Tiefenthaler Park?”

The result is the redesign of a second basketball court in the park. Painting will take place Wednesday through Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Here’s the design for the second court: