Anne and Ben Koller, owners of the iconic MECCA floor, were born and raised in Milwaukee’s Midtown neighborhood, growing up playing sports at Tiefenthaler Park, a park that has been the scene of two homicides and multiple shootings in one of the most violent zip codes in the City.
Over the years, community organizations surrounding the park have been seeking innovative initiatives that foster peace and encourage youth in a positive direction.
After traveling the world and working in public art, placemaking, and entrepreneurship, Anne and Ben felt called to return to their roots and support the community they grew up in.
Since January, in partnership with Lake Valley Camp and ActivateMKE, they have been working with community residents and leaders on peacemaking efforts that use sport and art as a platform for peace.
With the support of generous grants from the Milwaukee Arts Board and Harry and Mary Franke Idea Fund, community-based public artist Muneer Bahauddeen was commissioned to lead the neighborhood through a process of peacemaking to craft five (5) Peace Posts made using the residents’ intentions for peace as the inspiration and foundation of the art pieces.
In the spirit of the MECCA Floor, bring together the seemingly opposite worlds of Sport and Art, a diverse team of local artists was assembled to design and execute a fully painted basketball
the court at Tiefenthaler park as a memorial to the Life and Work of the late pop artist Robert Indiana.