# Arts in Milwaukee – Dominic Inouye ZIP MKE – literature
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Dominic Inouye ZIP MKE

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(414) 870-4896
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artist bio

ZIP MKE is a grassroots community engagement project created in October 2016 that uses photography to

celebrate all 28 ZIP Codes in the city,

engage & connect communities, and

expand social perspectives by diminishing preconceived assumptions.

We embrace the ubiquity of the camera and its potential to capture subjects and stories (whether human, natural, or architectural) in powerful ways. Through our online gallery, public exhibitions, neighborhood walks, public conversations, and community engagement events, ZIP MKE is envisioning the Milwaukee we all need to see: the faces, places, and events that make all 28 ZIP Codes unique, beautiful, and diverse.

For more information:

zipmke.com | contact@zipmke.com | #zipmke

artist statement

ZIP MKE was born in a city whose vibrant industrial and cultural history struggles with the inevitable boundaries that rivers and freeways, economic progress and social discrimination, have created. At once a city of good-natured and progressive citizens and one of sequestered insecurities, Milwaukee is experiencing a new wave of energy that seeks to change its narrative: to transform the city into one that is safe, fun, accessible, and prosperous for all its citizens, a common ground of equal opportunity for everyone, from all neighborhoods. ZIP MKE realizes that, on a fundamental level, this will not be possible until the artificial geographic boundaries of ZIP Codes and neighborhoods and cross streets are transcended, and until the psychological barriers that prevent us from uniting to work together are demolished.

Founder Dominic Inouye created ZIP MKE, in part, as a response to the officer-involved shooting of Sylville Smith on August 13, 2016, and the violent unrest that followed, but more so because of the language he heard people using when debating about the events, especially on social media. “It’s not like these terms are anything new,” he says, “but I heard with greater, concentrated frequency and fury the dichotomous and divisive terms: ‘city/inner city,’ ‘urban/suburban,’ ‘good neighborhood/bad neighborhood,’ ‘the hood,’ ‘the ghetto.’ That neighborhood. Those people. Black people. White people.” He asked himself: What can I do, what can we do, to bridge these gaps that allow us to talk about each other without really knowing each other?

His answer? Change our perspective (zoom in and zoom out), then change our perception.

If we change what we see, we can transform how we see. The word “perspective” comes from the Latin perspecire, which means “to inspect or look closely at,” and our word “perception” comes from percipere, which means “to seize or understand.” It is only when we see each other and the spaces we inhabit that we can begin to understand each other and seize the possibilities for change.

ZIP MKE exists to get Milwaukeeans to look at their city more closely and broaden their gaze so we can recognize the beauty of our diversity, no matter what our ZIP Code. Together, through shared experiences and community involvement, we can transcend artificial boundaries and move out of our comfort zones, because knowledge is power and power can move us to change.

We want to be a photo album for the city that blurs the edges, that walks across boundaries. We see a Milwaukee of engaged citizens where all have dignity, where beauty is easy to identify in all corners of the city. A Milwaukee that all can be proud to call home.