Community Conversations



Come together in recognizing and celebrating the diversity that makes our community strong and vital. Upcoming programs offer opportunities for honest conversations about how racial identities develop and influence our cultural norms, helping participants understand the differences between commonly held perceptions, unspoken norms, and the realities of contemporary experiences.


Thursday, Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Join us for an exciting made from scratch event featuring community stories blended, mixed, and baked by writer and poet Dasha Kelly with ingredients from the people of Sheboygan.

Dasha uses her words as tools for building inspiration and community. She has performed on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, been named Milwaukee Artist of the Year in 2016, was a writer-in-residence for the prestigious Pfister Hotel, and has been included on's list of "Top 100 Coolest Milwaukeeans."

Age 14+

$15 ($10 member), cake reception to follow

Register >

4:00–8:00 p.m.

Join us for a barbershop experience in the gallery featuring WE ARE WHAT WE ENCOUNTER. Share stories and get a cut with Dan Greer of Elite Barbershop. Takes place in the gallery featuring WE ARE WHAT WE ENCOUNTER. Call Elite at 920-453-0080 to schedule a free cut or hot towel shave during one of these talks.


Register for a date below
Tuesday, November 7
Tuesday, December 5


Conversations on Race and Empowerment (CoRE) is presented as a facilitated community dialogue within the Arts Center’s exhibition, THINGS ARE WHAT WE ENCOUNTER: DR. CHARLES SMITH + Heather Hart.  CoRE will discuss the impact of race, power, and identity in our country and community. Reverend Lex Cade-White and Alexandra Nugent, both experienced facilitators, will use data-driven resources to engage participants in approachable and inclusive discussions on race through creative expression, self-reflection, and interactions with Arts Center artists-in-residence and their work. This series will equip participants with the vocabulary and knowledge needed to further their understanding of historical and current race relations and privilege.

Tuesday, November 14, 6:00­–7:30 p.m.
In what ways do families positively and negatively impact our perception of race? We will discuss ways to address conversations in the family around race, power, and privilege across generations in an age-appropriate fashion.

Tuesday, December 12, 6:00­–7:30 p.m.
We will delve into the ways in which our community can address, engage, and be proactive, not reactive, to the realities of race that exist locally.

Age 18+


INDIE LENS POP-UP: Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

Thursday, November 2

10:00 a.m. Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary
7:00 p.m. Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, Chasing Trane brings saxophone great John Coltrane to life, as a man and an artist. The film is the definitive look at the boundary-shattering musician whose influence continues to this day.

Stay for a community conversation after the film.


INDIE LENS POP-UP: I Am Not Your Negro

Thursday, January 4

10:00 a.m. I Am Not Your Negro
7:00 p.m. I Am Not Your Negro

One of the most acclaimed films of the year and an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary, I Am Not Your Negro envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words, spoken by Samuel L. Jackson, and with a flood of rich archival material.

INDIE LENS POP-UP: Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities

Thursday, February 1

10:00 a.m. Tell Them We Are Rising
7:00 p.m. Tell Them We Are Rising

Tell Them We Are Rising explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played over the course of 150 years in American history, culture, and identity. This film reveals the rich history of HBCUs and the power of higher education to transform lives and advance civil rights and equality in the face of injustice.  


Thursday, March 1

10:00 a.m. Dolores
7:00 p.m. Dolores

With intimate and unprecedented access, Peter Bratt's Dolores tells the story of Dolores Huerta, among the most important, yet least-known, activists in American history. Co-founder of the first farmworkers union with Cesar Chavez, she tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century.


About this exhibition:

Artist Heather Hart (NY) uses architectural forms mixed with family and oral histories, multiple narratives, and participatory engagements as integral components in much of her creative work. For this exhibition, she continues her exploration of community spaces to consider and challenge the evolving socio-political landscape. She has created site-specific architecture to house and interact with twenty of Smith’s sculptures.

On View Now