By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Nov 12, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Today, I got an email from my friends at Artists Working in Education (A.W.E.) about a project the group did this autumn with kids at MPS' south side Anna F. Doerfler Community School in conjunction with Layton Boulevard West Neighbors (LBWN) and the COA CLC program.

They worked together to create a public art installation alongside A.W.E. artists John Kowalczyk and Diego Heredia.

I was happy to see that the students are working with Ald. Bob Donovan to get some community input for the project.

Here's what A.W.E. Executive Direcor Beth Haskovec wrote:

"Ten seventh and eighth grade students from COA Youth and Family Center’s CLC program have been working with Kowalczyk and Heredia to envision an intersection mural to be installed at 30th and Scott. The installation would beautify the neighborhood and build youth visibility and leadership.

This project exemplifies what A.W.E. is all about- pairing young people with professional artists to collaborate and design something for their own neighborhood.

"The A.W.E. art installation in the Silver City neighborhood fulfills two key components of our neighborhood Quality of Life Plan, namely Neighborhood Appearance and Youth Education and Leadership," said Dan Adams, Layton Boulevard West Neighbors Neighborhood Plan Coordinator. "With 33 percent of the population under the age of 18, we are excited to see local youth collaborating on this public art installation that will build on our recent successful efforts to make Layton Boulevard West a destination for the arts."

The students wrote to Donovan to explain the project and its goals.

"We spent a month working and learning about public art," they wrote. "We would like to accomplish what we have started. We are not just doing art. We are doing feelings! It expresses what the neighborhood can do ... we are making history."

This week, the students are going door to door to talk to neighbors about their proposal and the alderman's office is sending information and comment cards to residents, too.

The project will be installed in spring, if the community expresses support.

What a great way to teach kids about art, about advocacy, about community action, about collaboration.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.