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About MKE<->LAX

Sara Daleiden, founder and director of MKE<->LAX © Lee Matz

MKE<->LAX facilitates cultural exchange and civic engagement between and within two American regions, with Milwaukee and Los Angeles as epicenters. The agency collaboratively produces residencies, programs, developments and other place-based initiatives. The agency explores cultural exchange across the boundaries that typically isolate ideas regionally, with an emphasis on regional poetics and expansion of market. Through ongoing mobility, MKE<->LAX asks questions about the influence location, size, market, values and other regional factors have on production of the arts and cultural identity.


About Sara Daleiden

Through directing MKE<->LAX and other related agencies, Sara Daleiden facilitates civic engagement within developing landscapes, exercising cultural strategies based in over two decades of experience. With bases in Los Angeles and Milwaukee, her initiatives encourage local cultures to value neighborhoods, public space, civic art, social entrepreneurship and racial and gender equity. She consults on strategy, facilitation, evaluation, communications and project coordination for numerous nonprofits, for profits and government bodies. She focuses on network development, organizational development, leadership development, real estate development, community development and economic development. She additionally has an expertise in working with artists and other entrepreneurs for civic engagement, creative placemaking, public art, artist residencies and small business development.

In Los Angeles, she collaborates with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Civic Art Program and other County departments and partners with the Civic Art as Infrastructure project. This project includes the documentary Civic Art: Four Stories from South Los Angeles and the screening series Civic Art Works with support from the County and SPArt.

In Milwaukee, she collaborates with the Greater Milwaukee Committee for Community Development, the City of Milwaukee and other local and national partners on the development of The Milwaukee Method of Creative Placemaking, the Beerline Trail Neighborhood Development Project and MKE United with support from ArtPlace America and The Kresge Foundation. She also co-directs HomeWorks: Bronzeville and Designing Equity.

Collaboration has been project-based or ongoing with America’s Black Holocaust Museum, Being Pedestrian, California State University–Long Beach, Cliff Garten Studio, ClimatePlan, Community Arts Resources, A Dallas Drinking Fountain Project, Freewaves, Friends of Blue Dress Park, Greater Together, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, Los Angeles Food Policy Council, Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, Los Angeles Urban Rangers, Los Angeles Walks, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, L.A., Mike Kelley Foundation, Milwaukee Artist Resource Network, Outpost@Armory, Peoples Lab, Suzanne Lacy, Urban Land Institute, Watts House Project, West of Rome and the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion.

She received her Master of Public Art Studies degree at the University of Southern California (USC). She has served as a senior lecturer and program consultant with Otis College of Art and Design’s Graduate Public Practice Program. Sara has additionally taught at USC, Woodbury University and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.



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