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All are welcome! Tenney-Lapham 'Party in the Park'

Summer kicks off in Tenney-Lapham neighborhood
next Sunday, June 10th!

Reynolds Park is the 'town-square' of our neighborhood. On any given day you can find people playing ultimate frisbee or soccer, flying kites, having picnics, heading up the steps to the rooftop tennis and bike polo courts, or simply passing through on the way home from running errands. If you were there on Friday, you might have seen a Park Ranger joking around with a woman holding a can of spray paint.

About a month ago, I met up with my neighbor, Wendi Kent, to talk about this year's Party in the Park. In its fourth year, the neighborhood block party has been a really fun way for people to meet and hang out in this bustling urban-residential neighborhood. The Party has also raised money for Lapham Elementary School and park projects, like treating trees against the Emerald Ash Borer, planting public fruit trees, and installing new bike racks.

Wendi is an artist with The ArtWrite Collective and one of the leading forces behind the You Are Beautiful mural near the Yahara River at 1444 East Washington. Her photography and painting are amazing, but I know Wendi as a parent and activist. We are lucky to have Wendi to create the signature 'Welcome' mural on the wall of Reynolds Park this year. 

ME: What do you like about living in the Tenney-Lapham Neighorhood?

WENDI: We really appreciate that it is a cozy neighborhood with convenient access to local businesses, and with Lapham Elementary being such an amazing school, we were really excited to move to this area. We love that we can walk to everything. We have shops, food, the lake, playgrounds, and friends. 

ME: Tell us a little about ArtWrite and the You Are Beautiful mural project.
WENDI: It’s a long and beautiful story but in short, the mural was a two-year-long project and it was designed and painted by Queer and Trans youth and other ArtWrite Collective mentors. We are so grateful to have had the support of the community and the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association. We hope to increase support for public art in Madison by showing how beneficial it can be.

The ArtWrite Collective is focused on supporting and highlighting the work of activist artists. We are artists of marginalized communities such as women, women of color, LGBTQ+, and low income and at risk youth. 

ME: I know you are a Roller Derby player and you spent a lot of time at last year's Party in the Park roller skating in the rooftop rink! What do you like about Party in the Park and why you are excited about it this year?

WENDI: I'm excited to spend another year getting to know our neighbors and connecting with other families in the area. It's important to me to try to bring back the "free-range" kind of mentality regarding my kids playing with their peers in our neighborhood. That takes some getting used to and I think that comes with trust and that comes from building relationships with those around us. I was so excited to hear that the neighborhood association's theme this year is affordable housing [the theme in 2017 was 'safe streets']. This should be a big concern for our community right now and it's important to highlight the inclusivity we want to create here. This includes making sure that all of our neighbors feel at home. 

The Party in the Park is Sunday, June 10th from 4-7PM and
everyone is welcome!

 You'll find a casual gathering for neighbors to enjoy amazing food and drink provided by our unique local businesses, watch performances by local talent, relax among friends and get to know new neighbors. 

 YES! Free ice cream from the Chocolate Shoppe scooped by your friendly neighbors
YES! Free root beer from Cork N' Bottle
YES! Lots of other amazing food and drink...Underground Food Collective...Robin Room...etc
YES! Free face-painting by Haley and hair-coloring by Reanna
YES! Drum circle, unicycle performance, police horses, and MORE!

YES! Water Well Tour at 4:30PM
What do you know about the water you drink? The annual Water Well Tour helps us appreciate the groundwater that is pumped into our taps! We are grateful to Madison Water Utility for again providing a tour of the water source hiding in Reynolds Park.

With support from Cork n' Bottle and many of the area businesses, the Party in the Park is a fundraiser for for Lapham Elementary School and park projects!



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