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MADISON, WI -- This summer The Bubbler at Madison Public Library is launching a new artist-in-residence program called the Bubbler Artist Cohort. Six diverse teaching artists will work together to create community connections and creative opportunities around a single theme. As part of a larger initiative by Madison Public Library called YOU(th) Belong, the Cohort plans to collaborate over the course of six months to explore the spectrum of “Belonging” with youth (8 - 18 years old). 

The artists selected for the inaugural cohort are Papa-Kobina Brewoo, Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli, Sylvie Rosenthal, Amadou Kromah, Teena Wilder, and Anwar Floyd-Pruitt. These artists were recommended by local community arts organizations and other youth-focused partners. Additionally, Madison Public Library’s Racial Equity Change Team, Youth Services Team, and Community Engagement Team also contributed to the cohort selection process. 

“We’re making an intentional shift to diversify our artist pool and we hope that results in a deepening of capacity to meet the needs of youth - particularly youth of color - in our community,” said Trent Miller, Bubbler Program Coordinator. “As we all re-engage in the community, in new and familiar ways, we want to provide youth with more tools, space, and connections in order to feel supported through creative expression. We feel the creativity of six artists working together to explore the theme of Belonging will have a bigger impact.” 

In collaboration with Madison Public Library and other community partners, the artists will work to center and elevate the voices of youth through hands-on creation. They will champion creative expression, build relationships and help foster a library community where youth can always belong. Throughout their 6-month residency, the artists will attend various library- or community-hosted programs, lead thought-provoking activities and engage with youth at multiple library locations. 

Since 2013, the Bubbler program at Madison Public Library has successfully supported over 60 artist residencies. Historically, those residencies were structured for an individual artist to either do a 2-month residency at the Central Library or do a collaborative 1-week residency at the Juvenile Detention Center. Many of the past public-facing Bubbler programs have been led by a 2-month artist-in-residence out of Central Library. When figuring out how to assemble the new cohort Miller said Team Bubbler was looking for a specific set of criteria.

“We wanted a group of artists that were enthusiastic about working with youth and the library, but we also needed people who could work collaboratively,” said Miller. “This is a diverse group of established to emerging artists who create with a variety of mediums, are focused on engaging with the public, and who are ready to co-create tools for inclusive, youth-centered library practices and spaces with us and with community partners.”

The Bubbler Room (at Madison’s Central Library) currently remains closed to the public, with limited use by targeted community partners and teaching artists. The inaugural Bubbler Artist Cohort will safely utilize the space as they co-build with youth and one another to develop projects and programs around this year’s theme. The first Bubbler Artist Cohort will run from July 2021 - December 2021.

Learn more about each artist:
Learn more about the Bubbler Artist Cohort:

About the Bubbler at Madison Public Library
The Bubbler’s hands-on workshops, performances, and events introduce participants to a variety of local experts who share their talent and passion for art, design, and maker culture.  For more information, visit, Madison Bubbler on Facebook, or @madisonbubbler on Instagram. 

About Madison Public Library
The Madison Public Library's tradition of promoting education, literacy, and community  involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 145 years. All 9 library locations are currently open for in-person browsing, pickup-up of holds, computer service and in-person reference. For more information, visit, @MadisonPublicLibrary on Facebook and Instagram, or @madisonlibrary on Twitter.