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doc|UWM is the documentary media center in UWM’s Peck School of the Arts Film Department that bridges academics with real world experience and gives students the unique opportunity to work on professional productions. Students and affiliated faculty collaborate on short form videos that raise awareness about a variety of contemporary political and social well as feature-length documentaries for public television broadcast.

doc|UWM has created work with diverse subjects such as elder abuse and fraud, contemporary poetry and animation, freshwater researchers, Hmong culture, Latinos in agriculture, a successful inner city track team, music documentaries, unique Milwaukee neighborhoods, water stewardship and conservation, and mass incarceration.

doc|UWM funders have included The National Poetry Foundation, Milwaukee County Department on Aging, Peace Learning Center, StoryCorps, The Coalition for Jewish Learning, The Helen Bader Foundation, The Wisconsin Preservation Fund, Spirit of Milwaukee, David & Julia Uihlein Charitable Foundation, the Herzfeld Foundation and On The Commons, among others.



Cream City Soundcheck brings together the very best of the Milwaukee music scene with the city’s historical and cultural landscapes to create an original music video project. A creative video series produced by students of UW-Milwaukee in collaboration with The Pabst Theaters Organization, each short video chronicles bands as they explore diverse places and perform at popular music venues throughout the city. Designed as a way for film students to learn professional documentary skills through creative and practical application, the production of Cream City Soundcheck is overseen by doc|UWM – the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s documentary center, housed inside the Peck School of the Arts Film Department.


The Milwaukee Water Commons project is designed to strengthen, link and expand water stewardship in the city. Milwaukee is realizing its potential to be a “water city”, as we activate a different vision and pattern of community leadership than is currently promoted. The Milwaukee Water Commons galvanizes more citizen involvement, leverages and links existing water efforts and resources, and is telling a fresh public water story.

transforming justice

Transforming Justice is conducting action research on mass criminalization and incarceration designed to re-frame dominant understandings of security, justice, and community health. We aim not only to document and “give voice” to these issues, but also to help develop strategies for re-defining security and health from the perspectives of individuals and communities directly affected by these forces on the ground. doc|UWM students are helping to Create a Grassroots History of Mass Criminalization in Milwaukee through recording a series of Workshops for Liberation, working on a Youth Video Collective collaborative documentaries, and Digital Public Archives.


Jenny Plevin, Program Director |
Jenny Plevin, a graduate of UWM, has used her experiences working with The Film Department’s Community Media Project to continue programing community film screenings and to teach and coordinate youth workshops in a variety of media. She returned to work at doc|UWM in 2006. Jenny’s art practice is centered on social justice and environmental issues using video, art installation and photography.

at doc|UWM, Jenny has collaborated with over 150 doc|UWM students and over 150 community partners to produce over 180 video projects and two full length feature documentaries shown online, on public television, and at film festivals locally, nationally, and internationally, such as the Milwaukee Film Festival, the Wisconsin Film Festival, The Beloit Film Festival, The Port Townsend Film Festival, The Hmong Film Festival and the Unknown Cinemas Film Festival.

Sean Kafer, Project Director |
Sean Kafer is a filmmaker and Associate Lecturer at UW-Milwaukee in the Department of Film. His work includes experimental narrative, film and video installation, documentary and photography. His recent film Valley Maker , which premiered at the Milwaukee Film Festival, observes his passage down the Mississippi River in a wooden raft that he constructed. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Masters in Film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.