88Nine Radio Milwaukee will present AlleyWayz, a live performance series of acoustic concerts this summer at the East Side’s Black Cat Alley, between Farwell and Prospect Avenues behind the Oriental Theater.

The series starts July 22 and will showcase five emerging Milwaukee musicians, in partnership with five muralists, to present intimate and engaging performances for a local and online audience. The series came together as a collaboration of creatives from across the city, spearheaded by Aaron Davis, experience designer with BLK SHP (pronounced “Black Sheep”); Enrique Rodriguez, founder of Magic Studios; and Stacey Williams-Ng, program director of Black Cat Alley.

AlleyWayz performances will take place every other Sunday evening, starting at 8:00 pm on July 22 and ending September 16. The musician for each concert will perform a 30 minute set in front of a mural of their choosing. The kickoff of AlleyWayz will take place in conjunction with Black Cat Alley’s mural festival “Microcosm,” a celebration of public art alongside fellow creatives for a weekend of activities.

Inspired by the mission of BLK SHP to empower the artist within everyone, but recognizing that people do not unlocks their creativity alone, Williams-Ng, Rodriguez, and Davis formed this special collaboration. The group is excited that the process will connect artists who may not have collaborated otherwise.

“We have the unique opportunity to continue a strong Milwaukee tradition of appreciating our local musicians, our local art, and giving the world a chance to do the same,” said Aaron Davis, experience designer with BLK SHP.

AlleyWayz is a free concert series open to the public. Space is limited due to Black Cat Alley’s narrow configuration. Dates for the full series are July 22 – Nickel & Rose, August 5 – Lorde Fredd33, August 19 – Lex Allen, September 2 – Amanda Huff, and September 16 – Hannah Mrozak.

Black Cat Alley is a project sponsored by the East Side BID (Business Improvement District) in Milwaukee. The brainchild of local citizens and volunteers, Black Cat Alley is now a major arts destination for the city and a model for other public mural projects. The space includes 18 murals by 20 artists in a one-block alleyway.

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Lee Matz