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Author: Lee Matz

Mother Nature mural brings a heart to a new home for urban agriculture

As a former illustrator of children’s books and studio painter, Stacey Williams-Ng fell in love with mural painting. She has gone on to become one of the driving forces behind Milwaukee’s renaissance of street art, most notably the Black Cat Alley project and at various community sites around the city. Her latest project has been working on a special mural on the new Urban Farmhouse of the Victory Garden Initiative (VGI) at 249 East Concordia Avenue in the Harambee neighborhood. The artistic work covers the two street-facing sides of the building, located across from the organization’s farmland. The idea...

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Gretchen Mead helps harvest a decade-long farm-to-table dream

With a new Mother Nature mural adorning the 1904 facade, the building’s conversion is well underway as an Urban Campus for the Victory Garden Initiative (VGI), positioning it at center of urban agriculture in the Harambee neighborhood, and the fulfillment of Gretchen Mead’s long time dream. VGI started ten years ago in the basement of Gretchen Mead’s home, as an idea to build communities that grow their own food for a socially just and sustainable food system. As Executive Director, Mead recently completed the organization’s move to its new location at 249 East Concordia Avenue. The building was originally...

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Illuminated wishes floated across a foggy lagoon for first Water Lantern festival

Thousands of visitors gathered along Milwaukee’s lakefront for the inaugural Water Lantern festival on a damp evening with inclement weather to celebrate community, and cast their candlelit wishes upon the dark surface of the Veterans Park lagoon. The One World Water Lantern festival presented the June 9 event in Milwaukee as a venue that would bring people together for a magical night of food, music, and an awe-inspiring experience around the release lanterns onto the water. Family attendance was diverse not only for ethnicity, but also numerous languages could be overheard including German, French, Russian, Spanish, Korean, and Japanese....

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An excited public gets first chance to “Board The Hop” at Streetcar Open House

The June 8 event featured behind-the-scenes access to the new streetcar maintenance facility, with two of the five fleet vehicles on display for access. The Milwaukee community was invited to get its first glimpse at the future of transit in city. The free open house for The Hop, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, gave curious visitors a unique opportunity to go inside Milwaukee’s new streetcar system. “The Hop is an integral piece of the vibrant Milwaukee community we’re building,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “I’m thrilled that the public will had the occasion to come downtown, get a...

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LGBT dignity celebrated at Milwaukee’s PrideFest 2018

The 31st Annual PrideFest Milwaukee kicked off its opening ceremonies on June 8 at the Henry Maier Festival Park grounds, with honored guests, elected officials, award winners, and guest speakers that included a keynote address from Danica Roem. Proudly celebrating local LGBTQ culture and community, the 2018 PrideFest Milwaukee officially kicked off the summer festival season. The world’s largest LGBTQ celebration with permanent festival grounds is owned and operated entirely by volunteers each and every year. The festival traces its heritage back to 1974, when 350 people attended the city’s first organized expression of pride at the Gay People’s...

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Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days kicks off with journey along photos and sculptures

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s fifth annual summer health initiate launched on June 4 from City Hall, combining excise, community, and the arts. The Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge kick off event began with a group led stretch, followed by a motivational pep talk from Mayor Barrett, and a raffle for prizes. “When it comes to our health and wellness, every step counts,” said Mayor Barrett. “My Walk 100 Challenge is an effort to motivate people from all corners of Milwaukee to get out, stay active, and have fun. It’s a great way to explore the beautiful neighborhoods...

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