No Studios, a new hub for the creative arts in downtown Milwaukee, will hold its grand opening the weekend of October 12 to 14 featuring a series of open house and special event opportunities.

The opening weekend will give Milwaukeeans the chance to learn more about this new organization and the many ways to get involved. This first-of-its-kind experimental concept bridging arts and entertainment experiences, a networking and social club model, and shared workspaces was founded by Oscar-winning filmmaker and Milwaukee native John Ridley and business partner Chris Abele.

To welcome new members ahead of the grand opening, No Studios will offer an exclusive Special Advance Screening of the new, much-anticipated Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish comedy Night School. The screening will take place Wednesday, Sept. 26 before it’s released to the public on Sept. 28. A full lineup of grand opening events and open house opportunities will be announced later this month.

Housed in the newly redeveloped Pabst Brewery Complex, No Studios builds on Milwaukee’s rich history as a vibrant, creative community in one of the city’s up-and-coming revitalized areas. It is a social space dedicated to the creation, curation and presentation of art, in all forms, and welcomes diverse communities across the city to celebrate art together.

“No Studios is unlike anything I’ve been a part of before,” said Ridley, founder and CEO. “We’ve carefully curated a space and network where creatives of all kinds can socialize with purpose. Relationships still matter, and in our increasingly digital world, we hope to offer the opportunity for people to connect offline and fuel their creative passions.”

Ridley previously won an Oscar for writing 12 Years A Slave, he wrote and directed the innovative Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, and was the creator, director, and executive producer of ABC’s Emmy-winning series American Crime. His limited series Guerilla, with Idris Elba, Freida Pinto, and Babou Ceesay, aired last year on Showtime and Sky.

Ridley’s critically acclaimed documentary about the Los Angeles uprising, Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992, premiered in theaters and aired on ABC in 2017 and is now available on Netflix. He is currently directing the sci-fi romance Needle in a Timestack with Leslie Odom Jr., Freida Pinto, Cynthia Erivo, and Orlando Bloom. He is slated to direct an adaptation of his graphic novel series The American Way for Blumhouse as well as the first episode of the EPIX original series Godfather of Harlem, starring and executive produced by Forest Whitaker.

The 40,000 square foot building is designed to feel comfortable, open, modern and inviting, encouraging collaboration. There is a mix of long-term and short-term offices, conference rooms and shared work spaces intended for individuals, organizations and companies in creative fields.

The first floor gallery space, bearing high ceilings and exposed brick, will show rotating exhibitions and feature a gallery lounge and cocktail bar serving wine, craft beers, cocktails and Colectivo coffee. The gallery level also includes a state-of-the-art, 47-seat screening room, and a performance stage. A glass enclosed rooftop offers a bar and event space with expansive city views, and is scheduled to open later this year.

No Studios rounded out its management team with hiring Luke Repetti as general manager of building and events, who started in his new position on September 4. Repetti’s experience in Milwaukee’s arts and entertainment scene is robust, with previous roles at BMO Harris Bradley Center, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and Summerfest. He will join Lisa Caesar, chief operating officer, and Sylvia Desrochers, director of media and programming.

A curated group of tenants, who share a common dedication to the arts in Milwaukee, will call No Studios home in the coming months, including Independent, Media Circus International and Gener8tor. These organizations will join previously announced tenants Milwaukee Film, Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance, 371 Productions, Custom Reality Services, UW-Milwaukee Department of Film and Marquette University.

© Photo

Rocco Ceselin and Eli Joshua Ade