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WEDMKE is not your average wedding expo.
WEDMKE is not your average wedding expo. (Photo: Andy Stenz Photography)

Say "I do" to WEDMKE

Getting hitched? Turner Hall Ballroom just announced a unique wedding event, called WEDMKE, Sunday, March 13, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The engagement, ahem, will include a curated selection of local vendors and will be geared toward alternative options for a unique and personalized wedding. Vendor applications will be accepted through November 30.

Tickets go on sale Monday, Oct. 12 and are available online or at The Pabst / Riverside box offices. Single tickets cost $12 and couples are $20.

"It’s a smaller event, so each vendor will get face time with each person that walks through the door," says Andy Nelson, PR director of The Pabst/Riverside/Turner Hall Ballroom. "Our goal is to really connect vendors with couples. This not your average wedding expo."

Put this powerful documentary on your must-see list.
Put this powerful documentary on your must-see list. (Photo: Facebook)

"Romeo Is Bleeding" heals violence through Shakespearean tragedy

The first time Donté Clark read Shakespeare’s "Romeo & Juliet" he was in high school, and like many high schoolers, he didn’t understand it nor particularly like it. But when he read the play again a few years later, something clicked. Clark realized that the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets was similar to the struggle in his city – Richmond, Calif. – where North and Central Richmond have literally been at war for decades.

Clark – with the help of students from the RAW Talent Program where he works as artistic director – wrote a modern version of "Romeo and Juliet" and calls it "Té’s Harmony." Filmmaker Jason Zeldes learned about the project through his cousin who is also Clark’s mentor, Molly Raynor, and documented the six-month process leading up to the performance of "Té’s Harmony" which eventually became the documentary that debuted at the film festival this afternoon called "Romeo Is Bleeding."

The story unfolds through Clark’s eyes, who has lived in Richmond his entire life and has lost dozens of friends and family members to gun violence, crack cocaine and incarceration. Clark, who lives in North Richmond, grew up with the belief that people living in Central Richmond even though they were poor and black like he is, were his enemy.

As a child he dreamed of being something "really big" when he grew up, like a drug dealer. Although he started out a high school troublemaker, he wrote a poem during a workshop with Raynor and friends thought it was so good that he stole it off the Internet. This gave Clark an incredible amount of confidence and he started to spend more time writing and less time on the streets.

The deeper he went into his writing, the more he realized what was really happening in Richmond – as well as across the United States – and that the violence had little to do with drugs or money, but was rooted in anger.

"It’s about being hurt. ‘I’m hurt and so I’m going to hurt you back.’" Clark says at one point …

Let the good times flow!
Let the good times flow!
Hans Weissgerber, literally, rolling out the barrel.
Hans Weissgerber, literally, rolling out the barrel.
Polka time.
Polka time.
Free beer. Worth the wait!
Free beer. Worth the wait!
Danke, Hans!
Danke, Hans!

MKE Oktoberfest kicks off with free beer and the promise of a fun-filled weekend

At 4:30 p.m. today, Mayor Tom Barrett tapped a keg of Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier at Downtown’s MKE Oktoberfest which officially began the four-day celebration in Pere Marquette Park. This year, the expanded event features a variety of entertainment and a larger tent.

The keg tapping included brief words by Milwaukee County Parks Director John Dargle, Ald. Robert Bauman, County Executive Chris Abele and Hans Weissgerber, the driving force behind the event who owns The Old German Beer Hall and operates of the Estabrook Park Beer Garden.

MKE Oktoberfest takes place Oct. 1-4 and features live music, food – including a Friday night fish fry and a German breakfast on Sunday – along with a market, performances and beer, beer and more beer. For a full schedule, go here.

During this afternoon’s keg tapping, Abele was quick to compliment Weissgerber, saying, "Hans drives change." Barrett was also full of cheer, thanking the large group of attendees for being so willing to drink free beer.

"I know it was a sacrifice," the mayor joked.

Steph Davies kickstarted her plans for the future.
Steph Davies kickstarted her plans for the future.

The Waxwing needs your support

The Waxwing, an artist consignment shop, will move to a new, larger location on the East Side and to make this dream a reality owner Steph Davies has created a Kickstarter campaign.

When Davies opened Waxwing in the Shorewood location three years ago, the proceeds from a Kickstarter campaign enabled her to hire a Milwaukee artist to create a handmade sign. She hopes to raise funds again so she can provide a new space for even more artists to sell their work as well as a small performance venue for local musicians.

The East Side location is brand new – on the corner of Oakland and North Avenues  – and requires a full build-out, including flooring, electricity and shelving.

"We'll be doing much of the labor ourselves with the help of some of the artists in our space and we'll be supporting other local businesses as much as we can when it comes to building materials," Davies writes on her Kickstarter page. "Your pledges will help take the edge off the high buildout costs."

All contributors will receive a reward in the form of limited edition items, original artwork, T-shirts and more. "All items are produced by artists from our shop and represent some of the work we're so privileged to showcase," says Davies.

The Waxwing, hopefully, will open in time for 2015 holiday shopping.