By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Sep 02, 2004 at 5:40 AM

{image1}Every night for the past two weeks The Amistad Pavilion, 2342 W. North Ave., rocked with a different event. From parties to concerts to family reunions, the 10,000-square-foot space offered Milwaukeeans from all sides of town the unique opportunity to celebrate, perform and unite on the North Side.

Owner Thomas Holmes, 46, started the venture in early June. Holmes, a promoter for the Apollo Night Show for five years, was looking for a place to hold the event after Pabst Theater dates weren't available.

When Holmes stumbled upon the mammoth party hall he decided to lease the space and offer it to the community.

"There is no other facility like this in the central city," says Holmes. "I wanted to bring more culture to the area."

The space features two pool rooms, a patio, kitchen, dance floor, stage and state-of-the-art sound system. It also remembers slavery, not only in the name, but through the décor. Holmes installed a replica of the original Amistad -- the Cuba-bound boat that staged a slave revolt in 1839. Other slavery memorabilia is displayed as well, including chains and photos of slaves.

"Metcalf Park (Amistad's neighborhood) is a high crime area, but there's nothing around our building which makes us more secluded," says Holmes, who claims there have been only minor problems this summer.

Holmes believes part of the reason for the lack of violence is due to strong security measures and his positive presence. He attends all Amistad events, has positive quotes on the walls and at midnight takes the stage for what he calls "poetry time."

"I talk about positive things and try to send out positive messages," he says. "I tell people that if they can't respect anything else, at least respect The Amistad."

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.