Jane's Walk returns to the streets of Milwaukee's neighborhoods in May with a series of community-led tours of all stripes.
The free, annual event is part of a worldwide movement that includes hundreds of cities in countries from Algeria to Venezuela.
Taking its cue from the late Jane Jacobs, who went toe to toe with Robert Moses to save her Greenwich Village neighborhood from threatened freeway development and went on to write the landmark "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," Jane's Walk's stated mission is "to activate the ideas of Jane Jacobs by supporting a community-based approach to city building through citizen-led walking tours that make space for people to observe, reflect, share, question and collectively reimagine the places in which they live, work and play."
Jacobs was the subject of last year's acclaimed "Citizen Jane" documentary, which screened at the Milwaukee Film Festival last autumn.
While many cities just do a weekend of walks, Milwaukee's volunteer-led event is hosting more than 20 tours across the entire month.
The series kicks off with a free bash at Turner Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, May 2, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., that includes a meal of Jamaican stew and a showcase of of groups and projects that are working to uplift Milwaukee.
There will also be a panel discussion moderated by MSOE associate professor and co-coordinator of the ReciproCITY arts collective, Michael Carriere. Panelists include Adam Carr, Antoine Carter, Mikal Floyd-Pruitt, Tatiana Maida, Tim Syth, Ruth Weill and Venice Williams.
Register for the kickoff, and for individual tours in May, at JanesWalkMKE.com.
Here is a list of events, but keep checking the website as more are being added:
- Saturday, May 5: One Wisconsin Avenue and Coffee & Conversation with John Gurda
- Saturday, May 5: An Ecological & Historical Tour of the New Lindsay Heights
- Saturday, May 5: Jane & HMI Go Way Back, Celebrating Walker’s Point
- Saturday, May 5: The Beer Line and Beyond: How Ice & Sawdust Formed a Bond
- Saturday, May 5: AWAKE - A Walking Answer to Kinnickinnic Entropy
- Tuesday, May 8: A Sunset Stroll on a Future Riverwalk
- Thursday, May 10: Safe Passage: Connecting 53211 & 53212
- Friday, May 11: Kickoff of the Three Bridges Park Walking Club
- Saturday, May 12: Food Roots
- Saturday, May 12: Hidden Treasures of Hawthorne Glen
- Saturday, May 12: Taking Back Our World
- Saturday, May 12: Jones Walk
- Saturday, May 12: Activating MacArthur Square (Wait, where’s that?!)
- Sunday, May 13: Mother’s Day Picnic & Paddle
- Sunday, May 13: Milwaukee’s Clean Infrastructure - On a Bike!
- Thursday, May 17: Exploring the Unconscious of the Self & the City
- Friday, May 18: TGIF Stroll: Lake to Riverwalk, Parks to Plazas
- Saturday, May 19: Walk with Jamin Creed Rowan, author of The Sociable City & Book Talk at Boswell Book Company
- Saturday, May 19: Walk Like a 4-Year-Old!
- Sunday, May 20: Jesus, we need a change! Praying for Peace, Healing, and Reconciliation
- Monday, May 21: South Water Street & a Treat
- Thursday, May 24: All is Flux(us) - Activating Brady Street
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.