Much like the city its named for, the annual gathering of music makers, fashion flaunters and creative crafters known as Made in Milwaukee just gets bigger and better each year.
In just eight years, founder Charles Watson has hosted nine of these events at various venues, from Stonefly Brewing Company to Moct to Turner Hall Ballroom. This year marks the 10th Made in Milwaukee, happening Saturday, Sept. 4 at Cathedral Square Park from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m.
The shows grow and morphs every year, but Watson says the root cause and essence of Made in Milwaukee is unchanging: "Art, music, love. Simple as that."
The music line up features Kings Go Forth as the headliner (9 p.m.), along with Milwaukee Hip Hop Revue with Rusty Ps, One Self and Kid Millions (8 p.m.), De La Buena (7 p.m.), The Wildbirds (6 p.m.), Uptown Savages (5 p.m.), Express Yourself Milwaukee Performance (4 p.m.), Allen Cote of The Championship (2 p.m.), Kyle Feerick (1 p.m.), and Ben Hall of the The Ragadors (12 p.m.). In addition, the No Request DJs keep the music going throughout the day.
And, of course, there's locally-made threads at the Made in Milwaukee Fashion Show (8:30 p.m.) featuring Myrica Von Haselberg, Madam Chino, Fashion Revolution, Mink, Hot Pop, Moda 3 and Elena Velez.
"I think the biggest differences this year is that I was able to include a kids and family-friendly area, bring in local food vendors, offer a free coffee tasting, start our own beer fest, include a local business area and last but surely not least work with Milwaukee Film in kicking off their season at this years event."
Oh, is that all?
The family area includes area with Milwaukee specific art projects, urban farming education with Sweet Water Foundation, kids science with Discovery world, Made in Milwaukee's first kids fashion show, an exhibition from Express Yourself Milwaukee, and clay projects with Murray Hill Pottery.
The Tasting Tent is all about, well, tasting. Representatives from Alterra and Stone Creek offer samples from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) while answering questions and talking about the roasting and brewing process. Milwauktoberfest kicks off at 3 p.m. with beer tasting of more than 25 beers from 12 Wisconsin breweries. Tickets for Milwauktoberfest are $15 in advance and $20 day of. $2 of each ticket sold will be donated to the Hope House of Milwaukee. Advanced tickets for Milwauktoberfest are available here.
And all movie buffs will want to check in at the Milwaukee Film tent to catch previews all day long.
All in all, it's got creative Milwaukee covered, which is always what Watson has envisioned for his events.
"Made in Milwaukee is a continuation of what I have learned being in the Milwaukee music scene for over 10 years. My favorite shows back in the day were called ‘Wheeled' and most of them included a local artist selling their wares or painting live. It was a great idea and a great time.
"Having a multi-genre music event was something that I learned was possible back in 1997 when my band, Rusty Ps, was performing some of our first shows ever along with garage rock and punk bands and belly dancers on Milwaukee's east side. So, with all that in mind, I can't say Made in Milwaukee has changed things because it is people that change things.
"All Made in Milwaukee is, is a mirror or sorts, offering a slice, a view of our extremely talented community back to the community itself. We, each of us, become inspired to create and therefore have the opportunity to inspire creation. My hope for Made in Milwaukee is not so much to make a difference but to create a place where this inspiration, love and sharing can grow."
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”