By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 06, 2023 at 8:02 AM

Near West Side Partners hosts its third annual Near West Side Week with daily activities, from Sunday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 16.

“The Near West Side is a thriving community brimming with history, diversity, and investment,” said NWSP Executive Director Lindsey St. Arnold Bell in an announcement.

“Near West Side Week is a great opportunity for neighbors, employees and visitors alike to take pride in all the people, businesses and landmarks that make this neighborhood unique and celebrate why the Near West Side is a great place to live, work, and play. I look forward to seeing many new and familiar faces throughout the week.”

Here is the event line-up, as provided by NWSP:

Sunday, Sept. 10

Toast to Near West Side Week / Paint & Sip, noon-2 p.m
Washington Park Media Center, 4303 W. Vliet St.

On Sunday, Vibez Creative Art Space will host a “Paint & Sip” class at the Washington Park Media Center, complete with snacks and wine courtesy of Near West Side Partners. Class size is limited, so those interested in expressing their creativity must register in advance.

Monday, Sept. 11

Near West Side Week Kick-Off Celebration, noon-1:30 p.m. CANCELED

This event has been canceled due to inclement weather.

Tuesday, Sept. 12

C27 Preview, 5-7 p.m.
Concordia 27, 821 N. 27th St.

Join Near West Side Partners at Concordia 27 for hard hat tours of the under-construction community resource hub and future NWSP office space. During the event, NWSP team members will highlight the ways in which partner support has elevated the Near West Side business community. Catering will be provided by a local NWS business! Joining for the tour? Registration details.

Wednesday, Sept. 13

Rev-Up MKE Live Pitch Competition, 5-8:30 p.m.
The Rave/Eagles Club, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Near West Side Partners will host the sixth Rev-Up MKE 2023 live pitch competition at the Rave on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. During this event, Rev-Up MKE finalists – local entrepreneurs who have received business training and support from Marquette University mentors - will pitch their business idea to members of their community and a panel of judges. Attendees will be able to vote for an “Audience Choice Winner,” and awards will go to top contenders. Before and after the Live Pitch event, attendees will also be treated to a Taste of the Near West Side, refreshments provided by favorite restaurants in the Near West Side. Attendee registration is free, but encouraged. More information.

Thursday, Sept. 14

Fun, Fresh & Fast Lunch Hour, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Potawatomi Wgema Campus, 3215 W. State St.

Healthy lunch options on the go! Employees and community members are encouraged to purchase healthy grab-and-go lunch options from Food for Health or from a food truck while learning about health and wellness resources.

Friday, Sept. 15

Virtual scavenger hunt
Friday, Sept. 15 at noon-Saturday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m.

Teams of Near West Side enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in a virtual scavenger hunt, with missions and clues directing participants to explore the Near West Side and discover its hidden gems while competing for prizes. The scavenger hunt will launch via the GooseChase app at noon on Friday and will close at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16. Additional details and rules are available online.

Near West Side Movie Night, 6-9:30 p.m.
Merrill Park, 435 N. 35th St.

Community members are invited to Merrill Park on Friday, Sept. 15 to watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Water and snacks will be provided, and neighbors are encouraged to arrive early to play, listen to music, and put down a blanket before the movie begins at about 7:15 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16

Homebuyer Resource Fair, 10 a.m.-noon
Concordia 27, 821 N. 27th St.

Those interested in becoming a homeowner can join Near West Side Partners and Take Root Milwaukee for a Homebuyer Resource Fair. Attendees can hear from HUD-certified counseling agencies, make connections and learn all there is to know about purchasing a home.

The New State Near West Side Block Party, 1-6 p.m.
The New State Park, 2612 W. State St.

Near West Side Week will conclude with a full-scale celebration at The New State Park, where musical acts and groups like Your Move MKE, a hip-hop chess club, will get the party started with DJ sets and breakdancing performances from 1 to 3 p.m. The MKE Youth Theatre will perform at approximately 2 p.m. V Funk, a high-energy funk band, will perform from 3:30 to 6 p.m.. Throughout the day, artists will be creating, Familia de Arte will be etching ceramic tiles with the support of attendees, and classic cars will be shown on State Street. Lily Bell’s Fine Dining and Pete’s Pops will provide refreshments.

All week long

Text to Win

Each day during Near West Side Week, people can text NWSWEEK to (414) 677-3300 and follow the prompts to answer a question for a chance to win a gift card to a local Near West Side business. A new question will be added each day at 9 a.m., so play to win each day to increase your chances of winning! For more information, visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 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 has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.