By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Jun 21, 2024 at 8:01 AM

OnMilwaukee is a proud sponsor of QWERTYFEST MKE.

For the second year in a row, QWERTYFEST MKE celebrates Milwaukee innovation from the past, present and future. The guest of honor is the typewriter, invented in Milwaukee 151 years ago by a guy named Christopher Latham Sholes. The invention remains relevant because the same keyboard – called “The QWERTY” keyboard –  is still in use today on our phones and computers. 

The organizers of this event – myself and author Tea Krulos – think that's worth celebrating this year and for many years to come.


QWERTYFEST MKE takes place June 21-23, 2024. (June 23 is National Typewriter Day!) It's for any and all folks who wanna join in quirky, nerdy, fun while recognizing a previously under-celebrated piece of Milwaukee history that is used by billions of people worldwide today.

The QWERTYFEST MKE weekend agenda features parties, live music, workshops, cemetery tours, a marketplace, presentations, brunch and more in all parts of the city. Guests can attend one, some or all of the events – some of which are free and some of which are ticketed.

Let’s break it down.


Friday, June 21

Typewriter Ball - Opening Night Party
Turner Hall (1040 Vel R. Phillips Ave.)

Doors at 5 p.m.


  • Boston Typewriter Orchestra
  • The Clackathon
  • DJ Swing Shift
  • Vendor market
  • DarkFusion Systems Gaming Lounge featuring Oregon Trail
  • OnMilwaukee Typing Stations
  • Splendid Mailbox mailing station
  • The Quick Brown Fox Typing Contest
  • The QWERTYFEST Typewriter Silent Auction
  • Free Usinger hotdogs, on-site popped popcorn and cupcakes from Bakehouse 103
  • Cash bar

Get tickets to the QWERTYFEST MKE Typewriter Ball here.

Saturday, June 22


Presentations, workshops, panels and live music
Charles Allis Museum

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

          Presentations (FREE):

Register for presentations here.

The Whiskey Type Party
Great Lakes Distillery (616 W. Virginia Ave.)
7 p.m. 

Join us for a casual get together in Great Lakes Distillery's distillery room. Food and drink available for purchase. Special guest Carolyn Wynnack will tell us about her creation, The Whisky Type website, which explores her love of whisk(e)y and typewriters. Plus, a musical performance by all-female, queer-friendly band Vox Starling. BYOT (bring your own typewriter) if you want as we'll have some fun writing prompts. 

Sunday, June 23

QWERTY Cemetery Tour
Forest Home Cemetery (2405 W. Forest Home Ave.)

11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Come on a special QWERTYFEST cemetery tour to visit the resting place of typewriter inventor Christopher Latham Sholes and learn about the enduring legacy of numerous Milwaukee inventors and purveyors of the written word. Tour starts at the Halls of History building. 

Register for cemetery tours here.

Typewriter Brunch Open Jam
X-Ray Arcade (5036 S. Packard Ave., Cudahy)

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Open to anyone who wants to bring a typewriter – or not bring a typewriter – to brunch. Food, coffee and cocktails will be available for purchase.

Mapping the Qwertyverse
Milwaukee Central Library, Rare Books Room (2nd Floor, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.)

3 p.m.

The Qwertyverse is a collaboration by UWM's College of Letters and Science, UWM Libraries and QWERTYFEST MKE. The mapping and archive project, directed by Dr. Jason Puskar, includes a wide range of historical artifacts ranging from digitized documents from the original inventors to oral histories with modern typists. It also maps locations in Milwaukee where the inventors lived and worked, and one day we hope it will map the spread of QWERTY around the globe. At the event, project collaborators will show archived items, locations mapped so far and answer questions about the project.

Card and stationery making with AP3
Charles Allis Art Museum (1801 N. Prospect Ave.)
4 p.m.

We're closing out QWERTYFEST MKE with our friends from Anchor Press, Paper and Print at the historic Charles Allis Art Museum. We'll have stamps, typewriters, paper and other items to make cards, prints and stationary. Free to attend; snacks and drinks available. 

All QWERTYFEST MKE tickets are available here.

Follow QWERTYFEST MKE on Instagram and Facebook.

qwertyfest 24X


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.