Milwaukee is historically known for beer and motorcycles. And these are both extrordinary inventions. Now, a group of people, including myself, want to celebrate another aspect of Milwaukee innovation: the typewriter.
The typewriter, featuring the same "QWERTY" keyboard we still use daily on our computer keyboards, was invented and patented in 1868 by newspaper publisher Christopher Latham Sholes.
This summer, Milwaukeeans and word enthusiasts all over the world can get loud and proud about this with QWERTYFEST MKE, a celebration of the typewriter and of words / publications / art in general.
The fun takes place from Friday June 23 through Sunday, June 25. (June 23 is also National Typewriter Day.) The celebration is spread out during the weekend at myriad events, starting with an Opening Night party at Dandy, 5020 W. Vliet St., featuring the cello-drum duo Nineteen Thirteen, a "Clackathon" competition and performance, a cash bar and more.
Saturday will feature a cemetery tour visiting the resting places of Sholes himself, as well as the gravesites of other writers and publishers. "Type Talk" presentations will take place following the tour in the cemetery's chapel.
QWERTYFEST MKE will also feature workshops at The Bindery, a Typewriter Brunch Open Jam at Company Brewing and more.
For the inaugural year, the organizers of QWERTYFEST are seeking crowdsourcing to make the event possible. If you are able to support this effort, please go here.
Tickets are also now available for this quirky, fun, pride-inducing Milwaukee festival. Go here for tickets.
"QWERTYFEST not only celebrates the invention of the typewriter and Milwaukee history, but the goal is to also showcase Milwaukee's talented writers, musicians, artists and performers. This is a new opportunity for people to check out the creative power this city has," says QWERTYFEST co-organizer, Tea Krulos.
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.