With the annual Washington Park Wednesdays Summer Concert Series cancelled in June, the organizers, Washington Park Neighbors, are doing something a little different to keep the music playing.
Local artists will perform live atop a custom mobile stage designed by Milwaukee Artist Brandon Minga that will make its way around the neighborhood – a la the FunkClub Wagon – to perform for Washington Heights residents.
The "Washington Park Wheels" performances will be taped and shared on digital formats in August and September.
Performers include Vincent van Great, DJ Kenny Perez of 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee music icon and educator Adekola Adedapo and Alex Julien with his Shonn Hinton and Shotgun project.
In order to remain safe, non-residents are not encouraged to come to the performances in person and residents are asked to remain on their porches, stoops or sidewalks. Please do not approach or follow the vehicle or the film crew.
"However," reads a statement from the organizers, "we do invite everyone to anticipate special music videos produced by TankThink, a local media production company that directly aligns with the mission of Washington Park Neighbors in that it is dedicated to strengthening cultural ecosystems. These short films serve both as a virtual experience for our audience at large and as an important archive for this moment in Washington Park’s program history.
"We appreciate the public’s understanding and support of the decision to cancel the 2020 Washington Park Wednesdays Summer Concert Series. Moving forward, we remain committed to our mission and equally committed to the equity, safety and well-being of our community. As always, we look to foster creative engagement with talent and change-makers through tangible connections to the neighborhoods that surround Washington Park."
The mobile stage design is not yet complete, but the photo above is a little teaser of a portion of it.
For more information and updates, visit washingtonparkneighbors.com.
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 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.