Design matters, people. Especially when it comes to creating a streetscape that's exciting, alive and active. This is why I'm excited about "Windows on Wisconsin," a new Christmas and holiday season "tradition" for the windows along Wisconsin Avenue.
The program, hatched by the Shops of the Grand Avenue and Beauty's marketing director Rory Kurtz kicks off this Saturday, Nov. 20, the same day as the annual Holiday Parade. Beauty, by the way, is a salon with locations Downtown and on the East Side.
The bank of windows on Wisconsin Avenue along the north side of The Shops of Grand Avenue (west of the 161 entrance all the way around the corner of 2nd Street) will host the displays through the end of the year.
The Shops of Grand Avenue and Beauty discussed the potential to revive the art of the window display and the nostalgic excitement it brings to Downtown during the holiday season.
The idea, currently in production, is to help revitalize the Wisconsin Avenue experience (we'll all agree it needs it) with the support of our local business community via donated window display space from The Shops of Grand Avenue. Eleven businesses are on board, including BBC Lighting, Beauty, Broadway Paper, Cutting Group, George Watts & Sons, Karl's Event Rental, Lela (yes, this is my wife's store), the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Bucks, Radio Disney and the Wisconsin Humane Society.
It's been years since the windows at Grand Avenue had anything truly festive worth paying attention to, so this program is a step in the right direction.
I couldn't get samples of the designs, but will post photos once the windows are completed. But, be sure to hit the parade on Saturday (or anything over the next five weeks) to see them for yourself.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.