Milwaukee All-Star: 414 Day founder Andy Silverman
Every week in 2015, OnMilwaukee.com and local design company Too Much Metal join forces to introduce the latest member of the Milwaukee All-Stars – a team of unfamiliar winners living in the city who consistently and diligently make it shine. Each week, a new member will join the team – based on your recommendations – and at the end of the year all will come together in a Rally of the Raddest Milwaukeeans. We're not sure what that means quite yet, so for now, meet …
Andy Silverman co-founded 414 Day - a celebration of Milwaukee that happens on April 14. He also works as a counselor and therapist helping Milwaukeeans in need.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: How long have you worked on this job?
Andy Silverman: Milwaukee Day has been a labor of love for about 5 years. My day job is therapy.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: Where do you currently work?
Silverman: Rogers Memorial Hospital as a behavioral specialist, United Community Center as a substance abuse counselor in training and UW-Milwaukee as a student.
I've been at Rogers for about six years doing three different jobs. Before that I was working in marketing for a long time but I knew I didn't want to do that forever. When I got into counseling it kind of changed everything for me.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What time of year / season is your favorite in Milwaukee and why?
Silverman: Spring. You have that first day that's drastically warmer than when it was snowing four days earlier. It's like the city is repopulated or something. Then you've got the most exciting point in the Bucks season and the Brewers getting started. Oh and April 14, the official holiday of our town!
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What's your favorite / or least favorite smell in Milwaukee?
Silverman: It used to be the yeast you would smell when driving past 35th-ish Street on 94 West. A common misconception was that it came from the brewery, but it actually came from a company called Universal Foods that my grandfather worked at for 30-plus years. Then again, a lot of that ended up in breweries so not a total misconception.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What's your hope for Milwaukee?
Silverman: Fair treatment for everybody in this city about where they want to live, hang out and work; Downtown as a destination for surrounding communities and neighborhoods; Milwaukee Day as an off day from work and school and a Bucks NBA championship in five years.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What neighborhood do you live in?
Silverman: Lower East Side for about 7 years.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: When / how did you fall in love with Milwaukee?
Silverman: Being born and raised here Milwaukee has always been a big part of who I am, but I think when I was about 14-15 years old and I started going to see bands around town. I played my first show in a punk band at the Globe around that time which really put me into a community of people that I am connected with to this day. That was when the excitement of being a Milwaukeean started.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: Why do you do what you do?
Silverman: A few friends and I came up with Milwaukee Day as a kind of strange social media idea glorifying everything we love about our city. But the more we pushed it the more other people responded to it. Since music had always kind of been our forte, we started to build actual events around that. Like I said, Milwaukee is a part of me. Milwaukee is not perfect by any means, but there are so many good people, quirks, and things culturally specific to our town it's worth kicking back and enjoying every year.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What is your one guilty pleasure?
Silverman: The zoo. I know I'm too old for that sh*t and I don't have kids, but if I have an excuse to go, I'd JUMP on it.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: Name a Milwaukeean you would like to high five.
Silverman: Herb Kohl (but not too hard).
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