Milwaukee Creatives Energize Grand Ave.
Arts groups collaborate to lease space in Shops of Grand Avenue
Three creative and established arts groups: Milwaukee Comedy, Inc., home to the annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival, along with Pink Banana Theatre Co., providing new opportunities in theatre, and Studio Kristelle an open artist studio, officially announce a new office/rehearsal/studio space in the Shops of Grand Avenue as part of the Creativity Works Here program. The new space, dubbed The Underground Collaborative (The UC for short) aims to help the arts and other like-minded businesses in the Greater Milwaukee area.
Approximately 10,000 square feet on the lower level of the Plankington building will host the three creative ventures. Each organization will operate independently of one another, but will share spaces and resources including marketing, box office services, etc. “Working together just made sense, economically and creatively.” Said Matt Kemple, founder of Milwaukee Comedy Inc., and Artistic Producer of Pink Banana Theatre Co. “Each company has different strengths that can be utilized in unique ways.”
The three companies will each offer different workshops, space rental and artistic undertakings along with administrative offices. Milwaukee Comedy and Pink Banana Theatre will both offer rehearsal space and small performances. Studio Kristelle will focus on music, dance, writing and art and allow the public the opportunity to stop in and visit her studio and observe art in progress.
Businesses including Art Milwaukee and Spreenkler Talent Labs currently occupy spaces in the Grand Avenue through the Creativity Works Here program, an effort to attract artists, creative companies and entrepreneurs The model was developed by management firm Jones Lang LaSalle, at a mall
Milwaukee Comedy, Inc., founded in 2008 as the parent organization of the annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival, provides educational advancement, resources, performance opportunities and public entertainment in order to strengthen the community through laughter and positive forms of expression. Operations have expanded in 2012 to sponsor and produce local comedy events, offer comedy-related workshops and enhance its promotion of the local comedy community. www.MilwaukeeComedy.com
Pink Banana Theatre Co., founded in 2004, was created to provide professional opportunities to emerging artists. The company offers a refreshing alternative to the more traditional shows often seen in the Milwaukee theatre world. www.pinkbananatheatre.com
Studio Kristelle began in 1990 as a small graphics arts business designing logos for Native American entrepreneurs. Today, Studio Kristelle aims to provide an accessible multi-creative environment for Artists who need a place to share their creative talents with the community and a place for the community to enjoy exploring their creative self with passionate Artists. www.studiokristelle.me