Share and compare about the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

Sunday at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

An open forum to share your thoughts of the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, during and after this weekend’s acitivites, and to compare the fesival to past years’: 

Saturday at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

What is/was not to be missed?  What was missing?  What could you do without?  What did you miss/not miss from last year? 

How can it continue to be improved?  What was most unique?  What was most unexpected?  Is it headed in the right direction? 

Did you discover a local business?  Did you dine on Milwaukee Avenue? 

How did you navigate the festival?  How did you decide what to see and do?  What did you learn from last year? 

What do you want folks to know?

Friday at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

Remembrances of the 2009 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

Do you remember the 2008 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival?


6 Responses to Share and compare about the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

  1. Robert Castillo says:

    Me and the Mr. went to the Logan Square Kitchen’s “pop-up” kitchen and had the Butterscotch & Bacon doughnut from “Donuts & Coffee”. TRULY AMAZING!!!

    Paired it with the Yuza Lemonade from “CounterBelly”.
    The lemondae was not too tart & not tooo sweet.

    Definitely going back tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!
    Way to go Logan Square Kitchen-great event, great idea!

    Robert: I was disappointed that I got there too late today, but I hope to catch it tomorrow. ~ Lynn

  2. Matt Beaton says:

    We’re going to go back out this evening, but here are some thoughts from our experience so far this afternoon:

    Last year was amazing – open, free, boundless, and full of little surprises as you walked up and down Milwaukee. It really felt like some of the better public spaces in Europe, and people from all across the socioeconomic spectrum were out and about. It was definitely the highlight of my summer.

    The biggest mistakes they made this year were not working with the Whistler to curate the bands (I understand there were some issues related to this), and fencing off the square. The fencing gives a really closed-off and exclusive feeling to the center of the neighborhood, which is antithetical to the spirit of the Festival. I guarantee the vendors would make more money, more people would come to the festivities, and you could still ask for donations, and people would give if it was kept open and fence-free. This year, I’m sure many people (especially the poorer ones) will decide not to participate when they see the “gates” and the money-takers. Most of the people inside the fence were white and middle-class. This was not the case last year.

    Last year, the festival ran the whole length of Milwaukee through the neighborhood. The Whistler stage location encouraged flow up and down the street. This year, ugly chain-link fences shut off the “official” festival from the rest of the corridor. The stage location also visually blocks access down Milwaukee. Early this afternoon, Milwaukee Avenue was dead, except for one fantastic Latino family making music outside of the Red Star. The galleries were too spread out, and there was no indication that the festival was intended to run along the corridor.

    I love, love, love the idea of this festival, and think it could be great for the neighborhood and the City, but I think this year it has gone in the completely wrong direction. Keep it open, free, and diverse! Last year’s festival was so encouraging, because it was the first time that I saw ALL of Logan Square’s residents mingling and enjoying the neighborhood together. We’ll see how the rest of the weekend goes, but so far it’s been disappointing.

    Sorry to bitch; just wanted to throw in my two (or three) cents!

    • I share your feelings about the fence, what it says, what it does. Someone likened it to a prison fence! I’ll expand on the issue of flow: even for our neighbors not attending or planning to attend the festival, the fencing blocks off and presents a perceived and real barrier to pedestrian traffic. We all know how difficult pedestrian access is to/from the square in general and the fencing cuts off the one clear path usually available.

      I do like the lower height of the main stage, but also would prefer last year’s location of it, so folks could enjoy sitting on the grass to enjoy the show.

  3. Betsy Elsaesser says:

    Parts of the Festival route were a bit messy on Saturday. A few more garbage cans at key corners, especially at the Paseo Garden, might help. Recycling looked to be non-existent.

  4. Elisa says:

    Hello Lynn–
    You and I chatted briefly on Friday. I agree with other posters that the chain-link area around the square was jarring and interrupted the flow. My husband went to the north end of the festival tonight and said that they appeared to have given up asking for donations to enter the fenced-off area.

    Personally, I would wish for the festival to be compressed–perhaps shaving a couple blocks off of both ends. Regarding the art and music: inclusiveness is a great concept, but so is curation. Art ranged from very good to atrocious, and the music selection appeared a little haphazard.

    One of the things I loved most about the festival was that I discovered all of the new businesses on Milwaukee! How did I miss Nothin’ Less and Cafe Mustache?

    Elisa: It was nice talking with you Friday. You can be forgiven for missing Café Mustache. It just opened this week!

    One of the good things about this type of linear festival that’s incorporated into the normal fabric of the neighborhood is that it invites folks to explore and discover. Unfortunately wide swaths of parking lots impede the middle of the festival, causing it to be more spread out. ~ Lynn

  5. Jim says:

    Went to the Logan square Art fair last weekend, and was pleasantly amazed how
    the neighbor had changed. As I walked down Milwaukee from Fullerton to Diversey
    I noticed I saw no police on foot or in cars but then also realized they were
    not needed as it was such a peaceful crowd.
    Maybe they were there in plain clothes, But you didnt see cops standing around
    doing nothing like at the taste.
    I know theres a gang problem but they must of cleaned it up for this event.
    I was also amazed to see Art galleries on the Milwaukee Ave. near Spaulding
    (Really Cool).That was my old shopping strip from Nation Tea to Goldblatts.
    I grew up in LS in the 60’s thru the early 80’s and been driving thru also for
    the last 30 years.
    And I must say you came a long way (14th District)since being no 1 in
    prostitution arrest in the city years ago.
    I guess you don’t realize what a great neighborhood it is till you move out.
    Keep up the good work

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