Awards given to three outstanding Milwaukeeans

Celebration and fundraiser supports city-wide Cultivating Community through Public Art Projects

Milwaukee Public Theatre’s third annual Champions of the Arts Celebration will be held on Wednesday, June 20, from 5 to 7:30 pm at Historic Turner Hall Ballroom, 1034 N. Fourth Street, Milwaukee. The event honors three individuals who are notable supporters of the arts in Milwaukee: Reuben Harpole, long-time arts/community activist/unofficial “Mayor of Milwaukee”; Lucy Rosenberg, community advocate, philanthropist and poet; and Michael Reyes, President of Latino Arts, advocate for and specialist in Latin music.

The celebration and fundraiser includes the awards ceremony, a silent auction, and entertainment including jazz singer Adekola Adedapo. A cash bar and other refreshments will be available. Kathleen Dunn of Wisconsin Public Radio, will emcee the evening.  All proceeds will benefit the Milwaukee Public Theatre’s Cultivating Community collaborative public art projects, including the Summer of Peace All City Parade and Peace Rally, the Dia de los Muertos Parade and the Walnut Way Harvest Day Parade—free-to-the-public art workshops and events that bring people of all ages, cultures and abilities together throughout Milwaukee’s diverse neighborhoods to create giant puppets, floats and masked creatures that showcase our community.

Individual tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Patron level tickets of $100 include two tickets to the event and recognition in the program booklet.  Details on sponsoring tables of eight and other sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting MPT at 414-347-1685 or, or by visiting

Advance tickets must be reserved by Monday, June 18. Online ticket ordering and downloadable forms are available at  or by calling 414-347-1685.

Artists, youth, and community groups will transform funds raised at this event into wonderfully imaginative masks, puppets and parade floats in arts residencies throughout the community and in Make-A-Parade workshops held at the Grand Avenue Mall MPT’s Artivity Place (see below for details). Visit for other info, including photos and videos from 2011 and earlier parades. The Turner Hall Ballroom is also accessible through an elevator on the northeast corner of the building which may be reached from the parking lot.

The 2012 Cultivating Community through Public Art projects are partially funded by the Wisconsin Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts, Milwaukee County CAMPAC, City of Milwaukee Arts Board,  Milwaukee NIDC, the United Performing Arts Fund, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Abert Fund, the Helen Bader Foundation, the Max Fund, the Medical College of Wisconsin Violence Prevention Initiative, ACLU of Wisconsin, MPS Partnership for the Arts, Merrill Lynch, the Shepherd Express and many individuals.

Cultivating Community: Free Make-A-Parade Workshops, June 21 through July

Make puppets, masks and floats out of recycled materials at MPT’s Artivity Place, and see them come to life in neighborhood celebrations this summer. Workshops are drop-in and open to the public and groups. Groups of 10 or more are requested to register in advance. Children must be supervised at all times. Donations of materials are welcome. Contact MPT at 414-347-1685 for further information. Updates will be posted at

Make-A-Parade Workshop Schedule

MPT Artivity Place in the Shops of Grand Avenue, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Sessions run from June 21 through July

Wednesdays, noon-3 pm

Thursday, 5-8 pm

Fridays, 12-3 pm

Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm

Other Cultivating Community through Public Art projects

Summer Arts Residencies

Additional  make-a-parade workshops will be scheduled  June – July:

Westside Academy/Our Next Generation

Washington Park Urban Ecology Center

Sherman Park Neighborhood Association

Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club

Walnut Way Conservation Corps

Wednesday, July 4

Cultivating Community: Gordon Park Energy Independence Day

Bike decorating for the parade, workshops in the Art School Tent led by MPT artists.

Friday, July 27, 10 am –6 PM

Cultivating Community: Summer of Peace All City Parade and Peace Rally.  Presented with Urban Ecology Center, Washington Park Partners, Sherman Park Neighborhood Association,  MCW Violence Prevention Initiative, Safe & Sound, ACLU/PASA, Running Rebels, Boys and Girls Clubs , UNCOM agencies and many other organizations and individuals. All ages are invited to participate in a parade between Sherman Park and Washington Park.

August 2, Hillside and August 7, Kosciuszko Park
Cultivating Community: National Night Out events

MPT will present stiltwalkers, drummers, jugglers, face painters, craft artists and small parades in several of Milwaukee’s National Night Out observances in County Parks.

Wednesday, October 10
Cultivating Community: Walnut Way Harvest Day Parade
features masks, puppets, headdresses and floats created in neighborhood workshops and residencies.

Friday, November 2
Cultivating Community: Dia de los Muertos Parade

Presented with Milwaukee Mijas, United Community Center/Latino Arts, and Walker’s Point Center for the Arts. Lively cultural celebration featuring masks, puppets, headdresses and offrendas created in neighborhood workshops. The entire community is invited to join in the early evening parade from UCC to WPCA, view the offrendas in both art galleries, and enjoy dancers and drummers in performances after sunset.