Milwaukee Creatives Collaborate to Promote Local Artists and Entrepreneurs

chris roze

chris roze

The artistic and musically inclined community of Milwaukee, WI put together an eclectic weekend filled with fashion, local artists, hooping and fire enthusiasts, and of course, reggae music.  The weekend started on Thursday at Yield Bar with a kickstarter party for YouphoriClothing, a Wisconsin company featuring recycled hand-made clothing, jewelry, hula hoops and more.  The launch party included two sets of music from Shoot the Moon and a fashion show displaying a variety of product designs.  The female entrepreneurs promote a healthy lifestyle of exercise and community through hula hooping.  Additionally, this startup company has designed a versatile clothing line for both men and women made out of recycled fabrics, which further promotes eco-friendly practices.

It was Friday night at O’Lydia’s where Irie Vibez, ART Milwaukee and Milwaukee Odyssey’s Christopher Roze put together a blend of live bus painting, video projections, hoop and fire spinning performances, artist vending areas and musical performances.  ART Milwaukee’s mission is to “Enrich, empower and inspire our community through art.” Christopher Roze is a well-known curator and provides access to a vast network of Milwaukee artists through Milwaukee Odyssey.  He works with over 200 local artists and rotates art in a variety of spaces such as offices, galleries, cafes, clubs, restaurants and other businesses in an effort to provide fresh cycles of artwork throughout the city.

Friday’s event marked the launch of new gallery space on the second floor of O’Lydia’s Bar and Grill, conveniently located in the hub of Milwaukee’s art scene in the Historic Third Ward area and just around the corner from the vibrant mural on 1st and Pittsburgh painted by the Couto Brothers.  Chris and Alex Couto have been influenced by a multitude of cultural experiences which includes being raised in Brazil, traveling to Europe and Africa, and their stints of living in India and China.

Couto mural

Couto mural

Aside from the impressive art display of local artists, the event also featured musical performances by Marcus Doucette of 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, Natty Nation of Madison and Milwaukee’s own R.A.S Movement (Royal Ancient Society).   The explosive performance by the members of R.A.S. Movement was led by Naima Adedapo, a finalist on season 10 of American Idol.  The talented Naima will be releasing her debut solo album later this year and recently won a Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) award for Female Vocalist of 2012.

However, all members of R.A.S. Movement showcased their individual talents and contributed to the overall great sound and energetic vibes.  The group is not only comprised of talented singers and musicians, but also dancers.  One of the highlights of the night included a variety of African dance breaks by Miriam Levie (flute & vocals) and Naima Adedapo, which enhanced the authenticity and raw energy of R.A.S Movement.

Ras Movement

Ras Movement

Thursday and Friday’s events reflected the sense of community that is being cultivated, as artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, promoters, and other cultural creatives work together to put on events throughout the city in an effort to put Milwaukee on the map of thriving art scenes.  The energy, talent and creativity of these entities do not go unnoticed. - Gabriela Barbosa

To learn more about the local artists, entrepreneurs, and other individuals contributing to the creative community in the greater Milwaukee area, please check out the links below!


Art Milwaukee:

Milwaukee Odyssey:

Irie Vibez:

Couto Art:

R.A.S. Movement: Facebook -