June 4, 2006

Milwaukee a Gem

I'm at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Milwaukee for five days and am finding this to be a remarkable city. Having never been to Milwaukee before I had no notions except beer and Laverne and Shirley - Happy Days too?

This is a beautiful city on Lake Michigan which feels as large as an ocean but as still as a pond. The downtown area, in which we are staying, is filled with sports arenas, hotels and cool old brick buildings – the kind you just don’t see in San Francisco, or even in Houston.

Yesterday we attended a reception at the Youth Arts Center which is a spectacular facility. Filled with rehearsal and performance rooms and plenty of presentation areas, the YAC, as it is called, is a treasure for kids. Walking down off the buses that transported all 900 0f us we were greeted by kids with cameras who pretended that we were celebrities – screaming and waving as we walked down a red carpet into the building. But they were the real stars. They entertained us with jazz and choral performances that were superb.

Today we Bucketworks which is a place to work out your creativity. This morning is the Bike for Arts event which is fundraiser. There is a River Walk along the Michigan River which brings together arts, dining, shopping and sports. Really, this is a gem of a city.

Photos: Downtown Milwaukee from Convention and Visitors Bureau website
Youth Arts Center photo from their website