ARTE PARA TODOS 2016 took place from April 21st through 24th. Each day highlighted a different neighborhood in Milwaukee proper. The first day began at Walker's Point, and transitioned to Bay View, then Riverwest, and Harambee, ending on Sunday on Milwaukee's east side. This years line up consisted of over 100 acts, working together in efforts to raise money for art programs in local schools. This year featured George Washington Carver Academy, Escuela Vieau School, Milwaukee Parkside School of the Arts, and Frederick J. Gaenslen School. It was a huge success! We asked various performers, attendees, and organizers what their favorite moment(s) of Arte Para Todos were. Here is what they had to say.
Josh Evert, Founder of Arte Para Todos and Musician
I gotta say Var was a definite highlight. It was my second time at the space, and it's absolutely beautiful. Stomata opened the festival and they blew me away. I especially dug the experimental stuff drummer Dave Schoepke was doing. Ruth B8r Ginsburg sounded amazing (the sound guy was killing it) and it was a really nice, intimate space to see them in. I had never seen Mark Waldoch before and at times he had a definite Daniel Johnston vibe going on. His cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U" was killer. It was a great start to the festival.
Kavon Jones / KJ Prodigy, Milwaukee Poet
My favorite part of Arte Para Todos was when Bo & Airo did a surprise set with lyrical deity, Queen Tut. Best Friends, a pool bar in my Harambee neighborhood was where it went down. Not only did they do a great set, but the dance session Bo & Queen broke out in really satisfied my fancy.
Tyler Maas, Milwaukee Record
How can I pick just one moment? I can't. Well, I probably could, but I won't. Here are some things that stand out to me:
The overwhelmingly positive attitude of all the performers and (seemingly) everybody in attendance.
Seeing Jay Anderson wearing horns while playing a horn no fewer than 7,500 times.
Old Earth (Todd Umhoefer) playing a very well-received surprise Club Garibaldi set while home mourning his uncle's passing. It's the best he's ever sounded and the most engaged I've ever seen the audience at one of his shows.
The Midnight Reruns being Midnight Reruns.
Eating a Gypsy Taco behind Boone & Crockett as the gloomy sounds of Devil Met Contention wafted through the air.
Watching people in gorilla costumes go [pauses for a few seconds] ape-shit for Airo Kwil at Riverwest Public House.
Hearing no fewer than eight people mispronounce "Arte Para Todos" during their set.
A staggering amount of money being raised for school art programs by way of an unbelievable event that brought Milwaukee musicians, artists, venues, and listeners together in a wholly unique way. Long live Arte!
Wes Tank, Artist
The blissful blur of it all. The Milwaukee music milieu. Jay Anderson's antlers. The dizzy cyclone of venues. The anti-ego attitude. The kids filming queen tut with their phones. The teachers enjoying the in-school performances as much as the kids. D'Amato, Ruth B8r and SistaStrings giving high fives to every kid in the auditorium. Drinking tequila sunrises at Best Friendz during my first ever DJ set, making the Sunday morning bartender’s smile. Being proud of my friends for starting this. Knowing this experience was special and fragile... Rhythm Changes getting a gym full of kids to clap and stomp. The little girl wearing a Jabari Parker jersey who got to play the drums.
Kelly Anderson, Filmmaker / Photographer
Hanging out with 150+ kindergartners at Parkside while they watched Ruth B8R Ginsburg and SistaStrings in complete awe and hearing one of them ask, "how are you so good?" during the Q&A.
Lex Allen revisiting his alma mater, Bay View High, and performing at the very place where he learned to sing as beautifully as he does, shouting out his music teacher and the inspiration she provided on stage.
Chris Porterfield and Barry Paul Clark's captivating Field Report performance in Vieau School's gym and hearing the two of them discuss how sometimes making art is the only way to express something one otherwise can't. Then seeing Chris play later that weekend to an almost completely silent and captivated audience at Lux.
Surgeons in Heat's stellar set at Mad Planet.
Wordsworth rapping over Apollo Brown at Mad Planet to a modest yet super hyped crowd.
De La Buena's covering The Kinks while Jay Anderson, Chris G and a whole slew of folks ripped it up in the dance floor.
School of Rock perfectly encapsulating the whole mission statement of APT in their enthusiasm and spirit for performance and the endeavor of making art or expressing oneself artistically as a young person. This was a beautiful reflection of what an emphases in the arts has on young, developing minds. Plus these young guys and gals sure know how to command a stage.
The Fatty Acids' return to the stage and hearing a bunch of their new songs that I have not heard in quite a while. Those boys make some great faces when they play live.
Hanging with so many different friends, acquaintances and members of the community that I rarely see all in the same weekend and realizing everyone's shared passion for and dedication to keeping art in the regular curriculum for our youngsters. Also, remembering that Milwaukee has an astounding amount of amazing bands, musicians, artists and collaborators and venues.
Tarik Moody, 88.9 RadioMilwaukee
My favorite moment is when No No Yeah Okay cover Prince's "Purple Rain" at Company Brewing.
Joey Grihalva, Arte Para Todos Organizer
For me APT 2016 was a success before it started because of the in-school performances and the poster series. It was amazing at the first in-school when students were allowed to fill in the pit at South Division and jump around during Queen Tut’s last song. Also, seeing all 24 posters hanging up at Company Brewing on the eve of the festival heightened our sense of purpose.
Mark Waldoch’s heartbreaking cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U” after a touching duet with Ruth B8r Ginsburg with kids in attendance was an incredible way to open the festival.
The lineup at Club Garibaldi was beyond stacked and that night was perfectly capped off when WebsterX had the lights turned off for “Doomsday” and the stars above the mountains on Kristina Rolander’s backdrop twinkled extra bright.
Saturday I got to enjoy one of the best corned beef sandwiches in town as The Fatty Acids faithful filed into Best Friendz Klubhouse. Before they started I sneaked over to Lux for the most intimate performance of the weekend: Christopher Porterfield midday in a small Black-owned bar on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. Only at Arte Para Todos!
Dad became the unofficial APT mascot, donning a gorilla suit all Saturday and vibing out during NO/NO’s awesome set at Linneman’s. Later that night I discovered Gauss at Jazz Gallery, my favorite festival find.
Being able to bring legendary emcee Wordsworth out from Florida (where he’s a teacher) was an honor and I have to give special thanks to Be Easy Music for making it happen. Wordsworth’s interview on WMSE 91.7 that afternoon was enlightening and hearing him trade road stories with Surgeons in Heat before playing for an excited Mad Planet crowd was a treat.
After hearing Siren’s unreleased song “Priestess” with the full No Name Noise band on Friday at Club G’s it was equally powerful to hear it stripped down at BBC on closing night. Friends and supporters were sitting in front of the stage, captivated by her presence while curious festival-goers were drawn in by her talent. Foreign Goods closed out the festival in style, even naming their unfinished Cumbia song after APT. It was bittersweet until I remembered we have more in-school performances left! Until next year!
Amelinda Burich, Arte Para Todos Organizer, Musician
Can I just say "Everything?! Overall, just watching the non-stop good vibes. People discovering new bands, artists, venues and friends.
Joel Van Haren, Filmmaker
- Lex Allen paying homage to Prince in a femme-omenal get-up and giving Walker's Point a taste of the new generation of music that's putting Milwaukee on the map.
- Sat. Nite Duets back with an old line-up, slaying on some favorites from the late oughts at Frank's Power Plant.
- The ever-popular Lorde Fredd33 sets that are feeling more and more ritualistic and closer to a religious service than ever. The energy is palpably and wonderfully chaotic and stands in stark contrast to the tightly-wound LP he's recently released. Timbuktu was lit AF.
- Midnight Reruns continuing to out do themselves with a seamless live reproduction of their outstanding new record. Best rock band in town at the moment.
- Gauss impressing first-time audience members with their progressive post-rock anthems that leave you needing a drink of water after each song.
- Ryan Reeve's impressive bass performances with two bands in one night, both with Surgeons in Heat and No/No (whose songs he's learned in a matter of weeks). And everyone one stage was definitely sweating out their hang-overs from the previous night in Bay View.
- Jaill in it's element, with songs both old and new, playing to a packed-to-the-brim Public House. Josh Evert's technical, heart-pounding, second-nature drumming left people gasping for air by the end.
- Fatty Acids playing a welcome early-afternoon show, with a cool natural light flowing over their set in the backroom at Best Friendz. Everyone sipping High Life and Tequila Sunrises in a communal appreciation of the music, not the party.
Jay Anderson, Musician
The best moment of Arte Para Todos for me was collapsing into bed at the end. I was completely worn out from 6 shows and felt like i really actually gave of myself that weekend.
Andrew Feller, 414 photographer
Man, so many to pick from.... Lex dressed as Prince (that entrance was perfect), Molly of Tigernite's awesome wings and blue paint (amazing stage presence), D'Amato (the whole show, but mostly him stripping), Klassik's set was awesome but his speech at the end hit home (the quietest moment of an audience I think), but if I had to pick one thing I think it would be seeing so many of the same people at every showcase. Some were in bands that had just played, but most were simply fans and supporters of the music and the art. They were there because they cared. I went home Sunday night feeling lucky to have witnessed such a true representation of community.
Kesley Kauffman, Musician
Listening to students at Escuela Vieau question Christopher Porterfield about his travels and tours, wondering how he got into performing, what his favorite state in the US is and why. The way that they engaged was really rad.
Watching my niece Olivia geek out during Zed Kenzo's set at the Riverwest Public House. Zed is without a doubt one of my favorite musicians in the city and always blows my mind.
The highlight of Sunday night was Siren's acoustic set at BBC. It was first time seeing her in that solo context.
Chanutee Ross, Musician
The Arte weekend was ALL amazing. I have to preface with that. But I think my favorite moment was at an in school performance with Ruth B8r Ginsburg and D'Amato. SistaStrings had just finished our little set and to be honest I couldn't tell if the kids were into it or not. But after we were done and were taking questions there was so much involvement with the students. Their interest in music was so apparent in that moment and one kid even asked how he could learn to play like us. Hands down best moment.
Johanna Rose, Musician and Arte Para Todos Organizer
Ultimately the best part of Arte Para Todos was coming together and utilizing our talents and passions to back something bigger than ourselves. Around 400 artists, musicians, DJs, poets and countless attendees made the second year of Arte Para Todos the success it was. Through the in-schools and the money we raised, we made a difference in the lives of the children in our community. We also impacted each other. We shared our music and art with our peers, inspired and appreciated each other, all while exploring the city we call home. Hopefully new friendships were forged, collaborations born, and new fans were made. I’m continuously blown away by what this city is capable of. Thank you everyone who participated and utilized their expertise to make this possible. Thank you to the organizers and volunteers who made Arte run so smoothly and thank you to the media who got the word out. Arte Para Todos is something we can all take ownership of because without all of us, it wouldn’t happen. I love Milwaukee!
documentation by Andrew Feller, Kelly Anderson, and Wes Tank