30 episodes

Join Elisabeth Gasparka for this conversation show from Imagine MKE, where we hear from creative leaders in Milwaukee and beyond, to highlight all the incredible transformative power of their work in our region. We hope that after listening to the pod you’ll be able to imagine Milwaukee's arts and culture ecosystem—and all the awesome artists, organizations and creative assets within it, in a new way.

Creative MKE Imagine MKE

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Join Elisabeth Gasparka for this conversation show from Imagine MKE, where we hear from creative leaders in Milwaukee and beyond, to highlight all the incredible transformative power of their work in our region. We hope that after listening to the pod you’ll be able to imagine Milwaukee's arts and culture ecosystem—and all the awesome artists, organizations and creative assets within it, in a new way.

    Promises: For the Love of the Game w/ Joey Turbo

    Promises: For the Love of the Game w/ Joey Turbo

    In this episode of the pod, Elisabeth speaks with Joey Turbo, co-owner of Promises Bar in Milwaukee. Turbo starts the conversation off by reflecting on his experience touring with his band Platinum Boys in Europe, and how the experience solidified for him a new standard of hospitality for touring bands, one that he wished to emulate. Turbo has been making music in bands since the age of 12. He moved to (and fell in love with) Milwaukee when he was 18, and went on to play in the Milwaukee band Platinum Boys, Catacombz, Peroxide, and Rio Turbo — a band that was formed years ago specifically to fill a gap in a bill, and to support another band touring through Milwaukee. Through his diverse experiences, Turbo feels he’s been supported, cared for and mentored by many in Milwaukee– and now he is looking to return the favor for the whole community through operating Promises.  
    Turbo reflects on the music scene in Milwaukee: where making music is truly about “the love of the game.” In his view, you don’t make music in Milwaukee to get rich — but that there’s something more authentic and real about the creativty here, in part because the stakes are so low. And because the music scene isn’t known outside of the city, people who come to Milwaukee and experience the quality of what goes on here are often blown away.
    Through operating Promises, Turbo is trying to make it an affordable experience for customers, and offer a super accessible space for artists to perform and express themselves, work on their craft, and be fairly compensated for their sharing passion. But there’s not a particular goal—he's more invested in providing a flexible, continuous space of “happening.”  Turbo feels like it’s hard to define Promises because so many people have influenced him and contribute to the experience. Ultimately, he hopes that it’s a place where everyone can have fun.  
    Turbo hopes that visitors to Promises will come out and find “future old friends, yourself, and a smile -- whether it’s on the face or in the heart.” He closes out the interview by stating that he wishes to pass a law (enforceable by each person, and community accountability) for all arts and culture players: that you can create awesomeness if you respect yourself, respect other people, and be cool. 
    Follow Promises on Instagram @Promisesbar 
    Email for booking inquiries: booking@promisesmilwaukee@gmail.com 
    Joey Peterson and Casey Hughes 
    Platinum Boys 
    Rio Turbo 
    Kelsy Kaufmann 
    Eric Schultz 

    • 24 min
    Creative Business Incubation at Hover Craft w/ Cortney Heimerl

    Creative Business Incubation at Hover Craft w/ Cortney Heimerl

    In this episode of Creative MKE, Elisabeth speaks with Cortney Heimerl, one of the co-founders and organizers of Hover Craft, Milwaukee’s Annual Handmade Holiday Shopping Event that is about to host its 13th iteration. Heimerl is an organizer with over 20 years of experience creating opportunities for artists, crafters, designers, and makers that focus on the idea that in-person sharing & collaboration make our communities stronger. After first convening her creative community connections through the formation of FASTEN – a collaborative of Milwaukee artists selling wearable art from the Beans N’ Barley parking lot, Heimerl went on to organize a makers’ market in Bay View, before launching Hover Craft. Heimerl is also a co-author of the book, and a producer of the documentary, “Handmade Nation.”  
    Throughout the conversation, Heimerl reflects on the robust creative community that exists in the region and predates the surge in local makers’ markets. Craft fairs build community where craft traditions exist, and create opportunities for makers to learn from one another, pool resources, and make connections. And, shoppers get inspired by connecting directly with artists -- in Heimerl’s words, it's an “exchange of curiosity and enthusiasm,” unlike the more anonymous experience of buying handmade items online.  
    Heimerl also sees craft fairs as micro business incubators, with each dollar that’s spent going towards the regional creative economy. Shoppers at Hover Craft are not only contributing to individual artists – supporting their livelihoods – but also allowing those artists to continue on their journeys and grow their businesses.  
    Follow Hover Craft at @Hovercraftmke and follow Cortney at @CortneyHeimerl 
    Reserve your timed tickets to Hover Craft on Dec 4!  
    About the Organizers (from the Hover Craft Website): 
    Vanessa Andrew 
    Vanessa Andrew is a Milwaukee-based fiber artist, illustrator, community arts educator, and clothing designer.  She runs Madam Chino, a Brewer's Hill boutique that sells handmade and vintage clothing, and offers custom sewing and alterations.  Her approach to clothing and textiles raises awareness about conservation and child labor issues in consumer society. Vanessa is a co-founder of Hover Craft.   
    Ashley Smith 
    Ashley Smith is a small business owner and community organizer. She is the co-founder of Hover Craft, Girls Rock MKE, and One Trick Pony. She is also the owner of Alive and Fine vintage store that doubles as a pop-up gallery space. 
    Cortney Heimerl 
    Cortney Heimerl is a co-founder of Hover Craft. She is also an artist, crafter, and maker based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She gets excited by making new things and thinking about them. You can find her in her studio figuring out how to do something she has never done before and then, she moves on to the next thing she has never done before. Lately, you can find her conquering the art of ceramics at a href="https://www.yourstrulymke.com/" rel="noopener...

    • 28 min
    LoCo+: Leveraging the Business of Creative w/ Kate Atwood and Megan Matousek

    LoCo+: Leveraging the Business of Creative w/ Kate Atwood and Megan Matousek

    In this episode of the pod, we re-introduce the show as “Creative MKE.” Moving forward, episodes will feature a shorter format, have a focus on the creative economy of Milwaukee -- and will be sponsored by the Shepherd Express.  
    This episode finds Elisabeth in conversation with the Co-Founders of LoCo+, Kate Atwood and Megan Matousek. LoCo+ is a streaming platform that seeks to engage creators in specific communities (Atlanta, Denver, and now, Milwaukee) and enable them to leverage their intellectual property in a more direct way. Unlike models of streaming like YouTube and Spotify, LoCo+ offers artists the opportunity to host and merchandise their work through paywalls, ticketing, and more. It also gives the artist access to the data of fans and followers who engage with them. Through LoCo+, unlike all other streaming services, users can seek content through the lens of location. Matousek describes the LoCo+ UX experience as Netflix on the front end, and YouTube on the back end. 
    Throughout the discussion, the group touches on art as a form of storytelling — and a vehicle for human connection and growth, Milwaukee’s position as an under-the-radar hub for arts and culture production, the disempowerment that artists face when attempting to build fan and patron bases everywhere at once, and the concept of the LoCo+ platform being a mechanism to “teach emerging creators to fish” for their long-term financial success through leveraging technological tools.  
    LoCo+ is hosting a Creator Launch Mimosa Mixer on Saturday, Oct 29, at NO Studios in conjunction with NEWwaukee and MKE LAX. 
    Bio Links:  
    MKE LAX 
    NO Studios 
    Kate Atwood 
    Kate’s Club 
    Choose ATL 
    Megan Matousek 
    Lucasfilm Ltd 
    Industrial Light & Magic  
    AEP6 from Americans for the Arts
    Nesha Nycee

    • 45 min
    Cultural Relevance on the Rise at CAVT w/ Jaymee Harvey Willms and Phoenix Brown

    Cultural Relevance on the Rise at CAVT w/ Jaymee Harvey Willms and Phoenix Brown

    This episode of ITP finds host Elisabeth joined by team member Rachel Shields Ebersole for a conversation with the Executive Director Jaymee Harvey Willms and Senior Curator Phoenix Brown from the Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Museums. In the conversation, they dig into some of the changes they have implemented and plan to implement to evolve the programming at, and experience of, attending the museums.  
    Drawing inspiration from Sarah Allis’s will, the CAVT of today still seeks to “delight, educate and inspire.” The current staff at CAVT is made up of creatives, including Harvey Willms and Brown. As Harvey Willms reflects, “Artists are problem solvers...we are people who look at a system and see where it needs to be interrupted or supported.”  
    In alignment with the goals of Milwaukee County, CAVT is focused on thoughtfully stewarding taxpayer dollars to contribute to the local culture as an art and civic institution that is a driver to public health outcomes by increasing access to art, shared histories, and public green space. CAVT also wants Milwaukeeans to see themselves in their spaces and programming—and provide opportunities for respite. Brown and Harvey Willms hope their vision can help the institution become more relevant to support not only physical health but also the mental health of Milwaukee citizens.  
    CAVT is committed to becoming a more active player within the creative economy and becoming known as a museum that models new practices for supporting emerging and local artists. New museum stores will feature local makers, a revitalized residency programming has launched, and the organization is making investments in emerging artists. Brown hopes that through their vision, CAVT can demonstrate to Milwaukee that contemporary art is accessible. They also hope to keep funds in the local creative sector—by creating opportunities for artists and cultivating a cultural exchange where local artists are more supported—and continue to invest in Milwaukee.  
    Follow the CAVT Museums on Instagram @charlesallisartmuseum and @villaterracemuseum 
    Jaymee Harvey Willms 
    Phoenix S. Brown 
    John Michael Kohler Arts Center 
    Anselm Kiefer 
    Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Washington County 
    Cincinnati Art Museum 
    Milwaukee Art Museum 
    Milwaukee County’s Healthy County Initiative 
    Museums for All 
    Fredrick Law Olmstead Parks in Milwaukee 
    America’s Black...

    • 52 min
    Innovation and Inclusivity in Theatre w/ Amy Salat

    Innovation and Inclusivity in Theatre w/ Amy Salat

    Season 5 of Imagine This Podcast kicks off with the acknowledgement of a bittersweet announcement from CEO David Lee. In the (admittedly long) banter, the crew talks about changes to the pod—including a new thematic structure. The group digs in by exploring how the arts and culture sector in Milwaukee is innovating and testing new solutions in this time of unprecedented change. The team also takes a few (sappy) moments to reflect jointly on David’s incredible tenure as the first CEO of the organization.  
    Starting around 20:00, Amy Salat, the Managing Director of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre joins the crew to reflect on her organization’s upcoming season, which includes performances that present a mixture of classic, socially important theatrical works, as brand-new multiform productions that will include original music by local artists including Klassik. In addition, this season, MCT endeavors to present new avenues for reaching new audiences, supporting local artists, and rethinking processes to draw in audiences with flexibility and a new sense of welcome—all spearheaded by an inspired, focused, and inclusivity-championing staff who are “walking the same path.” Though MCT has historically had a rich history of inspiring young audiences through programming—the team at MCT are excited by their pivot towards creating more opportunities for local multidisciplinary artists while platforming a diversity of voices and perspectives. Salat closes the episode with an urgent call for increased public funding for the arts.  
    Follow Milwaukee Chamber Theatre on Facebook and Instagram. 
    The Sound of Music’s “Do-Re-Mi" 
    University of Minnesota Twin Cities Department of Theatre Arts and Dance 
    Chicago Opera Theater 
    The Florentine Opera  
    Where Did We Sit on the Bus? 
    Nicole Acosta 
    Laura Gordon 
    Jim Ridge 
    a href="https://www.milwaukeechambertheatre.org/staff" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 58 min
    Cinema as Art w/Ben Balcom

    Cinema as Art w/Ben Balcom

    In this final episode of the season, the team speaks with Ben Balcom, a local filmmaker, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, and the co-founder and co-programmer of Microlights Cinema. The show kicks off with Lindsay, David, and Elisabeth reflecting on formative artistic influences that allowed them to see new possibilities within the mediums of film, music, and dance. Ben joins the crew around 10:30. 
    Since 2013, Ben has been presenting experimental films in Milwaukee through Microlights Cinema, and has recently started hosting screenings again after pausing during the pandemic. In the conversation, Ben reflects on early pivotal exposures to experimental film, including a Stan Brackidge work. The material made him understand for the first time that as a filmmaker, a film could mean “what you insist it means,” and a metaphorical light went on for him.  
    As a musician in his early life, Ben found a creative home in filmmaking upon realizing that many of his interests could be simultaneously served and explored through making films—where art, music, literature, and performance all come together. He discusses how creative practices, including filmmaking, might be impeded by approaching with a sense of expertise rather than an openness to explore, and willingness to “make material work.” As an instructor, he presses his students to consider working with mistakes and asks them what would it mean to make “failed” material work?  
    Throughout the conversation, Ben shares his thoughts about Milwaukee as a destination for the whole spectrum of filmmaking—from commercial to experimental. He laments a scarcity of funding opportunities for artists in the city, and the need for artists to commodify their practices as a means of survival. He sees the future of film production in Milwaukee flowing from the artists themselves. Rather than aiming for flashy outside production partners like Netflix, Ben feels that artists should have the freedom to pursue their projects authentically—and that if they are better supported to realize their visions independently, their work has the potential to generate powerful interest from the ground up.  
    Follow Microlights on Instagram at microlights_cinema 
    Dani & Jo 
    Wong Kar-wai 
    John Cassavettes 
    Terry Malick 
    Josh Weissbach  
    Abraham Ravett 
    Stan Brackidge 
    Hampshire College 
    UWM Milwaukee Film  

    • 1 hr 8 min

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