According to its mission statement, Milwaukee Urban Gardens protects plots around the city from development and shares them with locals "to enhance the quality of life." And it's not just the savory oxygen generated by the plants that bolsters the quality of life; it's the opportunities these gardens provide for neighbors of diverse backgrounds to work side-by-side nurturing their favorite herbs, flowers, and vegetables—as well as the beauty they lend to the area. This nonprofit land trust looks after a total of 45 parcels of land located in Riverwest, Bay View, northern Harambee, and the Northwest side.
Since its founding in 1974, the nonprofit organization Historic Milwaukee has tirelessly advocated for an awareness of historic preservation and promotion of Milwaukee's built environment.The organization lifts the veil on Milwaukee's buildings and the people of its past through neighborhood walking tours and boat tours on the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers. Throughout the year, special tours take visitors on bike excursions and deeper explorations of more focused historical topics. To further engage history buffs, Historic Milwaukee also helms events ranging from a panel discussion series on city history to a citywide open house featuring more than 100 buildings.
For more than two decades, laughs have permeated the space within Comedy Cafe. On its stage, a rolling list of local and nationally acclaimed comedians—such as Tommy Chong and Bobcat Goldthwait—launch into schticks or go about repairing minor damage to brickwork. Audiences can work on their spit takes thanks to a menu of margaritas, martinis, and snacks such as popcorn.
Karma Bar & Grill feels more like a stylish friend's man-cave than a typical sports bar. Upstairs amid the tangy aroma of buffalo wings and the clink of beer glasses, clusters of friends gather around 72-inch TVs, eyes locked onto the game du jour. Downstairs, the Sutra Lounge eases post-victory comedowns with candlelight and sectional sofas, where visitors enjoy cocktails and almond-crusted duck tenders. Located on the site of the former John Ernst Café, Karma has restored the building's crafted stone and hand-carved woodwork, preserved the fireplace, and replaced the springs on the many, many trapdoors. Servers keep the atmosphere inviting as they deliver pitchers of beer, hefty burgers, and plates of six-cheese macaroni.
Making new friends doesn't have to involve going to the bar or lurking in the grocery store produce section. It could mean joining Milwaukee Social Club, a local organization that schedules sports leagues and special events. Players have their choice of sports to play year round, from Touch Football in the Fall to Softball, Volleyball, and Kickball in the summer. A second season of new leagues has been added for participants. They can also enjoy events such as Packer Viewing parties and the exclusive "MSC Day-Off".
First Stage recently celebrated its 26th anniversary as a children's theater, producing professional productions and developing new plays. It has hosted 40 world premieres and worked with renowned artists and authors including Stephen Schwartz and Cornelia Funke.
Through its theater academy and education program, First Stage aims to inspire a love of learning amongst young people with active teaching tools and a curriculum that emphasizes imagination. The theater-in-education programs reach roughly 20,000 students every year through theater residencies and in-classroom workshops such as the Bully Ban workshop, which teaches students how to respect one another and prevent harassment through improvisational exercises. Schools can also partner with First Stage to bring the arts into their facilities with field trips, workshops, and arts-integrated teaching.