FREESPACE is an organization originating from an educational experiment, with the community’s social activities organized and informed by DIY and cooperative cultures. Towards the end of summer 2015, Vincent Gaa, a young MPS teacher, WebsterX, a local artist, and Kane The Rapper, who at the time was a high school junior, unintentionally founded FREESPACE over coffee in Riverwest. The three came together thanks to an initiative of Gaa’s summer school class, which was studying narrative writing using WebsterX’s lyrics. The intent of the event in question was to have WebsterX share an intimate performance with the students, giving them an opportunity to connect with the successful local artist personally and to deepen their understanding of the materials covered summer English course. As a rapper hoping to grow his audience and cultivate his talents, Kane asked if he could perform as well, and the others agreed. Thus, FREESPACE was born.
FREESPACE hosts a monthly, all-ages, free, music showcase that gives young, local musicians opportunities to perform alongside seasoned artists. Our space offers artists and attendees chances to connect and freely engage in their culture, which leads to exploring and discussing complicated, abstract ideas, questions, comments and concerns about the human condition. The attendees range in age from 2-65+, with the majority being 15-30 years of age. August 2018 marks the beginning of our fourth year of programming. The organization has so far presented over 25 showcases, 20+ art- and music-related events, film screenings, discussions, community meetings, participation in festivals, and more.
FREESPACE was recently invited to join a team of community leaders in Milwaukee to help renovate and reopen the Historic State Theater on 27th and State St. as an all ages music hub, with professional development and a 415-capacity venue! Read more about it here.
Hope to see you at a FREESPACE soon!