Two things that AREN’T cancelled because of Covid? Creativity and outdoor space. We need both right now, for our collective mental health. One thing we don’t need more of? Empty parking lots. We’ve got a project that addresses both. We’re putting this project together to support our local community, local artists, and the restaurants and shops that make the East Side so special.
We are asking for your help to pay local artists to paint picnic tables that will be placed in a mostly-empty parking lot on E North Ave., to create a free, outdoor, public space. This space will serve as seating for people eating carryout or just wanting a place to hang out at a social distance, and will be programmed with small pop-up markets and performances. All sponsors and artists will be recognized on signage at the entrance to the lot. We won a grant through AARP to purchase picnic tables on which the artists will paint, but need your help to pay our artists a good wage, buy materials like paint and tarps, coat the tables so they can easily be cleaned and sanitized, and generally maintain the space for the rest of the outdoor/summer season.
- The BID is working with the City of Milwaukee to take over the mostly-empty parking lot on East North Avenue between Von Trier and Beans & Barley (at 1915 E North Ave) for the summer. The lease for the lot is in negotiations.
- The BID purchased 10 picnic tables, which allows for approximately 10 feet between tables throughout the lot.
- Signage at the entrance will list sponsors, artists who painted the tables, a request to remain socially distant, a reminder to wear your mask, and other housekeeping items like cleaning up after yourself.
- Artists who paint the tables will be paid $500 for their time; materials will be provided by the BID.
- The BID is coordinating garbage pick-up and sanitation services for the lot and tables.
About the East Side BID: Formed in 1997, The East Side Business Improvement District (BID) encompasses about 110 mostly small and locally-owned businesses along East North Avenue. BIDs are geographically-bound areas where property owners choose to tax themselves an additional amount to help promote and beautify the area. Usually we run events and fundraisers like Summer Soulstice Music Festival and Tomato Romp to supplement these funds, but all events were cancelled this year due to Covid. The East Side Art Lot will bring together our local community, local artists, and local restaurants and shops that make the East Side so special.