The New State will be Milwaukee’s exclusively all-ages music hub, home to a music education & professional development program, a sober 415-capacity theater venue, a storefront for local merch and art, and professional rentable recording studios along with Mammyth Audio, a local audio engineering business.  

  • West Side Arts Un, Limited/WSAU, a 501(c)3 organization, is spearheading the redevelopment, aiming to provide over 40 hours of instruction per week. WSAU will provide a center for professional music development, education and digital music production, fostering positive peer and mentor networks, self-confidence, soft skills and, ultimately, positive choices for youth as autonomous individuals.

  • With over 150 live, all-ages, sober, events per year, The New State Theater will provide opportunities for 180+ micro-businesses (musicians, performers, bands) from entry-level to established acts. Additionally, the venue will enable WSAU to provide training and apprenticeships in and around live event production, such as lighting, sound, video, photo, stage management, and more. As a launchpad for careers among youth in Milwaukee, The New State will allow new artists to perform alongside seasoned performers, producing a new generation of headlining acts, and incubating fresh talent in valuable, skilled jobs.

  • The New State will become a cultural third place, enabling: Development of personal and shared values through appreciation, dialog and practice; Intergenerational power- and resource-sharing; Knowledge-sharing to explore real world meanings, practices + ethics and reflect on individual and group assumptions; Development of shared principles and standards; Documenting and sharing personal, and other’s, experiences, creations, etc. around music; Documenting and sharing principles, values, practices and standards around music; Development of a historic context and accessible archive for the city’s music culture; Ultimately a space for continuous reflection, growth and advancement of music, arts, and culture.

  • Build community through creative expression, professional development and self-love and cater to the next generation of young adults who value inclusivity, intersectionality, diversity

This grassroots approach will not only help regenerate the Milwaukee music scene, long lacking outlets for youth artists to hone their craft before entering the vibrant live music scene, but will also regenerate the greater urban area by providing socio-economic opportunities and supporting our hundreds of micro-businesses / creatives.

All-ages spaces are an invitation to participate in improving yourself and your community. Whether it’s music performance, event curation, photography, promotion, information technology, or fashion, all-ages events remove barriers to acquire and practice new skills. They cultivate leadership and accountability by providing a platform that is built and maintained by the community that it serves. All-ages spaces are a source of trust and accountability in the communities that form around them because of the collective responsibility required for their upkeep. Spaces like this form “chosen families” for the individuals who participate in them, and can lead to lifelong relationships and new vibrant paths for many of their participants. In a city lacking youth-driven recreational resources for minors, and a 21+ culture that revolves around drinking, all-ages, sober spaces are badly needed.
— Anonymous, Age 26, Milwaukee

FREESPACE hosts a monthly, all-ages, free, music showcase at the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts in Riverwest, Milwaukee, WI, that gives young, local musicians opportunities to perform alongside seasoned artists.