The New State will be Milwaukee’s exclusively all-ages, live music and entertainment venue, home to a non-profit music education program, a for-profit all-ages theater venue, retail space, and professional recording studios along with 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 be a center for professional music development, education and digital music production, providing instructive services and community, addressing the need for accessible and affordable professional music training, inspired by the history of the building, like the ground breaking spirit and energy of The Palms Music Club, and local organizations such as FREESPACE.
  • 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.
  • The New State will function as a launchpad for careers among youth in Milwaukee, allowing new artists to perform alongside seasoned performers, producing a new generation of headlining acts and incubating fresh talent in valuable, skilled jobs across many industries.
  • Becoming a pillar of the community at The New State's unique location on 27th and State, in the heart of the So-Hi District. The intersection of 27th and State Street is a thoroughfare both north to south and east to west, fully accessible for youth from the entire city by many bus lines. Because of the dedication of neighborhood and community partners and developers such as John Hennessy, the So-Hi district is experiencing a renaissance. 

  • 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 job opportunities and supporting the hundreds of micro-businesses that will take the stage.

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.