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Riverworks Newsletter - May 2022 Edition

Riverworks Newsletter - May 2022

Greeting Friends and Neighbors:

We are proud to present to you our 2021 Annual Report, which spotlights the impact we had last year on Harambee, Riverwest, and the surrounding communities. In 2021, our focus on people, place, and prosperity helped activate residents, strengthen home-ownership, stabilize families, help small businesses innovate, provide essential services, and promote health and safety.


Beerline Celebration Series

SAVE THE DATES: Music on the Beerline & the Beerline Shuffle 2022

The Beerline Celebration Series brings together neighbors, performers, artists and makers to celebrate community and bring awareness to the Beerline Trail. This celebration includes 3 evenings of Music on the Beerline: a music series highlighting local performers, creatives and vendors, to transform the Beerline Plaza into a hub for opportunities and innovation. These events feature a wide variety of genres and are free and open to the public.

  • Friday, July 15 / 5:30 - 8:00pm

  • Friday, August 19 / 5:30 - 8:00pm

  • Friday, September 16 / 5:30 - 8:00pm

PLUS the 2nd annual Beerline Shuffle: a one-of-a-kind community walk meant to inspire residents to get active, get creative, and get engaged. This event includes a 3-mile walk, a collaborative art project, activities for all ages, food and drinks, mobile and stationary musical performances, and a market of local food and craft vendors. Registration for this event will begin in August (with special pre-registration for "Shuffle Squads").

  • Saturday, October 1st / Walk 10:00am - 12:00pm

  • Saturday, October 1st / Vendor Market 12:00pm - 3:00pm


Neighborhood Engagement

Residents, Community Stakeholders, and Partners revealed as the

Harambee Quality of Life Plan Steering Committee

In Spring 2021, LISC Milwaukee announced Riverworks as the lead agency for the Harambee Quality of Life Plan and as of late 2021, Riverworks finalized the steering committee that will support the development of the plan, support its sustainability, and highlight the Harambee resident voice. The steering committee is made up of Harambee residents, community stakeholders and longtime partners all with a shared vision; a plan for the Harambee community created by the voices of the residents to strengthen neighborhood assets. Thank you to all those on the Harambee Quality of Life Plan steering committee and exciting information will continue to be released throughout 2022!

Darryl Johnson, Riverworks Development Corporation Travis Landry, WestCare Wisconsin Brian Sonderman, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity Cordella Jones, Resident/Harambee Neighborhood Improvement District #7 Tamara Hogans, Bader Philanthropies Maureen Gunn, St. Marcus Lutheran School Anthony Kazee, Harambee Neighborhood Improvement District #7 Rick Banks, Resident/MKE Black Freida Webb, Resident Ray Hill, Historic King Drive BID #8 Diana Wilkinson, Historic King Drive BID #8 Bregetta Wilson, Resident/Friends of Rose Park Leadership Dr. Dessie Levy, Medical College of Wisconsin Sakuri Fears, LISC Milwaukee


Creative Placemaking on the Beerline Trail

Milwaukee's Mayor Cavalier Johnson visits the Beerline Trail

Riverworks was honored to be visited by Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Alderwoman Milele Coggs, Alderman Nik Kovac, and other members from the public sector. The purpose of this visit was to update the Mayor on current and future priority projects and initiatives on the trail, as well as to provide an update from the Beerline Trail Leadership Team on the status of the B-Line Park project. The meeting was followed by a group walk guided by Riverworks' Executive Director, Darryl Johnson, and featured a presentation by local artist, Vedale Hill, who was recently involved in several creative projects on the trail. We are incredibly grateful to both the Mayor and the City of Milwaukee for their continued support and are looking forward to continuing to enact our bold vision of the future for residents of Harambee, Riverwest and the surrounding neighborhoods.

In addition to elected officials getting out on the trail, we have also snuck in a few warm days this Spring to gather residents out there. In celebration of Earth Day, volunteers kicked off clean-up season with a community workday on the B-Line Park. Riverworks, in collaboration with the Guiding Lens resident-led group, picked up over 30 bags of litter. The Guiding Lens group will be scheduling monthly clean-ups this summer along the trail - stay tuned for dates and details!

With all of the exciting things happening on the trail, we are excited to announce the arrival of a new website dedicated to all-things Beerline Trail! Click on the button below to explore everything the trail has to offer, get a history lesson on the evolution of the space, and learn more about in-progress and upcoming projects!


Building and Beautifying the Community

Riverworks welcomes Kuumba Juice & Coffee to the Neighborhood

Business Partners Joe Ferch (formerly of Center Street Wellness) and Dave Bent (Jamaican Fair Trade) have teamed up with Riverworks and are set to reinvigorate the Keefe Avenue business corridor and the B-Line Park on the Beerline Trail. Kuumba Juice & Coffee will be moving into the the B-Line Park Connector building at 274 E Keefe Avenue, upon the completion of construction this summer. Soon, residents and visitors of the trail will have a healthy refueling option for their bodies and their minds. Kuumba Juice & Coffee will serve up delicious coffee, juice, and snacks, while offering programming centered on physical health, wellness, and the amplification of local voices, ideas, and creative endeavors. Riverworks is thrilled to partner with Kuumba Juice & Coffee as we commit to benefiting the community through wealth, health, creativity, and engagement.


Shout Out to Our Supporters!

Riverworks would like to thank the pioneering sponsors of our premier community engagement events, Music on the Beerline and the Beerline Shuffle. A special thanks to our Trailblazer sponsor Well’s Fargo, Champion sponsor 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, and Friend sponsors Company Brewing and Heider & Bott. With their help we will be able to achieve our vision to sustain and enrich the lives of people in Harambee and Riverwest by promoting health, well-being, and prosperity through increased circulation of resources, voices, ideas, labor, and creativity.

For information on how you or your organization can donate please email Zach Kester.


Check out CBS58's Hometowns segment highlighting the Harambee Neighborhood, including interviews with Darryl Johnson, Riverworks' Executive Director, about the community and the Beerline Trail.

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