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Riverworks Newsletter - May 2023 Edition

Riverworks Newsletter - May 2023

Greeting Friends and Neighbors:

With the weather warming up and the city in full bloom we are incredibly excited for a busy and productive summer filled with fun, family-friendly events, including the return of Music on the Beerline and the Beerline Shuffle, as well as other meaningful neighborhood engagement activities and events!

We are proud to present to you our 2022 Annual Report, which spotlights the impact we have had last year on Harambee, Riverwest, and the surrounding communities. In 2022, 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 2023

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 and creatives to transform the Beerline Plaza into a hub for community gatherings and family fun. These events feature a wide variety of genres and are free and open to the public.

  • Friday, July 21 / 5:30 - 8:00pm

  • Friday, August 18 / 5:30 - 8:00pm

  • Friday, September 15 / 5:30 - 8:00pm

PLUS the 3rd annual Beerline Shuffle: a one-of-a-kind community fun walk inspiring all to be active, be creative, and be engaged. This event includes a 3-mile walk, food and drink, and musical performances. Registration for this event will begin in July (with special pre-registration for "Shuffle Squads").

  • Saturday, October 7th / Community Walk 10:00am - 12:00pm

  • Saturday, October 7th / After Party on the Beerline Plaza 12:00pm - 1:30pm


Neighborhood Engagement

A new generation of cyclists takes to the trails and streets

Riverworks Development Corporation was thrilled to be part of the 53212 Youth Bike Giveaway. Over 50 bikes and helmets were handed out to local MPS students, empowering a new generation of young cyclists to explore the bounds of their neighborhood and beyond.

A special thanks to our partners, Wisconsin Bike Fed, City of Milwaukee Police Department, La Escuela Fratney & Milwaukee Public Schools, International Free and Accepted Modern Masons, and DreamBikes. We look forward to working alongside you next year, and deeply value our continued partnerships!

A community envisions the future for the Harambee neighborhood

The final community visioning session for the Harambee Quality of Life will be held IN-PERSON on Thursday, June 1st at Solomon Community Temple (3295 N Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Dr.) from 5:30pm-8:30pm. Doors open at 5pm, so come say “hi!” to an old friend or meet a new Harambee neighbor and join us as we put the final touches on the Harambee Quality of Life Plan. There is no better time than now to be the positive change in our neighborhood!

Register at: HarambeeQLP or contact Sara at

A refreshed Harambee Tot Lot is ready for a new generation of youth to enjoy The Tot Lot Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will be held Saturday, June 3rd from 11am-1pm at the Harambee Tot Lot (117 E Keefe Ave). Come and celebrate enhancements made to the Tot Lot provided by the CarMax Foundation, Department of Public Works, and Riverworks!

Along with the official ribbon cutting, there will be plenty of food, games, and even a live art installation by local community artist, Gabriel the Artist. Join us for a family fun day at the Harambee Tot Lot!

Milwaukee's most vibrant farmers market is spouting up for the new season

The Riverwest Farmers Market opens June 4 and runs each Sunday through Oct 29, except for July 2. Happening on the 2700 block of N Pierce, between Center and Hadley Street from 10-3pm. Shoppers can find locally grown produce, and flowers along with bakery, eggs, cheese, sauces/marinades, spices, oils, pickled veggies, jams, coffee, kombucha, prepared foods, body products, jewelry, art, apparel and so much more. EBT/Market Match and WIC accepted. Please visit the Riverwest Market Website or Facebook Page for more information.


Small Business & Entrepreneurial Resources

Local entrepreneurs showcase gifts for Mom and beloved local businesses invest in the community

The 2023 53212Marketplace Mother’s Day Edition held on May 7th was a smashing success. With over 25 local vendors showcasing everything from art and jewelry, body products, candles, specialty foods and plants, there was something for the few hundred shoppers that came through. Special thanks to Amorphic Beer for donating $1 from every beer poured and to Urban Craftsman for donating 10% of their sales to Riverworks.


Creative Placemaking on the Beerline Trail

53212 Community selects artists for new murals on The Beerline Trail

Did you know the Connector Building will be showcasing two new exterior murals this summer?

The Connector Building is Riverworks Development Corporation’s new development project along the Beerline Trail at the corner of North Richards Street and Keefe Avenue. Beyond creating a community gathering space and hosting a new café the building will be highlighting three Milwaukee artists and their works with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Meet the Artists:

Fred Kaems is a multi-disciplinary artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He works as a painter, muralist, designer, and maker. His work as a painter stems from his background as a graffiti artist in his youth. This influence shows with bold colors, hand cut stencils, and the forgotten spaces of man that nature has begun to retake. The large-scale nature of graffiti and spray paint also translate well into his mural work.

Jeanette Martín is a Chicana community-based artist, cultural worker, and educator. Born and raised on the southside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin by parents who immigrated as economic refugees from Jalisco, México. She has been highly involved in the community within the intersections of immigration and community engagement via the arts. She uses her skills and vision to co-create cultural and dignified community spaces that use art and storytelling as a tool to bridge communities together.

Erick "Ck" Ledesma is a transdisciplinary artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico, living in the diaspora in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their socially engaged practice is centered at the intersections of history, place, experiences, community, and how these influence the creation of our identity(ies). “I am thrilled to be creating this piece with a beloved collaborator in a location that is dear and near to my heart--Riverwest and Harambee. Jeanette and I designed this piece during lockdown in different countries as an homage to our matriarchal ancestors and to honor our past, to inform our present and shape our future.”


Building and Beautifying the Community

Residents lean in to clean up our streets

2023’s 1st Big Clean MKE happened on Saturday April 22. Riverworks had close to 20 volunteers come through to pick up a total of 14 bags of garbage. Look for more clean up opportunities throughout the next few months. Please reach out to Ruth at if you would like to volunteer.

Residents get green thumbs as they beautify their blocks

Riverworks hosted the Annual Bloom & Groom flower and plant sale fundraiser in collaboration with the City of Milwaukee's Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation on Saturday May 20. Over 30 residents showed up and bought locally grown flowers and vegetable plants. Special thank you to Bliffert Lumber and Hardware for their support.


Harambee NID #7

The Harambee NID celebrates another impactful year and welcomes new and returning board members

The Harambee NID #7 concluded an impactful year with 33 home improvement projects totaling over $180,000!

NID board elections took place on March 11,2023. Please welcome 2023 Board Members

Cordella Jones, Anthony Kazee, Lakesha Wilder,Ella Bennett, Sheila Smith, Willie Mae Moore, Rick Banks. and Glenn Mattison (HNID#7 Advisor).

The Harambee Spring/Summer parcel condition survey will kick off in May 2023. Surveying will be done in the Harambee NID area.


Riverworks Cleans & Coin Laundry

Do your part to keep our neighborhood clean, healthy and vibrant

As the snow slowly melted and Milwaukee began to bloom and blossom, a new layer of garbage became very apparent throughout both our commercial and residential corridors. Illegal dumping is on the rise in Milwaukee, and our brave and hardworking guys on the cleans crew are doing everything in their power to keep our neighborhoods, safe, healthy and vibrant. The good news is that you can help.

As a resident you can report instances of illegal dumping to the city, or volunteer for a community cleanup by contacting Ruth at

As a business you can report instances of illegal dumping to the city, or contact John at to find out how Riverworks Cleans can serve your business!


Shout Out to Our Supporters!

Riverworks would like to thank the Otto Bremer Trust for their general operating support for all the work we do focusing on People, Place and Prosperity in the 53212 community. Thanks to their generous support, we will be better equipped to respond the evolving needs of the neighborhoods and residents we serve.

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