Made in Milwaukee festival is all things Cream City

It’s local. It’s intimate. It’s diverse, culturally and artistically. It’s free. And it’s only going to last for one day.

Made in Milwaukee is a festival unlike anything else in the city. And in the “City of Festivals,” that’s saying something.

This year, the Made in Milwaukee (MiM) festival is inviting residents to truly connect with the culture of Cream City. The event, taking place Saturday, Sept. 4 at Cathedral Square Park, offers exactly what its name entails: food, art, film, dance, music, businesses and fashion created right here in Milwaukee.

According to MiM founder and hip-hop producer Chuck Watson, the idea for a festival was born about eight years ago in an effort to attract a larger crowd to his shows. To do this, he started inviting bands of different genres and eventually added art into the mix.

According to Watson, the idea of togetherness is what MiM is based on. He said the event serves as a place for artists to make a connection to the community; therefore, it’s not the event itself that’s beneficial.

“It’s the people that make the difference,” Watson said. “We’re just highlighting the great city that we’re in. That’s the honor we have.”

Food

The farmer’s market offering local produce is probably the main draw for Milwaukee’s foodies, but local restaurants will be offering free samples as well. In addition, a “tasting tent” will offer both free coffee tasting and the only event of the day with a price: beer samples from twelve local breweries, offering a total of 30 different kinds of beer for only $15.

Music

Watson said MiM’s local musical lineup is one of the best he’s seen at the festival to date. The genres at the festival include everything from hip-hop and indie to Latin jazz and acoustic.

Eight bands total will perform throughout the day, starting at noon. The biggest headliners include De La Buena at 7 p.m., a Milwaukee Hip Hop Revue with Rusty Ps, One Self and Kid Millions at 8 p.m., and Kings Go Forth at 9 p.m.

Art

The festival has been recognized for years as Milwaukee’s largest all-local art event, highlighting the finest artists and craftspeople in the city.

Watson said this year’s MiM’s local artist area is bigger than ever before. 24 artists will display their work, presenting live painting, metalwork, photography, textiles and more throughout the day.

Dance & Fashion

According to MiM’s website, the festival will feature two performances from Friction Dance Company, comprised of several freelance performers, as well as dancers from The Milwaukee Ballet and Dance Revolution Milwaukee.

MiM will also present its fifth annual fashion show, presenting some of Milwaukee’s best fashion design from Myrica Von Haselberg, Madam Chino, Fashion Revolution, Moda 3, Elena Velez, Jaxie, Luci Boutique and more.

Film

Watson is particularly proud of this year’s inclusion of the Milwaukee Film Festival, which will kick off its season at the festival. The film tent will show kid-friendly trailers during the day and upcoming festival film previews in the afternoon and evening. The 2010 Milwaukee Film Festival does not start until Sept. 23, but the official program book and schedule will be released at MiM.

Business

The invitation of local businesses to the festival is another new addition this year, according to Watson. Ten local businesses, including Fair Trade for All, Rishi Tea and Conscious Bath Company, will display their work and merchandise throughout the day, encouraging festival-goers to buy local.

Made in Milwaukee takes place Saturday, Sept. 4. It starts at 8:30 a.m. and will last until 10 p.m. For a full list of events and schedule, go to www.madeinmilwaukee.com.