With the spread of the novel coronavirus, many local musicians, artists and businesses are lacking customers due to social distancing and canceled events. With Wisconsin’s safer at home order, even more businesses are closing down for the time being. Here are some ways they are altering services to continue engaging the community and ways that anyone can support them.
The Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the largest performing arts organization in Wisconsin located at 108 East Wells Street, suspended all performances and public events until April 5 due to COVID-19.
Among some of the canceled events were “Chasin’ Dem Blues,” “Eclipsed,” “Antonio’s Song/I Was Dreaming of a Son” and “Hootenanny: The Musicale.”
Although most of the events will either be postponed or the tickets will be refunded, the theater has found a new way to showcase the play “Eclipsed:” The Rep will be doing a live recording of the production for its audience to watch from home, with more details to come soon.
The production follows five Liberian women as they strive to outlast the end of the Second Liberian Civil War. The play was written by Danai Gurira, noted for her roles as Michonne in “The Walking Dead” and Okoye in “Black Panther.” It was the first play to premiere on Broadway with an all-black, all-female creative cast and team.
The public can download and purchase music online to support local artists. Tickets for live remote shows are also available through sites like StageIt, an online concert-viewing venue.
In a time where access to food and other resources is limited, local eateries are adapting to a takeout and delivery economy.
Purple Door Ice Cream
Purple Door Ice Cream will be offering E-learning activity sheets with every purchase. The sheets will have between six to eight activities on a variety of different subjects. Each sheet will also contain a dry ice experiment, and every week, the sheets will change to include new activities in different subject areas.
Four packs of Purple Door Ice Cream pints are going for $30 plus shipping, and will include activity sheets along with the ice cream, dry ice, boxes, etc. Currently, the ice cream and activity sheets are still available for pick-up in stores.
Don’s Diner & Cocktails
Don’s Diner & Cocktails transitioned into Don’s Liquor & Grocery March 19, where customers can pick up essential items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, frozen food and canned goods.
It also has a to-go option from its diner menu, featuring burgers and milkshakes, with choices ranging from a kids menu to cocktail kits for homemade beverages.
Don’s will also offer ready-to-go neighborhood-themed kits. Each kit comes with six rolls of toilet paper, a bottle of hand sanitizer, a roll of paper towels, a frozen pizza, Pringles and a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey for around $20, depending on the kit. Featured neighborhoods include Walker’s Point, Bay View and the Third Ward.
Don’s also encourages people to purchase gift cards for those who may need help buying food or groceries.
In addition to Don’s, several restaurants in Milwaukee continue to offer takeout options, including Beerline Cafe, Bounce Milwaukee, and many more.
Beerline Cafe, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant at 2076 N. Commerce St., has takeout and delivery from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Bounce Milwaukee, located at 2801 S. Fifth Ct., usually offers activities such as laser tag and rock climbing for children. Though all activities will be closed until further notice, it will have free delivery or pickup from its menu, which includes quesadillas, salads, pizza and more.Customers can also add on a “Pay It Forward Pizza” in either 12 or 16 inches for families in need.
Splash Studio, an instructor-led painting studio in Milwaukee, has new Take & Make Kits with all the necessary supplies and tutorials needed to create a painting piece from home. Splash Studio artists have created instructional videos to offer guidance while recreating popular paintings. All proceeds will go to supporting their own workers and Bars and Recreation. Bars and Recreation is an organization that sells clothing, accessories and gift cards for Splash Studio, along with other local bars and entertainment businesses in Milwaukee.
ImagineMKE is a “group of arts, culture and civic leaders who work to make Milwaukee a prosperous city,” according to their website. ImagineMKE has created an online fundraiser to help artists affected by COVID-19. Any artist living in Milwaukee can apply for up to $50o in assistance. To learn more about the project or to donate, visit here.
This story was written by Skyler Chun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.