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WHO ARE THE WASHINGTON PARK NEIGHBORS?

OUR MISSION

Washington Park Neighbors seek to provide audiences from the neighborhoods surrounding Washington Park with the opportunity to experience a wide variety of cultural entertainment through its quality and diverse programming in a historical venue on the West Side of Milwaukee.

HOLDING ON TO TRADITION

The park’s designer, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, believed that open space in nature promotes health and well-being. He created Washington Park with the intention of improving society by encouraging varying urban demographics to gather in a natural setting. Today, Washington Park still feeds the energy of four strong communities - Washington Heights, Walnut Hill, Martin Drive, and Sherman Park.

 

CONTINUING TO EXPAND AND GROW

These bordering neighborhoods know the ongoing traditions of concerts, church gatherings, dance performances, farmers' markets, lively events, and family celebrations that fill our park and help maintain the momentum started by Olmsted. We are also lucky enough to have the Urban Ecology Center at the northeastern end of the park which remains fundamental in strengthening and growing our community and connecting it with the rest of the city. The goal of WPN’s Washington Park Wednesdays Summer Concert Series is to both broaden the scope of attendees to the park and the West Side of Milwaukee, as well as to bring access to the rich cultural fabric of Milwaukee as a whole to the residents surrounding the park.

WHAT WE DO

Beginning in July, Washington Park Neighbors presents Washington Park Wednesdays! With established and emerging local and visiting musicians, the latest and greatest food trucks, and a plethora of engaging activities, Wednesdays never had it so good. We will return this year with our popular theme nights curated to showcase and combine a diverse spectrum of music, art, and fun through outstanding regional talent. We will also be using these themes to garner some focus to needs and interests of the city’s youth and at-risk population. We truly believe that art in all its forms presented in an aesthetic and historical setting at no cost to the public can provide a sea change in our city and in our society.

Innovative local bands, Milwaukee's finest food trucks, and activities sure to energize and entertain fill the park each Wednesday.  Theme nights promise diverse combinations of music, art, and fun with outstanding regional talent.

In 2023, we are excited to be back with a regular season. Our first concert starts on July 12th. Happy hour begins at 5 pm, and bands begin at 6 pm, with family activities and giveaways running throughout the entire evening.  Join us for cutting-edge music, dance, and art where neighborhoods and community come together — wonderful Washington Park! 

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION POLICY

Washington Park Neighbors is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

Our human capital is the most valuable asset we have. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture but our reputation and the organization's achievement as well.

 

We embrace and encourage our staff and volunteers differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our employees unique.

 

WPN’s diversity initiatives are applicable—but not limited—to our practices and policies on recruitment and selection; compensation and benefits; professional development and training; promotions; transfers; social and recreational programs; layoffs; terminations; and the ongoing development of a working environment built on the premise of gender and diversity equity that encourages and enforces:

 

Respectful communication and cooperation between all staff and volunteers.

Teamwork and worker participation, permit the representation of all groups and worker perspectives.

Work/life balance through flexible volunteer schedules to accommodate staff and volunteers’ varying needs.

Director, staff, and volunteer contributions to the communities we serve to promote a greater understanding and respect for diversity.

All staff and volunteers of WPN have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect at all times. All people are expected to exhibit conduct that reflects inclusion during working event hours, at event functions on or off the event site, and at all other WPN-sponsored and participative events.

 

Any volunteer found to have exhibited any inappropriate conduct or behavior against others may be subject to disciplinary action.

 

Volunteers, staff, and attendees who believe they have been subjected to any kind of discrimination that conflicts with the company’s diversity policy and initiatives should seek assistance from a supervisor of Washington Park Neighbors.

OUR BOARD

President: Melissa Muller, Grant Consultant, Artist, Community Organizer

Vice President: Jane Konkel, Teacher, Artist,  Community Organizer

Treasurer: Brenda Simonis, Director Of Food And Beverage at The Pfister Hotel

Secretary: Rachel Neal, Educator, GE Healthcare

 

Members:

Kate Schwartz, Arts Manager, Community Organizer, TankThink

Molly Howard, General Manager, School of Rock

Catherine Thisted, Executive Director, JP Morgan

Derrick Cainion, Owner Arts Intersection MKE

Barbara Haig, Corporate Communications Manager, Johnson Controls

Sophia Flood El yafi, Legal Intern

Advisors to the board:

Lamont Smith, Health Cities Program, The Nature Conservancy

LAND RECOGNITION

Washington Park is located in the city of Milwaukee, WI which occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk, Potawatomi and Menominee lands along the southwest shores of Michigami, North America’s largest system of freshwater lakes; A place where the Milwaukee, Menominee and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida and Mohican nations remain present. We share this land acknowledgment to remind ourselves and others of our inextricable history with these sovereignties and as a commitment to our shared future.

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