“The Borg Ward is a place, it’s an idea…it’s a state of mind,” says Kevin Soens, an independent artist and founding member of the Borg Ward, one of Milwaukee’s premier art and music collectives. Launched in the fall of 2007, the space at 9th and National (which used to house the Borwardt Family Funeral Home) quickly became a haven for a legion of do-it-yourself artists, doers, thinkers and underground musicians.
The Borg Ward operates under the concept of sustainability and shared responsibility, and is maintained by a group of about 15 members. Over time, the space has evolved into one of the better places in the city to see local music, and has brought bands from around the nation to Milwaukee.
Most shows are $5 or less, all of which gets funneled back to the performers and promoters, and it’s one of the few places to offer all-ages shows, making certain cultural experiences more accessible to a younger generation. “We want to take that ‘bar-ness’ out of the music scene in Milwaukee,” Kevin says.
This week on Backstage, Mark and Kevin discuss collectivism, the subculture of experimental noise music and the symbolism of “the Borg.”
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