Downtown Venues Announce Milwaukee Theater District
New coalition of groups and venues aims to spotlight city as arts and culture destination.
Representatives of nine downtown venues gathered at Riverside Theater Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the launch of the Milwaukee Theater District.
The newly-created MTD is an alliance of performing arts groups, theater venues and live entertainment organizations that aims to elevate Milwaukee’s reputation as a premier arts and cultural destination.
The district is also supported by Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21, United Performing Arts Fund and Visit Milwaukee.
The district has no formal boundaries or funding source, but the majority of participating venues and groups are located within several blocks of each other in the downtown area.
‘Through advocacy and cooperative marketing campaigns, the Milwaukee Theater District will drive visitation, stoke local pride and enhance the city’s reputation as a top tier arts and cultural destination,” Williams-Smith said.
The mayor added his praise and excitement for the new alliance.
In fact, MTD venues report employing over 1,000 Milwaukeeans and still more volunteers, said Visit Milwaukee in a news release.
All together, MTD’s venues have a combined 15,000 theater seats and 2,100 annual performances, attracting two million attendees each year.
‘The Milwaukee theater district is a core part of Milwaukee’s entertainment industry, and our entertainment industry generates significant economic impact to the tune of an estimated $400 million in visitor spending each year, according to Tourism Economics,” Williams-Smith said.
“We have all these incredible assets here,” Neihaus added. “And I’m so thrilled that we are putting a stamp on it with this theater district in order to help illuminate what we already have.”
Notably absent from the group are two proposed concert venues planned for a vacant site across from Fiserv Forum. Several representatives included in MTD have been outspoken in their opposition to the upcoming venues.