Our guide to the season’s unexpected arts and cultural happenings.
2015 Midwest BrewHaHa Roller Derby Tournament
Grab your wrist guards and glitter buckets and head to UWM Panther Arena, because the derby girls are back.
Beer Barons’ World of Beer Festival
The homebrewers group hosts one of the best beer fests of the season with more than 250 beers (plus many meads and ciders) at the Schwabenhof Pavilion. Technophile beer geeks should note the fest has its very own eponymous mobile app.
Milwaukee Highland Games
Tosa’s Hart Park will showcase haggis, axe throwing and log tossing set to the gentle tune of bagpipes.
En Vogue at PrideFest
The ’90s-era R&B songstresses, famous for “Free Your Mind” and “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” take to the PrideFest stage to lead the audience
in what will surely be a dance party of epic proportions.
Green Milwaukee: A History of Our Parks and Open Space
To understand how we acquired our many public-private beer gardens and expansive puppy playpens, you would do well to listen to historian John Gurda’s explanation at the Urban Ecology Center’s Menomonee Valley location.
Maritime at Cactus Club
The music video for band’s single “Milwaukee,” appropriately released on this year’s “Milwaukee Day,” is its own affectionate guide to the city and is required viewing before the band’s Cactus Club set.
“RAW: Natural Born Artists”
Fashion and jewelry designers, makeup artists and photographers, as well as traditional fine artists, will showcase their talents at the Rave for a one-night extravaganza.
The ’Sha’s Fox River-adjacent Frame Park hosts a free weekend-long festival featuring Hispanic musical performers, an exhibition of Guatemalan artists and lots of Latin American eats.
June 12-Aug. 30
“Wis-Con-Sin: Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, J. Shimon & J. Lindemann, Charles Van Schaick” at Portrait Society Gallery
Roughly 50 works examine the influences and styles of these prolific Wisconsin photographers.
June 13-Sept. 7
“Willie G. Davidson: Artist, Designer, Leader, Legend” at Harley-Davidson Museum
Even certified Milwaukeeans can use a refresher on the man behind the designs of the local brand for 49 years.
JUNE 14-Sept. 11
“Up to Bat: Hard-Hitting American Women”
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is the focus of this mini-exhibit, which is part of the Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s larger baseball exhibit, “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American.” They explore the junction of religion, gender and America’s favorite summer sport.
Lakefront 7s Rugby Tournament
Hold onto your spandex, because more than 100 men’s and women’s teams will scrum in the country’s largest summer rugby event at Veterans Park.
June 18-Aug. 30
“Keith Haring: Out of the Vaults”
Relatively early in the Haring’s career, a prescient philosophy professor at Marquette University asked him to create what would become one of the activist and political artist’s most famous works, Construction Fence, which encased the Haggerty Museum of Art while it was being built. That and more will be on display.
48-Hour Film Project
The 48-Hour Film Project stops in Milwaukee, which should excite film lovers and filmmakers alike. For the project, teams of filmmakers are given a prop, a line and a genre to create a film between four and seven minutes long. Film lovers will get to see the results at the Avalon Theater on June 25.
July 11-Sept. 5
“The Salon Show” at Tory Folliard Gallery
From Laurie Hogin to Fred Stonehouse, the work of 38 artists adorns the walls in the gallery’s largest show of the year.
Armenian Fest at St. John the Baptist Armenian Orthodox Church
With live music, Armenian wine and lahmajoun, which organizers describe as “a pizza-like dish served on thin tortilla dough,” what more could you possibly want from a festival?
July 24-Oct. 14
“Oil and Water” at Sadler Gallery
Milwaukee painter Liz Phillips and her Florida-based father, David Belling, paint the natural world around them in very different ways. Despite their differing styles, they sometimes draw inspiration from the same subjects. They’re displaying their paintings together in time for July’s Gallery Night.
Aug. 1-Aug. 15
“Fur, Feathers, and Fidelity: Military Mascots” at Hartland Public Library
A traveling exhibit from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison explores the complex relationships servicemen and women have with their service animals and pets.
Milwaukee Comedy Festival
The festival turns 10 this year, and it’s celebrating the milestone by bringing in national act Brian Posehn, who spent three seasons on “The Sarah Silverman Show” and has appeared in films like The Five-Year Engagement. The fest also hosts the city’s own top comedians.
Great Taste of the Midwest
Regarded as the best suds fest in the state, the Great Taste of the Midwest is worth the drive to Madison’s Olin Park.
Goo Goo Dolls post-Brewers game concert at Miller Park
Taking a page from the Admirals’ playbook, Miller Park is now hosting concerts after Brewers games. “Iris” rockers the Goo Goo Dolls are on deck this August.
The dude returns to Cathedral Square Park for a screening of the movie, a bowling party and all the White Russian cocktails you can stomach.
Taste of Egypt Festival
Egyptian coffee, Arabic lessons and koshary (a dish made of rice, lentils and noodles in a tomato sauce) await festivalgoers at the Taste of Egypt, held at the St. Mary and St. Antonious Coptic Orthodox Church.