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Has it really been ten years already? 88Nine Radio Milwaukee celebrates double digits with a block party.

If I were to write a love letter to Milwaukee and broadcast it across the radio waves, it would include new music from up-and-coming, indie and electronic artists and local performers, and highlight the people and organizations working to improve our community. Thankfully, someone beat me to the punch.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee is so much more than just a radio station – and it’s celebrating its 10th anniversary next week with a few different activities, including a free block party.

Radio Milwaukee Studio in Walker’s Point. Courtesy of Jake Rostermundt.

Many passionate people have had a hand in shaping the organization, including founders Peter Buffett, Todd Brodie, Jeff Bentoff and long-term Board President Sarah Zimmerman. Jordan Lee, Marcus Doucette and Tarik Moody have been a part of the station for nearly its entire run and brought the fresh ideas for programming and music.

“Honestly, I did not expect 88Nine to be where it is today. We have moved very fast.  I think it’s our dedicated staff. We are more like a family,” says Moody, digital director and DJ. “I hear from people from other cities how jealous they are that they don’t have a radio station like 88Nine.”

Doucette, DJ and mid-day host, adds: “When we started this thing, I feel we really wanted to make something to reflect the diversity and strengths of Milwaukee, we just had no blueprint for it. Every year there were new layers; from community stories to Milwaukee music to specialty programs to the community involvement to the new all-Milwaukee music HD2 station. For me, the journey is the destination, and I like where we’re going.”
 
Radio Milwaukee is hosting the free block party as a way to give back to the community outside of their Walker’s Point studio (220 E. Pittsburgh Ave.) on Saturday, June 24 from 1:30-10 p.m.

The block party will be a celebration of music, food, art and community – basically a live version of what you hear on-air. National headliners Noname and Strand of Oaks will follow a solid and diverse lineup of local artists covering every genre REYNA (pop), D’Amato (rap), Field Report (indie rock) and Abby Jeanne (Soul).

Chris Porterfield of Field Report. Courtesy of 91.9 WFKP.

In addition to live music, there will be several interactive art installations, photo ops, Milwaukee-themed games, an opportunity to check out Studio 1 and select a song for the official 88Nine Block Party playlist and more.

There will also be several street performances throughout the day from Samba da Vida and Ni Phi Neph. And it’s not a block party without food vendors. Plenty of local restaurants and food trucks will be on hand.

If you’d rather have access to noshes from local restaurants, the air-conditioned studio and indoor bathrooms, there are a limited number of $100 VIP tickets available for purchase. VIP guests also have access to the VIP After Party with special guest DJs.

“We’ve been extremely intentional with the energy we have connected over the years. We’re starting to see the rewards of our efforts from the beginning. And we’re proud to be a part of creating this cultural capital that attracts all different types of people to our city so they feel like there is something here for them,” says Program Director Jordan Lee. “Today, Radio Milwaukee is stronger than ever and looking forward to many more years of creating original programming that champions Milwaukee’s diversity.”

For more information about other 10th anniversary activities, visit radiomilwaukee.org/ten.

 

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