A male singer on a stage performing with guitar at a bar.

How Imagine MKE Is Helping Local Artists During Time of Social Distancing

Imagine MKE created a relief fund to help support local artists.

Local artists who depend on income from public events, showings, concerts and service jobs are taking a significant financial hit from the coronavirus shutdown. In the upcoming weeks, Imagine MKE — a group that brings together arts, business and civic leaders in the city — is working to mitigate that impact.

Their goal is to raise and distribute $50,000 in small grants to local artists by April 10th. Any artist who lives in Milwaukee County can apply for a grant of up to $500 to help tide them over this time and make up for their losses.

Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis, so there will be different deadlines with each week. Imagine MKE is actively looking for donations to help support this program, and they plan to continue issuing grants as long as they still have funds available.

They are also planning to continue promoting art and performances in this time of social distancing through some creative workarounds.

Last Friday, they put on the aptly-named “Total Sh!t Show – The World’s First Live Streamed Pandemic Music Event” with performances by Rexxx, Bay View Massacre, Lex Allen and Zed Kenzo. In the weeks ahead, they plan to continue working with artists and venues to put on live stream paid performances with local artists of all disciplines. Mindpool Live will continue to hold Friday night events, and Nō Studios is also working on a safe way to host.



Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.