Nō Studios

Face Activist Art

Nō Studios (Left to right) Cannon Graber, Will Rose, Luke Repetti, Aaron Hopgood, Lisa Caesar; Photo by Boutique Photographer Linda SmallpageInstagram: @boutiquephotographer | Facebook: Boutique Photographer | Linkedin: Linda Smallpage

After John Ridley won the best adapted screenplay Oscar in 2014 for writing 12 Years a Slave, he wanted to give back to his hometown of Milwaukee. He spoke with his sister, Lisa Caesar, about how to do that. Caesar had worked on Wall Street for years, and her finance background complemented her brother’s in the arts. Together they landed on the idea for Nō Studios, a collaborative space that centers artists and fosters the creative community.

They partnered with Chris Abele to acquire a former Pabst Brewing building on McKinley Avenue. They added a first-floor gallery, a performance stage, a screening room and theater, co-working spaces and a rooftop bar with a phenomenal view.

“We wanted to build a destination for creatives,” Caesar says. Nō Studios officially opened in 2018. The studio offers three tiers of memberships: a club membership that grants access to the rooftop, event and production services discounts; a co-working membership that allows access to the co-working spaces and the rooftop; and a membership for organizations that grants unlimited access to all people in the organization. Nō Studios also puts on annual Social Justice Summit and Art Activated series, melding art and activism.

“I’ve never seen anything like Nō Studios before,” Caesar says. “We’re integrating all these components: membership, networking opportunities, production services. We’re creating this unique community, both physically and online, centered around artists and creativity.”

1037 W. MCKINLEY AVE. | 414-226-6516