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MILWAUKEE – Recently, demolition was completed at the site of the Bronzeville Center for the Arts’ (BCA) $1 million development located at 507 West North Avenue in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville District. Serving as the BCA’s first Bronzeville development, when complete Gallery 507 will include a gallery, workshop and BCA office space. Demolition work cleared an existing duplex building to make way for the 4,300-square-foot new construction, which is expected to be complete in the summer of 2023.
“The BCA is centered on a belief that collectively, we have a great opportunity to increase our knowledge about African American art, art history, and artists,” said Kristen Hardy, a Milwaukee attorney and president of BCA’s board. “We believe there is no better place to do just that than in the heart of Milwaukee’s Bronzeville.”
Gallery 507 will provide more visibility for local as well as international Black artists. It will also create a new cultural gathering space within the Bronzeville District.
“This project is the community’s introduction to BCA,” said Michael Emem, President and CEO of the Emem Group, owner’s representative for the project. “It is designed to reflect and celebrate the neighborhood, while providing for new, engaging ways to interact with art and artists.”
In addition to the gallery space, BCA has made tremendous progress toward realizing its vision for a world-class destination arts center. Earlier this year, BCA purchased a 3-acre space with plans to transform the site into a campus inclusive of exhibition and program space, as well as a public plaza and garden for community use. BCA is currently in the process of selecting an architect for the project.
Additionally, BCA is in the process of recruiting and hiring an executive director for the organization.
“We believe these two projects will help us tell the story of Bronzeville – a story both specific to Milwaukee and resonant for many Black communities nationwide,” said Hardy. “BCA is the new kid on the block – but we’re here for the long haul and we are committed to this community.”
Construction is anticipated to be complete in fall of 2023. Jordan Construction Services is serving as the General Contractor and Quorum Architects and Planners are serving as architect for the project.
ABOUT BRONZEVILLE CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Established in 2020, the Bronzeville Center for the Arts (BCA) centers the art, culture, and history of the African Diaspora. Located in Bronzeville – a historically African American neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – the BCA invites audiences of all ages to engage with dynamic exhibitions and enriching educational programming. The BCA seeks to advance institutional equity, connect intergenerational audiences, and provide a place for people to experience intellectual and cultural exchange.
The Center promotes current and future artists and art professionals by opening a lens to the history and heritage of Black artists. Central to the BCA’s mission is removing barriers from the enjoyment of art and forging a future that is more creative, connected, and historically informed. Bronzeville’s bustling entrepreneurial and artistic history serve as the foundation for the BCA, inspiring us to continue to honor and embody this multifaceted heritage. Learn more at www.BCAMKE.org.