Statement of Intent
Cactus Club is an artist-run, queer-owned, multi-disciplinary arts and performance space in Milwaukee, WI. Engaging with a culturally expansive and intergenerational cross-section of the city, the venue aims to foster meaningful relationships, highlight important artistic voices, develop local talent, and provide high quality arts programming to folks near and far. The organizers work to provide a supportive and amorphous platform for creative experimentation, tastemaking curation and interactive educational opportunities.
Over the course of nearly 30 years, the club has progressed from niche indie venue to a cultural hub and national destination – thanks in no small part to the deep community ties, inspired participation, and collective growth of all involved.
Opened in 2018, Sleeping Village is a prominent music venue in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago. While shuttered due to the pandemic, Sleeping Village and Cactus Club connected through the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). Sleeping Village’s Kyle LaValley invited Kelsey to sit on a panel about adventurous/non-standard venue merchandise. The two realized that they shared many intersecting interests and excitedly discussed collaboratively presenting shows. The partnership has added a uniquely robust element to the ever-expanding bridge between creative communities in Chicago and Milwaukee.
Sleeping Village’s first show at Cactus Club was in August 2021. Both groups look forward to many on and off-site productions in the years ahead.