Cactus+

Cactus club offers a variety of community-oriented programs, between video series, street festivals, audio production meetups & more.

Moving Image

Cactus Club Moving Image series (Moving Image) is an experimental film series presented by the artist-run venue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our vision is to create an environment conducive to critical engagement by showing work that takes risks, challenges norms, and opens conversations by showcasing a wide range of artist-driven independent media. As a series, we hope to offer a space for the intergenerational attendees to engage with film and expanded cinema made by artists from a variety of backgrounds. To keep a flow of new perspectives, the monthly programs will be curated by Cactus Club staff as well as visionary guest programmers.

Moving Image Assistantship Role

Spring Youth Internship (March-October). This role will work alongside the Moving Image Programmer and Events Coordinators to program films, workshops, in-person events and learn all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into these productions. This paid apprenticeship will begin with setting goals and aspirations during this time and will conclude with you organizing, creating, and executing your own event or program. Events will be hosted outdoors/indoors on-site as well as a possibility for off-site screenings. This position has been created out of a lack of opportunity for folks to gain experience in event coordination and programming, and are interested in working with the community with an appreciation for music and arts. We aim to disrupt that gap and to provide the tools, resources, and experience as a baseline to grow from.

Video Series

Goals of the series:

  • Highlight visionary multi-genre artists through interview and live footage
  • Collaborate with emerging filmmakers in an effort to connect Milwaukee-based multimedia arts communities
  • Convey a snapshot in time of the featured artists’ unique story

Why:

  • Archive, document, capture the breadth of innovative, forward-facing artistry that graces the Cactus Club stage and extend access of that to newer, larger international audiences
  • Illuminate and humanize the stories of contemporary, working musicians
  • Connect interdisciplinary artists locally and globally, but especially locally. The Milwaukee arts scene can be very siloed by medium and we believe this is an exciting initiative to bring intergenerational, multimedia artists to produce together

Visit the official Cactus Club Vimeo channel for more content.

Beet Street Fall Harvest Festival

In 2016 Cactus Club, Palomino and Goodkind, organized a neighborhood block party to celebrate food and music, and to give a platform to citywide community organizations. Rain or shine, Beet Street takes place the second Saturday of October from noon-6p. The family-friendly celebration takes over the block of S. Wentworth Ave. between Potter (Goodkind) and Russell (Cactus). Bay View Historical Society, abolitionists, high school art clubs, environmental justice organizers, voter registrants, and LGBTQ+ resources all have a presence. We uplift the intersections of art and movement building.

We welcome musicians from around the world to perform. Memorable Beet Street sets include Sessa, OSHUN, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Fat Tony, Congo Gospel Music Band, Frankie & The Witch Fingers, La Goony Chonga and Ric Wilson.

There is a punk rock rummage sale, maker market, face painting, a juried pie contest “The Great Midwestern Pie Championship” at Palomino, a photo booth, a music video showcase that screens in the live room of the club, and delicious seasonal refreshments and libations.

Beet Street is made possible by our extraordinary sponsors: Milwaukee Record, 91.7 WMSE, Educator’s Credit Union, Pabst Brewing, Seedlip, Copper&Kings, Heaven Hill Distillery

Save the date: Beet Street 2022 • Saturday, October 8

Ableton User Group Milwaukee Meet-Ups

The local chapter of the Ableton User Group here in Milwaukee meets semi-regularly for free, informative events on Saturday afternoons. The Ableton User Group Milwaukee is for all interested Ableton Live users based in (or visiting) Milwaukee. All levels are welcome.

The aim of the Group is to help Live users network and share information and experience in an informal environment with each other. The meetings are to allow all participants to suggest discussion themes related to Ableton Live, as well as to provide a forum for presenting their own work.

All Ableton Live users are invited to provide ideas and suggestions for discussions.

Find out more at the Ableton.com website or their official Facebook group.

SV Presents

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.

Digital Dream

As the flagship project of the club’s deepest pandemic era, the Digital Dream series was born out of both necessity and passion. As it became clear that the 2020 lockdown was of unknowable length and had fully toppled the year of live music, we knew we had to get creative. The series was conceptualized by Kelsey Kaufmann and Max Segovia over the phone, curated and produced by Max, and the venture was brought to life by the technical expertise of Kenneth Tarek Sabbar. Featuring intimate and often adventurous live or pre-recorded sets from 60+ artists nationwide, the project exists as an audio/visual time capsule of sorts. A snapshot of a moment in time where musicians, venues, the entire industry just wanted the show to go on. And it did.

Visit the official Cactus Club Vimeo channel for more content.

Additional Cactus+ Programming

  • MusicGoRound Second Saturdays – Launching July 2022
  • Cactus Book Club
  • Sunday Artist Markets
  • On-site art installations & map – more details coming soon