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Communication Grand Opening

  • Communication 2645 Milwaukee Street Madison, WI, 53704 United States (map)

Madison's newest DIY space hosts a day of music, art, and interaction. Info/tix

Photo by Jennifer Bastian.

Photo by Jennifer Bastian.

A team of four Madison-based artists and musicians announced in March that they planned to take over a vacant storefront/warehouse on Milwaukee Street and turn it into Communication. The vision? An all-ages, community-driven venue with live music, a retail space for Madison-area artists to sell their work, and all manner of workshops and even kid-friendly events. They're not quite finished renovating, but the space began hosting shows in May and already has a storefront filled with local art. Communication's leadership—musicians Tessa Echeverria and Spencer Bible and artists Jennifer Bastian and Mollie Martin—are still fleshing out their programming, in part because they want to learn more about what the neighborhood around the space wants from a multi-faceted DIY arts incubator, rather than just push preconceived ideas. (Full disclosure: Tone Madison is working on some programming in partnership with Communication.)

This day-long grand opening celebration will touch on a few aspects of Communication's planned M.O. Jesse Laz-Hirsch, best known as a singer and guitarist for perky Madison power-pop band Locksley, will kick things off at 10 a.m. with a set of kids' music. Illustrator Rachal Duggan (who is a Tone Madison contributor) will host a 2 p.m. drawing workshop titled "Illustration Therapy for Artists." At 4 p.m., Bastian will unveil an art show that draws on responses from a survey she's been conducting about the role of art in Madison communities.

Communication is also determined to fill the gaping need for more early shows in Madison, so the grand opening's main live-music portion will begin at 7 p.m. Denver singer-songwriter Esmé Patterson, whose 2016 album We Were Wild cloaks her tender vocals in brisk, warmly arranged folk-rock, will headline. Opening up is Madison's own William Z. Villain, an endlessly mischievous project that combines elements of jazz, Balkan music, bizarro art-rock, and sneering lyricism. Scott Gordon