If you’ve spent any time in the Historic Third Ward, you’ve experienced the wash of culture that makes the upscale arts district stand out among city neighborhoods. Now is the time to let the rest of the country find out what makes the Third Ward special, as it was nominated by USA Today for consideration for “Best Arts District” in their 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. Voting is open now and runs until Monday, July 4 at 11 a.m.
It won’t be an easy task for Milwaukee, as 20 arts districts across the country have been selected to make the final vote. This includes participants from thriving arts scenes in major cities like New York and San Francisco, as well as emerging cultural hotbeds like Denver and Memphis. Milwaukee isn’t the only district in the Midwest either; the Wabash Arts Corridor in Chicago and the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District in Minnesota are also in the running. A strong reader vote, however, can help them rise above the competition to emerge among the top 10 districts in the country.
The arts are certainly a key tenant in the historic Third Ward, anchored by the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, the Skylight Music Theater and the relatively new addition of the MARN Art + Culture Center on Broadway. Numerous galleries are interspersed with retail businesses in the neighborhood, and there is likely at least one artist among the residents in many lofts above the ground floor of most buildings. When you factor in events such as Gallery Night MKE, as well as the annual Third Ward Art Fair and proximity to the Milwaukee Museum of Art, there are many elements in place for the historic Third Ward to be considered a national leader.
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To help Historic Third Ward receive its national acclaim as the nation’s best arts district, you can vote once a day on USA Today’s 10Best website. The winning district will be announced on Friday, July 15.