Bronzeville Festival is more than just celebration of arts and culture starting August 5th

NOW: Bronzeville Festival is more than just celebration of arts and culture starting August 5th

Auditions are currently underway for the youth talent show that will happen August 5th at the  Bronzeville Festival in Milwaukee.

It will begin a week of activities, cultural and artistic based, meant to highlight the efforts at economic development in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in a way that recaptures the enthusiasm and reverence of the original Bronzeville District.

The Bronzeville Festival is celebrating five years and for the first time is an event officially sanctioned by the city of Milwaukee.

Common Council Member Milele Coggs says when people talk about increasing public safety and giving young people constructive activities, the Bronzeville week is an event that achieves that.

"We found that the festival has helped deter violent crime in the area," Coggs tells CBS 58 News. "I'm a believer that if you bring like minded positive people together in a space it pushes out those who want to engage in negative activity. But moreso than that, it's an opportunity for family, friends and people to fellowship with one another. And they begin to think and create positive things and the more positive energy in one space, the negative can't survive."

The festival has three stages for main acts, gospel and young people.

The non-profit WestCare foundation, located in Bronzeville, is currently holding auditions for its Youth Talent Show.

The group uses young people to reach young people.

Talent show judge Arianna Mills,15, tells CBS 58 News that they're looking for a variety of groups.

"Youth that have any type of talent," says Mills. "Spoken word, dancers, singers, comedians. Any type of youth talent you want to bring out."

Auditions are every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the WestCare facility at 3rd and Wright from 4-6 p.m. leading up to the festival.

To arrange an audition call (414) 305-4158. 

The heart of the original Bronzeville neighborhood was along Walnut Street between King Drive and 12th Street. By the 1930s, the number of African American-owned businesses in this area exceeded all other areas of the city - with the highest concentration between 6th and 9th Streets.

In the late 1960’s a portion of Walnut Street was demolished to make room for a freeway. Despite this loss, the memory of Bronzeville remains strong in Milwaukee.

The overall planning of the 21st century Bronzeville district involved public, private, and community stakeholder input.

For more information on the history and future of the area click here

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