BlackSpaceMKE is an urban art cooperative with a very basic principle of spreading the message about cooperative economics. In an effort to raise awareness about social entrepreneurship and garner support of black owned businesses BlankSpaceMKE has established Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week. The week will take place Sunday, April 14th through Saturday April 20, 2019. There are over 30 black owned restaurants located in the greater Milwaukee area and in celebration of the effort to increase social entrepreneurship restaurants will be featured and highlighted during each day of the week.
Black Restaurant Week is not a new project. Cities across the country often host an annual restaurant or dining week during which they offer deals or menu specials to bring in new customers. BlankSpaceMke hosts decided that to bring this same movement to the city of Milwaukee. Locally our city has developed programs such as Recycle the Black Dollar and All Black Everything that enhance the access and spread knowledge about minority owned businesses. In this project, we hope to direct attention to thriving restaurants that could benefit from the exposure and marketing.
For the 4th year in a row BlankSpaceMke (founded by black women Symphony Swan & Bridget Robinson) have launched a week dedicated to celebrating the entrepreneurship of our locally owned eateries and want to direct patrons to restaurants that they can support.
We have done this at no cost to the restaurant owner or to the sponsors!! This is a grass roots effort to engage Milwaukee in building wealth in our community. We do not profit from this event.
Last year many of our participating restaurants realized significant sales increase (some almost doubling in daily sales), a surge in media attention and a boost of new customers from the week.
How does the week work?
We have researched local black owned restaurants and asked them to allow us to include them in the project. With their permission, we use data collection from the week to demonstrate the effectiveness of cooperative economics and the significance of the local dollar to sustain businesses.
We then ask residents of Milwaukee and surrounding communities to visit one or more restaurants on the list. Patronize! Spend money! Eat good food! And document your attendance by “checking in” on social media using the hashtag #MBRW19 and taking a photo of your receipt. We also ask that you residents will share their experience at the end of the week. We track all of this data for our final community report.
How do the meet ups work?
Different organizations and groups (sponsors) have agreed to dine in together at a local restaurant in support of the week. They also agree to help us spread the word and mission about the project. This is a great way to fellowship and build community and learn more about the work they do. The meet-ups are merely a dining suggestion. We encourage customers to visit any of the restaurants on the list to experience all that the Milwaukee Black Restaurants have to offer.
Join us for a KICK OFF celebration of the 4th Annual Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week on Sunday, April 14th hosted by The Bronzeville Collection located at 339 W. North Avenue between 4pm – 6pm. Mix and mingle with black restaurant owners and patrons and enjoy sweet treats of Delicious Bites.
End the week with us during the Wrap Up Community Forum of Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week on Saturday, April 20, 2019 hosted by Vibez Creative Art Space located at 3536 West FonduLac Avenue (inside of the Sherman Phoneix) between 11am – 1pm.
BlankSpaceMKE is an urban art cooperative aimed at empowering the community to work together to strengthen values of entrepreneurship by way of fundamental cooperative economics. We believe that a community motivated to invest in themselves while embracing models of shared collective consciousness can build relationships that will sustain business and improve socio economic conditions. BlankSpaceMKE looks to offer long term resources and serve as a hub for small business owners who share in the vision of economic collaboration.