The East Side Business Improvement District (BID) found new ways to add extended seating for restaurant patrons looking to dine outside when a favorite restaurant might be at capacity, and for those looking for a quiet respite in the neighborhood. The BID commissioned local artists to paint picnic tables that have been placed in the parking lot at 1915 E North Ave., which will act as extended outdoor seating for visitors, residents, and people looking for a good place to eat their carryout.
The East Side Art Lot was the brainchild of area residents who were talking about new places to dine outside. Support grew as the idea was circulated among East Side business owners, so the BID wrote a grant to AARP’s Small Dollar Big Impact fund and recently received funding to buy picnic tables that local artists will be hired to paint.
The project may be simple but it was not inexpensive. The $1,000 AARP Small Dollar Big Impact grant funded the purchase of the ten picnic tables, but additional funds were needed to pay artists for their work, supply materials to artists, and provide ongoing trash maintenance and sanitization of the tables. To fund this, the BID put together a crowdfunding campaign, now-closed GoFundMe campaign. Thank you to all of the incredible donors who contributed to this project!
The Art Lot will be closed as of 11/15, so please enjoy before it's gone!
Congratulations to the 12 local artists who were selected to paint 10 tables in the Art Lot! Below, see Milwaukee photographer Tom Hillmeyer's photos of the beautiful tables:
We owe a huge thanks to AARP Wisconsin for providing the Small Dollar Big Impact grant that got this all started!
East Side Art Lot House Rules:
Thank you for your interest in the Art Lot! Whether you've been already or you're checking it out before your first visit, here are our house rules so that we can keep the space up and running!
- Respect each other, the space, and our surrounding businesses
- Masks required other than when eating & drinking
- Remain socially distanced
- Clean up after yourself (use the provided grabage bin)
- Do not move tables or signage without permission
- No soliciting
- No smoking
- No alcohol