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Sterr-ing Up Interest in Milwaukee Museum Mile

May. 24, 2012
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The Milwaukee Museum Mile is a newly formed consortium of institutions located on Milwaukee's East Side. John Sterr, marketing manager for the Charles Allis and Villa Terrace art museums, talked about the development of this unique collaboration.

How did the idea for the Milwaukee Museum Mile originate?

It originated a year ago when I started at the Charles Allis Art Museum and was looking at the neighborhood, assessing where the museum was at in terms of the community. I found there were a number of people who didn't even know where we were. They had heard about the Charles Allis, but didn't know where it was. So, I thought one of my marketing approaches would be to connect with our neighbors. I started to introduce myself and take literature around, and quickly realized there were these other institutions, some of which I didn't even know were there. I thought they're probably in the same boat I am. It became apparent that if we get something together, that might benefit us all. It just kind of steamrolled from there.

Any tips for visitors who would like to visit all of the museums in a single day?

The first thing I would suggest, if it's a nice day, is you could bike or walk the Museum Mile. The Oak Leaf Trail goes down by the lakefront and you can come up the path at Brady Street or Ogden, and see the Jewish Museum, the Charles Allis and the Museum of Wisconsin Art (located in St. John's on the Lake). And then, go down to Villa Terrace and Lake Park. It's a great bike ride, and it's definitely walkable as well. You can park at the Jewish Museum or up at Lake Park, and go back and forth that way.

We have a brochure for the Milwaukee Museum Mile which lists the information for each of the stops. If you come into one of the museums, that brochure has a dollar-off coupon to each, so you can save a little money.

What are some of your “can't miss” things to see in each venue?

At Villa Terrace, it's a no-brainer that you have to see the permanent exhibition of Cyril Colnik's ironworks. He's referred to as Milwaukee's most important craftsman. At the Charles Allis, we have a great collection of Asian ceramics going back to the dynastic periods of Japan and China, as well as French Barbizon painting. I'm not directly affiliated with the others, but the North Point Lighthouse is such a great museum of maritime history in Wisconsin, and the view at the top is amazing. The Chagall tapestry at the Jewish Museum is fabulous, and the Museum of Wisconsin Art always has a rotating exhibition to see.

Check with each museum for hours and admission prices. See the Milwaukee Museum Mile website www.milwaukeemuseummile.org or Facebook page www.facebook.com/MilwaukeeMuseumMile for more information.


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