In addition to offering a lively, end of the summer cultural and artistic experience in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, the Community Arts & Funk Festival will offer its guests a multi-media artistic visual experience of music and original art in a festival setting.
Upon entering the grounds of the Marcus Center, located on the Milwaukee River adjacent to a mature grove of chestnut trees, festival guests will enter an open air art gallery complete with a broad range of talented, local and regional urban visual artists, both academically trained as well as self taught, who offer a wide variety of subject matter, concept and technical approaches through various media.
A collective and collaborative celebration of visual and performing arts, The Community Arts & Funk Festival will provide a venue for various community organizations, neighborhood associations and arts organizations throughout southeastern Wisconsin to share information that brings awareness to the programs and services they offer; thus, bringing “unity in the community”. Artisan vendors selling handmade items and merchandise as well as small businesses selling products and services will also be encouraged to participate.
Near dusk, the live music component of the festival will be revealed. This boasts an eclectic appeal of the urban music genre of contemporary funk and alternative soul which offer positive messages of social consciousness. The funk genre was revolutionized by the talents of James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone and Parliament Funkadelic; just to name a few. This will highlight the many local and regional bands, performers and songwriters who share the common integrity of using the messages of their music to uplift and inform while entertaining the listening public.
Brad Anthony Bernard, Festival Promoter
Brad is an Assistant Professor of Art at Mount Mary College, a fine art painter and a former WAMI award winning funk music performer having performed the bands “Psychedelicasi” and “Euphoric” in various venues throughout the region including Summerfest, Festa Italiana and African World Festival in the 1990s.”
As the festival’s director, Mr. Bernard is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and activities of the festival. Brad has been an instructor at Mount Mary College since 2008. As an visual artist, he has exhibited at the Celebration of Community Arts Festival and the Crostie Arts & Jazz Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Cleveland, Mississippi, respectively. Those juried art shows have awarded him no less than four cash prizes from Best of Show to 3rd place.
“As an artist/ educator and arts advocate, I believe that visual and performing arts awareness and education is an essential key to any person developing a broad sense of culture, identity, and creativity”, said Bernard. “Contributing to the arts can heal the wounds of a community, while providing an opportunity for many to enjoy and express creativity in its most vibrant forms.”
Mr. Bernard is a graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and the University of Mississippi, Oxford having received a Bachelor of Fine Art and Masters of Fine Arts, respectively.
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