Every Friday, Off The Record looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for bits of news we missed throughout the week.
• Black Cat Alley’s controversial “Devontay” mural is back in the news. Depicting a black man in an orange prison jumpsuit, the mural—located in a two-block alley on the East Side—is meant to critique the mass incarceration of black men in Milwaukee and across the country. But “Devontay” artist Adam Stoner (who is white) came under fire last fall when some critics deemed the image another “aggression,” and claimed they were “overwhelmed with disappointment at witnessing another black body ‘displayed’ as socially ‘undesirable’ no matter what the intent.” Now, Milwaukee Magazine did a fashion photo shoot in front of the mural.
In an article for the magazine’s September issue, a white model is seen posing in front of “Devontay,” sporting a dress made of zip ties. Says Clarene Mitchell of the Milwaukee Independent:
Considering this disparity, it is troubling to see a White model posed seductively in front of the mural. The details of the 4,000 plastic cable ties that make a geometric pattern in the minidress have no significance in contrast to the man with nothing but time on his hands that she stands before.
I’m not sure if the artistic director for the set design did this on purpose or out of ignorance. Nonetheless, it is a very disrespectful marketing approach in a city that is trying to move past being one of the most racially segregated in the country.
Both Stoner and Black Cat Alley organizer Stacey Williams-Ng have condemned the photo shoot. [Milwaukee Independent]
• If you’ve spent any time downtown lately, you know that Milwaukee is really going through with this streetcar thing. Construction is well underway, streets are blocked off, and the city is patiently awaiting the the influx of bus-adverse people who can finally—finally!—ride up and down Wisconsin Avenue via public transportation. Oh yeah, one more thing: the City of Milwaukee has finally picked someone to operate the thing: Illinois-based Transdev. (Republicans’ continued efforts to limit funding for the streetcar, meanwhile, “may have no effect on the project.”) [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• In this week’s least surprising news, former Milwaukee County Sheriff and weary, by-the-numbers internet troll David Clarke will reportedly join a pro-Trump PAC. [WUWM]
• Are you a big fan of Gypsy Taco at Boone & Crockett? Of course you are. Then you’ll also dig Gypsy Burger, now open on the patio of Rogues Gallery, 134 E. Juneau Ave. [OnMilwaukee]
• Speaking of former food trucks that now have permanent addresses, former food truck Sushi Go now has a permanent address. The business’ Bay View brick-and-mortar location at 2110 E. Oklahoma Ave. is now open to the public. [OnMilwaukee]
• Milwaukee’s Dad released a new video for “Return The Slab,” and it’s great. [YouTube]
• An attempt to recall Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has failed. Also: there was apparently an attempt to recall Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Travelocity whipped together a “7 insanely fun things you didn’t know you could do in Milwaukee” thing. Did you know you could “attend a festival” in Milwaukee? Huh! [Travelocity]
• Milwaukee producer Dashcam released a new synth-tastic single, “When I’m With You I Feel,” featuring Luxi and Zero Tep. [Shepherd Express]
• A business incubator for Milwaukee’s up-and-coming film industry is coming to the former Pabst brewery complex. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Oscar-winning filmmaker (and Mequon native) John Ridley are heading up the ambitious project. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• The Violent Femmes announced a string of shows at small and mid-sized theaters, including a stop at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center October 20. Brett Newski will open the shows. [Shepherd Express]
• A new electro-tinged project from members of psychedelic band Ravi/Lola, Kiss Critique, released a new song, “In Love With Reflection.” [YouTube]
• Iron Horse Hotel will celebrate its ninth anniversary next Friday with a “Burnout Bash.” [OnMilwaukee]
• Bay View’s Canfora Bakery, 1100 E. Oklahoma Ave., has new owners. What will change? Nothing! “Everything will stay the same. Same staff, same bakers, same recipes,” says new co-owner Karen Krieg. [OnMilwaukee]
• Zak’s Cafe, 231 S. 2nd St., is closed. [OnMilwaukee]
• Have a great weekend, Milwaukee!