Get this: On Friday, January 20, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Huh. The official celebrations surrounding Trump’s inauguration will likely be just as “huh”-worthy, what with the talents of Broadway star Jennifer Holliday, Bruce Springsteen cover band The B Street Band, and ’80s hard rock cover band The Reagan Years on hand. Wait, 3 Doors Down is playing, too? What is this, a goddamn county fair? Dear fucking god.
Anyway, here are 10 things you can do on Inauguration Night that don’t involve watching the actual inauguration. Here we go, America. We really did this/are doing this thing.
1. “Mass Rally and March to Kick Off 100 Days of Resistance to Stop Trump’s Agenda” @ Red Arrow Park
The Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump is once again organizing a mass rally at downtown’s Red Arrow Park beginning at 5 p.m. Like the Red Arrow Park rally/march that immediately followed Trump’s victory in November, expect a shitload of people, lots of catchy chants, and plenty of Einsteins on the internet explaining that, newsflash!, blocking traffic and yelling doesn’t change anything. Crazy! The event marks the beginning of MCAT’s “wide variety of events and actions throughout the first 100 days designed to educate, organize, and resist the Trump agenda.”
2. “Inauguration Rally Debrief” @ Riverwest Public House
Thought the night was over following the Red Arrow Park march? Think again. Not only is there more work to be done at the Public House, it’s Friday night. Have a drink, stay out late, and change the world.
3. “Integrity, Inspiration, Inauguration Conversation” @ The Body & Soul Healing Arts Center
If screaming “NOT MY PRESIDENT!” and “MY BODY, MY CHOICE!” (“HER BODY, HER CHOICE!” for the fellas) isn’t your bag, then perhaps you’d prefer the “conversation and reflection” promised by this event at The Body & Soul Healing Arts Center. “Bring yourself. Bring a friend, a loved one. Bring a dish to share. Bring hope, laced with imagination and integrity.” That sounds really nice.
4. “Inaugural Balls: A Celebration of Protest Songs” @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
This delightfully named event features a stacked cast of Riverwest staples performing some of music’s most powerful protest songs. Eric Blowtorch, Bill Camplin, John Sieger, Sigmund Snopek, Jim Linneman himself, and more (and a surprise guest!) are all scheduled to take the stage. A $10 donation at the door goes to Arts@Large and Serve2Unite.
5. “¡Ni un paso atrás!” @ The Local (Club Anything)
This benefit (English translation: “Not one step back!”) for Voces de la Frontera promises a night of “fun, solidarity, and [a] pledge to resist.” Making it all happen will be live performances from Bo & Airo, Offsite, and Mix And Match, and DJ sets from those darn Platinum Boys.
6. “Tribe UNCOVERED: A Reinterpretation of a Tribe Called Quest” @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Alverno Presents’ previously defunct UNCOVERED series makes its triumphant return Friday when multi-threat Klassik reinterprets the music of A Tribe Called Quest. Joining him will be Foreign Goods, Stomata, Chris Rosenau, Lorde Fredd33, AR Wesley, Mike Regal, Strehlow, Jordan Madhatter Lee, Old Man Malcolm, and more. The show may not be directly related to the inauguration, but don’t expect it to go unmentioned.
7. Riverwest FemFest @ Jazz Gallery and Company Brewing
Night three of the five-day Riverwest FemFest features two shows: an early all-ages show at the Jazz Gallery, and a 21+ show at Company Brewing. Heavy Hand, Grasping At Straws, and Madison’s Seasaw highlight the first show, while Fox Face, Sugar Ransom, and Detroit’s Mexican Knives highlight the second. Both shows are $7 at the door, though a $40 full-festival pass is your best bet.
8. “Feminism Artist Talk” @ Var Gallery & Studios
File another one under “not really related to the inauguration, but yeah, it’s definitely going to come up.” Artists Erin Pfaff, Cristina Ossers, Mila Hakim, Sandy Manikowski, and Bianca Brandolino from Var’s current “Feminism” exhibition are set to speak. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m.
9. Gallery Night and Day @ various locations
Milwaukee’s ever-popular Gallery Night and Day turns 29 this year. That’s 29 years of Milwaukee art, Milwaukee artists, Milwaukee galleries, Milwaukee hobnobbing, Milwaukee cheese platters, and NEWaukee’s ART Bus thing, which is still a thing. Will a piss-stained Trump portrait make its way onto the walls of one of the participating galleries? Likely!