At a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, Oscar-winning filmmaker John Ridley (12 Years A Slave, American Crime) announced the creation of No Studios, an upcoming hub for the creative arts in the newly developed Pabst Brewery Complex. The hub, located in a 40,000-square-foot building recently purchased by Ridley and business partner Chris Abele, will include “long-term and short-term office space for local individuals, organizations, and companies in creative fields, a 50-seat screening room, food and beverage services, galleries, as well as a rooftop event space with expansive city views.”

Stressing that No Studios would not be “trying to bring Hollywood to the lakefront,” Ridley instead described a shared creative space that would benefit the Milwaukee creative community as a whole. Currently, Milwaukee Film, Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance, 371 Productions, Custom Reality Services, UWM School of Film, and Marquette University are on board as tenants.

A full press release, renderings, and floor plans are below:

MILWAUKEE, WI (February 27, 2018) – Oscar-winning filmmaker and Milwaukee native John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, American Crime) today announced the creation of NO STUDIOS, a hub for the creative arts in downtown Milwaukee. Ridley, along with business partner Chris Abele, has purchased a 40,000 square foot building at 1037 West McKinley Avenue in the newly developed Pabst Brewery Complex. The building is currently undergoing extensive renovations in order to create a social space dedicated to the creation, curation, and presentation of art.

NO STUDIOS is a for-profit venture that aims to become a sustainable model for bringing arts to the city. It will include long-term and short-term office space for local individuals, organizations, and companies in creative fields, a 50-seat screening room, food and beverage services, galleries, as well as a rooftop event space with expansive city views.

The design of the space will be comfortable, open, modern, and inviting, encouraging collaboration among tenants and welcoming diverse communities across the city to celebrate art together.

In addition to serving as a physical space for the creative community and art lovers in Milwaukee, NO STUDIOS will present year-round programming that will both provide an opportunity for local artists to present their work as well as bring in renowned artisans and artists working in a variety of creative fields from around the world to share their knowledge and work with Milwaukee audiences.

The name NO STUDIOS was hand-picked by Ridley and embodies a double meaning. NO is the Japanese root word for skill, talent, artistic endeavor, while the English word “no” is one that artists hear many times throughout their careers and yet continue to create, in spite of many obstacles.

NO STUDIOS will open in September with a weekend of programs highlighting the many uses of the space, including film screenings and discussions, dance and music performances, readings, as well as photographic and fine art exhibitions.

“I was born and raised in Milwaukee and have family here. I’m proud to be from this city and I’m excited about giving back,” said Ridley. “With NO STUDIOS, we want to create a place where people can socialize with purpose and go about the hard work that’s at the core of creativity, as well as come together and celebrate art. Our goal is to make the space itself, and Milwaukee by extension, a destination for artists, artisans and patrons from across the country, and around the world.

The list of tenants currently on board includes Milwaukee Film, Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance, 371 Productions, Custom Reality Services, UWM School of Film, and Marquette University. Milwaukee Film will occupy an entire floor in the building and is slated to move in this spring.

NO STUDIOS is partnering with local businesses Abacus Architects, Associated Bank, CSA Commercial, Greenfire Management Services LLC, marketing agency Rev Pop Inc., and communications firm Buzz Monkeys Inc.

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Matt Wild
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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's East Side.