It’s been one year since the uprising in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood. Whether or not there has been any positive change in the neighborhood over the past year is up for debate. Still, one new development seems promising: Sherman Phoenix.

Using one of the buildings damaged in last summer’s uprising—the BMO Harris Bank building at 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave.—developers JoAnne Sabir and Juli Kaufmann plan to create a hub for small African-American-owned businesses. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 businesses, with about 45 employees, have already agreed to lease space in the building. Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, Embody Yoga, and Buffalo Boss are just a few of those businesses.

The $2.5 million project is being funded by the city, foundations, and private investors. And how can those private investors chip in? Through a crowdfunding campaign, of course. Check it out below, along with five more Milwaukee-based crowdfunding campaigns—some important and game-changing, like Sherman Phoenix, and some not so much.

Sherman Phoenix
The pitch: “The Sherman Phoenix will transform the fire-damaged BMO Harris Bank building located at the eastern gateway to the Sherman Park neighborhood into high-quality space for small businesses-of-color offering diverse foods, wellness services and cultural activities. It will include much-needed community spaces to curate art exhibits, film showings, and cultural events. Join us in supporting the positive possibilities!”

MKE Women’s Film Festival 2017
The pitch: “The Milwaukee Women’s Film Festival will be hosting its second annual festival September 8 – 10, 2017 at the Underground Collaborative located on Wisconsin Avenue. The festival will feature both short films and feature length films produced and directed by local, domestic and international filmmakers who have chosen to not only highlight the stories of women, but also to celebrate the many contributions women have made to the film industry. As a young organization, this second year is integral to solidifying the festival as a community and cultural staple. But to make it all happen, we need your help!”

Visions Of Zosimos: The Board Game
The pitch: “Visions of Zosimos: Chaos Omen the Board Game is the physical version of our digital Tactical Strategy game Visions of Zosimos, currently in closed alpha. The game is meant to play nearly identically to our digital game, just on the tabletop. We plan to tie the physical game to the digital variant by way of redemption codes for digital game items. Be those packs or special units otherwise unavailable in the digital game. This campaign features a few stretch goals, all aimed at expanding the available number of decks and cards to play with.”

Disc Gulp – The Original Disc Golf Card & Drinking Game
The pitch: “I originally created Disc Gulp as a surprise addition to an annual Disc Golf Camping trip over two years ago, but ever since the first card was drawn, I knew we couldn’t keep this private. Two year’s later, and we’ve got more than double the cards, countless rounds of testing, and over 200 decks out and about…but it’s time to do this for real.”

Let’s Start a Cult
The pitch: “Let’s Start a Cult is a dark comedy being shot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A group of teens are feeling hopeless. Because soon they may be homeless. Then Francis gives a pitch on self-sustainability. A green life surrounded by leaves, trees, and tranquility. Everything began with good intentions. But soon became corrupted by outside interventions. “Well what happens then? What’s the result?” To find that out please contribute to Let’s Start a Cult.”

Ultimate Bone Thugs/2Pac Collection
The pitch: “There are a lot of site with information on Bone Thug-N-Harmony & 2Pac, though most have incorrect information or aren’t complete. I want to create a website ( with everything Bone Thug-N-Harmony & 2Pac have ever done from albums, singles, features, collaborations, compiliations, mixtapes, etc.”

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.