In the fall of 2016, ever-busy Milwaukee musician Jay Anderson launched the inaugural Strange Fruit Music Festival. Inspired by the then-recent killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the fest set out to explore “the thoughts and emotions of local musicians, regarding the current climate of racial relations both in Milwaukee and the country as a whole.” Strange Fruit returned in 2017; now, it prepares to return in 2018.
“The Strange Fruit Festival will exist as an annual event highlighting the conversation, the emotions, and the progression forward, through music, art, poetry, and conversation,” Anderson says in a press release. “We look forward to having others join us in this effort to promote the world our music deserves to live in.”
And there’s plenty of music, art, poetry, and conversation to be had. Check out the full schedule for this week/weekend’s fest below.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29
6-8:45 p.m. – The Diaspora Arkestra @ Washington Park Bandshell – free
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30
6 p.m. – The Panel On The State Of Race @ Transfer Pizzaria Cafe’s Haven Room – $5
8 p.m. – The Fern @ Cactus Club (featuring Arséne DeLay) – $5
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31
9 p.m. – Strange Fruit @ Club Timbuktu (Klassik, Kevin Hayden, surprise guest) – $10
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
6 p.m. – Strange Fruit @ Marcus Center Peck Pavilion (featuring Nwa Na Agbe) – free
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Noon – Strange Fruit Queens Artisan Market @ Alice’s Garden, with local African American women food and artisan vendors (featuring a message of inspiration and challenge from Venice Williams; Mrs. Fun) – $5
10 p.m. – Strange Fruit @ Company Brewing (Foreign Goods, Sara & Kenny) – $10