The Jazz Gallery believes our community is strengthened by creativity.
The original two-story building was built in 1887 as a tavern. The one-story addition where the gallery and performance space is located was constructed in the late 1940’s. From 1978 – 1984 the building was the site of the Milwaukee Jazz Gallery. On their stage, some of the greatest artists in the history of jazz performed, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Sun Ra, McCoy Tyner, Dexter Gordan and Stan Getz. It also hosted such diverse local talents as Paul Cebar, the Violent Femmes and Theater X. It fell into disrepair over the years until it was purchased in 2008 by the Riverwest Artists Association as a gallery and community center. Musicians clamored to play on their historic stage, which led to the starting of their music program in 2011.
Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts
In 1979, a group of neighborhood artists started the Riverwest ArtWalk, an open studio walking art tour of the neighborhood. A few years later, the Riverwest Artists Association was formed. The efforts of these artists helped develop the neighborhood’s distinct creative identity.
Nearly thirty years later, they purchased the former home of the historic Milwaukee Jazz Gallery, a nationally-renowned jazz club and transformed it into a dedicated space for the community — a place to create, present, and experience the arts.
Today, you can visit the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts: a home for emerging artists and musicians as well as those who’ve been around the block a few times. Here, they celebrate experimental efforts along with more traditional takes, and everything in between.
Doors Open visitors will be able to enjoy free jazz performances and time to browse the most recent art exhibit.
926 E Center St
10 am - 5 pm
Photography, Video, Tripods Permitted