Tea’s Weird Week: Please Help Us Fund QWERTYFEST MKE, a Celebration of Milwaukee History and the Arts

Friends, soliciting money is not something I’m great at. However, I am part of a talented local group that is putting together an event that I believe strongly should be funded. QWERTYFEST MKE is happening June 23-25 this year. It’s a celebration of the typewriter as well as local writers, artists, musicians, and businesses. It includes a party, tours, “Type Talks,” workshops, and a Typewriter Brunch Open Jam. We are also creating a publication called QWERTY Quarterly, a zine that will showcase work by people involved in the event.

The idea for QWERTYFEST came to me when I walked by a historical marker downtown that notes that nearby was the workshop of Christopher Latham Sholes, who invented the QWERTY keyboard. I had seen this historical marker before, and always thought it was great that Milwaukee has this connection to the typewriter. This time when I walked by I thought– this is something that should be celebrated. Fast forward a few months and it’s a thing. My co-organizer for this event is Molly Snyder, a senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Many other people are participating, and it’s a great thrill for me to have this opportunity to work with this assembled talent.

Here’s what’s going on at the first QWERTYFEST MKE.

Our logo, designed by Alicia Krupsky.

Friday, June 23: National Typewriter Day Party @ The Dandy. June 23 is the date that Sholes got his patent for the QWERTY keyboard, which he invented 150 years ago. It’s the perfect day to kick off the fest with a party that features a performance by Nineteen Thirteen. This cello-and-percussion duo’s music is the perfect fit for QWERTYFEST. Janet Schiff’s beautiful cello is not as old as the typewriter, but it is a 110-year-old, crafted in the year 1913. And Victor DeLorenzo’s innovative drumming is what helped give Violent Femmes their signature sound. Listen to them here: nineteenthirteen.bandcamp.com

The party also features the Clackathon, hosted by Anja Notanja Sieger. This is a unique event that is staged as a typing competition where local writers are challenged, game show style. It’s going to be a lot of fun! The evening will also feature a couple of vendors, QWERTYFEST merch, a crossword puzzle challenge, raffle for cool stuff (including a typewriter), and drinks at The Dandy’s bars. Tickets are $25 or part of the ALL CAPS Weekend Pass ($75).

Saturday, June 24: Various Locations

Workshops @ The Bindery (ticket info soon)

11am: “Typewriter 101” with teacher Lisa Floading
Noon: Writing Workshop with Kro, the Traveling Typist

2pm: Special tour @ Forest Home Cemetery (ticket info soon)

4pm: Type Talks @ Forest Home Cemetery’s chapel
“150 Years of the QWERTY Keyboard,” UWM Professor Jason Puskar
Presentation on women and typewriters by OnMilwaukee.com Senior Editor Molly Snyder
“Clack Bait: Drawing Stories and Exceptional Encounters,” 2022-23 Pfister Hotel Artist-in-Resident Christopher T. Woods

Admission for all three Type Talks is just $5, or by showing your ALL CAPS Pass.

After party TBA

Sunday, June 25: Typewriter Brunch Open Jam @ Company Brewing

This is open to anyone who wants to bring a typewriter, hang out and have brunch, and write! It’s free, but if you want to go, get one of our free tickets so we can get an idea of how many people to expect. Also, please do order Company Brewing’s great food and drink.

Wait, there’s more! We’re also starting a publication that ties into the event, titled QWERTY Quarterly. It’ll feature profiles on people involved with the event as well as articles on history, poetry, short fiction, a fun page, and more. It’ll be available in stores and at the fest, but you can get a free copy with the ALL CAPS Pass and/or it will be mailed to anyone who donates at levels of $75 or higher.

Pretty great stuff, right? We’re looking forward to celebrating with you and our hope is that the festival continues to grow and expand in the future.

Tickets: https://milwaukeekrampusnacht.ticketbud.com/qwertyfest-mke
Fundraiser: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/qwertyfest-mke/x/14628551

Thanks to those that attended my storytelling session at Lion’s Tooth. I audio recorded the event, which you can listen on Podbean//Spotify//Soundcloud//Google Podcasts//iHeartRadio//PlayerFM//Apple//Stitcher//Pocket Casts

My eBook Chicago Mothman: A History and Cultural Study of a Monster Case is available on Kindle now: https://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Mothman-History-Cultural-Monster-ebook/dp/B0BZY598JX/ref=sr_1_3


About teakrulos

Freelance writer from Milwaukee, I'm the author of non-fiction books Heroes in the Night, Monster Hunters, Apocalypse Any Day Now and forthcoming Wisconsin Legends & Lore and American Madness. I write a weekly column called "Tea's Weird Week" at teakrulos.com.

Posted on April 20, 2023, in Writing about Writing blah blah blah and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: