In a Nutshell:
The non-profit is a co-working, meetup, and practice space for creative professionals. The world’s first health club for the brain: instead of exercise equipment, Bucketworks has tools and equipment you can use to create just about anything, and exercise your inspiration with exercise programs designed to enhance your creativity, collaboration, and entrepreneurship skills as well as rent various environments for events, classes, workshops, and other activities.
Why they Rock:
- Headquarters: Three buildings, more than 20 rooms, and over 25,000 square feet of space. Indoor parking and a private rooftop deck!
- Diversity: companies/individuals within Bucketworks include the fields of art, music, dance, theatre, technology, and entrepreneurship.
- Bucketworks is under the ‘umbrella’ of the School Factory: provide financial and organizational support to open communities in shared physical spaces who use innovative methods and technology in hands-on education.
The Bucketworks building has an old-school vibe (antique lighting fixture warehouse), although the energy inside is forward thinking: modern work stations, large rooms equipped with video conferencing, legal graffiti space in their parking garage, and artist stations with ample supplies…they give the freedom to ‘play’ – the future of work and learning.
My independent-minded contact Jenn created a prodcutive day under the free-thinking founder James…the staff is just the start of creative people. James took me on a massive tour and I met passionate Meghan at ArtWorks for Milwaukee (prepare underserved teens to enter the workforce by utilizing the arts as a method to teach employability skills.), and spent time with over-the-top Billy from Angry Young Men Ltd (puppet & performance group)…listen to a Puppet about this hilarious group.
After walking around the 25,000 square foot complex, I was put to work on the following tasks: re-organize the Server Room, prep the kitchen for a painting project, and clean-up their alley littered with trash (no Miller High-Lifes were drunk during removal). I got a quick lunch break to enjoy tasty tacos at La Fuente (equal to San Diego joints – no joke) and put in some computer time (the brain energy in the building was calling me to laptop-it-up) so I submitted Bucketworks to the Sheppard Express as ‘Hero of the Month’ (please write the Express – I will send you a t-shirt and maybe 2 kittens)
Milwaukee hospitality didn’t include Pabst Blue Ribbon and Camel Lights…Toni my kind/garden-lover friend from Red Lotus Society gave me her studio and peaced-out to stay with a friend, not before she treated me to a home-cooked meal of salmon and pasta! Toni’s place in near hip Brady Street home to Brewed (top five coffee house on trip) and Veteran’s Park where I did an early morning run where I caught a beautiful glimpse of the stunning Milwaukee Art Museum.
Could Bucketworks be an alternative to traditional schooling? Imagine you are 16 and had the FREEDOM to create software coding that allows Peace Corps to be more efficient by 20 percent, or had the SPACE to build art for therapeutic reasons and make profit, or had COMMUNITY providing education, technical resources, and encouragement to produce a missing gem: creativity.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein