Friday, June 23, 2023 - Sunday, June 25, 2023

05:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Multiple venues

NOTE: In addition to direct ticket sales, we are fundraising here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/qwertyfest-mke

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QWERTYFEST MKE, June 23-25, 2023, is a weekend-long celebration of the 150-year anniversary of the invention/patenting of the typewriter – the same "QWERTY" keyboard we use today! - in Milwaukee. It is not just for writers and typewriter collectors - although we love those people. It's for all who love Milwaukee and art and want to move forward with us to really make it known to the world that the typewriter is just as "Milwaukee" as beer, motorcycles and cheese (also things we love.) QWERTYFEST is a weekend of parties, live music, a tour, presentations, workshops, shopping, brunch, open mics and more. You can attend one event, you can come to all. Some events are free, some are ticketed. Consider being a part of this. We have Big Plans for the future of QWERTYFEST, and this is the first year. 

Friday, June 23

National Typewriter Day QWERTYFEST Party, 5-10pm at The Dandy (5020 W. Vliet St.)

An evening filled with typewriter fun and music! Featuring a live performance from esteemed cello-and-drum-duo Nineteen Thirteen; a Clackathon performance hosted by Anja Notanja Sieger; a raffle (win gift baskets or a typewriter!), cash bar, and select vendors. We’ll also have Typewriter Stations set up where you can try different typewriters and create your own short writing. Admission is $25 (also included as part of the ALL CAPS Pass).

Saturday, June 24: QWERTY MKE Day (as proclaimed by Mayor Cavalier Johnson)

“Typewriter 101” workshop, 11am at The Bindery (347 E. Ward St.). Instructor: Lisa Floading

Are you interested in manual typewriters but don’t know where to start? Have you come across a machine and wondered if it is usable or repairable? Learn how these amazing machines can still have a valuable place in our lives today. Workshop ticket: $15.

“Poetry in Motion: Creative (Type) Writing” workshop, Noon at The Bindery (347 E. Ward St.). Instructor: Kay Kro

Experience textual healing with the power of typewriters. Break free of your writer's block and find your unique voice at this unique workshop designed to help you unplug and tune in. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just getting started, this workshop is the perfect chance to hone your skills, find your style, and connect with a community of like-minded individuals. Workshop ticket: $20.

QWERTYFEST RiverWalk Tour, 2pm, Historic Milwaukee (235 E. Michigan St.)

A tour that explores the Riverwalk's sculptures, architecture, and typewriter historyCLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

The QWERTY Journey Tour, 12 noon and 2pm, Forest Home Cemetery (2405 W. Forest Home Ave.)

How many know that Milwaukee in the 1860’s and 70’s was Silicon Valley for the development of the typewriter and other writing machines? Come on a QWERTYFEST tour to learn about the enduring legacy of Milwaukee inventors and purveyors of the written word. Tour starts at the Halls of History building. Tickets are $15. Runs twice: Noon and 2pm tour (If you got an ALL CAPS Pass, the 2pm tour is included with it, limited space available for non-ALL CAPS Pass holders).

QWERTYFEST Market and TypeTalks: 1-6pm at Forest Home Cemetery’s Historic Chapel

Shop our market of local artists, booksellers, and antique dealers. Also featured- DJs spinning on an antique Victrola and a display of typewriters from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design’s Brooks Stevens Product Design Collection, as well as presentations on typewriter history and art. Free admission.

4pm: “150 Years of the QWERTY Keyboard,” Jason Puskar, Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

4:30pm: “Women’s Complicated History with the Typewriter is not Black-and-White,” Molly Snyder, Senior Editor, OnMilwaukee.com

5pm: “Clack Bait: Drawing Stories and Exceptional Encounters,” Christopher T. Wood, Pfister Hotel Artist-in-Residence, 2022-2023.

QWERTYFEST After Party and Open Mic featuring Kavon Cortez Jones, 6-9pm, The Pressroom (3105 W. Forest Home Ave.) Free admission.

A casual meetup in a Milwaukee tavern that's owned by a retired newspaper printman of 30 years. Open mic at 7. All poets, storytellers, comedians, truthtellers, musicians and magicians are welcome. Cash bar.

Sunday, June 25

Typewriter Brunch Open Jam, 11am-1pm, Company Brewing (735 E. Center St.) Free admission.

This is a free event that is open to anyone who wants to bring their typewriter. Please do support our host, Company Brewing, by ordering food/drink. Special performance by musician Johanna Rose!

QWERTYFEST Open House at Anchor Press, Paper and Print (inside House of Rad, 900 E. Keefe Ave.) 1-3pm, $10-15 suggested donation. Simple bookmaking workshop--we will have paper, stamps, ink and bring your typewriter if you want. 

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