We’ve all lamented the loss of our summer opportunities for the sake of community health and well-being.
For some, there’s anger. For others, it’s disappointment. Yet there’s another group out there forging new paths as pandemic concerns remain high.
From that spirit of reinvention, we can all look forward to a huge slate of performances come Thursday night.
FUL Fest, an online benefit concert for Milwaukee’s Future Urban Leaders, aims to offer a festival-like experience in homes across the state featuring visual arts, food and live music. Presented by The Boldt Company, the event will feature a who’s who of the Wisconsin music scene and some Mile of Music favorites. It’ll be streamed for free on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. It’ll take place from 5-10 p.m.
“We’re really excited about how it’s coming together,” said FUL co-founder and Fox Valley native Ross Romenesko.
It’s required some hard work and ingenuity, though organizers are heartened by the opportunity to benefit the community in new ways.
Nothing spurs innovation as much as a need.
The nonprofit youth leadership organization will lose both of its annual fundraisers this year to the pandemic. They hold a gala in Milwaukee as well as Appleton’s summer Babapalooza concert.
They’re hopeful that contributions through the online event will fill those gaps.
In addition to benefiting the organization, it’s an opportunity to benefit musicians without venues and restaurants that aren’t getting the level of business they had before the virus struck. They’ll ask viewers to order up for delivery or curb-side pick up from participating, independent restaurants.
Performers will be compensated by event sponsors and can be tipped online. An online art gallery link will be accessible during streaming with 50 percent of artwork purchases going to FUL.
Future Urban Leaders aims to empower youth toward leadership roles. They do so through health and wellness programming, arts and humanities, academics, service and college and career readiness programming. They serve nearly 200 youth and families.
FUL participants will be part of the event.
The process of creating something new in the midst of unforeseen circumstances is providing a valuable lesson and experience in line with the organization’s mission.
“It’s easy to lead when everything is going well,” Romenesko said. “True leadership happens in times when it’s more difficult.”