Category Archives: Uncategorized


Library in a Box 1: South Sudan

Please check out this project by Sweet Water friend and partner Nj Unaka


ReciproCITY #1 Alan W. Moore & Sara Daleiden


Communiqué #1
Start off 2013 with radical art history and practice, and join us for the inaugural event at a new experimental art space in Milwaukee.

Presentations by:

Alan W. Moore, “Art Squats”
Sara Daleiden, “MKE<->LAX”

Wednesday, January 2nd, 7:00pm
ReciproCITY: an experimental art space inside Sweet Water Organics
2151 South Robinson Avenue
Bay View, Milwaukee

Alan W. Moore is an art historian and activist based in Madrid whose work addresses cultural economies and groups and the politics of collectivity. Moore helped to found ABC No Rio after participating in Colab’s Real Estate Show (1979), one of the best-known artist squat actions in New York history. He is the author of Art Gangs: Protest & Counterculture in New York City (2011), which explores the work of artist groups formed after 1968, such as the Art Workers Coalition and Group Material, collectives that greatly informed today’s international art world. He is also the co-editor of the book ABC No Rio Dinero: The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery (1985). Moore earned a PhD in art history from the City University of New York and his writings have appeared in such publications as Julie Ault’s “Alternative Art NY” and Blake Stimson and Gregory Sholette “Collectivism After Modernism.” His upcoming book “Art Squats” focuses on social centers in Europe.

Under the auspices of s(o)ul, Sara Daleiden directs the MKE<->LAX initiative. s(o)ul focuses on culture production and exchange through the creation of social interactions in developing landscapes. With a relationship to the arts, education and advocacy, s(o)ul consults with nonprofit and for-profit entities, as well as cultural workers of many disciplines, from emerging to established levels. With bases in Los Angeles and Milwaukee, the agency offers support for empathetic, structural development of individual, organizational and community identity, embracing various scales of experimentation, connection and production.

More info on ReciproCity at:

Hover Craft at Sweet Water – Saturday December 1st!


    Shop local, support local, drink, eat, and have fun with your neighbors!

    Sweet Water Milwaukee
    2151 S Robinson Ave, Bay View

    $2 Admission, children are free!


    Local DJ’s
    Free make n’ take craft room adult and children’s crafts
    Free gift wrap
    Free community coupon (first 100)
    Free Wisconsin band sampler (limited supply)

    Free after party! Check out the event:

    Check our blog for a list of vendors.

    A celebration of all things local, Hover Craft is a venue that features a diverse range of creative individuals. Our main purpose is to offer an opportunity for Milwaukee-based artists, crafters, makers and performers to connect with their own community through showcasing and selling to their admirers directly. Additionally we offer ways to incorporate locally owned businesses by offering information to engage the public and encourage buying locally throughout holiday season and after.

    Hover Craft is an annual buy-local event established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2010 by Alyssa Schulte, Cortney Heimerl, Ashley Chapman and Vanessa Andrew as a way to showcase the unique elements of our fair city.

    Vendors range from seasoned artisans to amateur crafters and because of the amount of interest and the limited space, this is a juried event. We carefully choose participants not based on experience, but based on originality, execution and creativity. We are very interested in sourcing creatives from all backgrounds, whether from an established business or hobby crafters. Hover Craft wants to encourage creative people to create. We want to continuously strive to mine the depths of our community to foster a rotation of many individuals and continue to keep this event fresh for our attendants.

    Any questions until then, please email us at

Artists’ Now lecture: Emmaneul Pratt “Work, Intuition and Practice”

Artists’ Now lecture: Emmaneul Pratt

“Work, Intuition and Practice”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 7:00pm


Arts Center Lecture Hall (ACL 120) on the UWM campus.

FREE and open to the public!


Bio: Emmanuel Pratt earned his BArch from Cornell University, his MSAUD (Masters in Science of Architecture and Urban Design) from Columbia University, and is presently a doctoral candidate in the PhD program of Urban Planning at the University of Columbia in New York.  While most of his early work was anchored in the field of architecture, Emmanuel has also worked extensively within the realm of art, graphic design, and interactive media. During 2004-2006, Emmanuel moved to South Africa, working as a visiting lecturer at the Architecture Department of the University of Witwatersrand with a focus on providing an in-depth survey of computer applications, techniques and methodologies for architectural design while investigating the computer as an innovative and creative design tool. Upon his return to the United States, Emmanuel spent several years working closely and traveling around the country with McArthur Genius Award winner Will Allen of Growing Power and serves as the Executive Director for the Sweet Water Foundation, the 501(c)(3) non profit arm of Sweet Water Organics Inc. Emmanuel is currently the Director of Aquaponics for Chicago State University and teaches courses within the Geography department. Emmanuel’s professional and academic work has involved explorations and investigations in such topics as urbanization, race/identity, gentrification, and most recently transformative processes of community development through intersections of food security and sustainable design innovation.Image

Appetite for Life with Andrew Zimmern Milwaukee Features

Great features on Appetite for Life of Sweet Water, Clock Shadow Creamery and more.



An Agrarian Aquarium

In Milwaukee, fish swim toward the future — while fertilizing produce.

For years and years, Fridays in Milwaukee were also fry days. Seafood lovers and Catholics abstaining from meat feasted on yellow perch plucked from Lake Michigan. But decades of industrial pollution and overfishing jeopardized a beloved tradition.

Now the perch thrive in an unlikely atmosphere — a renovated downtown factory — and they have steady jobs fertilizing organically grown produce prized by local chefs.

Sweet Water Organics, founded in 2008, has had up to 80,000 fish at a time in its 100,000-square-foot facility, and produced up to 1,000 pounds of produce a month. The water the fish live in carries their waste to the roots of lettuce plants, which in turn filter the water. The process, called aquaponics, builds on the work of MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow Will Allen — and it has the potential to transform the way cities sustain themselves.In Milwaukee, fish swim toward the future — while fertilizing produce.

“One of the big promises in aquaponics, one of the things that really attracted me to it,” says Sweet Water vice president Todd Leech, “was the idea of containerizing these systems and putting them in disaster-stricken areas or drought-stricken areas or areas traditionally inhospitable to growing clean produce and good clean protein.

“The produce that you see coming out of these systems, that is fortified by the fish waste, is some of the best stuff that I’ve ever had,” he continues. “What works really well for me in selling it — because I also act as a sales manager for Sweet Water — is it’s incredibly hearty. A lot of restaurants take it in 2- or 3-pound bags, and they take multiple bags at a delivery, and the stuff — as long as it’s sealed and refrigerated — it stays hearty. It doesn’t turn into the brown goo that you see shipped all over from other growers.”

Sweet Water, which is in the process of being certified organic, already employs only organic seed and natural cultivation methods.

“We don’t use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides, anything like that,” Leech says. “Any kind of pest management that we’ve done has been with basically three elements — water, ladybugs and praying mantises. If it’s cheap seed, if it’s grown as cheaply as possible, it’s not going to be a great product. This is real good food. It shows that nature knows best.”In Milwaukee, fish swim toward the future — while fertilizing produce.

And what Sweet Water Organics has learned from nature, its Sweet Water Foundation shares with students from kindergarten to graduate school, from Milwaukee to Chicago. Sweet Water’s principal farmer, Matt Ray, maintains an aquaponic greenhouse at a local Montessori school with his students there. Leech says a “huge” digital learning program will use urban food production as a model for education in fields ranging from agriculture to engineering.

But the biggest change at Sweet Water is that its farming operation is moving outside the warehouse and into a greenhouse — and despite the frigid winter temperatures on the shore of Lake Michigan, it will operate year-round.

“One of our major problems with growing inside this old abandoned warehouse is our energy cost,” Leech says. “Mainly that’s with lighting, even more so than heat, because the amount of light that the lettuce plants need makes the inside operation at its ultimate highest functioning a break-even operation at best. When you walk into a greenhouse in Milwaukee in February, if there’s enough direct sunlight that day, you’re taking off your jacket inside. The way that it traps heat is quite impressive.

“We believe that with the systems that we’re creating, what we can mitigate is the seasonal problems that conventional agriculture can have, like drought or periods of intense heat like we had here in the Midwest this year, or early frost. If we can respect nature by re-creating what we’ve learned from nature in this contained ecosystem, using all-natural elements, what we’ve basically done is cut out some of those other challenges.”

Leech says Sweet Water’s ultimate goal is not just to feed people and train the next generation of farmers and engineers, but to serve as a beacon for other abandoned or otherwise troubled areas. There is now an aquaponics farm in Carrefour, Haiti, for example.

“We hope to [establish] Sweet Water as a viable commercial urban farm,” he says, “and show that we can make this a viable industry for cities, a place where folks can make enough money to create jobs, to create good-paying jobs; just prove the model.”

And at every step of the way, Sweet Water includes artists — hosting gallery shows, concerts, even helping the local Latino community produce a parade for the Day of the Dead. Leech says Sweet Water’s networking and arts incubation efforts come down to a connection as seamless as that between the lettuce and the fish: “understanding the connection between things looking good and things feeling good and things tasting good.”