Observer on the Scene: Brent Penny at Creative Space; poetry at Lincoln Park; gentrification discussion

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KENOSHA ⏤ From time to time, the Uptown Observer finds itself with a cache of videos of live music, poetry and other events that we take on the scene of happenings each week.

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However, due to time, they do not routinely see the light of day.

Therefore, this is the first installment in what is intended to be a weekly feature called “Observer on the Scene”. Through this feature, we will share these videos, images and other media in our cache.

Below, please experience some things in Kenosha you may have missed recently.

Brent Penny performs his song ‘Equal’ at Kenosha Creative Space

During the recent show for Esme Patterson at Kenosha Creative Space on June 11, her friend Brent Penny of Chicago got a chance to share a song with the Kenosha audience.

Fortunately for the crowd, Penny’s talents fit perfectly with Patterson’s set. 

You can watch him performing his song “Equal” below. 

If you like what you hear, find out more about Penny at https://brentpenny.bandcamp.com/.

Aphrx Ashe the Legend and Chris Pritchett Jr. at ‘Poetry in the Park’

“Poetry in the Park” is one of the many events local organizers held this year in commemoration of Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a now federally-recognized holiday on June 19. 

The holiday recognizes the day that federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and freed the last slaves following the Civil War. 

Local up-and-coming poets took to the mic to share their thoughts and feelings in Lincoln Park on June 18. Among them were the familiar faces of Aphrx Ashe the Legend and Chris Pritchett Jr. 

You can catch each of them performing a poem from our cache in the videos above (Aphrx) and below (Pritchett). 



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Michalski and Kennedy address Uptown gentrification concerns

During a Q&A session with local officials at the Juneteenth Festival held around Regimen Barber Collective on 52nd Street, local officials addressed gentrification concerns.

Those concerns have been building as Uptown residents have seen the concepts, plans and discussion around the Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood Project. 

That project, technically outside the limits of Uptown, looks to add a kind of community hub on the old Chrysler Plant site bordered by 60th and 52nd streets, between 30th and 22nd avenues.

After local resident and activist Diamond Hartwell questioned city officials directly over these concerns, both Dist. 3 Ald. Jan Michalski and Dist. 10 Ald. Anthony Kennedy addressed the issue. 

As a result, Michalski highlighted how the projects in Uptown are not gentrifying the neighborhood, mentioning affordable housing to come.

However, Kennedy made it clear that, while no city plans would lead to gentrification, the market likely would make it happen regardless.

You can watch and listen to their responses in the video embedded above. 

Children dance at Juneteenth

Part of the Juneteenth Festival held off 52nd Street June 19 focused on local children.

There were bounce houses, dancing to music and other activities for kids planned throughout the day. As a result, a joyful atmosphere pervaded the grounds as community members walked along the vendors’ booths.

Check out some of the local kids celebrating Juneteenth by dancing to music on the stage in the clip below.


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