New nonprofit event venue proposed for King Drive

Would include large and small meeting space, cafe, lower-level "rage room"

2215 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:21 pm

2215 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, photo by LoopNet

A vacant storefront on King Drive in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood could soon be used as a venue for nonprofit and community-based events and meetings.

The venue, called The Retreat, would occupy a 89-year-old, 3,800-square-foot building, located at 2215 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. It would include event space for up to 100 people as well as a cafe, bar and rage room-like concept on its lower level.

Heading the project is Dasha Kelly Hamilton, who describes the concept as “a space for human and social wellness.” She is the founder and director of Milwaukee-based Still Waters Collective, a nonprofit organization that provides arts education programs for youth and adults.

She plans to rent the space out to local nonprofits and community organizations for functions ranging from large annual gatherings to smaller strategic planning sessions or team meetings. It could also include a room and equipment for recording podcasts, she said.

Plans are being discussed for organizations such as United Way and Rogers Behavioral Health to use the venue for events series on topics like mental health.

“It will be a space where the community can celebrate each other,” Hamilton said.

The Retreat’s lower level, or woosah (meaning calm) room, will function as a “rage room” open to the public. For a time-based rate, people can break glasses and plates and throw paint as a healthy way to relieve stress, Hamilton said.

Ideally, she said, the venue will be in use daily. Hamilton is working to secure at least three organizations to use the space on a regular basis for smaller sized meetings and ongoing event series.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer started as an intern reporter at BizTimes in summer 2015. She currently covers entertainment, sports, tourism and restaurants. In May 2017, she graduated with a journalism degree from Marquette University where she worked as an in-depth projects reporter for the Marquette Wire and Marquette Tribune.