Selig-Joseph-Folz Theater, Kadish Park

Pro-bono Performance Space

Established in 2007 at the intersection of three Milwaukee neighborhoods, Alice Bertschy Kadish Park is a remarkable example of how public-private partnerships can transform cities. More than a decade ago, the City of Milwaukee leased the entire park area to the nonprofit COA Youth & Family Centers, which obtained an endowment that provides for upkeep and maintenance. Once litter-strewn and crime-ridden, the park evolved into a vibrant urban green space.

As part of its programming, COA created a free, family-friendly music series to bring the community together and celebrate the diversity of the area surrounding the park. On summer nights, neighbors gathered to enjoy music and conversations, as well as picnics and views of the Milwaukee skyline. Initially, pop-up tents and a wide spot in the park pathway provided shelter for the musicians. But the growth and success of the concerts led to a plan for a new amphitheater and stage. HGA designed the structure as a pro bono project: The result is an outdoor performing space with an open concrete stage, a translucent roof, acoustical panels, and tiered concrete seating arranged in a semicircle around the performers. The theater adds permanent shelter, lighting, and sound support for performers and expands the potential of the park.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Building Type

Amphitheater, Community Center


20,000 SF

  • 2014 Wisconsin Commercial Real Estate Women Vision Ingenuity Award
  • 2013 Wisconsin Commercial Real Estate Women Honor Award
  • 2013 Milwaukee 2012 Mayor’s Design Excellence Award
  • 2013 Daily Reporter/Wisconsin Builder “Top 20 Projects of 2012”

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