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88Nine RadioMilwaukee

88Nine RadioMilwaukee. All photos by Joe Powell.

This, folks, is public radio done right. 88.9FM has been operating as the non-profit RadioMilwaukee since 2007, bringing their eclectic music tastes and social awareness to “more than 79,000 young, culturally diverse, tech savvy and socially concerned Milwaukeeans…each week.” If you haven’t tuned the dial that far back before – or even if you have – you should take 88Nine’s weekly (free) tour to learn more about them. Just make sure you fill out the form so they know you’re coming, unlike us who just showed up randomly.

The entrance is bright and inviting.

The entrance is bright and inviting.

88Nine shares their building, a beautifully-restored Cream City Brick warehouse in Walker’s Point, with Stone Creek Coffee. You can wander from one end to the other with a coffee, beer, or snack while looking in on the On Air personnel and checking out the live music stage.

'Studio Milwaukee' event space.

‘Studio Milwaukee’ event space.

Though a primarily indie, alternative, and rock track-list, 88Nine will spin anything and everything from time to time. Their walls are literally lined with CDs and an amazing collection of classic jazz LPs.

But not a single Aaron's Party (probably).

But not a single Aaron’s Party (probably).

The CDs are held in racks made of reclaimed pallets, and a running theme through the entire space is re-usability and social consciousness. The epitome of this idea is also the crescendo of the tour: the green roof.

Ask them about the weeding process.

Ask them about the weeding process.

This sustainable space features a large deck for events and a surprisingly-lush field of succulents. A local school was tasked with finishing off the roof with a wonderful wall mural.

88Nine RadioMilwaukee is setting trends: starting a new radio station in the midst of the digital age, trailblazing in a once-decrepit but now revitalized neighborhood, playing artists they want when they want, but most importantly focusing on local talent and local social awareness. Their work space and offices seem laid-back, but you can also see their focus on providing content that is both entertaining and pertinent. Whether you pay 88Nine RadioMilwaukee a visit yourself, or simply turn the radio dial to 88.9FM, I encourage you to engross yourself in a non-profit Milwaukee group doing the right thing, but differently. Support local radio!

Just don't touch the mic.

Just don’t touch the mic.