I own Blue House Books, Kenosha’s only full-service, indie bookstore. I started as a pop-up bookseller with only used titles, and have steadily grown throughout the last three years. BHB is now expanding into a full store in Downtown Kenosha, in the Kenosha Creative Space building.
I connected with KCS through Francisco Loyola, the Executive Director, while we were both planning pop-up events in 2017. Since then, we have worked together on countless projects and both of our endeavors have become success stories. Francisco and KCS works with each individual member or client to plan events, coordinate projects, and offer logistical solutions. They even help navigate obstacles such as permits and city approval for larger projects. Being a part of KCS means being a part of the creative community in Kenosha and surrounding communities, and the connections I have made throughout my membership have been invaluable.
Kenosha Creative Space has made Downtown Kenosha a vibrant and cultured community, and I would highly recommend anyone in a creative industry to connect with The Space either through memberships or by attending events and supporting the nonprofit through donations. It truly is an investment to better our community
The Kenosha Creative Space is the beating heart of creativity in downtown Kenosha. KCS strives to bring the community together through art and innovation. During any given night, a visitor can pop in and hear world-class jazz, folk, or rock music played by local, emerging talent or nationally-recognized musicians. KCS hosts high-quality music, art exhibitions, plays, lecturers and much more.
Under the capable leadership of Francisco Loyola, KCS has proven to be an amazing collaborator with the educational institutions—KUSD, Carthage, and UW-Parkside—in southeast Wisconsin. As a community anchor, students from K to 16 flock to the Space as a gathering place where they can learn and create together. University educators view the space as an ideal location for connecting the community and higher education.
Importantly, KCS seeks to be self-sustaining: it’s not only an incubator of ideas but also of economic well-being. KCS wants to be a site where small, creative businesses and non-profits can flourish economically and artistically. The second-floor renovation is now open for business and invites future tenants to consider being part of this amazing enterprise.
On a personal note, it is always a great pleasure to work with Francisco as he labors indefatigably to make Kenosha and southeast Wisconsin a great place to live, work, and play!
Kenosha Creative Space is preparing to continue its mission of providing cultural, artistic and economic vitality to downtown Kenosha.
Part of the success of a Main Street community comes from the health of its creative economy. The development of a city is only as good as its cultural footprint. Being a destination to live, work, and play is integral for its growth. The Creative Space is part of the hub for our creative outlets and strives to put Kenosha on the map for artistic inspiration.
It is truly a vision to see how parts of the city has transformed under the directorship of Francisco. For example, the building their organization is housed in, in recent years could be at best considered nondescript. Since its occupancy of the Creative Space, the physical footprint has been revitalized entirely to offer stunning gallery and performance space as well as one of the best second floor space adaptations of 2020 with its artistic fab lab opening soon.
And personally, I have found working with Francisco to be a true partnership in vision and resources to promote all that Kenosha has to offer. It has been a pleasure developing live stream events, fundraising together for the community, and advocating for artistic projects that will attract visitors for years to come. His accomplishments in weekly programming from activities like Create at The Space nights, annual events such as Dias De Los Muertos, and campaigns for art throughout our city deliver the creative culture needed in our downtown. We are looking forward to the future growth of The Creative Space in our community.