MilkBoy ArtHouse Begins Live Performances

Image by Geoff Sheil.

MilkBoy ArtHouse began holding live performances this week with its grand opening to take place this weekend.

The College Park venue has had its cafe and bar area open since May, but it hadn’t yet begun hosting musicians, poets and other artists in its performance space in back. (That didn’t stop Hyattsville Wire readers from naming it “the best place to see live music” in this year’s readers poll.)

That changed this Wednesday and Thursday, as Keith A. Wallace brought his one-man show about growing up black in America, “The Bitter Game,” to MilkBoy, followed by panel discussions featuring local law enforcement and community activists.

Then this Friday, L.A. producer Nosaj Thing will bring instrumental hip hop, and on Saturday, nine-piece Philadelphia funk group Swift Technique will play.

The opening week gives a good sense of what to expect from the joint venture between the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and MilkBoy, a privately run venue in Philadelphia.

The idea is to balance entertainment and education — with the events calendar alternating between crowd-pleasing acts with ones aimed at highlighting musicians and artists from a wide range of genres.

Upcoming shows include contemporary Mexican music, a funk-inflected “gypsy punk brass band,” a reggae Beatles cover band, a Belarusian underground theater group, a ’90s tribute band, an Iraq-born folk musician, a Ukrainian folk group and lots of jazz.

Organizers say that MilkBoy is the only campus-community arts venue of its kind in the nation. It’s certainly unique, and brings a hip new vibe to Route 1.

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