Kenosha Local Culture
Author: B. Greer
Kenosha has been an important commercial center on Lake Michigan for over 150 years. Waves of immigrants came to the city from around the world and great fortunes were made. The citizens used their riches to make the city a thriving center for culture.
Kenosha has 21 sites on the National Historic Register mostly in the downtown area which is connected by a renovated street car system. Not all of the city’s public art is vintage. The Kenosha Sculpture Walk along the lake has over a dozen permanent works and other exhibits through the year. The walk culminates at Celebration Place with its bronze fountain and Millennium Gate. The city has a number of private galleries in the downtown area. The city also supports pop-up galleries and murals around the city as of their ExposeKenosha project.
The Anderson Art Center is located on the grounds of the Kemper Center on the shores of Lake Michigan. The beautifully ornate Durkee Mansion houses a number of different galleries with rotating exhibits showcasing local and national artists. The Kemper Center also sponsors performances and art classes throughout the year. Fusion on Seventh Center is unique performance space that leans toward the avant garde with music, comedy, theater and even puppet shows. The first and third Monday of every month the Fusion hold an open mic for the performing and visual arts. The second Wednesday of every month is reserved for big band and swing and the first Thursday of every month is comedy night. Even the children get in on the act with Kids Karoke the first Sunday afternoon of the month.
Music lovers will find plenty to keep them busy with a bevy of outdoor concerts held at local parks. In the summer, downtown businesses sponsor the Twilight Jazz Series on the ground of the Anderson Art Center. The city features its own symphony orchestra performing around the city during the summer with concerts at the Walter Reuther High School Auditorium in the winter. Carthage College, a private liberal arts college along Lake Michigan, has concerts and performances almost weekly at the A. F. Siebert Chapel. The historic Rhodes Theater brings in top talent from around the country.