“Neighborhood jewels”: discover Maranta Plant Shop, CirculateMKE and Proyecto Conbíf



He is back!

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service collaborates with Historic Milwaukee for a second installment of “The jewels of the district: behind the scenes”, which will take place at 6 p.m. this evening (Wednesday, September 29).

The free digital event, which is part of Open house 2021, will feature five-minute whirlwind presentations of seven community projects, using multimedia and storytelling to share their stories.

You can register to join the event in Zoom or watch the Facebook Live feed on our Facebook page. You can also broadcast Neighborhood Gems 2020 event here.

Upstream, we publish mini-films about the projects, including Maranta Plant Shop, CirculateMKE and Proyecto Conbíf.

Michelle Alfaro (pictured) and Mag Rodriguez operated Maranta as a pop-up for six months before moving to their current location. (Photo provided by Maranta Plant Shop)

Maranta plant store

Maranta (1739 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) is a new plant store and community space owned by black and brown people. Co-owners Michelle Alfaro and Mag Rodriguez conserve plants from across the country and intended to contribute to the legacy of the Bronzeville neighborhood. Maranta also opened recently Tostada de Maranta, a food stand operated by chef Dominique Alvarado.

This presentation will be given by Alfaro.

CirculateMKE has a market in Alice’s Garden coinciding with Doors Open 2021. (Photo provided by CirculateMKE)


Since 2015, CirculateMKE created opportunities for buyers and entrepreneurs to experience Milwaukee’s diverse cultures, hosting pop-up markets in community centers across town. A typical market offers everything from food and housewares to fashion, art and body products, all created by local manufacturers. CirculateMKE became home to more than 120 local entrepreneurs, which they continued to present through digital storytelling events during the pandemic.

This presentation will be given by CirculateMKE organizers Shalina Ali and Fidel Verdin, who also lead the nonprofit hip-hop education. REAL School.

Proyecto Conbíf attendees documented their cooking process and submitted the photos seen here. (Photo provided by Ck Ledesma)

Conbif Project

Artist Ck Ledesma’s Conbif Project connects their two homes in Milwaukee and Puerto Rico with a tasty dialogue about colonization. With the project, Ledesma is mailing ingredients and instructions for cooking their childhood favorite corned beef dish to attendees in Milwaukee and beyond. Participants then create a meal that both reminds Ledesma of their grandmother and has ties to the transatlantic slave trade. Ledesma has also created murals and art installations in neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

This presentation will be given by Ledesma.



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