This month, Menasha will play host to two evenings of live, local music at some untraditional venues – the front porches of local residents.
At PorchaPalooza, now in its third year, the porch is the stage and lawn chairs are the stadium seating. The free event features about eight local musical acts spanning genres from blues to country to classical. Attendees walk from porch to porch enjoying the music and meeting the musicians and hosts.
Neighborhood Partners, a program of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, organizes the event which strives to create intentional relationships between neighbors and increase neighborhood trust.
“The front porch was a gathering place years ago where you would sit and talk to neighbors. There was so much connection that happened there,” says organizer Tanya Rabec of Neighborhood Partners. “We are trying to bring that back and get people familiar with different faces in their neighborhoods and inspire neighbors to talk to each other.”
On June 19 music will be in the Jefferson Park Neighborhood on Broad Street (east of Racine Street) and on June 26 it will be in the Heart of Menasha Neighborhood on Broad Street (west of Tayco). Both nights music will run from 7 to 9 p.m. and span three to four blocks.
Food vendors will offer refreshments available for purchase. Each participating porch host will supply lawn chairs, but attendees may also bring their own.
While PorchaPalooza began as a hyperlocal, grassroots neighborhood event, Rabec says it continues to grow. This year she hopes to see residents from the greater Fox Cities community in attendence.
“It started as a way to create trust within neighborhoods, but what is starting to emerge is that it’s becoming a point of neighborhood pride for people to invite others to come into their neighborhood and have positive experiences,” she says.
For more information, contact Tanya Rabec at 213-5043. For event updates, visit PorchaPalooza on Facebook and @porchaalooza on Instagram.