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Oscar winner John Ridley to open collaborative creative space in downtown Milwaukee

Posted at 6:47 PM, Feb 27, 2018

Tuesday, TODAY'S TMJ4 got a first real look at the vision for a new creative arts hub in downtown Milwaukee. The project is spearheaded by academy award-winning filmmaker and Milwaukee area native, John Ridley.

Ridley won an Oscar for best-adapted screenplay for the movie "12 Years a Slave." He also wrote and directed the film "Jimi: All Is by My Side" which is about musician Jimi Hendrix. The film recently premiered at the Milwaukee film festival.

The creative hub will be named “No Studios” and it is currently going through extensive renovations. Ridley says this is a very unique opportunity for the city of Milwaukee.

"Certainly we want to involve music, we want to involve dance, and we want to involve any of the fine arts," Ridley said.

County Executive Chris Abele is also a business partner. Ridley says the 40,000 square foot space will have short and long-term office spaces for artists, a 50 seat screening room, and food and drink services.

"Why not Milwaukee, I mean there are a lot of creative individuals who are here and they are spread out," Ridley said.

“No Studios” is also designed to inspire people with year-round programming for the community. Ridley knows it'll make an impact and bring people from different backgrounds together.

"I don't know that a space like this is going to change the entire world but would you want to give someone the opportunity to pick up a gun or pick up a camera," he said.

"If we can change the life of one individual, is that worth it? To me it is, I hope we can do a lot more than that but if there's just one person out there who's getting ready to make a choice and they make a positive choice then everything else we're doing it has value."

No Studios will open in September.