On June 4, Saint Kate opened its doors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, bringing with it an abundant appreciation for art. The newest and most immersive arts hotel, Saint Kate showcases the work of artists from around the globe, emerging artists and performing arts.
"Art is thriving here in Milwaukee. For years, Milwaukee was seen as a stepping stone for artists who would stay and work for a period of time but then frequently leave. With the help of a few key community leaders – gallery owners, arts organizations and companies, like The Marcus Corporation, who owns and manages Saint Kate – we have seen more and more artists stay in the city and create careers here," says Dana Johnson, area director of sales. "With that in mind, The Marcus Corporation made a thoughtful decision to make the Saint Kate more than just a hotel, but a hub for the community and region – a place to shine a light on not only Wisconsin art, but art from around the globe and reflect on how local artists are conversing with broader national and international art movements."
Not only does Saint Kate showcase art throughout the property, but the hotel itself is a piece of art. The hotel offers three rotating gallery spaces for artists as well as MOWA | DTN, a 1,700-square-foot premier gallery in the lobby through a historic collaboration with the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Also, each guest room features artwork from regional and national artists, and Saint Kate partnered with five artists to create The Canvas Rooms, five fully immersive guest rooms that allow these artists to bring their visions to life. Proceeds from each stay go toward five arts organizations, and these rooms will rotate with new artists and artwork.
"The unique differentiator of Saint Kate among other arts hotels is that it also focuses on performance art. Led by its own programming director, Saint Kate has Milwaukee’s first resident theatre company, called ARCo, who perform in the 95-seat black box theatre on-site and throughout the hotel," Johnson says. "Guests can also take in performances throughout the week from various arts organizations and theatre companies, musicians, improv and more. One specific meeting room has been purposefully held back from permanent art so groups are able to display their own works if desired."
Located in the heart of Milwaukee's theatre and entertainment district, Saint Kate is within walking distance of notable arts attractions, Fiserv Forum and Marcus Performing Arts Center.
"Saint Kate is the ideal venue for those meetings and events looking for a creative flare in an experiential arts destination. Groups have the opportunity to incorporate all aspects of art into their programming. For example, an ideal activity for a break would be instructor lead painting of a small ceramic coaster to use throughout the conference or a pop-up vocal or instrumental performance. They can even end the day with a champagne art tour," Johnson says.
The hotel offers seven spaces of various sizes, totaling near 12,000 square feet of event space. The largest ballroom can accommodate up to 600, and the black box theatre can be used for groups of up to 95. "Before or after events, attendees can enjoy the many diverse food and beverage experiences Saint Kate offers. The vibrant lobby bar features award-winning local coffee including the ever popular Pilcrow nitro and cold brew. Hand-crafted cocktails and sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks round out the unique offerings. For a bit of bubbles, Giggly is Milwaukee’s only champagne bar with sweeping views of downtown and a celebration of all things sensory from global sparkling wines to an invigorating selection of champagnes," Johnson says.
Saint Kate also has Proof Pizza, a Neapolitan style pizza parlor; Aria, which offers an all-day café experience; and The Dark Room, which is both beautiful and mysterious.
Overall, Johnson says Saint Kate's mission is to make art more accessible and to serve as a welcoming environment for everyone.
"Art can sometimes be intimidating and feel exclusive. Saint Kate was created to dismantle barriers and expand the definition of art. Whether you’re walking through one of our four galleries or watching a performance at The Arc Theatre, we want art to feel inclusive, diverse and collaborative," she says. "We want to shine a light on the vibrancy of the process and invite locals, guests and more to create and tap into their artistic sides while staying at Saint Kate, whether for a meeting, wedding or just a fun night out on the town."