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“Building Community in Riverwest:” Tolan, Bushell, Jongsma Knauss to Speak at Voss Books

On March 20, author Tom Tolan and the editor and publisher of the “Riverwest Currents” newspaper will give a presentation on “Building Community in Riverwest.” The program will be at 11 a.m. at Voss Books, 229 N. Water St., Milwaukee. Tolan will read from his history of the neighborhood, “Riverwest: A Community History,” which describes the series of ethnic and social groups (German aristrocrats, Polish immigrants, black and Latino residents, artists and the counterculture)that have built communities in the neighborhood since the mid-19th century. The book was published last year. Vince Bushell, publisher of “Riverwest Currents,” will talk about current efforts to build community in the neighborhood. Bushell, a former board president of the neighborhood’s late community organization, ESHAC, has been active since that organization’s 1998 demise, helping create a Garden Park and farmer’s market on E. Locust St., start a new food cooperative and the “Currents” on E. Clarke St., plan a bike trail along the Milwaukee River’s west bank, among many other things. Sonya Jongsma Knauss, editor of the “Riverwest Currents” monthly newspaper, will discuss the unique role that community journalism can play in creating a shared vision for a neighborhood. Publication costs for Tolan’s book were paid by grants from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation, the Harry and Mary Franke Idea Fund, the Inbusch Foundation and Outpost Natural Foods. Proceeds from the book’s sale go to COA Youth and Family Centers (Children’s Outing Association), the largest social agency in Riverwest.