The engine of communities across the USA is creativity. If not for the makers, the communities would be less vibrant, the human experience less enriching, our daily lives less full. Commonstate is a tribute to creative thinkers in every community who believe that a culture of creativity is a better culture for all.

Filter Articles


  • Makers [7]
  • Antiques [4]
  • Art [14]
  • Crafts [6]
  • Design [2]
  • Editor Letter [3]
  • Events [15]
  • Experience [1]
  • Fashion [3]
  • Films [10]
  • Interview [6]
  • Local Release [1]
  • Music [18]
  • News [5]
  • Opinion [23]
  • Pets [3]
  • Photography [2]
  • Restaurants [7]
  • Review [5]
  • Shops [7]
  • Social Media [1]
  • Spotlight [24]
  • Travel [1]
  • Writing [1]


  • Nicholas Pipitone [43]
  • Caitlin Knudsen [16]
  • Amelinda Burich [4]
  • Mike Holloway [4]
  • Joette Rockow [4]
  • Kia Namin [3]
  • Sophie Pipitone [3]
  • Evan Casey [2]
  • Joseph Salvatori [2]
  • Justin Barney [1]
  • Taylor Belmer [1]
  • Sean Chris [1]
  • Jessica Farrell [1]
  • Kaitlyn Herzog [1]
  • Clare McCullough [1]
  • Molly Rosenblum [1]
  • Emmy A. Yates [1]

Let's get lit: The campaign to light Milwaukee's Hoan Bridge is off and running

At night, the most iconic part of Milwaukee’s skyline rests in the background in the dark. You can see its shape, lifeless, and sometimes the moon (when it’s not obstructed by clouds) shines on the yellow beams to just give it a hint of existence.

How is it that such an identifiable part of our skyline, a monument that is purely Milwaukee (the Calatrava notwithstanding) has gone so long without dramatic lighting to illuminate it’s greatness at night?

Well, a group led in part by Ian Abston (Millennian, LLC, WiRED MAP) and Michael Hostad (Greater Milwaukee Committee) has begun a campaign to get the lights the Hoan Bridge so rightly deserves. Their goal is to crowdsource $1.5 million and have launched a website, which is accepting donations from $25 to $500. When you donate you also have the option to dedicate a bulb to someone who has had a positive impact on Milwaukee. It’s a worthy effort, and given the people involved feels destined to succeed.

The campaign was kicked off last night at Milwaukee’s newest venue, The Cooperage on South Water Street. Milwaukee luminaries from local business, media, government, and the arts were all in attendance to witness the unveiling of the campaign. There’s a lot of positivity and firepower behind this and even Mayor Barrett was in attendance to say a few words.

Our bridge needs this. And in pure Milwaukee style, this could be the campaign that launches a thousand “let’s get lit” jokes.

I’m on board.

About the author

Co-founder, Editor-in-Chief,

View Comments
End of content
No more articles

Thank you for signing up! 😘

Before you go

Sign-up to receive The Commonstate Compendium, a monthly collection of recent articles and a sampling of what’s to come.