Little Harry Photo in Houdini Plaza Tower Spotted in Magic Magazine

image002Houdini Plaza, the New Houdini Bust and Little Harry Photo was recently featured in Magic Magazine.  11 year old photographer Lily Owens took the photo of brother titled Little Harry that you can now see in the Houdini Plaza Tower along with 11 other winning photographs.  We’d like to thank Alex Schultz, contest organizer for sharing this letter to Lilly.

Dear Lilly,

We thought you might like to know that your winning photo submission, which looks fantastic in Houdini Tower but the way, was recently spotted in Magic Magazine.

Tom Boldt, president of the Boldt Company, suggested we pass your Little Harry photos along to the editor of that publication with the hopes that they liked them as much as we did. Sure enough, our favorite was included it in a brief segment about the new Bust in Houdini Plaza in their December 2015 issue.

You should be very proud of this accomplishment, and I suspect we have not seen the last of your fantastic photograph!


Houdini Tower Showcases One Great Place Local Artistic Talents

2015-2016 Installation One Great Place  Houdini Tower in Houdini Plaza

Artisanship is a valued asset in our community and conducting our very first Houdini Tower photo contest for the centerpiece of our downtown is a great way to showcase this local talent!  


This year’s photo contest, sponsored by Creative Downtown Appleton Inc. and Sculpture Valley, celebrates the launch of Downtown’s new brand: One Great Place! The winning photos, on display through the summer of 2016, represent unique perspectives on people, places and events that make Downtown Appleton One Great Place to be! The submissions we received came from a wide array of skill levels and a spanning wide demographic range.

Creative Downtown Appleton and Sculpture Valley support the belief that the arts are an integral part of a healthy culture, economy and community. Public art connects people to a sense of place and can create a strong identity and competitive edge that helps attract young talent as well as visiting populations. 

Cities gain value through public art: cultural, social and economic value. Public art is a part of our public history and our evolving culture. It reflects and reveals our society and adds meaning and uniqueness to our community. Public art invigorates public spaces and is freely accessible. By creating a community that is active and vibrant with public art it becomes a catalyst for community generation.

Public art brings artists, vision and people together to inspire creativity and elevate a community’s sense of place and ultimately attracting a creative class. Public art matters.


“The Houdini Tower was created with the idea that these picture boxes would change over time, sharing images of our past, interpretations of our present and visions of our collective future. Appleton is proud to offer this opportunity to collaborate with our community partners and our area artists alike.”

-Karen Harkness

Here are your winning photographers for One Great Place, 2015-2016


Photographer: Jeff Lange, Skatepark Opening


Photographer: Ashly Gust, College Ave Bridge Sunset, Summer of 2014


Photographer: Lilly Owens, Houdini

This is my 8-year-old brother Dane as Harry Houdini. He had to give a speech dressed as him for 2nd grade and loved dressing up so we thought it would be fun to take pictures downtown.


  Photographer: James Vervoort, Trestle with Eagle


  Photographer: Michael R. Burmesch, Yarn Bench


  Photographer: Michael R. Burmesch, Zuelke Building

Michael’s photos are all taken with the use of lens attachments and his iPhone, a new art form commonly called iPhoneography. His work can be seen in galleries, museums and local businesses around the state under the name Mb Squared Photography. Full-time, Michael is the Graphic Communications Manager for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW), having earned his BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree in Communication Design from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD). Michael currently resides in Bay View, Wisconsin, a Milwaukee lakefront community. Learn more about Michael at:


James Vervoort

Black and White and Color License to Cruise


Justin “Perry” Meyer

Drew St. “graffiti” wall


Erik Kielisch

Downtown Appleton Church Door


Erik Kielisch

Downtown Appleton Rail Bridge Walkway


Trevor Lord

Stairs at Lawrence University


Shirley Wolf

The horse head at 207 W. College Ave.  There was a livery stable at that location in the early days of Appleton.

Midweek Market Features 91.1 The Avenue Backpack Giveaway


91.1 The Avenue’s Backpack Giveaway returns to Appleton this year, supplying 200 Jansport backpacks on a first-come first-served basis to needy kids in Northeast Wisconsin. Stop at the Midweek Market on Wednesday, August 26th from 3 to 5 pm or while supplies last in Houdini Plaza.


More information at  Children must be present at the Midweek Market to choose a backpack. The Avenue thanks Green Bay Metro, Appleton Downtown, Incorporated, and Jansport for supporting Independent, Non-profit, Community Radio, 91.1 The Avenue.

Summer Outdoor Film Series in Houdini Plaza

The summer outdoor film series begins July 22nd in Houdini Plaza with the movie Planes.  The show starts at 8:30 pm. Appleton Public Library along with the YMCA, Building for Kids, Trout Museum of Art, P.A.C. are hosting these great family films in Houdini Plaza.

Put these Summer movie family outings on your calendar.  All shows start at 8:30 p.m.

July 22 – Planes July 29 –  Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas August 5 – Big Hero 6 August 12 – October Sky

Planes_BFKCM Grinch_PAC BigHero6_YMCA


Lunchtime Live Concert Line-Up

Enjoy options for FREE outdoor live music this summer!

Lunchtime Live Concerts – Thursdays in Houdini Plaza* June 4-Aug. 27, 11:30am-1pm :
Enjoy acoustic music by local musicians on your lunch hour!  Bring your lunch, grab takeout from a Downtown restaurant or purchase on-site from local vendors.

2015 Lunchtime Live Line-Up:
June 4:  Tom Winch
June 11: Kyle Megna
June 18: Dr. Dobbe
June 25:  John Lambert
July 2: Eddie Biebel
July 9: Russ Reiser
July 16: Miss Molly
July 23: Ugandan Kids Choir / Blake Welhouse
July 30:  Erin Krebs & Jeff Johnson
Aug. 6:  Mile of Music TBA
Aug. 13:  Patchouli
Aug. 20:  Sly Joe & One Smooth Operator
Aug. 27: Kaite Dahl
*In the event of inclement weather, the show will go on at Copper Rock Coffee Co. at 210 W. College Ave.

26th Annual MASH Blood Drive is June 25th in Houdini Plaza.

Downtown Appleton will be hosting the 26th Annual MASH Blood Drive on Wednesday, June 25 flogorom 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The one-day blood drive draws hundreds of people from throughout the Fox Valley area. The bloodmobiles will line up on College Avenue by Houdini Plaza where sign-in and screening will be provided. More than 400 people are expected to participate.

“This Summer’s MASH Blood Drive will play a crucial role ensuring that we have a strong blood supply as we approach the 4th of July,” explained Jamie Sackette of the Community Blood Center. “Blood donations always drop around Independence Day. The people who donate blood at MASH will give the blood supply a major boost before this holiday week.” 

“If you’ve never given blood, or you haven’t given in a while, MASH is a great time to donate. You’re surrounded by people who want to make a difference, and the atmosphere is really fun. There are even Dilly Bars and free lunch for donors! If you’ve never come to MASH before, we’d love to see you there!,” added Sackette.

Advance donation appointments are highly recommended and may be made by calling the Community Blood Center at (920) 738-3131 or visiting Walk-in donors are welcome, but scheduling an appointment helps ensure a fast and convenient process.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, and bring a photo ID. Donors are encouraged to eat a regular meal and drink plenty of fluids prior to donating.

Since 1955, the Community Blood Center has worked with volunteer blood donors to provide a steady, reliable blood supply for hospitals. Today, the blood center remains a nonprofit organization committed to serving hospital patients. The blood center is also a donor center with the National Marrow Donor Program, facilitating transplants for patients with life-threatening diseases.


Grand Union Performs Thursday at Heid Music Summer Concert

Move and groove to the music of the summer at our FREE Concerts featuring local and regional bands on center stage at Houdini Plaza in Downtown Appleton (the corner of College Avenue and Appleton Street).

Grand Union is our featured band on Thursday, July 28 at Houdini Plaza.

The concert is Thursday night from 5:30 – 8:30 PM

Your favorite adult malt beverages, soda and water will all be available, along with food from your favorite Downtown bars, restaurants and vendors in the park.

Grand Union’s website features more information about the band.

The Heid Music Summer Concert Series runs every Thursday evening in Houdini Plaza thru August 25th.  The full concert schedule is available on our Appleton Downtown events page.