Grand Opening of The Draw – November 28th Event Details

Grand Opening of The Draw

November 28 – Noon – 8 p.m.

800 S. Lawe Street

Parking available in the Newberry Trail parking Lot

The Draw, located at 800 S. Lawe Street overlooking the Fox River at Appleton Eagle Flats will host a grand opening Nov. 28 from noon to 8 p.m.  “Just look for the dark gray building with a giant eagle painted on the front of it,” said John Adams, curator and project visionary. 


Event Details

Feather & Bone Wish List show

Over 25 pieces of original art from artists located around the block, across the country and even internationally

Draw 360

Live art event with 15 artists creating inside looking out

Tenant Meet and Greet

A chance to meet the draw tenants and see inside their workspaces

Live Music

A few friends spinning records keeping the atmosphere alive who knows maybe someone will even grab a guitar and start to play…


Refreshments from Stone Cellar  

17215_169351136743920_3056049265730116303_nArt Giveaway/Prize Drawings

Prize drawings include yoga passes, Mile of Music badges, an original piece from the show and much more!

Arts Community Brings Old Building Back to Life

the draw-1Big changes are in store for the historic office building at 800 S. Lawe Street overlooking Lock 3 on the Fox River in the Appleton Flats!  The 5,200 square-foot, white building will become “The Draw,” a venue for artists, creatives and patrons of the arts to work and socialize.

The building served as the corporate offices for the former Riverside Paper Corporation since the early 1900’s.  In 2011, the Riverside Paper Mill across the street was demolished to prepare the site for a new mixed-use residential neighborhood called Eagle Flats.  Today, Eagle Flats is an emerging riverfront hub with more than $4 million in new tax base and two successful apartment buildings.

For two years, Stadtmueller & Associates has been researching potential redevelopment opportunities for the former corporate offices.  After considering several different uses, they decided to pursue a gallery/studio venue to support Appleton’s creative placemaking objectives.  “Downtown Appleton is doing great things to enhance the cultural environment through access to arts, music and cultural activities.  Our goal is to support this effort by extending these opportunities to the riverfront,” said Renee Torzala, Stadtmueller & Associates.

Developers estimate renovation costs to be at least $300,000 to replace the roof, install new mechanicals and restore the interior/exterior of the building.  Multiple artists and creative professionals have already provided letters of intent to lease space inside The Draw, which is expected to open in the spring of 2015.

TheDraw_FINALThe vision for “The Draw” was the mastermind of two local creative professionals, John Adams and Jackie Johnson.  They approached Stadtmueller & Associates about creating a multi-functional, flexible space that could serve as a modern art gallery, office space, and art studios.  Their plans also include a variety of community-supported rooms, such as a darkroom, kiln room, art library and pop-up coffee shop.  Adams will serve as the gallery curator and manager.

“The building and its tenants will put an emphasis on fostering relationships between the Appleton Area School District, Lawrence University and other independent arts and education resources,” said Adams.  “We will bring diverse people together to celebrate, create, inspire and be inspired,” he said.

According to an economic impact study by the Wisconsin Arts Board in 2010, the arts and culture sector in Wisconsin generates $535 million in economic activity, $65 million in local and state revenue, and $479 million in resident income.  “Creative placemaking is a growing strategy for communities to stimulate economic development and improve quality of life,” said Torzala.  “This type of development will help rejuvenate the neighborhood, animate the riverfront and expand Downtown Appleton’s cultural amenities.”

John Adams, Building Curator 

John Adams grew up in Appleton, graduating from Appleton North High School in 2000. From there, he pursued his passion of film making, attending Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, where he earned a degree in Film and Video Production. He has spent the last 13 years working in the commercial film industry in Chicago (commuting from his home in Appleton for the last seven years). Since welcoming a daughter in 2013, he has felt his focus shift to spending more time in Appleton, and working to create an artistic environment where he and his family can prosper, along with the rest of the community.

Appleton’s Fox River offers a Playground of Possibilities

jpegFrom the Focus on the Fox by Renee Torzala

When you think of a playground, images of swings, monkey bars and slides usually come to mind.  This isn’t what Alderman Joe Martin had in mind when he said that the riverfront is a “playground of possibilities.”  Playground equipment is just one component of a much larger vision. 

Martin used the analogy because of the riverfront’s potential to become a destination for people of all ages, incomes and abilities. “It is like an empty canvas that is slowly filling up with improved trail systems, mixed-use development and recreational amenities,” said Martin.

The riverfront is changing, and so are people’s perceptions.  What used to be a mostly industrial area, is now becoming a refuge for residents and visitors to enjoy on a daily basis.  It is a place where you can go to enjoy nature, try kayaking, get some exercise, have a picnic, or gather with friends and neighbors.

“When you are on the trails, you hear and see birds that you don’t see in the central business district.   The trails have made this wildlife more accessible to us,”  he said.  “It is a giant playground in the center of the city.”

In addition to the increased mobility provided by the trails, Martin says that the mixed-use approach of new riverfront development is key to its live-work-play appeal.  “I’m looking forward to the new Eagle Flats area and I’m excited about the walkability it will provide for residents.”

What other possibilities should be considered as the playground evolves?  For Martin, he would like to see more trees, native wildflowers, apple blossoms, and other enhancements that will bring the natural environment back into focus.  “Maybe a small grocery store, or a deli or cafe that is convenient for trail users.  Also, public transit will be important to make the area accessible to everyone year-round,” he said.


For more about mixed-use development trends and placemaking, go to:  “The Power of Place:  A New Dimension for Sustainable Development at Project for Public Spaces.

Keep up with all the latest riverfront news on Facebook and the Focus on the Fox newsletter.

Celebrate The Fox Brings 500 People to the Riverfront

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Celebrate the Fox brought approximately 500 people to the riverfront July 23rd to enjoy Fox River art, live music, a taste of the riverfront and historic tours!  Special thanks to Kathleen Lhost and the Paper Discovery Center for hosting the event, and to Christine Williams of the Appleton Historical Society for her coordination.
Also, thank you to all of the organizers and participants, including: Appleton Historical Society, Old Third Ward, Willems Marketing, Appleton Downtown Inc., Lawrence Horn Quartet,

Stone Cellar, Fratello’s, Pullman’s, Nan Sorella’s,  Fox Banquets, Bon Appetit, Atlas Coffee Mill & Cafe, Eagle Flats, Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway and River Heath.  Riverfront artists included:  Tom Dietrich, Tom Schultz, Phil Sealy, Betty Proper, John Hoepfner, and Troy Jones.

Keep up with the latest news from the riverfront with the Focus on the Fox newsletter.