The little-venue-that-could at 2645 Milwaukee Street, Communication, entered the Madison market as something of an anomaly: set up specifically as an all-ages sober space, the renovated house has become the go-to spot for alternative craft fairs, underground music (both local and touring), and even a recording studio.

On Friday and Saturday, Communication celebrates its one-year anniversary with two days of live music, kids activities, a ribbon cutting, food, a maker’s market, and more.

“Communication is excited to celebrate a year of hard work, local art, and community,” says John McCracken, member of the Communication Board of Directors. “In the past year, the space has grown tremendously with the help of our supporters and community members dedicated to providing a sober, all-ages art space for all. This event will allow us to continue strong into our second year as we continue to securing funding for our Teen Open Art Studio, live music programming, local art storefront, and more.”

The celebration will also feature the unveiling of Communication’s new Community Mosaic, which features art in collaboration with teaching artists from Art Lit Lab’s summer camp and Mentoring Positives, as well as kids and teens from the neighborhood. The artists that helped facilitate the mural are Becca Kacanda and Alex Christopher-Hayes.

“The purpose of the mosaic is to create and enact connections between community stakeholders regarding all aspects of their community and quality of life,” McCracken adds. “This project was made possible by a generous grant from the SASY neighborhood association. We are excited to show Madison what art for all and by all looks like!”

The fact that the venue has so far not only survived but grown in a market that tends to heavily favor alcohol-centric spaces is a testament to the community buy-in and investment into it. That’s included a wide range of artists, makers, musicians, podcasters, and its media partner, Tone Madison.

Communication is also part of an increasing number of non-corporate or conglomerated live art and music spaces in Madison, like Art In, Crucible, North Street Cabaret, the Winnebago, and Cafe Coda.

The anniversary events will also serve as a fundraiser to insure the venue’s solvency into at least the near future. Find out more here.