History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Wisconsin - Organizations - Health - ARCW




Fundraiser for AIDS/HIV

View the MAPFest TimeLine (under development).



MAPFest was conceived by George Prentice, owner of the popular LaCage Aux Folles nightclub, as a way for the community to support the fledgling Milwaukee AIDS Project (MAP), a project of first the Brady East STD Clinic and then of ARCW (AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin). The concept was to make it a celebration of health and diversity which could attract gay as well as understanding or sympathetic/ supportive non-gay people.

The first MAPFest was held on Labor Day, Monday September 1st, 1986, in the blocked off S. 2nd Street between National and Walker Sts.; directly fronting or backing on 4 major LGBT clubs/bars at the time: Mint Bar II, La Cage, Hot Legs, and the YP/ Your Place.

In the second year, an outdoor performance/ stage was added, and despite intermittent rain, was quite popular. In year three, the stage was repeated, and named "Under the Big Top".

In succeeding years, MAPFest found several different locations, including Schlitz Park (a block east of a building that would one day house the ARCW, and later the local LGBT Community Center), and the grounds of the Performing Arts Center.

Although MAPFest was popular, weather was always a gamble, and there was a perception of competition with PrideFest as well, which was becoming more popular. It was decided that other AIDS fundraising events, such as the Make A Promise Dinner and AIDS Walk, were better and more reliable methods of raising funds for the ARCW; so after the mid-1990's, the event was discontinued.

Article calling for Entertainers
for 1990 MAP Fest
(In Step v7-12, June 1990)
Advertisement, MAP Fest 1991
(In Step v8-15, August 1991)
Article: Plans for 6th annual MAP Fest
(In Step v8-15, August 1991)

Adverttisement and plans for 8th annual MAPFest
(In Step v10-17, August 1993)

Ad for 1st MAPFest, 1986

Article describing 3rd MAPFest, 1988

1994 MAPFest flyer

Credits: web site concept, contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: March-2022.

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