The Pfister Hotel News


Milwaukee, Wis., July 30, 2013 – Stephanie Barenz, Artist in Residence at The Pfister® Hotel, which is owned and operated by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, along with her husband Zachary Weigman, has started a mentoring program called “Our Story Arts.” The program seeks to give a group of Milwaukee children a voice through self-expression in the visual arts and creative writing.

Currently participating in the program are seven 5th to 7th graders from St. Marcus Lutheran School in Milwaukee, where Weigmen is a full-time writing teacher. The students visit and attend classes with Barenz and Weigman in the Stephanie Barenz Gallery at The Pfister on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. They are divided into two groups–Junior Artists-in-Residence and Junior Narrators, modeled after The Pfister’s two arts programs.

“The mission of ‘Our Story Arts’ is to focus on the needs of the individual, to start a junior art community in Milwaukee, and to tell the story of our city’s children through creative self-expression,” said Barenz.

“My husband envisioned the program as another way to encourage his students to express their goals and dreams. Meanwhile, I had already been teaching art a few hours per month at the school, and saw the program as an opportunity to bring a new dynamic and purpose to my residency,” she added.

Over the past couple months, the students have been working on the theme of identity, and are producing work based on this concept. They have begun to develop their voice through creative writing assignments, video interviews, poetry, brush and ink calligraphy, portraiture, and gesture drawing. Some of their artwork is on display in The Pfister’s gallery. In the future, they will be working to develop their own “zines,” collections of their self-published work, with Pfister Narrator, Molly Snyder, and her husband, Royal Bravväxling, who is a writing instructor at MIAD.

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About The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence Program

Entering its fifth year, The Pfister’s Artist-in-Residence program features a working art studio and gallery that is open to hotel guests and visitors. The program encourages the public to interact with the artist and witness the evolution of each piece first-hand.

Over the past few years, The Pfister has received national attention for its Artist-in-Residence program. Since 2009, the hotel has been a member of the Alliance of Artist Communities,, an international association of artists’ communities and residencies featuring a diverse field of more than 1,000 programs worldwide. In 2011, The Pfister’s residency program was highlighted at the organization’s annual international conference.

The program’s past artists include Timothy Westbrook (2012-2013),; Shelby Keefe (2011-2012),; Katie Musolff (2010-2011),; and Reginald Baylor (2009-2010),

About The Pfister Hotel

Built in 1893, The Pfister Hotel has been the premier downtown Milwaukee hotel for more than a century, and continues to celebrate a tradition of gracious service and impeccable style; 2013 will mark the hotel’s 120th year as an icon in Milwaukee. The Pfister Hotel was purchased in 1962 by Ben Marcus, who vowed to renovate the distinguished hotel to its original beauty. Significant renovations were completed and a new 23-story guest room tower was built. In fall 2012, The Marcus Corporation celebrated its 50th year of ownership of the property.

Home to the largest collection of Victorian art of any hotel in the world, The Pfister is a AAA Four Diamond property with membership in two of the industry’s leading organizations: Historic Hotels of America and Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. The Pfister Hotel is located at 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee. More information and updates on the hotel can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter (@PfisterHotel).

About Marcus Hotels & Resorts

Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS), owns and/or manages 20 hotels, resorts and other properties in 11 states. A force in the hospitality industry, Marcus Hotels & Resorts provides expertise in management, development and historical renovations. The company’s portfolio includes a wide variety of properties including city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts and branded first-class hotels. For more information, please visit and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels).

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January 2022