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A New Era • Una Nueva Era

Alderman Jose G. Perez, Dr. Jill Lackey (founder of Urban Anthropology) & Tammy L. Rivera (SOC Executive Director) cutting the ribbon.

Alderman Jose G. Perez, Dr. Jill Lackey (founder of Urban Anthropology), & Tammy L. Rivera (SOC Executive Director), cutting the ribbon.

In late 2015, SOC formally acquired the Old South Side Settlement Museum (OSSSM). The museum recently celebrated it’s 10th anniversary, and the ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by over 50 people.

The Museum • El Museo

The Museum

The Museum is located at 707 W Lincoln Avenue

The Museum is the only known neighborhood Settlement Museum in Wisconsin. It promotes education regarding the area’s strong tradition of immigrant families and communities. Featured in this 100 plus year old home are three distinct rooms that replicate different eras of time and each highlight an immigrant community who settled in Milwaukee’s South side. Those communities currently include the Polish, Kashubian, and Latinos (specifically Mexican). It was founded by Urban Anthropology (UrbAn) who will remain a strategic partner.

Among the many treasures the Museum offers are tours, photos albums, histories, stories, artifacts, art, and educational programs. SOC plans to continue and expand the current offerings. A key priority for SOC in moving the Museum forward this next decade is to dedicate a space that honors the indigenous communities of the area. Other expansion plans include celebrating the 111 nations who have lived in the immediate vicinity, which are documented in a research study by UrbAn. The new programs will add unity initiatives, historical book and research clubs, cultural events, ethnic food sampling, crafts, dance, traditions, and more.

Satellite Office • Oficina Satélite

Additionally, SOC is increasing its ability to work with and for neighbors in the immediate area with a satellite office at the Museum site. SOC has continuously served the immediate neighbors of the Museum by working with and for them to have voice and vote in the affairs that affect them and connecting them to information and resources that help to reduce crime, increase safety, and revitalize their neighborhoods.

Awards • Reconocimientos


Special thanks to our Community VIPs: Esperanza G. of Kinnickinnic River Neighbors In Action (KKRNIA), and Chad W. of the South 5th Place Initiative, who greeted and registered guests!

The Museum house itself has garnered recognition receiving several awards: the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Best Façade Renovation Under $10,000 Award and recognition for active revitalization of the Lincoln Avenue commercial district; the Mayor’s Urban Design Award; and the Lincoln Village Façade Renovation Award and Best New Business Award of the Main Street 5th Anniversary.

The home has had only two owners over the past century and both families have deep roots in the neighborhood as well as helped build St. Josaphat’s Basilica. The second owner is the Rozga family of the Rozga Funeral Homes. They are grateful the Museum’s mission will endure for future generations and are continuing their partnership, which subsidizes the rental costs and provides the upkeep and maintenance of the facility. A replica of the Rozga family dining room and children’s play room during the 1920’s is featured in the Polish heritage room.

Carrying on the Legacy • Continuando el Legado

Tammy L. Rivera, Executive Director had this to say:

“SOC is honored to be selected by Urban Anthropology to carry on the work, passion, and legacy of the Museum, as it marks its own 10th year anniversary. We will continue to share the rich heritage and invaluable contributions – that continue to this day – of the immigrant communities who settled here. SOC will reach out to partner with the different ethnic communities highlighted in the Museum and the multitude of other ethnic groups, including the indigenous communities of the area and the migrant communities arriving to our country voluntarily and involuntarily.”


Tammy L. Rivera, SOC Executive Director, and Rick Petrie, UrbAn Executive Director, signing the contract.

SOC’s is working to secure funding and develop a detailed business and strategic plan to ensure the long-term impact and sustainability of the Museum. Museum hours will be limited during this time of preparation and posted on SOC’s website. It is available for private groups by appointment. The Museum becomes the feature component of SOC’s Unity Initiative. The initiative is aimed at unifying the diverse members of the South Side of Milwaukee, which is the City of Milwaukee’s and State of Wisconsin’s most diverse community, most densely populated area, and home to the highest concentration of non-English speakers. The Unity Initiative is a component of SOC’s 25th anniversary campaign titled GO BLUE: Grassroots Organizing Building Leadership, Unity, and Engagement.

Get Involved • Involucrase

If you would like to volunteer, collaborate, make a donation, book a tour or activity at the Museum, or connect, please contact SOC at:
(414) 672-8090 or