By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jul 10, 2023 at 10:06 AM

Eagerly awaiting for the return of "Abbott Elementary"? Well, you'll probably be waiting for ABC's school sitcom hit for a while – but in the meantime, Milwaukee will get a visit from Principal Ava herself as actress and comedian Janelle James will come to town as one of the headliners for Milwaukee Film's Cultures & Communities Festival on October 5-12.

As a part of Milwaukee Film's annual celebration of cultures and art, spread across stages, screens and more around the city, the "Abbott Elementary" scene-stealer and Emmy nominee will take the Pabst Theater stage on Sunday, Oct. 8, for a comedy set as well as a post-show audience Q&A. The show comes as a part of James' "Newly Famous" stand-up comedy tour. 

James is far from the only famous face gracing Milwaukee Film's Cultures & Communities Festival this October, though. For the week-long event's opening night party – hosted on Thursday, Oct. 5 at The Cooperage – Milwaukee Film will spotlight DJ Spinderella, famous from the beloved R&B/hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa. Joined by fellow DJs Doc B, Homer Blow and Lo Lo, DJ Spinderella will start the week-long festival with a decade-hopping celebration, spinning some of the most dance-worthy hits of the '80s, '90s and 2000s. 

“This is the fifth Cultures & Communities Festival, and each year we look forward to making it bigger and better," said Geraud Blanks, Chief Innovation Officer for Milwaukee Film, in a release. "Whenever I tell someone we're bringing Janelle James or DJ Spinderella to town, their face lights up, making me think we're on the right track."

For tickets to either Janelle James' comedy appearance or the opening night party, click here

These star-studded headliners are just one part of the week-long festival. The 2023 edition of the Cultures & Communities Festival will also feature a sneaker and streetware expo, a closing night concert and – of course – the lineup of exciting movies coming to the Oriental Theatre, centering diverse stories, storytellers and conversations. The film lineup is expected in September; in the meantime, for more updates and information about the Cultures & Communities Festival in October, visit Milwaukee Film's website – and stay tuned to OnMilwaukee. 

And for even more festival info, check out OnMilwaukee's summer festival guide

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.