Mocha Harris is the New Owner of 414 Day: A Holiday Dedicated to Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s Holiday

The city of Milwaukee has its own holiday. Some call it Milwaukee Day while others call it 414 Day. The holiday started off as a joke between co-founders Andy Silverman, Brent Gohde, and Timm Gable but has grown into a day full of events celebrating the city. 12 years later and the holiday has been handed over to entrepreneur and owner of MKExpanded Mocha Harris.

414 Day takes place on April 14 of each year.

“I’m so grateful,” said Harris. “When I got the call at first I didn’t even know how to sit with it.”

Mocha Harris (L) is taking over 414 Day from previous co-owners Andy Silverman (R) and Brent Gohde.
Mocha Harris (L) is taking over 414 Day from previous co-owners Andy Silverman (R) and Brent Gohde. (Picture by Liyah Sumner/Carvd N Stone)

Harris is currently working on preparing for this year’s 414 Day. She has dreams of making the holiday as big as Coachella. With her new role, she will continue to promote local businesses, professional sports franchises, nonprofits, venues, and other local organizations.

“This is bigger than me…this is for the community,” she said.

For the last few years, Harris has dedicated her time to promoting and marketing artists, mainly from Milwaukee. She’s known for hosting music events around the city and providing opportunities for artists to perform outside of the state.

She found out about 414 Day when she hosted her first Milwaukee music showcase back in 2018. She hosted the event around the same time as the holiday, so someone asked her if her event was an official 414 Day event. Before then, she had no clue about the holiday. In 2019, Harris’ music show was officially a part of the 414 Day lineup. In 2020, the day of events was canceled because of COVID. By 2021, Harris was on the 414 Day committee.

“All we needed was a person from the struggle making the decisions,” said Harris.

414 Day started out of the love Silverman and Gohde have for the city. Everyone loves the city for different reasons which is what makes the holiday so great, said Silverman. He loves that people have different names for the holiday because what one person loves about the city is totally different than what another person loves.

“My ethos has always been Milwaukee Day is for everyone,” said Silverman.

Handing Over the Holiday

Silverman said with him and Gohde getting older it was time to pass the holiday on to someone who could take it to new levels. He brought Harris on to the 414 Day team back in 2021 because of how much traction her shows were getting.

According to Silverman, they’ve been thinking about handing over the holiday for a while but didn’t know who could take it on until they started working with Harris.

Mocha Harris.
Mocha Harris. (Picture by Liyah Sumner/Carvd N Stone)

“Mocha is certainly going to make it her own,” Silverman said. “I have full confidence in Mocha.”

Silverman plans on moving states and continuing his full-time career as a social work therapist.

“Milwaukee has my heart. I know I’ll be back,” he said.

To some, it may look like Harris just popped up on the screen, but she has a lot of experience behind her. After attending college at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Harris transferred to HBCU Clark Atlanta University where she felt she could thrive more.

Meet the New Owner

Originally, Harris was attending school for mental health, but she graduated with a degree in psychology. At the time, she ended up surrounding herself with people in the music industry, which influenced her to become more involved with artists. After an internship and many unpaid hours, Harris has created a name for herself in Milwaukee as one of the go-to people for undiscovered artists in the city to get some type of exposure.

“I give everybody an opportunity,” said Harris. “I don’t care how many followers you have if you have the work ethic, I’m helping. I don’t have any specific criteria…anybody can reach out to me.”

Harris is currently pursuing her MBA in digital marketing while helping clients increase their revenue, brand identity, and digital visibility. She is doing this through her business MKExpanded: a company that specializes in talent buying and booking for music opportunities artist development and A&R Scouting.

She said because she started working in a bigger market first that she knows what it really takes for artists to make it.

According to Harris, there is no other city that has the hunger of Milwaukee artists.

“It’s my time to put these people on because I’m in the position to. I’m doing everything that I can to put this city on the map.”

– Mocha Harris

To be a part of 414 Day, click here or contact Mocha Harris at milwaukeeday@gmail.com.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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