Omnifest was the Community Network for Milwaukee WI, the City of Festivals. It opened to the public in September 1994 and closed due to a number of factors on March 31, 1998. Omnifest provided free internet access for elementary and secondary school teachers, UWM alumni, and librarians before opening to the public to provide inexpensive internet access. Omnifest was an outreach program at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in the Center for Community Computing. Neil Trilling was the director.

Community Network Information

There isn't much telnet access for Free-Nets and Community Networks anymore...

... but some have evolved into web sites.

New Community Networks: Wired for Change online book by Douglas Schuler

Neil Trilling's essay There Goes the Neighborhood aired on NPR May 3, 1995.

Omnifest Update - February 2002

Neil Trilling photo


Neil Trilling is enjoying retirement but still active on the school board and various other projects.

A few months ago he added a springer spaniel named Abby to the household.

His car still sports OMNIF[e]ST vanity plates.


Joe Knueven celebrated his 85th birthday this month and is still active on the web although he says he doesn't post nearly as much anymore.


John Dobnick sadly passed away two years ago this month.


Kenny Klatt is the Oracle DBA for Information & Media Technologies at UW Milwaukee.


After years of IT work, last summer I became involved in WATERbase, a project for making water quality data available on the web. One of the UWM students working on the project was introduced to the Internet with his Omnifest student account.

I recently did a Google search on "omnifest milwaukee" and found lots of hits, including Joe Kneuven's page.

Please contact me if you have news to post.

Kathy A. Graff

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Last updated: 27 May 2006