Bonnie North

Lake Effect Producer / Co-host

Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.

Bonnie spent over twenty years working as a director, technician and stage manager in professional, educational, and community theaters. She comes from a family of musicians and artists and grew up playing all kinds of music. But her interest in and love of the arts is not limited to performance. She enjoys other art expressions as well, including painting, sculpture, photography, textiles, and writing.

Bonnie's introduction to Public Broadcasting came at Vermont Public Radio (VPR) in 1992. She spent 7 years there in various positions, including hosting classical and jazz shows and as a production associate and operations manager.

Just prior to joining WUWM, Bonnie worked in the defense industry. She spent two years in the Balkans, first in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where she managed a group of linguists that provided Serbo-Croatian interpreting and translation services for the US and NATO stabilization forces. She then went to Kosovo to manage the overall linguist program for Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Bonnie holds a bachelors degree in English Literature/Drama Studies from Purchase College-State University of New York.

Ways to Connect

Library of Congress / Wikimedia

Many of the star constellations we see from the Northern Hemisphere have names that derive from Greek myths and legends.

Astronomer and Greece-native, Jean Creighton, knows both the science and the myths. One such tale is the story of the Corona Borealis constellation, also known as the Northern Crown.

“There was a huge battle between the Minoans and the Athenians, and the Athenians lost. So the king, Minos, said, ‘Okay. As your punishment, you’re going to be sending seven young women and seven young men to Crete to feed the Minotaur,’” says Creighton

Zablocki Veteran's Administration Medical Center

The United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs provides government-run benefits for veterans and their families.

While the VA in its current form has only been around since 1930, the country’s history of providing for disabled veterans goes back to before the U.S. was even a country.

In 1636, the European settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were at war with the Pequot tribe. The colony passed a law then that stated it would support any disabled soldiers from that war. And we have provided for our veterans in some form ever since.

Photo by Sara Stathas / Milwaukee Magazine

Almost two-and-a-half years ago, we first learned about a novel program that uses the characters and lines of Shakespeare to work with veterans suffering from PTSD and a range of other mental health and reintegration issues. 

Bonnie North

Milwaukee singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey has been a working and touring musician for 25 years. But for the past ten, the work involved in touring has been extra-strenuous.

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline a dozen miles north of downtown Milwaukee. Trails crisscross the center’s 185 acres and visitors can find themselves walking through wetlands, forests, restored prairie and along the undeveloped shore of the lake itself.

The nature center’s acreage was formerly a farm for the Schlitz Brewery draft horses. And while the horses are no longer in residence, some of their avian brothers and sisters are, including several birds of prey.

Milwaukee Rep

Of all the great jazz singers across the decades – and there have been some incredibly great jazz singers – Billie Holiday stands on a very special musical pedestal.

Almost six decades after her untimely death in 1959, Lady Day’s music remains fresh and immediate. Her phrasing, her musicality, her ability to reach into a song and hand it back to you as something brand new; they all combined to make her voice unique and her music timeless.

Hugues Argence

Every month, Lake Effect brings you On That Note, a series of conversations with Robert Cohen, the cellist for the Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet. Cohen joins us to talk about the life of a working musician and many of the facets of classical music. 

Morten Skogly / Wikimedia

Lake Effect is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and to celebrate we're bringing back some of our favorite interviews from that first year on air.

On the first day of Lake Effect 10 years ago, producer Bonnie North chatted with comedian Tommy Chong. Chong was in town to perform in a limited run of the Marijuanalogues, and had recently published his book, The I Chong, in which he reflects on his time in prison. 

Vesten Kollekive

Madison is known for its sometimes radical, sometimes experimental out of the mainstream ideas, from politics to art, and now the music business.

Vesten Kollekive calls itself a digital distribution record label, and its name is not the only aspect of it that’s unusual. The name is adapted from Norwegian, and it means Midwestern Collective. The founders, Hendrix Gullixson and Aedric Donovan, take the collective part of the equation very seriously.

Hubble ESA / Flickr

Astronomers were excited to learn of the discovery of a new object in the Kuiper Belt recently. The Kuiper Belt is a distant part of the solar system, past the orbit of Neptune, estimated at more than 4 billion miles from the sun. 

The belt is believed to contain comets, icy bodies, dwarf planets and asteroids. Since the Kuiper Belt is relatively distant, it's difficult to know exactly what the object is or even get basic facts like size. 

Paul Ruffolo

Actress Jenny Wanasek has been working in Milwaukee theaters for many years. She trained at UWM during the days of the professional acting program, and has graced the stages of most of the professional theaters in town. Wanasek has played roles that run the gamut from Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst to Aunt Sponge in James and the Giant Peach.

Bonnie North

Irish Fest offers traditional Irish music, dancing and food, but there are also innovative bands hailing from all around the world. This year's Celtic World Showcase features some of them.

The young, bilingual trio Ten Strings and a Goat Skin originated in Prince Edward Island in Canada's eastern provinces. The traditional music scene there sips from a rich musical soup that draws on Scots, Irish, English, and French influences. Ten Strings takes it even further.

Bonnie North

Irish Fest is underway along Milwaukee’s lakefront.  Tens of thousands of people will pass through the Summerfest Grounds turnstiles to take in both contemporary and traditional Celtic music.  And although it’s the largest Irish festival in North America, it actually features acts from all seven Celtic nations, plus Canada and the United States.

Bonnie North

You can know a lot about Celtic heritage and culture and still not know very much about the Isle of Man. The island is famous for international cyclist Mark Cavendish, its unusual flag and it’s unusual relationship with Great Britain.

It’s a “crown dependency,” which means it has its own parliament and money and is ruled by the Lord of Man, who happens to be Queen Elizabeth II.

Trinity Irish Dance Company

It's been almost 20 years since the explosive, award-winning, and internationally renowned performances by Trinity Irish Dance Company have graced a stage at Irish Fest. But founder and artistic director Mark Howard is happy to return to the festival he says made it all possible.

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