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

R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL / NASA

As 2016 draws to a close, Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee director and Lake Effect contributor Jean Creighton highlights the important astronomy stories of the past year:

Highlights of 2016:

1. Discovery of Gravitational Waves

Offset lithograph Collection of La Cinémathèque française, A042-94

Most people who consider themselves film buffs have seen or at least know of the classic silent films, Metropolis and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.  But the German Expressionist movement that they were a part of has a much broader sweep than just those two titles.

Bonnie North

Both Canadian fiddler April Verch and North Carolina-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Newberry have some serious musical chops.

Verch was last on Lake Effect in 2012 with her Ottawa Valley/American bluegrass/Appalachian hybrid band The April Verch Trio. She is the winner of multiple fiddle championships and the owner of many musical awards for her fiddling and singing and step-dancing.

Courtesy of Rafael Salas

Wisconsin-born artist Rafael Salas grew up on a farm. And those rural landscapes still find their way into his paintings and installations. But so does a lot more, as he explores many genres of art with his students at Ripon College and in his own studio.

Thames and Kosmos

Every December since 2010, Lake Effect has been joined by writer and game expert James Lowder. He is the  editor of the award-winning essay anthologies Hobby Games: The 100 Best, and Family Games: The 100 Best.

During 2016, Lowder noticed three trends in the gaming world:

Jonathan Kirn

Mark Niehaus couldn't be more emphatic. The president and executive director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra leans into the microphone and makes eye contact across the desk: "This is not a vanity project. This is not, oh the acoustics are great and we really want to play somewhere that sounds better. That happens to be true, but that's not the driving force behind it."

new-york-city / Flickr

Why are we so driven by smells and tastes of delicious, delectable foodstuffs, like mom's homemade lasagna? And, for that matter, why do we have an emotional connection to it?

Not too long ago, Lake Effect contributor Kyle Cherek, host of the Emmy-winning public television show Wisconsin Foodie, gave a TEDx talk discussing these queries, focusing on the intersection between flavor, history and memory.

Courtesy of Deb Brehmer

Della Wells was one of two people Milwaukee named as 'Artists of the Year' in 2016, and all you have to do is look at the scope and range of her body of work to understand why.

From large-scale paintings and collages to pillow dolls that would fit in your pocket, the Milwaukee native explores her blackness and her gender through her art.

Marcus Center / Facebook

Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe first opened its doors in 1959, and in the more than half century since, the franchise has made a fine art of improvised sketch comedy. The list of folks who have worked there at some point in their careers reads like a who’s who of American comedy. 

Courtesy of Meg Rosoff

The British newspaper The Times once described Meg Rosoff's literary output thusly: "Searingly well written, her books read like Samuel Beckett on ecstasy." Perhaps best known for her first novel, How I Live Now, Rosoff's books often feature a teenaged protagonist exploring what it means to live in a world not of one's own making.

Wolfgang Gauch

December is the time of year when holiday concerts abound. From big community sings of Handel’s Messiah to Holiday Pops concerts to chamber music and school concerts, the season is awash in sound. 

Cellist and On That Note contributor Robert Cohen’s experience of this month is no exception.  He’s just back from a series of chamber concerts across Europe and told Lake Effect’s Bonnie North that the venues - houses of worship in particular - are what makes these concerts unique.

fullempty / Fotolia

Since the November election, reported incidents of overt hostility towards minorities and immigrants have increased. From physical altercations to poison pen letters and internet comments, some people seem to feel emboldened by the election results to express opinions that are at best unkind and at worst racist, misogynistic or homophobic.

O Palsson / Flickr

It wasn’t too long after the Milwaukee Art Museum opened its renovated galleries a year ago that then director Dan Keegan announced his retirement. The intensive, international search for his successor led to the hiring of Marcelle Polednik, who began her tenure there in August.

US Bureau of Ships / Wikimedia

75 years ago, the Imperial Japanese Air Force bombed the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Although Europe had been engulfed in conflict since 1939, and the Japanese had invaded China even earlier in the decade, the attack on Pearl Harbor was the event that catapulted the United States into the Second World War.

Jenny Plevin

When Black Nativity opened in New York in 1961, Langston Hughes had been a published poet and essayist for 40 years. It was one of the first plays by an African American to be staged off-Broadway. And it has received productions around the country ever since.

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