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

Bonnie North

If your idea of accordion music begins and ends with the tunes featured on the Lawrence Welk show, Guy Klucevsek would like to broaden your horizons. He's a world-class accordionist who has founded bands and even entire record labels around the oft-forgotten reed instrument.

Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Chicago-based harpsichordist, conductor and early music specialist, Jory Vinikour, founded the Great Lakes Baroque series last year. This Friday, Vinikour will be joined by another Chicago-based early music specialist, violinist Rachel Barton Pine.

Francesco Sgroi / Flickr

On June 23, citizens of the United Kingdom will cast ballots in a referendum to determine whether or not they’ll remain in the European Union. It’s a tense time, with passions running high on both sides of the issue. 

It's a complex issue with roots in Britain's historical reluctance to ally itself with mainland Europe, despite their continued reliance on trade with other countries in the EU. Still, Lake Effect foreign policy contributor Art Cyr, says that leaving the EU could be a decidedly bad business move for the UK. 

Photo courtesy of Robert Cohen

Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet cellist Robert Cohen has performed in many kinds of venues – from the small and intimate to grand concert stage. But his most recent musical adventure found him in need of a sextant and some nautical maps, along with some seasick pills…

Cohen spent nine days working on a musical cruise, which is quite common for classical musicians. But what was uncommon was the rough weather conditions under which they had to perform.

Photo courtesy University of California-Riverside

Juan Felipe Herrera is already crisscrossing the country as the current Poet Laureate of the United States. Herrera is the son of migrant farm workers in California, and he grew up bilingual. His work traverses boundaries of all kinds, from describing the immigrant experience to taking the words off the page and creating performance art.

Herrera was in Milwaukee at the end of February to speak at the University of Wisconsin, and he explained how he first developed curiosity about poetry.

Doug Seymour

Sometimes all that is needed to create art is a starting point.

The Milwaukee duo of cellist Janet Schiff and drummer Victor DeLorenzo have been performing as Nineteen Thirteen for the last couple of years. But, it wasn't until Schiff was asked to play live cello to accompany a theater piece at Danceworks that the two had the creative inspiration to make an album. 

"It got us into the recording studio making new pieces of music for this [Danceworks] performance," says Schiff.

Every two years, Milwaukee hosts one of the preeminent North American piano competitions for young musicians. PianoArts’ 2016 North American Piano Competition and Music Festival has been underway since Friday.

Pallavi Mahidhara won the PianoArts Anne Bach Grunau Prize in 2006 and played an opening night concert at the festival. Even after weeks of touring, Mahidhara is entertained.

Bonnie North

The Jazz Lab Combo, from MPS’s Milwaukee High School of the Arts is one of just two student groups in the country to win a major national award from DownBeat Magazine, the 2016 Performing Arts High School Outstanding Performances award. Not only that, but it was the third year in a row the school has been honored by DownBeat.

Greg Conniff and The Museum of Wisconsin Art

Madison photographer Greg Conniff was not in the market to prepare, shoot and organize another exhibit. The award-winning artist was shooting images for pleasure and was content to take the occasional commission. 

Doug Bradley, Craig Werner

The Vietnam War marked a turning point in American history. The war took place during a time of turbulent social change – the 1960s and early 70s saw huge strides in women’s rights and civil rights. The country also witnessed the assassinations of a president, a presidential hopeful, a civil rights icon and the killing of unarmed protestors at Kent State by National Guardsmen.

Skylight Music Theater

Personal and professional growth can come from following your passion to seemingly unexpected places.

Earlier this week, Skylight Music Theater announced that artistic director Viswa Subbaraman will be leaving at the end of June. Subbaraman came to Milwaukee three years ago in pursuit of pushing boundaries, both his own and those of the artists with whom he'd be working.

He notes that he is, at his core, an orchestral conductor. He began his career in the French National Orchestra for three seasons, and "that's really what I loved."

Bonnie North

Once a month, Milwaukee singer-songwriter John Sieger brings friends and fellow musicians into Lake Effect's performance studio to play and chat.

This month, he was joined in studio by his brother Mike Sieger and singer-songwriter Loey Norquist to perform their song, "Have You Been True to the Blues." Norquist and Sieger are currently creating a record together. Although he wrote the song, Sieger says he's not really sure what "Have You Been True to the Blues," means.

vchalup / Fotolia

Every month we talk with astronomer Jean Creighton about goings on in the night sky. 

This month, she talks with us about how to wrap your head around the night vista you have – or how to wrap the night vista around your head:

Jean Creighton directs the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee.

Decca/Timothy White

Thursday night, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will be joined by one of the finest American singers performing today. Soprano Renee Fleming has graced stages around the world to rapturous praise – from the Metropolitan Opera to the 2014 Super Bowl halftime show. She sings opera repertoire, of course, but she also sings jazz and indie, including a 2010 album of covers of songs by the likes of Leonard Cohen and Band of Horses.


For 49 years, The United Performing Arts Fund, or UPAF, has raised a great deal of money for music, theater and dance in Milwaukee.

The umbrella organization provides operating monies for key arts organizations in the community, like the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet and the Florentine Opera.