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.

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401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Over the last year, the nonpartisan Public Policy Forum has been examining how arts and culture are paid for in the Milwaukee area.  The first two reports in the group’s series focused on the public financing component.

But a great deal of business and private philanthropy support is given to arts and culture programs and institutions in Milwaukee.

HarperCollins Publishers /

Author and Milwaukee native Cynthia Swanson's novel,  The Bookseller, was sparked by her own realization that the life she was living was not the one she had pictured for herself.

Swanson says, "One day I was at the gym... and I just had this moment for a second where I just thought, 'what in the world am I doing in this life? What happened to life I used to have?'"

The last band we had in for Irish Fest this year was Co. Claire's trio Flash in the Pan, made up of brothers Shane and Fiachra Hayes and Aodan Coyne. This is the band's second year at Irish Fest and their second year as a formal band.

Back in 2012 we had a brand-new band play for us in the Lake Effect studio. We Banjo 3 was here as part of Irish Fest's exploration of how Irish traditional music influenced American bluegrass and vice versa. It was the band's first appearance in America, and our interview that year was their first radio interview as a band.

One of the bands we had in the studio this year during Irish Fest is the Scottish band Dallahan. The band is made up of Balázs Harmann (double-bass), Paddy Callaghan (button accordion), Ciarán Ryan (banjo/mandolin/fiddle), Jani Lang (fiddle), and Jack Badcock (guitar/vocals).

Suzanne Plunkett /

Fiddler Liz Carroll has won just about every musical accolade there is to be had. Her parents immigrated to Chicago from Ireland in the 1950s and Carroll began playing as a child.

She won the Senior All-Ireland Championship when she was 18, has recorded with almost every luminary in the Celtic music pantheon, was nominated for a Grammy award in the Irish traditional category – the first time for an American musician – and she’s played for the President of the United States.

blogocram / Flickr

It’s not often we get a concert harp in the Lake Effect performance studio. So when Lauren Hayes wrote to say she was back in Wisconsin to give a performance, we jumped at the chance to have her in to perform.

Hayes is from Whitewater and countertenor Patrick Terry is from Janesville. They're both about to go into the second year of their masters' degree programs at the Royal Academy of Music in London. And London is where they first met despite having grown up very near each other.

At first glance, the Irish potato famine of 1846 is an unlikely setting for a romance novel. But for Wauwatosa’s Pamela Ford, the Great Famine gave her a rich historical setting in which to set her fictional characters.

Theater RED /

American theatre  in the 1870s was much different than what theatregoers, and the actors themselves, experience today.

One influential actor from the 19th Century was Edwin Booth. Considered the father of American acting in theatre circles, Booth was supremely successful in his time. He was a member of the original royal family of American theatre, which included his father Junius and brother, the notorious John Wilkes Booth. Local actress and playwright Angela Iannone has already written and produced three plays about the great 19th Century American actor.

Courtesy of the Artist / Racine Art Museum

The Racine Art Museum is known for its somewhat quirky rotating exhibits alongside its more serious collection of sculpture, pottery and paintings.

Two temporary exhibits that are very different from each other in nature opened earlier this summer. One explores science fiction and fantasy-based themes of Doctor Who, Star Wars, superheroes, and steampunk, while the other showcases the work of familial artists—couples, parents and children, and siblings.