arts

Alisa Solomon

From Broadway productions to high school performances, Fiddler on the Roof has captivated audiences around the world for 50 years.

UPAF

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.

Jelly Dude / Flickr

John Koethe has had many intellectual interests in his years and many have found their way into his poetry.

Koethe is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at UW-Milwaukee, and his interest in philosophy shines through in his latest collection of poetry, The Swimmer. Physics, advanced math and literature also make appearances his poems.

Koethe notes that many of his poems reflect a look back at how things have changed during his lifetime, and not always for the better.

Paul Ruffolo Photography

Milwaukee’s First Stage Children’s Theater is known for commissioning and producing new works by some cutting edge playwrights. But they probably went as far as they could go to find the writer for their current world premiere production, The Snowby playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer

Mark Frohna / Skylight Music Theatre

What is a crown? To some, it’s a symbol of royalty. To others a crown is a hat, but not just any hat. Skylight Music Theater’s production of Crowns: A Gospel Musical is about the African American tradition of wearing flamboyant and ornate hats to church.

Neal Easterling

While a 14th Century book by a sickly English mystic might not seem a likely source of inspiration, composer Carson Cooman might beg to differ. His piece, The Revelations of Divine Love (Metaphors from Sea and Sky), was inspired by St. Julian of Norwich’s book of the same name, and will make its Midwest premiere this Sunday with the Bel Canto Chorus at St. Dominic Catholic Parish.

Angel Torres / Flickr

The strings program at the near-south side's Latino Arts has been hailed for providing top-notch education, free of charge, to low-income Latino students across Milwaukee. 

One highlight of the programs is their annual Guitar Festival for area youth. In fact, it was such a success that it grew to include not just a student competition, but also master classes for the whole community.

Gianofer Fields / Radio Chipstone

Black Smith and Iron Artist  Aaron Howard uses his tools to create art from metal. Friends call him "Thor" and "The Viking" because of his substantial size, which he has used to his advantage to wield his hammer, his nearly 200 pound anvil, and his materials, which can be in the thousands of pounds.

In early December Howard found himself in the hospital – diagnosed with congestive heart failure. His recovery demands that he not lift anything over thirty pounds. He’s now in recovery contemplating his health and his future as an artist.

pathdoc / Fotolia

Both Shaw’s “Pygmalion” and the musical adapted from it, “My Fair Lady” make the point that it’s not just clothes that make the man – or the woman. Speech plays a part as well, perhaps even more so.  The current production of “My Fair Lady” running at the Skylight took advantage of a UWM speech and dialect coach to ensure that these very American actors could credibly sound like Cockney Londoners.

marcuscenter.org / Black Arts Think Tank

When American poet and playwright Langston Hughes wrote the play originally named Wasn’t It a Mighty Day?, the American civil rights movement was gaining momentum. 

It was 1961, and the play became Black Nativity. It was one of the first plays written by an African-American person to be performed off-Broadway.

Ryan Blomquist

Among the holiday offerings that reliably come around this time of year – like the Milwaukee Ballet’s Nutcracker, the symphony’s Holiday Pops concert, and the Milwaukee Rep’s “A Christmas Carol,” there’s always one that swims against the tide.

Milwaukee Opera Theatre / facebook.com

There have been many stage plays, movies, and books that are about booksellers or people in the literary world.  But a new production by Milwaukee Opera Theater takes it to its logical conclusion.

The Story of My Life” is about friendships, writers, and books, and is set in a bookstore.  So it only made sense to actually stage the musical among the stacks at Boswell Book Company. 

David DeSilva / Axis Dance Company

This week one of the more innovative and inspiring modern dance companies in the country will call Sheboygan’s John Michael Kohler Arts Center their temporary home. Axis Dance Company is based in Oakland, California, and draws on the equal talents of able bodied and disabled dancers alike to expand on the idea of what movement can be and is for.

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.

United Performing Arts Fund

Every year since 1981, the streets of Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin have been flooded with bicycles for the annual United Performing Arts Fund Ride for the Arts. The routes offer both recreational and avid bike riders a chance to see Milwaukee all while supporting the arts.

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