Spotlight

UWM Peck School of the Arts

Starting Wednesday, December 6, the UW-Milwaukee Theater is presenting George Bernard Shaw’s classic Major Barbara.  The play is typical of Shaw in its subject matter - it tackles arms manufacturing, pacifism, women’s rights, class and the evils of poverty.

The mass shooting that killed more than two dozen people at a church in rural Texas over the weekend was the latest in a string of such shootings in this country. From Texas to Las Vegas to Charleston and Newtown, mass shootings shock and outrage Americans.

But journalist Gary Younge says there is another trend that should be just as disturbing - the deaths of children from gun violence every day.

Feast of Crispian

In a neon-lit rehearsal room in the basement of the UW-Milwaukee theatre building, a troupe of actors is blocking a scene from Othello. As Shakespeare’s words fill the room, you begin to notice the unit patches on the actors' jackets, the pins on hats.

Courtesy of Vaun Mayes Bey

Murder in Milwaukee -- that’s the name of a new documentary from the BBC. The documentary chronicles the Milwaukee Police Department as they work to curb gun violence, and looks at the relationship between police and African Americans. But the depiction of Milwaukee as a “lawless” city has angered some community activists.

Joy Powers

If you happen to be walking by Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre around midnight (the second Saturday of every month), you may see scantily-clad people wrapped around the lobby waiting with anticipation for a unique - yet somehow ubiquitous - experience.

freshidea / Fotolia

There’s a lot that we can learn from our DNA. Some of it is information that’s important - like whether we’re predisposed to develop a disease. But that doesn't mean we can do something about it.  There is, however, a lot of information that we can use, such as learning how our bodies respond to different kinds of foods.

John Flannery / Flickr

If you walk near the lake at night, there’s a good chance you’ll see bats swooping through the air to feast on insects. What you might not see - or hear - is the aerial warfare at play dividing the weak and the strong in a battle for survival that has spanned 50 million years.

Tiger moths - also known as Arctiinae - are a diverse subfamily of moths with around 11,000 species, including more than two dozen species which make their home in Wisconsin. For millennia, their survival has been dependent on their ability to avoid and evade bats. 

angela n. / Flickr

The Supreme Court of the United States will soon hear oral arguments on Gill v. Whitford, also known as the Wisconsin gerrymandering case.

There is a lot of uncertainty as to how the court will rule, with most of the conservative and liberal justices coming down on opposite sides of the issue. As is often the case, Justice Kennedy will likely be the deciding vote.

Jennifer Johnson

The 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival kicks off this week. Its centerpiece film takes us into a story familiar to many Milwaukeeans. In 2014 Dontre Hamilton was killed by a police officer in downtown Milwaukee.

 

The Blood is at the Doorstep, from director Erik Ljung, follows Hamilton’s family as they grieve, heal, and fight for change in their city.

 

mariordo59 / Flickr

There are many things brewing in downtown Milwaukee. Perhaps the most notable project this summer has been the laying of the tracks for the new Milwaukee Streetcar, which has torn up roads throughout downtown and the Third Ward.

Residents have many lingering questions about the new streetcar, but the most persistent one seems to be: Why? Like many cities, Milwaukee once had a streetcar system that was removed in the 1950s. 

Photo courtesy of Sam Moore/MV Times

An exhibit at the Museum of Wisconsin Art showcases the clothes of six generations of an upper-middle class, Marshfield family -- The Roddis family.

WTMJ-TV, Wisconsin Historical Society, and UW-Milwaukee Libraries

It was 50 years ago that the open housing marches began in Milwaukee. For 200 nights civil rights activists marched from the mostly black northside over the 16th Street Bridge to city’s predominately white southside. They demanded a law to end discriminatory housing practices that prevented African Americans from living in white areas of the city.

 

A teenager named Prentice McKinney was at the center of those marches, leading the NAACP Youth Commandos.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Entertainment

While the characters, plots, and actors of movies may be most memorable to audiences, what is even more quintessential to a memorable film is the score. One of the most iconic scores for a series of films is, of course, John Williams' compositions for Star Wars.

Williams has scored all seven Star Wars films, and is on task for the two to come, making the music as much of a character as Lando Callarisian or, you know, Darth Vader.

Maayan Silver

Sociologist and urban ethnographer Elijah Anderson calls places where cultures converge “cosmopolitan canopies.” Lake Effect’s Maayan Silver spent some time in one place that might fit the definition here in Milwaukee - the lakefront - and spoke with a variety of people about what the space means to them:

John Sturdy / Milwaukee Magazine

Milwaukee is known as the most segregated city in America. But often, that designation raises more questions than it answers. 

Growing up in Milwaukee, Reggie Jackson saw the signs of segregation all around him, even when he didn't recognize them. Going to public schools in the city, Jackson says he didn't have class with any white students until he started commuting to high school, a subject-specific school on the south side of town.

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