WUWM News

Today through next week, WUWM’s Project Milwaukee will examine the state of black-white relations in our community. Earlier this morning, we reported on historic events that brought African Americans to Milwaukee, where the two races began sharing the city. However, their time living side by side was relatively short, according to Marc Levine, Director of the UWM Center for Economic Development. He says those already here, along with realtors, lenders and even the government were of the mind that mixed neighborhoods were unstable. Rules and discrimination followed.

During World War II Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged Americans to plant Victory Gardens. The First Lady planted hers at the White House and some 20 million Americans followed her lead. They hoped to conserve fuel for the war effort and make sure there was enough food to go around.

Now a grassroots movement is spreading around the country to rekindle the tradition. Over the weekend a group of Milwaukee area residents will help plant vegetable beds in yards and shared spaces. It’s called the Victory Garden Blitz. WUWM’s Susan Bence got in on the group’s first planning meeting and has been watching its momentum grow.

Gretchen Mead calls herself a food activist.

Ann-Elise Henzl

Every year, hundreds of young students go through intensive music training with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ann-Elise Henzl recently happened to hear one of them: a female violinist who played with confidence, in front of a crowd of local movers and shakers. Ann-Elise followed up to learn more about the eighth-grade Milwaukee Public School student, who's fallen in love with the violin.

Props Properly Placed

Mar 6, 2009

Live theater has been a part of our cultural landscape for decades. For instance, Milwaukee Repertory Theater has been humming along for 54 years. WUWM’s Susan Bence takes us through the back door, as the company prepares “Pride and Prejudice”, the production that opens tonight. She learns the role “proper props” play in bringing a show to life.
Pride and Prejudice is an unabashedly romantic story, vintage 19th century England. Jim Guy describes it as a play about books, paper and luggage. He confesses that synopsis might be a bit unorthodox, but Jim is the Rep’s properties director.

A couple of weeks ago, WUWM News visited a greenhouse on the city’s southside, where 7th & 8th graders manage an aquaculture system. They’re raising fish, using a natural filtering system that cleanses the water and grows edible plants along the way.

Gloria Rodriguez Kappel celebrated her 94th birthday earlier this month. The Milwaukee native was a vocal instructor at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for decades. In the 1940s and 50s, teenage girls and young women from diverse backgrounds were Gloria’s students. Many still get together regularly. WUWM’s Susan Bence joined them to learn the secret of their lifelong bond.

Gloria Rodriquez Kappel and her girls, as she calls them, just finished sharing lunch. It’s a monthly date and they keep it religiously. Now, they’ve settled in the cozy lounge in Gloria’s retirement community, sipping tea and chatting. The nonagenarian is going strong and seems to have cast a perpetual spell over these women.

Megan Dobyns

Today is what's known in some circles as Paczki Day, in Milwaukee. Paczki are a Polish doughnut, and a popular Fat Tuesday treat in cities with a strong Polish heritage. Ann-Elise Henzl went to a bakery that's buzzing with activity, surrounding the tasty snack.

This month marks a significant anniversary in Barbara Brown Lee’s life. Forty-six years ago, fresh out of college, she took a job at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Today, Brown Lee’s name is almost synonymous with the museum. She’s worked with thousands of Milwaukee area high school students and continues to carve out time to work. WUWM’s Susan Bence popped into one of Brown Lee’s classes to see the master in action.

Throughout the year, we meet people who are making the community a better place and inspiring others. This time of year, we invite them to share their stories and what they've learned about life. We visit with 74-year-old Gloria Wright, one of those "behind the scenes" people who's had her hand in a lot of causes in Milwaukee.

For some of us, the holiday season means a blending of traditions from various cultures, some borrowed, some our own.   We visited a bakery on the city’s south side where the owners’ Italian heritage fills the air.

Buon giorno!

Ann-Elise Henzl

There are lots of ways parents -- and sometimes schools -- try to prevent teen pregnancy. They may suggest abstinence or the use of condoms. But some people argue the best way to get through to teens is to give them a taste of what it's like to be young parent.

WUWM's Project Milwaukee: Wise Today, Well Tomorrow? live remote broadcast was held on Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 at Cudahy's Irish Pub at The Pabst Theater.

WUWM invited listeners to the live broadcast of Project Milwaukee to watch live interviews about aging and wellness and meet the WUWM staff.

Morning host, Bob Bach anchored WUWM's local broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition and conducted interviews with two experts. And, WUWM's Lake Effect program was broadcast live.

At 80 or 90, Life is What You Make of It

Nov 19, 2008

Today, as part of our Project Milwaukee series on aging and wellness, we focus on the fastest growing segment of older adults in Milwaukee County – people in their 80s. For that population, life can be filled with financial and health challenges - or not. Many 80- and 90-year-olds are quite healthy and active. As WUWM’s Erin Toner heard from some octogenarians, life is what you make of it.

The Director of the Milwaukee County Department on Aging, Stephanie Stein, says the community is a national leader in programs and services for older adults.

Loneliness can be one of the most troublesome aspects of aging. Gina Botshtein of Jewish Family Services says agency staff carefully screen those they serve to identify how well they're connecting with family and friends.

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