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

Audrey Nowakowski

For the latest Lake Effect On-Site, the team headed to Cedarburg ahead of the city's annual Strawberry Festival.

Milwaukee Athletic Club

A listener wondered if it was true that there were underground baths in Milwaukee where powerful men once met in secret to do powerful things.

To answer this Bubbler Talk question, Bonnie North met up with OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo, who tends to know this stuff, and Eric Nordeen, of the Wells Building, to find out.

Courtesy of Guardian Fine Art Services

While many of us will never own a Picasso or a Rembrandt, we probably have collections of artworks or objects that are valuable to us. Most of us also have family papers and photographs that have sentimental value — and we might even own a piece or two of antique furniture. How we handle and store these items can keep them safe for future generations or allow them to deteriorate and become trash.

Unless playwrights are already well known, most of them have trouble convincing a theater company to produce their new work. Audiences are often reluctant to see something brand new and most theaters operate on such a tight budget that it's difficult for them to take the financial risk.

Wine contributor Ray Fister has been chatting with Lake Effect about the fruits of the vine for almost a decade. He has always insisted you don’t need a special occasion to open a nice bottle of wine. But if you're looking for something, why not choose wine made in Wisconsin?

“There’s frontenac, there’s st. pepin, there’s st. croix. There are all these different grapes that survive nicely in this weather, making very good reds, very good whites, and in the end a lot of these winemakers blending them to make something they think is very special,” Fister says.

Eric Olson, Saturn Lounge

When Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring premiered in Paris in 1913, the audience rioted. The music was angular and dissonant. The dance ritualistic and based on pagan myths. 

A century later, Stravinksy’s orchestral score is considered one of the most influential classical works of the 20th century. The ballet has been restaged innumerable times in more than 60 countries across five continents.

Bonnie North

Milwaukee musician John Sieger takes songs seriously. So seriously in fact, he has a regular column about other people’s songs with Urban Milwaukee, and he’s been singing and writing his own for decades. 

Thursday night he’s starting a monthly series at the Jazz Gallery. It’s called Sieger on Songs: Conversations. He stopped by the Lake Effect studio to tell us more:

Bonnie North

Since graduating from Boston's Berklee College of Music in 1994, Swedish singer and composer Sophie Dunér has carved out a career composing and performing across the globe. Her music is deeply rooted in jazz and improvisation, but she also draws on contemporary classical and world music influences.

Nate Watters

There are loaded words in all languages. From swear words to sacreligious words to simply crass words, most of us know them but refrain from using them — at least in public discourse. Most of them can’t be said at all on the radio. But Jade Solomon Curtis wants all of us to have a conversation about one of the most weighted words in English: the n-word.  

Bonnie North

Changing perspective is what it takes for veteran singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey to keep his creativity flowing. The Milwaukee native and longtime guest on Lake Effect now lives in Massachusetts, but he was back in Wisconsin in January to record not one but two new albums at the Cafe Carpe in Fort Atkinson. He played new songs, shared insights on staying inspired and his future touring outlook.

Tampere Chamber Music

Every month we talk with cellist and Lake Effect contributor Robert Cohen about music and life in a segment we call On That Note.

Robert has been on tour since mid-January. We caught him in the Netherlands after he'd just come from Finland and the Tampere Chamber Music Festival. While he was in Finland, he performed on stage with someone he never expected to: jazz saxophonist Jukka Perko. Here is their performance of the Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1:

Bonnie North

The piano trio is one of the most common groupings of musicians in classical chamber music. As the name indicates, the piano is the constant. The other two instruments can include the French horn and the clarinet, but the two most common are the violin and the cello.

GGOOLLDD, Stephen Strupp, Vinz Clortho, The Frogs

Matt Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which he and the other co-founder, Tyler Maas, describe as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. Among the many cultural things Milwaukee Record keeps track of is a nearly exhaustive list of new music from local musicians.

beats_ /

There are many reasons we watch the Super Bowl: the half-time performance, the ads, and, of course, the game. But as James South notes, whatever your reasons for watching, you're participating in a cultural phenomenon.

South is a professor of philosophy at Marquette University and a pop culture expert. He says one of the reasons the Super Bowl is such a touchstone in American culture is its combination of pageantry, violence, and high stakes.

Mark /

It’s no secret that the universe is vast. The distances between us and our closest astronomical neighbors are huge and the numbers only get bigger the farther away those stars and galaxies are from us. So, how do astronomers grapple with it to make the size of the universe understandable to the rest of us?

Jean Creighton, Lake Effect's astronomy contributor, says one way we do it is by using orders of magnitude. Another way is by using time as a measure. That seems odd until you realize we do it all the time: