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

IgorZh /

The United States may be divided politically, but there's one thing just about everyone agrees on: Why can’t the weather forecast be more accurate?

There are certain things that can’t be predicted, but weather forecasting has become better in the past couple of decades as computer modeling has improved both in speed and accuracy. And those improvements are, in large part, thanks to Paul Roebber. He's a distinguished professor of mathematical and atmospheric sciences at UW-Milwaukee, and one of the leading forecasting experts in the U.S., and the world.

Bonnie North

On East Burleigh Street in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood there’s a set of low cream-colored buildings with red awnings. The Florentine Opera makes its home there, but we’re not visiting the opera today. We’re meeting the opera’s landlords, Mario and Cathy Costantini. They’re the owners of La Lune Collection — a rustic, eco-friendly furniture company they founded 40 years ago when they were both 23 and had just graduated from Marquette University.  

Bonnie North

Grafton, Wis., is an unlikely place to be the center of African American music. But for about a decade in the 1920s and early '30s, it was the home of Paramount Records — a label devoted to jazz and blues. Artists like Louis Armstrong, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Alberta Hunter and Ma Rainey all recorded there.

Michael Brosilow

The Legend of Georgia McBride opens Friday night at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. It's the story of an Elvis impersonator who has to change his act when his club hires drag performers to bring in more customers. The show is funny, heartfelt, and full of feathers and sequins.

SergiyN /

The link between Wisconsin and Luxembourg goes back to the mid-19th century. Belgium, Wis., is home to the International Luxembourg American Cultural Center and has one of the largest populations of people of Luxembourg heritage in the United States. For context, the entire population of Luxembourg itself is less than that of metro Milwaukee. 

Stockr /

Of the many climate crises we face, soil erosion isn’t usually on the top of people’s lists. But it should be. Without topsoil, we can’t grow food. Without food, civilizations collapse.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that our agricultural soil erodes at an average rate of almost 5 tons of topsoil per acre, per year. In contrast, soil regenerates at less than one-tenth of that rate. Farming practices contribute to the loss, as does global warming. But Dr. Jo Handelsman says we can fix it.

Kelly Avenson

The first thing you notice about Door County singer-songwriter Katie Dahl is she’s pretty low key. She doesn’t call a lot of attention to herself before she opens her mouth to sing. But once she does sing, you can’t help but be mesmerized. Her voice is rich and clear, and her songs evoke such a sense of people and place.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Magazine

Milwaukee Magazine has created a winter playbook that offers a range of tips for staying happy and healthy through the winter season.

"One of the ways to survive winter, just in general, is to develop a hobby that makes you want to go outside," says Milwaukee Magazine's Carol Nicksin. 

Nick Petrie /

It’s January, and Milwaukee author Nick Petrie is releasing the newest book in his Peter Ash series. The Wild One is the fifth book in Petrie's popular series and it takes our intrepid protagonist — a Milwaukee native and a veteran of the Iraq war who suffers from PTSD — far from his Wisconsin home and sets him up in an inhospitable yet beautiful place. Think Iceland in winter.

Pluralism123 / Wikimedia Commons

Payam Akhavan has seen humanity’s worst. The international human rights lawyer has been a United Nations prosecutor in Bosnia, Croatia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Timor Leste, and Rwanda.

Andrej Grilc

Every month, cellist Robert Cohen joins Lake Effect to talk about music and life in a segment called On That Note. This month, Robert is preparing to perform the music one of his favorite composers, Johann Sebastian Bach. Even after a lifetime of playing this music, Cohen says there is always so much more to discover.

The cellist explains that interpreting Bach's work always offers new challenges because so much of it is guesswork. 

Tom Uttech / Museum of Wisconsin Art

Tom Uttech is one of Wisconsin’s great artists. The Saukville resident is also considered one of the leading landscape painters in the United States. His work has been described as Magic Realism, where a world of real and imaginary flora and fauna exist in a fantastical universe. But the places he paints are also very much grounded in the woods of Wisconsin, Northern Minnesota, and Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.

Courtesy of REYNA, Field Report, Brat Sounds and The Haskels.

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.

Here's a selection from Matt's Milwaukee Music Roundup for December 2019:


Audrey Nowakowski

Lidia Bastianich is an Emmy-winning television host, a successful chef and restaurateur, and a best-selling cookbook author. She made her name by introducing American diners to the dishes of her Italian childhood.

Bastianich spent the first 10 years of her life with her grandmother in Croatia. “I was grandma's little helper sort of running things,” she says. “I grew up in that setting of food you know, cooking with grandma, feeding the animals.”

Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al. / NASA

Any number of scientific discoveries or events make the "best of" lists every year. Well, our astronomy contributor Jean Creighton is no different, and she shares her picks for 2019:

First all-female spacewalk

The first all-female spacewalk took place on Oct. 18. Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir made the historic excursion.

The initial all-female spacewalk was planned in March, but it was canceled.