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

Jean David / No Studios

No Studios opened its doors in the old Pabst Brewery Complex a year ago. The community workspace is the brainchild of director and screenwriter John Ridley, who won an Oscar for his screenplay 12 Years a Slave. The Milwaukee native wanted to create a place in his hometown for creative collaboration and socializing.

Suzanne Gordon / https://suzannecgordon.com/books/wounds-of-war/

It’s Veterans Day — a national holiday to honor the service of the country’s more than 18 million living veterans. There will be parades, speeches and a lot of applause. But Suzanne Gordon says that one of the key players in veteran services and one that works well, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), is being slowly gutted.

NYU Press

In 1952, Victor Grossman defected to the Soviet Union. Born Stephen Wechsler in New York City, Grossman says defecting wasn’t something he wanted to do. But he was afraid the U.S. Army would find out about his socialist and communist activities while he was a student at Harvard University. This was at a time when anti-communist sentiment ran high in the U.S.; Grossman knew he was looking at the possibility of decades of jail time.

Jennifer Hubbartt / First Stage

Anyone who runs an arts organization will tell you that new work is often the hardest thing to sell to an audience. How do you convince people to take the risk to experience something new? Well, you could do what First Stage does: be a place where audiences expect new work every season.

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

Although Mandy Patinkin may be best known for his role as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, the performer’s life has been characterized less by vengeance and far more by his humanitarianism. In addition to his career on Broadway, in Hollywood, and on television, Patinkin has dedicated time to working with refugees and underprivileged Americans — including kids in his hometown, Chicago.

Courtesy of Robert Cohen

Every month we talk with cellist Robert Cohen about the life of a touring classical musician. It’s a segment we call On That Note. This month finds Robert recently moved to the Suffolk countryside in England. And between unpacking boxes and hooking up utilities, he’s thinking about creativity. He's especially focused on the kind of creativity that is found outside of performance — like practicing.

Courtesy of Mark Doremus.

Bronzeville was one of Milwaukee’s early African American neighborhoods, and the new documentary Remembering Bronzeville showcases its people and history. The film tells the story of this resilient neighborhood through interviews and archival footage brought together by documentary filmmaker Mark Doremus and his wife, Marquette journalism professor Karen Slattery.

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 October 2019:

Florentine Opera Company

Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera is the city’s oldest fully professional performing arts organization. It started as the Italian Opera Chorus in 1933 and became the Florentine Opera Company in 1950.

agatha1988 / stock.adobe.com

The spectre of nuclear destruction was unleashed at the end of World War II when the United States dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan. From 1945 until today, the fear of nuclear annihilation has waxed and waned. It peaked during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s and '60s. Then it lessened when the Soviet Union collapsed 30 years ago, and the U.S. and Soviet Union seemed willing to disarm and eradicate their nuclear stockpiles.

Paul Higgins / Milwaukee Magazine

Architect and UWM professor Chris Cornelius sees architecture as a production of culture and the backdrop of our lives. An enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, his work focuses on his American Indian roots and how cities act as a built environment with its architecture.

Rawpixel.com / stock.adobe.com

When people think of astronomers, several names come to mind: Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, or Carl Sagan — all white men. But throughout history, women and other people of color have made huge contributions to our understanding of the cosmos.

Astronomy contributor Jean Creighton says that highlighting that diversity in the field is necessary for both kids and adults. 

"It's so important to break those barriers, no matter who you are, no matter what you do, so that the stereotypes that people put in their heads are set aside," says Creighton.

My First and Last Film

Milwaukee-native Tracey Thomas didn’t want to be a filmmaker and never dreamed about having her name in lights. But about five years ago, she was about to turn 60 and was feeling at loose ends. So she started interviewing other people who were about to turn 60 (or who already had) about what it felt like. And the idea of turning those interviews into The 60 Project was born.

"I was kind of looking for answers, I guess," says Thomas.

Courtesy of Kate Baldwin

Broadway star and Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin may live and work in New York City now, but she grew up in Milwaukee. A graduate of Shorewood High School, it was there where Baldwin met the late Barbara Gensler and became involved in the school’s acclaimed theater program.

schankz / stock.adobe.com

Spiders are amazing creatures. But before you shudder at the word "spider," take a moment to consider what they do for our ecosystem. Spiders catch things we don't like, like aphids, mosquitoes, and flies. If you can leave spiders alone, they'll happily eat all of the insects in your house. But their appetite for bugs isn't the only reason Dr. Cheryl Hayashi finds them fascinating.

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