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

sonyachny /

Holidays are often associated with food — think of the American Thanksgiving or the Chinese New Year. Christmas celebrations also offer us many opportunities to celebrate our various cultural traditions through food. Whether it's gingerbread, candy canes, or eggnog, there are many delicious things that make Christmas special.

Angelov /

The holidays and all of its glory create the perfect opportunity to try new things — like wine for example. Wine expert Ray Fister sat down with Lake Effect's Bonnie North to discuss the best wines to try over the holidays and the impact that the California wildfires has on the wine industry.

Fister recommends you try something a bit sweeter, unique and Italian this holiday rather than choosing the old reliable you know and love. Next time you're out shopping for your holiday gatherings, grab a bottle of moscato d'Asti.

Bonnie North

About six years ago, a group of Milwaukee musicians got together to form Panalure. The band is Americana with a touch of blues and Celtic thrown in. Some of the members had played together in different configurations, but the group came together when bassist, Ken Hanson approached frontman Fred Ziegler.

Courtesy of Peter Stathas

In just two years, Peter Stathas went from his first dance class to performing with the José Limón Dance Company on Center Stage in New York City. "I was just so in love with learning something like this that it probably didn't occur to me until I got on some bigger stages and realized I was in a different stratosphere now," he explains.

He admits to having a big learning curve initially. "Some of my best performances were in malls, funny places like that because I didn't have the feeling of pressure," he says.

paulzhuk /

Here at Lake Effect, one of our favorite holiday traditions is our annual Games to Gift list. Complied by our resident games expert Jim Lowder, the list is in its 10th year.

Lowder says there continues to be an oversaturation of games in the market. The influx of new games not only causes shelf shortage in hobby stores, but an attention shortage for players. So no matter how fantastic a game is, "finding a market now is really tough because the competition is very, very rigorous," says Lowder.

Bonnie North

Jesse Malin has been playing music professionally since he was 12 years old. His first band, Heart Attack, was hardcore punk and active in the New York scene in the early '80s. He then became the lead vocalist for D Generation, a glam punk band. Since the early 2000s, Malin has been a solo act, although he adds a band when he's on tour.

Courtesy of Greater Equity 2030

Milwaukee nonprofit Greater Together has announced a challenge to Milwaukee's creative industry to hire at least 1,600 minority employees by 2030. The project, called Greater Equity 2030, will be in part led by Ken Hanson, who founded Greater Together to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. 

The initiative will team up with Milwaukee Public Schools to organize summer internship programs for historically underrepresented groups. 

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The world seems to be exploding in the last month of 2019. Populism is on the rise, and there are massive protests occurring in Iran, Iraq, Hong Kong, and Chile, to name just a few. And in all of those places, the governments in charge have been ruthless about cracking down on the dissent. Elsewhere, Britain’s Brexit process chugs along and Israel’s prime minister has been indicted.

Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr joins us to help make sense of what’s going on, starting with the likely outcome of the U.K. general elections next week:

Dmytro Sukharevskyi /

Merriam Webster defines ethics as “a set of moral principles: a theory or system of moral values” and “the principles of conduct that govern an individual or a group.”


Every month we talk with cellist and Lake Effect contributor Robert Cohen about music and life in a segment we call On That Note. This month, we reached Robert at his home in England to learn about an improvised musical experience he recently had:

Courtesy of Wavy V, Nepenthe, Warhola Cats, and Platinum Boys

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 November 2019:

ahirao /

For most Americans, the Thanksgiving meal usually includes some variation of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. But food historian Kyle Cherek says if we think we’re eating a true representation of the first Thanksgiving feast of 1621, we’d be wrong.

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We talk with our astronomy contributor Jean Creighton regularly about the latest discoveries in astrophysics, but we've never really talked about how those discoveries are paid for. So, for November's astro chat, Creighton explains the process of writing a grant proposal for the National Science Foundation:

Libby Lang / Milwaukee Magazine

The November issue of Milwaukee Magazine focuses on women. From profiles of local women who are doing great things to national trends on pay equity, the issue takes a snapshot of how women are doing.

Audrey Nowakowski

The Lake Effect team brought the pub back to public radio with the latest Lake Effect On-Site in Milwaukee's Brewery District, to explore the history of the area and the beverage that made Milwaukee famous.

The Brewery District has undergone a lot of changes over the last century. At one time, the complex was the center of operations for the Pabst Brewery, which was first founded in Milwaukee in 1844. The brewery has not only had a huge impact on Wisconsin, it's also a cornerstone of the nation's beer history.