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

Schoen Movement Company

Earlier this month, the United Performing Arts Fund kicked off its 2019 campaign to raise millions of dollars for many of the region’s largest performing arts groups. Every year, the campaign begins with a special guest who has some tie or ties to the area’s performing arts community — whether they got their start in the Milwaukee area or played a significant role in a performance here.

Kaukauna & King /

From the Vietnam War to the battle for civil rights, things were changing in the United States in the 1960s. In the spirit of integration and inclusion, a Kaukauna high school social studies teacher wanted to put on the play In White America — it depicts the history of African-Americans from slavery to civil rights — to broaden his students' view. However, Kaukauna high school was 100 percent white, so an exchange between students from Rufus King High School in Milwaukee and Kaukauna High School in Kaukauna, Wis., took place in 1966.

Maayan Silver

It’s official. Earlier this week, the Democratic National Committee chose Milwaukee as the site of its 2020 convention. According to DNC Chair Tom Perez, this is the first time the Democratic Party has held a national convention in the Midwest, outside of Chicago, since 1916.

Bonnie North

The instruments are found in your basic bluegrass band lineup: banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass. But the sound they produce in the hands of the members of Pay The Devil is far grittier than most bluegrass outfits make.

Percussionist Jeremy Ault says he tends to think of the group as getting some of its energy from early punk rock: "It’s not flashy, it just goes. You kind of hit the gas and go forward. I think that’s part of our appeal."

Bonnie North

Native American art has not often been characterized as such by the non-Native American world. From intricately-beaded clothing to ceramics to jewelry, the artworks that native peoples here created, and continue to create, are often found in the craft or perhaps the folk art areas of museum exhibitions. 

Michael Brosilow


The Milwaukee Reperatory Theater opens an American premiere this week. Things I Know to Be True, a moving and often funny play about family, love, and loss, is the most recent work from award-winning Australian playwright and screenwriter Andrew Bovell. The play received its world premiere in Adelaide in 2016 and Bovell has adapted it for an American audience for this production.

Image courtesy of Robert Cohen

Every month, cellist Robert Cohen joins us to talk about the live of a working, touring, professional musician.  He’s talked about concerts and venues, taking an instrument on the road, and teaching a new generation of cellists.

But one thing we haven’t spoken with Cohen about is working as a conductor, a role he’s about to take on. 

NASA / Flickr

Astronomers, astrophysicists and fans of space travel marked the end of an era earlier in February. After 15 years on the surface of Mars, the Opportunity Rover mission finally ended, after more than six months had gone by with no success in communicating with the craft.

Lake Effect astronomy contributor, Jean Creighton, joins Bonnie North to talk about the legacy and impact of the Opportunity Rover. Creighton also explains the reason behind all seasons here on earth, and the difference between seasonal changes, the climate and weather. 

Maxwell Pearl / Flickr

The fight continues in Washington over President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and the national emergency he declared to secure funding to build it. But the border wall is only one element of a prolonged battle and debate over immigration in this country — both legal and illegal.

Oleksandr / Photolia

The intersection of people, design and technology is a focus at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD). While the school has always had industrial and communication design majors, it now boasts an Innovation Center that works with emerging technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Mary Louise Schumacher

It's under a foot of snow right now so no one’s spending any time there. But that doesn’t mean the Dan Kiley-designed grove of chestnut trees along the south side of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is out of the spotlight.

Milwaukee native Chris Multerer - known professionally as Chris Curtis - made a name for himself in the world of pro-wrestling. He spent more than 25 years in the ring, competing largely in the midwest against some well-known opponents, including national names like Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura.

JoAnna Bautch

One of the places the arts is thriving in Milwaukee can be found on the city’s near south side. Latino Arts is a hub for and a celebration of Latinx artists of all kinds, but its reach goes beyond them into the larger community.

Voradech Triniti/

This month’s Milwaukee Magazine is devoted to the arts. From artist profiles to a calendar of not-to-be-missed cultural events, the arts issue explores how all of the arts are — or aren’t — thriving in Milwaukee.

In addition to the profiles and other articles in the issue, the magazine’s Culture Editor Lindsey Anderson wrote an overview called The State of the Arts.

courtesty of Robert Cohen

The last time we spoke with Robert Cohen for our On That Note segment, he was preparing to perform Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in Finland. It’s a very difficult and emotional piece, and Robert says he was quite nervous about performing it, not the least because of the physical stamina required.

"If you’re going to be able to play this concerto absolutely to your best, and for it to be in your control and not run out of energy, you have to be really on top of your game," he says.