Joy Powers

Lake Effect Producer

Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect. Before coming to Milwaukee's NPR, she was a director and producer for Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.

Joy grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where she started off her career in radio as an intern at WLKG-fm, The Lake. She has worked as an intern with several companies, including SiriusXm, Fujisankei Communications and the Department of City Planning for the City of New York. At SiriusXM, she was a programming intern and helped launch Studio54 Radio.

She earned a bachelors degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College, Boston, where she worked with several radio and television stations. She was the public affairs director at WERS-fm, and produced the station’s AP-Award Winning program, You Are Here.

» Twitter: @thejoypowers

Chuck Quirmbach

When George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, people in Wauwatosa focused their attention on a local police officer responsible for killing 3 people on the job. 

Courtesy of Tom Daykin

After nearly a century in residence, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will be moving. The building, built in 1924, was first created for the Milwaukee Journal which merged with the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper in 1995. It was sold late last year, and while developers had planned to turn the space into affordable housing alongside student housing, their plans have recently changed.


In normal times, Lake Effect features a variety of in-studio performances from local musicians and artists. But of course, these are not normal times and many artists have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Most live events have been canceled and recording music in isolation presents lots of challenges for Milwaukee musicians like Andii Heath, who performs under the mononym Andii

Dustin Chambers / Getty Images

This year’s Democratic National Convention promised to be an extravaganza here in Milwaukee. Instead, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the convention was almost entirely virtual with speakers joining in from places around the country.

Tap10 /

In 2008, Matthew Desmond began studying eviction and poverty here in Milwaukee. That research became the book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, which explores the impact of evictions on Milwaukee’s most vulnerable communities. Now, Milwaukee is once again staring down an eviction crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in soaring unemployment and eviction filings are beginning to mount. 

Stephen Voss & Allison Shelley / NPR

The Democratic National Convention is happening this week and while Milwaukee is still considered the host city, the vast majority of the convention is happening digitally because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus. But the convention isn’t the only part of this election that has been fundamentally different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything from campaigning to debating will be different from anything we’ve seen before.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially difficult for Wisconsin’s artistic and cultural industries. These industries account for 3.1% of Wisconsin's gross domestic product. That's more than hospitals (2.9%) or accommodation and food services (2.4%), which includes the revenue made from restaurants, bars, and hotels. While some states have created emergency funds for these industries, Wisconsin hasn’t. In fact, Wisconsin ranks dead last for the amount of funding the state generally provides to arts and culture among U.S. states.

Lex Allen

For musician Johanna Rose, the pandemic has been a mixed blessing.

The time in isolation has meant they haven't been able to perform with the many groups they're a member of, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Hughes Family Band, and the musical duo Nickel & Rose. But it has given them time to focus on their solo work and explore new ways to create music. 

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As a perennial swing state, it’s become an election-year tradition for national media outlets to swoop into Wisconsin to quickly gauge the hearts and minds of likely voters before whisking away their reporters to cover other stories. The practice is known as parachute journalism, and it can have some unfortunate repercussions. 

Kittiphan /

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can’t be overstated. At least 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with the infectious disease, which some experts believe is a massive undercount. Unemployment has skyrocketed and the economy is struggling to hang on.

Samer Ghani

The protests across the United States over racial inequity have been seen as a historic turning point in our national consciousness. Political, business and cultural leaders have lent their support to the movement for equity. But beyond the recognition of the issue and the apparent desire for change, the path forward remains unclear. 

Stefan Zaklin / Getty Images

As we near next week’s primary election and the November general election, there has been an even greater focus on U.S. politics. But these conversations can become stilted by our own knowledge gaps about how government works in our country.

Joy Powers

In another timeline, Thursday would have been the opening day of the Wisconsin State Fair. But earlier this year, the fair was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most county fairs followed suit.

United States Census Bureau

The 2020 Census has faced a lot of hurdles. Aside from the coronavirus pandemic, widespread unrest, and economic turmoil, it was recently announced that the census will be ending all counting efforts a month early. 

The impact could be devastating for communities with low-response rates. Among other things, an inaccurate census count can lead to less federal aid and less political representation.

Courtesy of Jordan Davis

For Jordan Davis, the frontman of Milwaukee-band Space Raft, this time in relative lockdown has been an opportunity to finish up a project he’s been working on for two and a half years. The band just released two albums: Positively Space Raft, and its alter ego, Approximately Space Raft.