Lake Effect

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When the Democratic National Convention was first announced, hotels in the area quickly booked up. Between the rooms and the convention hall rentals, hotels in Milwaukee and throughout southeastern Wisconsin were expecting a huge influx of business. But since the DNC has been scaled back, hotels are looking at a much smaller gathering and far fewer guests. 

Courtesy of Parking Lot Theatre

How we seek entertainment has changed drastically since the coronavirus pandemic began. Seeing the performing arts and going to movies isn’t physically safe to do, but many of us still want to engage with the arts in person.

Activists Anne Koller and Manny Lara were concerned about how the lockdown would impact Milwaukee’s creative communities and they wanted to find a safe way to enjoy the arts.

Daderot / Wikimedia

Late last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced its decisions on key cases concerning the power of the state’s executive branch. The rulings effectively limit the power of Wisconsin’s attorney general and overruled several of Gov. Tony Evers' vetoes from the 2019 state budget.

Courtesy of Elle Halo and Naomi-Antrelle Jones

Although Black transgender people have been involved in racial and LGBTQ justice movements from their inceptions, they have not been prioritized. We are starting to see not just more trans visibility but elevation — particularly within the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

HenschelHAUS Publishing

On April 14, the Emory Global Health Institute launched a contest for authors to write a children’s book to explain COVID-19. The catch was, they only had until April 29 to submit their final drafts.

Courtesy of Earnell Lucas

Protesters around the country have been taking to the streets since May to speak out against police brutality. Here in Milwaukee, activists are calling for accountability and police reforms.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas has publicly said he supports discussions about reforming police departments. But he’s quick to emphasize that in his opinion, police officers are asked to solve too many of the problems in our community and he takes issue with people faulting police for many of these failures.

Audrey Nowakowski

Milwaukee’s restaurants are navigating a challenging balancing act during this coronavirus pandemic. When the lockdown was first ordered in March, carry-out was the only option allowed. Then, with about a day’s notice from the city, Milwaukee restaurants and bars were able to reopen dining spaces and outdoor seating on June 5.

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For cultural institutions, like the Milwaukee Art Museum, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly painful. Like other groups, the museum closed its doors back in March and was forced to find alternative ways to engage with the community.

Brigid Globensky, the senior director of education and programs at the museum, says this experience has been a crash course in digitizing their work but one she thinks will ultimately make the museum stronger.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

In another timeline, this would have been the week the Democratic National Convention came to Milwaukee. The event was expected to bring tens of thousands of people to Milwaukee and bring millions in revenue to the area. But then the coronavirus pandemic hit, upending everything.

Courtesy of Sean Lowe

It’s been about a year since the city of Wauwatosa created its Equity and Inclusion Commission.

The goal of the advisory group is to advise the mayor and common council on ways to promote a positive environment for people of color who live and visit the city. In the wake of George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, the commission is getting more attention.

To Sean Lowe, the commission's chairman, racial equity looks like reform on many levels. 

Maayan Silver

Wisconsin saw an enormous shift in the number of people who voted early or by mail in its April primary. Election officials are looking to accommodate this trend in November — when even more people are expected to cast ballots. So, they want to educate voters on how to register, how to request and return mail-in ballots (otherwise known as absentee ballots), and what the deadlines are.

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The United States surpassed 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The number is a dark milestone in the ongoing fight against this disease.

Jali Fruit Co.

When you hear the word entrepreneur or startup, there’s typically the connotation of reaching the bottom line of profit.

For two young Wisconsin entrepreneurs, that connotation almost led them away from starting a business. Josh Shefner, 23, and Claire Friona, 21, wanted to put their engineering skills to use but have it mean more than meeting a bottom line. So, they started Agricycle Global, a Milwaukee-based social enterprise. Their latest project, Jali Fruit Co., tackles the problem of food waste.

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Milwaukee is facing a lot of systemic problems. Evictions, unemployment, and segregation, to name just a few. Most of these issues are well-known and despite seemingly well-intentioned efforts, they persist.

Courtesy of the Marcus Performing Arts Center

The Marcus Performing Arts Center has been a staple not just for downtown Milwaukee, but for the greater community. Outside of being a venue to see live performances, its outreach and community engagement efforts reach people of all ages.

This mission is in part what drew Kendra Whitlock Ingram to the position of president and CEO of the Marcus Center. She replaces Paul Matthews, who served just over two decades as its leader.

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