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Milwaukee Hope: A hometown meme series designed to inspire optimism during the coronavirus crisis

The Milwaukee Hope project combines illustrated Knezelisms with location photography of landmarks around the city, to produce a series of creative memes for the local community. While Milwaukee has had reason to be PROUD and STRONG during other recent hardships, the coronavirus situation requires something more – HOPE. With all of Wisconsin under a “Safer at Home” order that began on March 25, and Milwaukee residents processing many different life issues at different speeds – as a result of COVID-19, Sherrill Knezel and Lee Matz knew that people would need to overcome their anxiety and find things to help...

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We Need Each Other: Downtown Milwaukee buildings illuminate the darkness with beacons of hope

Amid the health and financial challenges that face communities near and far, Milwaukee Downtown BID #21 is trying to encourage buildings and landmarks throughout the city to illuminate their facades with red, white, and blue lighting. Beginning the evening of March 24, U.S. Bank Center, Northwestern Mutual, The Gas Light Building, 833 East Michigan, The Pfister Hotel, and the M-K-E letters at General Mitchell International Airport were be lit in red, white, and blue in tribute to the resiliency of the nation. The Milwaukee County Historical Society will be lit starting March 27, and other locations are expected to...

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Excellence in Journalism: Milwaukee Independent recognized as Finalist for 13 awards

The Milwaukee Press Club announced the winners of its 90th Annual Gridiron Awards for Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism, and Milwaukee Independent was selected as a finalist for 13 features. The recognition exceeds 2018’s total of 10, in competition against all major media outlets in Milwaukee and many across Wisconsin. Founded in 1885, the Milwaukee Press Club is the oldest continuously operating press club in North America. As a Finalist, Milwaukee Independent has already won but the place (Gold, Silver, or Bronze) will not be announced until May at the Gridiron Awards Dinner. The 13 pending awards were split over...

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Sorry, We’re Closed: The signs and sights of solitude as Milwaukee digs in to fight COVID-19

Milwaukee was shrouded in fog on March 19, giving the downtown environment an abandoned mood, reflecting the social disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city does not have the population density for the sidewalks to be filled with the crush of people during the day like New York. But neither is the corridor of Wisconsin Avenue a ghost town. There is always a bustle, with peaks and ebbs, that feels very much a living place that radiates activity. After local, state, and national leaders rolled out measures on March 12 to “flatten the curve” and slow down...

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Fight for Air Climb: Hundreds run to top of U.S. Bank Center to raise funds for lung health

Crowds of runners competed in a vertical charity dash on March 7 in the the 2020 Fight For Air Climb held at the U.S. Bank Center. Milwaukee participants climbed the 47 floors and 1,034 stairs to raise funds for the American Lung Association. The annual challenge helps collect private funding to provide life-saving lung health research, patient education, and public policy efforts. A signature annual charity event, Fight For Air Climbs are stair climbs held in prominent skyscrapers around the country. Climbers join friends, family, co-workers, or even fly solo, walking up the stairs of the building to the...

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Rube Goldberg contest challenges Wisconsin students to “Turn Off A Light” with a complex machine

Discovery World hosted the 2020 Wisconsin High School Regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest on March 6, highlighting the engineering and creative skills of students for building a complex machine to turn off a light. A Rube Goldberg Machine is an outlandish contraption that accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated and comical way possible. The contest started in 1988, based on the “invention” cartoons of the famous Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Rube Goldberg. Organized by STEM Forward, metro Milwaukee’s leading STEM education and outreach provider, the competition was created to help inspire local youth to pursue STEM (Science, Technology,...

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