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Author: Dominic Inouye

Dominic Inouye: On Discovering the [Real] Heart of Milwaukee

Dominic Inouye Milwaukee Independent Writing my final column of 2018 was a collaborative effort, a fitting endeavor in a world wounded by so much divisiveness. It is both a Künstlerroman about an artist’s growth, a story about the art itself and, in essence, a story of Milwaukee. The artist, Stefanie M. Valverde, has represented the complicated history of Milwaukee in a 4’x6’ oil painting, using extensive research, digital sublayers and knife strokes thick with oil paint to discover what she calls “The [Real] Heart of Milwaukee.” Her first-person narrative is a combination of her own written words and an...

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Boulevard Theatre performs gay family drama during midterm election month

It may seem odd at first that my monthly column exploring street photography, walking as a social practice, neglected public spaces, urban gardening and grassroots social justice takes a November pause to explore a play about two gay fathers in New York City. In some senses, though, I have been exploring Milwaukee’s family drama, how we live, work and play together, how we care for our “home” and those who live in it. How we succeed and how we struggle. So, as the Trump administration tears apart immigrant families, tries to redefine and erase gender identities and continues to...

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On Fitness and Community: November Project Summit 6.0 in Milwaukee

They came from 36 tribes around the world, from the United States, Canada and Europe. To run. To compete. But most of all to connect with their Milwaukee tribe and discover their best selves. On Thursday night, September 13, 2018, their planes hit the tarmac at General Mitchell and their cars rolled up to their Airbnb’s and their Milwaukee host families. Then, to get the weekend going early, many of them karaoked at the Milwaukee Ale House, ran with Performance Running Outfitters, biked in the Underwear Bike Ride. The energy was beginning to build. It’s the one weekend a...

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La Vigilia: Milwaukee honors Puerto Rican victims of last year’s Hurricane Maria

On September 20, the Puerto Rican community and its allies in Milwaukee gathered to remember and honor the victims – dead and alive – of Hurricane Maria. La Vigilia: A Vigil for Puerto Rico was attended by about eighty residents and marked the one-year anniversary of the Category 4 hurricane that roared across Puerto Rico at 155 mph, devastating the territory that had been ravaged by Hurricane Irma just a year before. Organizers Erick Ledesma of Cosecha Creative Space and Leilani Lopez-Blasini of Be Outspoken MKE wanted to bring attention to the continued crisis on the island and the...

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On wood chips and more wood chips: An urban food forest

Dominic Inouye’s column for the Milwaukee Independent has been exploring the nature of walking as a social practice, the human dimensions of street photography, and the activation of public spaces. “Would you sell homemade muffins if I made them? What about fresh fruits and vegetables?” Aware of the limited selection of healthy food options at the Jones Smoke Shop & Grocery, Emily Breffle asked Mrs. Jones, on a whim, whether she would consider some new items at the shop. To her surprise, Mrs. Jones said yes. Secretly, Emily just wanted an excuse to bake and garden. It was still...

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Experiencing the Harley-Davidson 115th from the sidelines

Over the last week of August, I heard many people bemoaning the fact that thousands of Harley-Davidson riders would be descending on Milwaukee for the Memorial Day weekend. When they descended into town, some roads became congested and some people couldn’t sleep well from the noise. The riders swooped into our gathering place by the Lake in a swarm of leather and orange. Since Harley-Davidson’s 90th anniversary in 1993, motorcyclists from all around the globe have made “The Ride Home” every five years to the city where twenty-somethings William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson designed their first “motor-bicycle” at...

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