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Author: Lee Matz

Jennifer Vosters: Shakespeare as a guide for a lifelong journey of creative learning

Raised in southeastern Wisconsin and encouraged at a young age to express her creativity in music and theatre, Jennifer Vosters has already earned a respected list of credits for acting, directing, and writing. A fan of Shakespeare and a self-proclaimed sci-fi geek, her hard work and discipline serves as an example for what young empowered women can accomplish when they experience hope and opportunity. She also shines a light on the healing powers and social connections that result from music and community. Vosters is currently touring with the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s production of Macbeth, and the Milwaukee Independent caught...

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City Hall hosts final celebration of holiday season with Parranda performance

Organized again this year by Alderman José G. Pérez, the Parranda was held on January 4 to share Puerto Rican holiday culture and music with the Milwaukee public. Parrandas are musical festivities that traditionally take place during the holiday season. They are celebrated most commonly in Afro-Caribbean and Latin American countries, and parts of South America. One of the most important holiday celebrations for the Puerto Rican community is El Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos, or Three Kings’ Day on January 6. Contrary to mainland American culture, the “12 days of Christmas” begins on December 25 and runs...

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Inaugural festivities for Governor-elect Evers puts focus on children with Kids’ Gala

Milwaukee families gathered at the Discovery World Science and Technology Museum on January 5 for a special Kids’ Gala, as part of the 2019 Wisconsin Inauguration festivities for Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes. Held in Appleton, Madison, and concluding in Milwaukee, Evers – a former teacher and Wisconsin superintendent of schools – wanted to share his passion for government with children in communities across the state. The three locations were selected to put the spotlight on children during the events scheduled to celebrate his January 7 inauguration. “We have a moral and legal obligation to make...

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Governor-elect Tony Evers finishes statewide listening tour in Milwaukee

Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes held their final budget listening session in Milwaukee on December 19, hosted at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County Volunteer Center. Hundreds of people attended the special event, to share their views about what the new administration should prioritize in the next state budget. Participants were organized into groups by topic, that focused on issues like economic development, education, environmental conservation, transportation, health care, and justice reform. The statewide tour, called “Building the People’s Budget,” started on December 11 in Green Bay. It ended in Milwaukee a week...

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Lake Michigan’s freezing waves wallop participants at 2019 Polar Bear Plunge

Hundreds of people braved the frigid shores of the Great Lake at Bradford Beach to take the annual January 1 Polar Bear Plunge and usher in the New Year. With an air temperature that averaged 24°, participants were greeted with a series of 2-foot waves. In spite of the weather, the conditions were far better than 2018. Last year saw sunny skies, but the beach area was encrusted with hazardous ice and a near record -14° windchill. This year found more fire pits and camps spread along the length of the beach. Crowds entering the freezing water were displaced...

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Humor, change, and more holiday tales with John McGivern

As host of the Emmy award winning “Around the Corner with John McGivern,” the PBS series dedicated to his visits and profiles of various communities throughout Wisconsin, John McGivern is known for his down-to-earth charm and sense of humor that is easily relatable. In recent years he has become Milwaukee’s unofficial Christmas ambassador, and he remains a perennial favorite entertainer. This year, he returned to the Northern Lights Theater with his new stage show, “More Holiday Tales with John McGivern.” The exclusive show ran from November 29 to December 8, and served up new heartwarming stories along with some...

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