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Author: Lee Matz

Milwaukee’s Lakefront hosts annual celebration of Art

The Milwaukee Art Museum presented the 57th Annual Lakefront Festival of Art (LFoA) from June 21 to 23 along Lake Michigan, featuring almost 200 local and national artists. Organized by Friends of Art, the Lakefront Festival of Art is the longest-running volunteer supported program of the Milwaukee Art Museum, and a fundraising event for art exhibitions and the acquisition of works for the Museum’s Collection. Among the booths of featured artists and creative professionals in 2019 were jewelers, painters, sculptors, photographers and printmakers. Items available for purchase included pottery, drawings, digital art and works made from wood, glass and...

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Save Me: New film shines light on growing suicide crisis within Milwaukee’s Hmong community

The Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts hosted a special red-carpet event on June 15 that premiered the screening of “Save Me,” a locally produced film created to bring attention to the need of mental health resources for Milwaukee’s Hmong community. The Hmong American Friendship Association and Nyob Zoo Milwaukee TV, along with a number of local organizations, collaborated to translate the stage play into a film. “Save Me” features a young Hmong girl who loses her mother and falls into depression, until she meets a mysterious person who teaches her to...

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Milwaukee’s 48th Annual Juneteenth Day Festival celebrates emancipation, community, and ancestors

A crowd of thousands attended Milwaukee’s 2019 Juneteenth Day Festival in spite of gloomy weather and bouts of rain, sharing a passionate enthusiasm and deep pride for the African American community on the day recognized as the end of slavery. June 19 is still not recognized as a federal holiday, even though it has been celebrated for 154 years. The Civil War has no day of commemoration, like when the original 13 colonies declared independence. Yet by many criteria, Juneteenth represents a far greater struggle for freedom than July 4. The tradition is the oldest known celebration commemorating the...

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Napalm Girl: Vietnam veterans embrace Kim Phúc and her message of love during Milwaukee visit

One of the most unforgettable images from the Vietnam War was of a little girl running naked, after surviving an accidental napalm attack on the village of Trảng Bàng. The composition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph “The Terror of War,” taken by Vietnamese photographer Nick Ut, captured the shattered innocence and tragedy of the American conflict there. No longer that 9-year-old little girl, Phan Thị Kim Phúc commemorated the 47th anniversary of that bombing during a visit in Wisconsin on June 8, with a powerful message of hope. Known as the “Napalm Girl,” Kim Phúc still carries the physical...

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Joe F. Campbell: From Trảng Bàng to Big Boy and the little moments in war that offer hope

Vietnam has been one of the central influences of my life, growing up in its aftermath. The war had a profound effect on my childhood. From when I first lived with family in Milwaukee, while my father served his tour there, to even now as an older adult. There seems to be no escape from its gravitational pull. Experiences continue to reconnect me with memories from years ago. Over the past few years I have reported on and photographed events that were attended by many Milwaukee veterans, particularly from the Vietnam War era. It has been a privilege to...

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