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Author: Dominic Inouye

The Kids are (All) Right: Let Me Count the Ways

Remember Kid President? Eight-year-old YouTube sensation Robby Novak and his spunky speeches that urged us to “treat everybody like it’s their birthday? For four years, his witty motivations used what often sounded like cute middle-school-poster platitudes to give Americans a kid-sized dose of President Obama’s audacious hope: “Don’t be mean, be meaningful.” “If you can’t think of anything nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough.” “Life is tough, but so are you.” “Give people high fives just for getting out of bed. Being a person is hard sometimes.” “If it doesn’t make the world better, don’t do it.”...

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Windows On Milwaukee: Reflection on Writing in 2019

We’ve all done it. Walking at night and catching ourselves peeking into strangers’ homes from the sidewalk. For me, it’s when I’m walking my dog through the neighborhood. The corner of a painting might catch my eye – or a wall of family photos. I might find myself admiring a window dressing, an interesting light fixture or a furniture piece. Sometimes I wonder why all the lights in a particular house always seem to be on or off. I see that the football game that is on in my house is also on in theirs. The other night, I...

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Dominic Inouye: Milwaukee community pours love into Coffee Makes You Black

It used to be a bank, an insurance company, and a drug rehabilitation center. But for the past eighteen years, it has been a beloved community hub serving up coffee, culture, and chicken and waffles. But when road reconstruction began on Teutonia Avenue in May, it became harder for Coffee Makes You Black – and surrounding businesses – to serve its customers, who for many months have had to decide whether to park farther away and navigate the torn-up streets and sidewalks or find sustenance elsewhere. In fact, to date, four daycares and a candy shop have had to...

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The hit broadway play Hamilton opens in Milwaukee with a message for modern revolutionaries

When Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette proclaimed “Immigrants, we get the job done,” the Milwaukee audience at “Hamilton: An American Musical” couldn’t wait for the end of the song to applaud and holler their affirmation. The song, “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down),” celebrates the rebellion’s defeat of the British troops, the end to tyranny, and the beginning of a new nation. And during a time when immigrants are being locked in detention centers by the thousands while the president continues to glibly announce his border wall plans, including a “beautiful wall” in Colorado, a simple line...

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Dominic Inouye: On the art of community at Walnut Way’s Harvest Day

I certainly have had my share of summer festivals focused on music, art, and beer. The mid-September Harvest Day at Fondy Park and Market, however, stole the show – and there wasn’t even any beer. Who needs beer when you have bumpy bitter melon and berry-like bitter eggplants, dahlias the size of a cantaloupe, poetry, dancing, and fearless black boys flying through the air in Lindsay Heights? My euphoric smile felt like the same one I sported when I unofficially rode a set of laps during this summer’s Riverwest 24. Something about both of these experiences prompted unexpected joy...

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The Power of Street Art: Conversations with the New Tosa Muralists

If you’ve driven or walked on North Avenue recently, in the East Towne corridor of Wauwatosa, you’ve surely encountered a satiated racoon and a glaring tiger, a pinball spiral and fluid figures, a hummingbird mandala and swimming goldfish, a cloaked woman emerging from a verdant forest. Seven artists – local, national, and international – spent two weeks in July bringing new life to the already up-and-coming stretch between 65th and 71st Streets, which is now more than a destination for food, yoga, and flowers – but also for beautiful art. As one of the jurors who helped choose the...

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