Bonnie North

Lake Effect Producer / Co-host

Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.

Bonnie spent over twenty years working as a director, technician and stage manager in professional, educational, and community theaters. She comes from a family of musicians and artists and grew up playing all kinds of music. But her interest in and love of the arts is not limited to performance. She enjoys other art expressions as well, including painting, sculpture, photography, textiles, and writing.

Bonnie's introduction to Public Broadcasting came at Vermont Public Radio (VPR) in 1992. She spent 7 years there in various positions, including hosting classical and jazz shows and as a production associate and operations manager.

Just prior to joining WUWM, Bonnie worked in the defense industry. She spent two years in the Balkans, first in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where she managed a group of linguists that provided Serbo-Croatian interpreting and translation services for the US and NATO stabilization forces. She then went to Kosovo to manage the overall linguist program for Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Bonnie holds a bachelors degree in English Literature/Drama Studies from Purchase College-State University of New York.

Ways to Connect

The world is awash in ways we can make a difference. But often we are our own worst enemies when it comes to making real change. We downplay our ideas as silly or impractical and if we do present them to others, they get shot down and we never bring them up again. Nilofer Merchant wants to change that. 

Bonnie North

Of all the ethnic festivals that take place in Milwaukee over the summer, one of the best for music is Irish Fest. The music runs the gamut from the most traditional of fiddle tunes to Celtic tinged rock, and many of the bands playing there see scores of fans on their feet, passionately singing and dancing along with the music.

Manoj.dayyala
Wikimedia

On Monday, part of the United States will experience a total solar eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun. Milwaukee won’t get totality, but we will still experience a partial eclipse. 

"In Milwaukee we're going to see a partial solar eclipse, 86%... most people, if they've seen a solar eclipse at all, it's likely to be partial," says Jean Creighton, Lake Effect astronomy contributor and director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium. 

There’s a lot of talk about the violence that affects urban America: drive-by shootings, carjackings, and other crime that continue to affect the fabric of this country. But very little of that violence has the sectarian underpinnings of the time known as “The Troubles,” which plagued the Northern Ireland city of Belfast for three decades starting in 1969.

Michelle Maternowski

The Lake Effect team headed to WE Energies Energy Park at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis as part of our summer series Full Plate, which has been showcasing agriculture in our region. 

Paul Ruffolo

About 10 years ago, actor and director Michael Coty founded Youngblood Theatre to give himself and his fellow UWM Theatre graduates a chance to do professional work and take creative risks.

Over the years, Cotey acted for other companies in town and continued to direct with Youngblood, before taking a break to go to grad school for directing - a move inspired by his experience directing theater outside of Milwaukee. 

Theo Wargo / Getty Images Entertainment

On Wednesday evening, the BMO Harris Pavilion on the Summerfest grounds will be home to the Celtic punk stylings of the Dropkick Murphys. For the past couple of decades, the Boston-based band has gained a worldwide following particularly for their live shows - which draw large and enthusiastic crowds.

J-P Masclet

Cellist Robert Cohen joins us every month to talk about the life of working classical musician for the segment: On That Note with Robert Cohen.

This month, Robert is preparing for a series of concerts and is revisiting a piece of music he hasn’t played in a long time. And as it turns out it's an interesting process.

"I'm playing a piece that I haven't played for at least 25 years...and it's really fascinating coming back to kind of re-learn a piece that I've barely even thought about for all of that time," says Cohen.

ugljesaras / Fotolia

Milwaukee Theater Critic Dave Begel is a longtime lover and reviewer of Wisconsin theater. When the season is in full swing, he will often seen four or five shows over a weekend. It's his job, but it's also his passion. 

"If you go once you're probably going to go the rest of your life, cause it's an unmatched experience. It's not the same as going to a movie or binge-watching on television," he says. 

Nick Pipitone

A new album from the Milwaukee-based Wooldridge Brothers is always something to look forward to. 

Bonnie North / WUWM

The Koch Marshall Trio did not stop by the Lake Effect studio to play around. The group, which consists of lead guitarist Greg Koch, his son and drummer Dylan Koch, and Toby Lee Marshall on the Hammond B3 organ, say they came to share their heavy grooves mixed with blues sensibility. 

elenabsl / Fotolia

Earlier this summer, the owners of a longtime staple on the Wisconsin produce scene announced they will shut their doors for good at the end of September.  Brennan’s Markets operated five stores around Wisconsin, including in Brookfield and Oconomowoc.

Wisconsin Women Cycling

As both the Tour de France and La Course wrapped up last weekend in Europe, the Wisconsin Women Cycling founder Cindy Petted was keeping her eye on preparations for a more local ride. On Saturday, July 29, the Wisconsin Women's Century ride will take place in Cedarburg, where riders will bicycle up to 100 miles and support charities in southeastern Wisconsin. 

Zach Pietrini / Facebook

As evidenced by their performance on Summerfest's Emerging Artists stage, The Zach Pietrini Band says that the recognition of their brand of folk music is growing. The Milwaukee-based group describes its style as "Salt-of-the-Earth-Americana," and their songs speak to the lived experiences of Midwesterners.

Dave Parker / Flickr

Entering a grocery store, buyers are often bombarded with seemingly all-important yet ill-defined terms; words like “organic”, “sustainable”, or – perhaps the most pernicious culprit – “natural.”

But what do these terms actually mean? And how can consumers know if the foods they’re buying - usually at a premium - were grown or raised in an organic environment?

The US Department of Agriculture, or USDA, is tasked with setting minimum organic standards that farms of all sizes must meet, and then ensuring compliance with those standards.

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