Page 1






Summerfest 9.25 x 1.375

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 3

NEWS 06 What to Look Forward to in Milwaukee's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure 10 The Biggest, Most Dangerous Divide in Politics — Taking Liberties 12 The Dangerous World of Senator Ron Johnson — Issue of the Month 14 Lisa Jones Builds Grassroot Power through Community Connections — Hero of the Month 15 This Modern World


16 CBS 58 Anchor Amanda Porterfield — Off the Cuff



20 Urban Glamor Meets Local Ingredients at Downtown's ARIA 22 Lettuce, Before and After Solstice — Flash in the Pan


42 Summerfest Preview 51 Fall Drinks Guide SPONSORED BY 51 Milwaukee Oktoberfest Guide 52 For the True Nature of Wine, Try Natural Wine 54 Bars With a View 56 You Can Grow & Support your Family SPONSORED BY


MANAGING EDITOR: David Luhrssen (ext. 3804) BUSINESS MANAGER: Peggy Debnam (ext. 3832) EVENT OPERATIONS COORDINATOR: Casey Trotter (ext. 3816) EVENT SALES COORDINATOR: Carrie Fisher (ext. 3823) ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Bridgette Ard (ext. 3811) Tyler Klein (ext. 3815) SALES MANAGER: Jackie Butzler (ext. 3814) BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: Chuck Hill (ext. 3822) IN MEMORY OF DUSTI FERGUSON (OCTOBER 18, 1971 – NOVEMBER 20, 2007) WEB EDITOR: Tyler Nelson (ext. 3810) WEB WRITER: Allen Halas (ext. 3803) STAFF WRITER & CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Blaine Schultz (ext. 3813)

58 The Milwaukee-to-Memphis Connection

LIFESTYLE 62 Answering the Question: 'Who Am I?' — Out of my Mind 64 Wisconsin Cannabis Expo Brings Together Movers and Shakers in State's Cannabis Industry — Cannabis 68 Art and Elegance Meet Warm and Welcoming in this Impressive Milwaukee Home — Domicile



70 Your Cheatin' Hearts — Dear Ruthie 72 Bisexual Awareness Week — My LGBTQ POV

ART FOR ART'S SAKE 74 From the City that Always Sweeps


GENERAL MANAGER: Kevin Gardner (ext. 3825)

CULTURE 60 This Month in Milwaukee


PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Louis Fortis (ext. 3802)

Distribution: Shepherd Express is available free of charge. The Shepherd Express may be distributed only by authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of the Shepherd Express, take more than one copy of each monthly issue. Mail subscriptions are available. No refunds for early cancellations. One year (12 issues) via First Class mail: $100.00

207 E. Buffalo St., Suite 410, Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: 414/276-2222 Fax: 414/276-3312 Advertising Inquiries: e-mail: URL:


Cover illustration by Sophie Yufa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 5


What to Look Forward to in Milwaukee’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure BY DANIEL GROSS


hen the Hop, Milwaukee’s electric trolley system, first opened in late 2018, it was a source of great excitement, fierce debate and reserved wonderment about things to come. The Hop was quickly incorporated into everyday life in Downtown Milwaukee and was largely viewed as the first great opening act in a series of revitalization efforts throughout the city. Unfortunately, construction delays, lockdowns, passenger limitations and general anxiety during the COVID-era have served to temper those expectations. Much of the talk about the future of Milwaukee has centered on a return to normalcy, rather than an anticipation of greater things. Greater things are in store for Milwaukee, however, and they are going to be electric. 6 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

HOP EXPANSION In addition to the current M-Line, which runs in a loop from Burns Commons on Ogden Avenue down to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station on St. Paul Avenue, construction on the long-awaited L-Line has finally commenced. Originally scheduled to enter full operation in 2020, delays relating to the construction of the Couture high rise have pushed that date to sometime in 2022. The new line will connect the existing loop of the M-Line to Lincoln Memorial Drive via East Michigan and East Clybourn streets, expanding the fleet of trollies in active service from two to five. Future proposed expansions will extend the Hop’s service range even further throughout the city. The first phase of the proposed plan will conduct riders north

along Fifth Street, terminating at the Fiserv Forum. The second phase will add 2.4 miles of track running from a northern terminal in Bronzeville to its southmost stop in Walker’s Point. While these projects currently remain in the proposal phase, the success of the M-Line, coupled with the momentum of the current construction of the L-Line may bring them into realization at a rate much quicker. These additions will not only improve foot traffic to Downtown businesses and attractions but will also serve to increase ease of travel in and out of the downtown area while decreasing road congestion and air pollution.

Photo by Michael Burmesch.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 7


MILWAUKEE’S NOVA BUS FLEET Coming in the summer of 2022, Milwaukee commuters may find their ride significantly quieter, cleaner and quicker, thanks to the Milwaukee County Transit System’s (MCTS) upcoming acquisition of 15 all-electric city buses. The contract to produce these buses was awarded to Nova Bus, an alternative energy bus manufacturer that is part of the Volvo Group, marking the company’s first sale of its new LFSe+ model in the United States. On a single charge, the battery-powered Nova Bus can travel up to 247 miles, with a total charging time of only 3.25 hours. Those numbers can be improved even further through the use of an on-route charging station, where the buses can dock for a period of six minutes while remaining in service. Passengers on the new Nova Bus fleet will have access to USB charging ports for electronic devices, offboard fare collection, bike racks and state-of-the-art securement systems for individuals with disabilities.


For people who spend a significant part of their day commuting by bus, Milwaukee’s investment in this infrastructure can have a measurable improvement in day-to-day quality of life. Since the Nova Bus fleet is completely battery powered, allowing them to run nearly silently while emitting zero exhaust fumes, Milwaukee residents living on or near a bus line will undoubtedly be grateful for the upgrade as well.

THE EAST-WEST BUS RAPID TRANSIT PROJECT Of the 15 buses purchased from Nova Bus, MCTS has allocated four to operate on existing routes, and 11 to serve on the upcoming East-West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line. Already under construction, the BRT project is designed to alleviate congestion and decrease transit times along some of the city’s most traveled corridors. The nine-mile transit line will deliver passengers to 33 location-optimized stations between the city’s lakefront and the Watertown Plank Road Park and Ride via Bluemound Road, Wisconsin Avenue and sections of 92nd St. Along the route,

dedicated bus lanes will help to reduce travel times between stops for passengers as well as keeping bus traffic from slowing down other motorists. To further speed things along, the Nova Bus has the added benefit of traffic light priority throughout the city, meaning less stopping time for cross traffic. Scheduled for completion in September 2022, the BRT project is a much-needed overhaul to some of the most essential east-west passageways in the city. Many of Milwaukee’s existing roadways were not intended to accommodate the sheer volume of traffic they are tasked with each day. This modernization, while adding new infrastructure, may serve to reduce wear on other existing roads and bridges throughout the city.

BRINGING THE CITY TOGETHER Between the Hop Expansion, MCTS’s incoming fleet of new buses and the vast expansion of the BRT project, electric vehicles are changing the Milwaukee landscape, both literally and figuratively.

Beyond the already impressive efficiencies and environmental improvements afforded by the city’s expanding electric vehicle infrastructure, these changes can have a far-reaching human impact as well. Milwaukee is rapidly becoming a much more commuter friendly city, which means its residents and visitors can enjoy greater mobility as a whole. Upon completion of these projects, Milwaukee residents will be afforded improved access to jobs, city resources and services. Businesses can reach out to new customer bases. The city can become more integrated. Following what has felt like an interminable period of separation, isolation and hand-wringing uncertainty, it is reassuring to be able to look forward and see great things are, in fact, on their way.

Daniel Gross is a Milwaukee writer.

Photo by Michael Burmesch.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 9




espite what many people believe, the biggest divide in politics today isn’t between the left and the right. It’s the growing political divide between the honest and the dishonest. It’s an enormous chasm that’s getting bigger all the time. This is not the normal exaggeration and shading of facts we’ve come to expect from all politicians to put themselves in the best possible light. It’s an alternative reality in which politicians will publicly insist on the truth of clearly provable falsehoods. Up is down. War is peace. Without any shared set of facts, Democrats can no longer believe anything Republicans say. It didn’t start with Donald Trump, but in his four years as president he lied like he breathed. The final tally by Washington Post fact checkers was 30,573 documented lies, a stunning world record unlikely ever to be surpassed.

CREATIVE ABSURDITY? Instead, swarms of Republican Mini-Mes ever since seem to be going for Most Creative Absurdity. Wisconsin Sen, Ron Johnson is a strong contender for pretending the hundreds of insurrectionists breaking into the Capitol were peaceful patriots petitioning their government for change. The violent mob was responsible for the deaths of five police officers, one murdered and four by suicide, and injuring 140 other officers, many brutally beaten with flagpoles, metal pipes, baseball bats and hockey sticks. 10 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also deserve special recognition for promoting election perversion laws in their states that would allow Republican legislators to throw out millions of legally cast votes if they don’t like the results as “election integrity laws.” It is simply amazing what well-educated, articulate, elected Republicans are willing to say right out loud in public. Many of us watching are either highly amused or infuriated. Those people are surely intelligent enough to know what they’re saying is ridiculous, right?


Unfortunately, at this moment in our history, the consequences can turn life-threatening very quickly. As Republican mothers should have told their children, it’s all fun and games until somebody puts an eye out or dies from COVID. With WITH THE HIGHLY the highly infectious delta variant spreading INFECTIOUS DELTA like climate-change-stoked wildfires through VARIANT SPREADING unvaccinated communities, lying Republican governors are becoming a national menace. LIKE CLIMATE-


The two most dangerous governors in America right now are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Abbott in Texas. Their states quickly shot to top of the list of the most life-threatening places in the nation accounting for more than a third of all new coronavirus infections in a frightening surge of the pandemic.

Illustration by AndSim/Getty Images.

Both governors have gone beyond their reckless political rhetoric that Floridians and Texans should be free from government mandates requiring life-saving vaccines and the wearing of masks to stop the rapidly spreading disease by cruelly issuing executive orders and passing laws banning local communities and school districts from protecting their own vulnerable citizens and school children. Republicans have never been very credible proponents of the constitutional freedoms they’re eager to deny racial and religious minorities and anyone other than themselves. They’re even less credible now after defending Trump’s supporters for participating in the most violent attack on democracy in modern history.

WHOSE FREEDOM? You know rightwing Republicans are lying to you when they argue that deciding whether to be vaccinated to protect public health should be a matter of personal choice. It’s your body and your choice and nobody else’s business. Choice is not a concept Republicans have ever recognized in their half century battle to deny women their constitutional right to make their own decisions about their bodies and health care regarding abortion. DeSantis and Abbott don’t appear to understand the concept of freedom either. They have absolutely no qualms about denying the freedom of parents to send their children to safe schools where vaccines and masks are required for eligible children, teachers and staff. Children under 12 are defenseless in a resurgent pandemic because they’re too young to receive life-protecting vaccines. Republicans are intentionally trying to politically sabotage President Biden’s effort to protect the nation from a deadly new variant of coronavirus by discouraging vaccinations and protective measures. As a result, they now own all the totally unnecessary deaths and serious illnesses once again filling hospital systems to capacity and beyond. It didn’t have to be this way. Freely available vaccines that are overwhelmingly effective in preventing serious illness and death under even the new, more virulent variant of COVID were developed during Trump’s presidency. Trump and his Trumpian Republicans could just as easily have publicly promoted the vaccinations he’s always claimed credit for even though he never got around to creating an effective national distribution system for them. Republicans just can’t seem to bring themselves to do anything that would help Biden successfully protect American lives and possibly finally bring an end to the deadly pandemic Trump was never able to control. The Trump effect on the Republican Party continues. They care only about themselves.

Joel McNally was a critic and columnist for the Milwaukee Journal for 27 years. He has written the weekly Taking Liberties column for the Shepherd Express since 1996. SEPTEMBER 2021 | 11


The Dangerous World of

Senator Ron Johnson BY PAUL MASTERSON


lastics”, a word of advice given to Benjamin Braddock, the character played by Dustin Hoffman in the classic 1967 film The Graduate. A decade later, Ronald Harold Johnson, with no experience, took that advice and married into the artificial world of plastics and polyester. With a simple “I do” he became a very rich man. In 2010, with no political experience, he was elected to the U.S. Senate representing Wisconsin. Encouraged to run by the Madison Tea Party-linked Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and riding on Koch brothers’ money as well as $9 million of his own, he ran on classic Republican credentials: opposing reproductive rights, denying climate science and against raising the minimum wage. He defeated incumbent Democratic Senator Russ Feingold. Having established himself as a model senator for the right, he won reelection


in 2016, again against Russ Feingold, and again with millions of dollars of AFP and Koch financial support. Added to his pitch for reelection were his attacks on Obamacare and his support for blocking then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

RON’S MISSION TO MOSCOW Now a dutiful acolyte of Koch brothers’ interests, his ascent to power would be bolstered by the Republican presidential victory in 2016. While his bill sponsorships such as the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act and Stop Illegal Reentry Act among many others would be nothing out of the ordinary for a servant of the right, his special moment came when he joined seven other Republicans on a junket to Moscow in early July 2018. On the Fourth, our nation’s highest holiday, delegation members would dine as guests of our world adversary.

Ostensibly, the purpose of this Kremlin pilgrimage was to raise a spectrum of foreign policy matters, including election meddling, with the Russian leadership. Denied an audience with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Republican supplicants were only allowed to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The delegation’s pre-departure tough talk melted into a meek conciliatory tone upon its return with Johnson claiming Russian election meddling was not a threat to our democracy and “blown way out of proportion.” But no wonder, less than a fortnight later, at the Helsinki summit, President Trump would disgrace and humiliate the nation in a kowtow to Vladimir Putin and, before the world press, absolve him of any guilt of election interference. "President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be," Trump replied when asked.

Illustration by Shepherd Express staff.

WHAT PANDEMIC? Then, beginning early in 2019 and continuing to today, events would give Johnson even more opportunities to exercise his uncanny sense of irony, giving him ample moments to contradict logic, science and sanity to his heart’s and party’s content.

workers for a day off (better than admitting his constituents wouldn’t stomach a holiday celebrating Black emancipation), he didn’t object this year. When he mustered the gall to show up in Milwaukee for the Juneteenth Holiday, he was heckled and booed.

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed Johnson to again play Russian roulette, but with the gun to the heads of his constituents. He aped the administrations skepticism of the threat of the pandemic itself, and later, of the measures taken to control it. He then embraced the ineffective and debunked treatment, hydroxychloroquine. A year later, despite over 600,000 deaths due to COVID, along with validating vaccine hesitancy, he still does. This shouldn’t be a surprise. As Johnson said of the virus, “We have grossly overreacted to this.” Johnson has stated that he won’t get vaccinated.


Then, there’s the Republican stolen election Big Lie and its orchestrated attempt to violently overthrow the American democracy on January 6. Johnson has endorsed the former and dismissed the insurrection, despite well over 550 arrests of Trump’s terrorists participating in it, countless hours of videos made by the attackers themselves, as a “peaceful protest.” He did admit, however, that had it been Black Lives Matter protesting, he would have felt threatened.

Besides, although Johnson has not yet stated his intentions to run for another term as senator, each of his outrageous remarks adds fodder for an upcoming campaign. The very deliberate strategy is to undermine public confidence in democratic government, whether it be voting rights, climate science or public health. His campaign can now call up a quote on any of those myriad issues to prove his fealty to Trumpism. Should he lose, he can play the stolen election card. Setting up the likelihood that any Republican who legitimately loses an election in 2022 will shamelessly contest it, is all part of the election fraud Big Lie. Meanwhile, by making democratic systems dysfunctional, Republicans will argue for the privatization of everything from basic services to the security or even the armed forces.

Meanwhile, on an unrelated but related note, with Republican near-singular reliance on the white male vote, it was no surprise when Johnson recently made a clarion call to that base “to take back our culture.” Ironically, after having objected to a Juneteenth federal holiday a year ago because he didn’t want to pay federal

The litany of such Johnson affronts goes on and on and on. Ultimately, one asks why he can’t act on behalf of the good of the country rather than politicize absolutely everything from public health to the health of our democracy. Nowadays, we tend to politicize any issue, especially artificially created ones like election fraud. So, it should be of no surprise when, what would otherwise be considered deranged imbecilic ranting, becomes the stuff of political discourse. After all, there’s a fundraising opportunity in every act of political theater.

Ironically, the so-called party of Lincoln willfully ignores its namesake’s most important quote, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” It seems Ron Johnson’s role in the greater GOP mission, is to contribute to and exacerbate the division. Reminding us, once again of another quotation made infamous by our former Gov. Scott Walker, “divide and conquer."

Paul Masterson writes My LGBTQ POV for and has served on the board of Milwaukee Pride, GAMMA and other organizations.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 13


Lisa Jones Builds Grassroot Power through Community Connections BY ERIN BLOODGOOD


hen Jay Anderson was killed by a Wauwatosa police officer in 2016, it hit home for Lisa Jones, the Executive Director and Lead Organizer of Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH). At the time, she was living down the street from the park where Anderson was shot to death while sitting in his car. “It just disturbed me that I would be driving past this park,” she said. “One day I actually pulled into a parking spot, and I thought, ‘could this be the spot?’” Jones now leads MICAH, a Milwaukee-based organization of multiracial and interfaith organizations that fight for justice issues such as criminal justice reform, fair housing, education, health care, and more. But until 2016, Jones was not involved in social or racial justice movements, although she was acutely aware of the unjust systems in our country since a young age. Growing up as a Black girl in a predominantly white neighborhood in Bayside, Jones experienced racism first-hand. She remembers being called racial slurs more than once. As an adult, she closely follows news reports, like the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Dontre Hamilton who were


killed by the police—understanding that it is far more likely to see Black men and people of color fall victim to police violence. It wasn’t until Jay Anderson was killed in her own neighborhood that she felt she needed to get involved and change our oppressive systems in some way. She thought to herself, “Am I just going to sit by and cry because of the next person who is murdered by the police? More than likely, they are going to look like me.”

HARNESSING THE POWER OF FAITH Not knowing where to start, Jones began attending prayer vigils for the Anderson family and offering her support using her training in lay pastoral care. She then found her way to a Coalition for Justice meeting led by Markasa Tucker and Nate Hamilton. Since then, she hasn’t looked back. In April of 2019, Jones was officially hired onto MICAH as the Leader Organizer and Executive Director. Now a leader and role model to many in Milwaukee, she puts her heart and soul into harvesting the power of community connections to create a more livable and just city for people of all races and religious beliefs.

MICAH is unique in the wide array of religious organizations and congregations that make up its membership base and the multiracial crowds that show up at their events. “When you go to our events and see this religious diversity, it’s a picture in time,” says Jones. “This is beloved community. It’s a little pocket of us working together in unison on a common goal.” Through Jones’ leadership and its long legacy of social justice advocacy, MICAH has created real grassroot power by creating trust and building long-term relationships. They have shown that community-led movements can make a real impact on the lives of underrepresented citizens. Now in the midst of statewide discussions around fair housing, affordable healthcare and justice reform, they are thinking about how they can strengthen community influence and create systematic change on a larger scale. Learn more about MICAH’s work on their website at

Erin Bloodgood is a Milwaukee photographer and storyteller. See more of her work on her website,

Photo by Erin Bloodgood.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 15




hen I told Amanda Porterfield, CBS 58’s investigative journalist and news anchor, that I wanted to shoot her portrait, she suggested we take it in front of the elementary school she had once attended. On a sunny afternoon, we met at the Emanuel Philipp School on 16th Street a few blocks north of Capitol Drive. As with many old Milwaukee schools, this one, a red brick affair with sculptured relief symbols, was shuttered. But she seemed happy to be there. As we got acquainted, we were interrupted by a few older Black women wandering by, each curious. They recognized her from CBS 58 news and festooned her with compliments. I could tell she enjoyed being back in her old neighborhood and chatting with the ladies. This was where she grew up, and she made an effort to get caught up on the gossip. 16 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Photo by Tom Jenz.

Tell me about your background and how you grew into the broadcast business. I come from a family of Black writers, journalists, artists and trailblazers. I’m very proud of that. My excitement about making a positive impact on various communities through an artistic lens starts with every person in my extended family and the influence they’ve had on me. My 10-year-old son Christian is the reason I do everything. My goal is to create a life where as a Black male in America he feels confident and knows he can accomplish anything. I grew up in both Milwaukee and Chicago and claim both as my hometowns. I went to school at Emanuel Philipp on 16th and Olive in Milwaukee. We lived in a house that was passed down to my grandmother from my great grandmother who bought that house with the money she was paid to clean houses for white families in Milwaukee. My mom worked nights as a radio DJ, and my grandmother helped raise me. I went to high school in Chicago where I lived with my dad who is an artist and entrepreneur and then I attended Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. I interned with my grandfather Harry Porterfield at WLS ABC 7 in Chicago during college, and that’s where I decided I was going to be a journalist. I have to say that beside my son, my grandmother Marianita Porterfield is my biggest inspiration. She grew up in the segregated South, is a fiber artist and art teacher and a three-time breast cancer survivor. Her work was just on display at Five Points Art Gallery in Milwaukee. She is without a doubt the strongest woman I know.

Let’s talk about racism, diversity, social justice and lack of inclusion for people of color in Milwaukee. You are in the public eye and have a following. Do you have ideas on how to help overcome racism and prejudice? I am a single mom raising a Black son in a great city that I love and also has a lot to offer. It has also been labeled as one of the most segregated cities in America. That’s tough. I believe I might be the only journalist in Milwaukee County with that perspective. Racism and prejudice is something that I think about every day because I’m not immune to it by any means. Like so many other mothers raising Black sons, I have tried to be thoughtful about my son’s interactions, school choices, neighborhood choices, and friends because our experience is different. I absolutely believe there is progress happening in Milwaukee County, throughout Wisconsin and across the country. But we have such a long way to go. As more people realize their privilege, step aside and take action to dismantle racism, we take a few steps closer. We have to recognize our failures as a country, state and city when it comes to people of color so we can move beyond symbolic victories and make real change institution by institution.

Background by aerogondo/Getty Images.

There is this controversial concept of systemic racism where the white power structure has control and where many whites are not even aware of their involvement in its perpetuation. Take a look around the next time you drive on the expressway headed to Downtown Milwaukee, the lakefront, the Third Ward. How many buildings in Downtown Milwaukee are owned and operated by Black people? How many companies and corporations in this city, or in America for that matter, that create household name products that you use every day are owned and operated by Black people? How many Black CEOs are on the Fortune 500 List in 2021? Only four. How many Black CEOs are in Milwaukee? There is a reason for that. It is systemic racism, prejudice, and lack of inclusion. It is a lack of equity created by hundreds of years of oppression and a system designed to keep it that way. While Black people were doing slave labor, white people were building hundreds of years of generational wealth, companies and systems on the backs of those Black Americans. I firmly believe that acknowledging and then uprooting the systemic racism in this country is at the core of the solution. Listen, to be clear, there have been advancements made when it comes to putting people of color in influential positions in Milwaukee County and Wisconsin. We have a Black/ African American sheriff, police chief, county executive, common council president, Black female county supervisor, a Black/ African American lieutenant governor. I’m proud of that incremental change. However, being a Black person in any leadership role is a unique challenge. In my opinion, to make more progress we need more people of color to be part of the system. In addition, when people of color get into those systems they need to be set up for success and be allowed to voice their opinions without facing consequences.

You are a founding member of Milwaukee Crime Stoppers and now a board member. You’ve done many stories about crimes in Milwaukee. Crimes this year are up over last year, and last year was a bad year. Why is this happening? For that answer I always want to defer to the professionals in charge who live and breathe this issue. Recently, city leaders have indicated that the violence in 2020 and 2021 is a direct result of these things: more guns being accessible, the catch all resources that were lost or disrupted due to the pandemic, generations of systemic racism, food deserts, petty arguments that stem from social media, schools being closed, a lack of basic resources, drug/alcohol addiction, domestic abuse, and untreated mental health issues compounded by all of those things. The number of people being killed or injured because of gun violence, domestic abuse or any other crime is painful and truly hard to watch. I think about it every single day and it weighs heavily on me. That’s one of the reasons I helped to create Milwaukee Crime Stoppers. The goal of the program is not to get people to snitch—because that’s ridiculous when we are talking about real lives. It’s important for people to have an opportunity to take back their neighborhoods. With Crime Stoppers they do that by

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 17


holding those disrupting their community accountable without risking their own lives or safety to get involved. That also creates a domino effect because if people know that those around them are now not afraid to call in to report what they see, it deters crime on the front end.

Here is a complaint I hear from inner city Black residents, zip codes 53205 and 53206. They live with an overabundance of crimes: shootings, killings, assault, domestic violence, rape and reckless driving. They feel the print and TV news does not do justice to Black on Black crimes. The victims just become numbers. Do you agree? In the last five years in Milwaukee, the media coverage for Black crime and violence victims, along with suspects has improved for this television news market. Personally, I have gone out of my way to make sure we get official interviews from leaders or experts of color when we can, so that Black people aren’t always portrayed as the criminals and non-Black groups as the experts. I try to make sure that we don’t air general suspect descriptions like “Black male wearing a hoodie weighing about 160 LBS.” That reinforces stereotypes and profiles thousands of people in one sentence. However, eliminating these biases has to be intentional and supported by newsroom leaders. At CBS 58, we have a Black news director, with a great understanding of the business, and that helps. Diversifying systems and putting all ethnicities and gender of people in leadership positions is key in order to create change. As far as victims being numbers, I've never thought that way. You can't do this job well if you have that viewpoint. When I was reporting every day, the stories I would cover are the reason I worked with MPD, Alderwoman Lewis and others to bring Milwaukee Crime Stoppers to the city. One moment that impacted me was when I spoke to a mother whose teenage sons were shot to death by their friend in her own home on a Sunday morning over a video game. Hearing her tell me how she ran from the kitchen to the living room trying to save them until paramedics arrived gave me nightmares.

to influence. It took a risk to go slightly beyond my role of a journalist, seeing a problem and working with others to do something about it.

Do you ever think about the impact your family has had on you and how you might have an impact on young Black women who are exploring career choices? I would encourage young people to learn about their family history, have a mentor and do something they love. I had a college professor at Saint Mary’s who I was close to who really supported and encouraged me to know my history. I learned more about my grandfather Harry Porterfield who was a news anchor, and during his career was replaced by a white anchor which started a boycott of the CBS affiliate in Chicago over racial discrimination. My other grandfather, Jackie Shropshire, was one of six pioneers who battled segregation and racial discrimination in order to be one of the first six men to graduate from the University of Arkansas Law School. He was separated from the other white students in the class with a railing. He became a city attorney. My uncle Tom Shropshire was the first Black Vice President of Miller Brewing Company here in Milwaukee and designed Miller Genuine Draft. My great grandmother Mary Ellen Strong and my uncle Jerrel Jones started the Milwaukee Courier and WNOV radio along with a host of other businesses that improved the lives of Black people in Wisconsin. They all were Black pioneers. Knowing where I come from has further motivated me to create my own legacy. In some way, I want to make an impact and blaze those kinds of trails for the culture. I hope to inspire other young women and girls to do the same thing in their own communities.

Tom Jenz is the photographer and writer of Central City Stories on

Another moment was when I saw a little girl who was about to turn 10 in a casket because she was shielding her cousins from gunfire outside her house. Those cases and stories literally haunted me. Therefore, when I am reporting that kind of crime, my only goal is to honor the victim by telling as much of their story as possible fairly and accurately which in some cases helps those they’ve left behind.

You were named one of Wisconsin’s Most Influential Black Leaders by Madison365. You have an audience, a fan base. How do you see your role as a local influencer? Well, thank you for saying I am an influencer. I do know that part of making a difference in people’s lives and influencing them is taking action on behalf of something that's important to you. For me, finding positive stories as previously mentioned and putting an educational social change spin on them is important. Helping to create Milwaukee Crime Stoppers is where I've also been able 18 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Background by aerogondo/Getty Images.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 19


Urban Glamor

Meets Local Ingredients at Downtown’s ARIA BY ALISA MALAVENDA


RIA, a restaurant on the second floor of St Kate—The Art Hotel is a place to meet friends, unwind or have a celebration while enjoying the urban vibes of art and culture. The dining room is sleek and modern, yet relaxed and comfortable. The warm wood and lighting, eye catching art on the walls and the cookbooks that line the shelves give you the feel of relaxing in your favorite comfortable chair while the aroma of dinner is on the stove—but turn your head and look out the window and you get that night on the town glam. The menu has deep European roots combined with local ingredients and classic preparations that are as inspiring as the art that hang on the walls. ARIA’s artisanal American cuisine has a lovely assortment of vegetarian and gluten free options, salads and the chef’s first childhood recipe, Verne’s Chicken & Dumplings ($7). The baked goat cheese ($13) with tomato jam and grilled bread is tangy, yet sweet with warm creaminess


from the cheese and crunch from the bread. The mussels ($17) with a tomato and white wine broth and hint of fennel is enough for an entrée with the grilled bread slathered with an aioli. The iceberg slab ($13) has a root beer braised bacon and Hook’s blue cheese, sprinkled with fried garlic or the beet and burrata ($14) with earthy, cubed beets, burrata and arugula dressed with a lemon oil and sprinkled with almond. Both salads are riffs on notable classics and highly recommended.

ENTREES THAT SHINE The entrees are where ARIA really shines; the variety of ingredients, preparation and plating all done thoughtfully and simply, but with elegance and refinement. These entrees needed no gimmick, just good solid food with classic preparations. The grilled heritage reserve flat iron steak ($37) is tender, beefy and served at the perfect temperature requested. It’s juxtaposed with a thyme infused potato pavé, their thin layers of compressed potatoes

are a wonderful accompaniment, although the thyme was almost too subtle, but not missed because of the herbaceous chimichurri on top of the steak. The ARIA Broast-ish Chicken ($26) had me singing like a soprano in a Verdi opera. It’s a generous entrée of breast, thigh and drum—herb brined, roasted and then flash fried for the crispiest exterior and a juicy, flavorful interior. It’s served with crispy potato wedges and blistered green beans. The salmon salsa verde is prepared exquisitely ($34) with charred oranges and pistachios over a bulgur wheat salad. The salsa verde is very interesting, including some clams that are not in the menu description. (I loved the depth and brininess it brought to the dish, but it crossed my mind that not listing it could cause a problem with someone with a seafood allergy).

WEEKENDS ARE A TREAT Sea bass with sunchokes and purple potato hash ($38) and even a classic Big Boy burger ($16) are also on the menu. The weekends are a real treat at ARIA with

Photos courtesy of Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel. Photos taken by Tia Brindel. Background by sensationaldesign/Getty Images.

a featured Long Bone short rib “pastrami style” on Friday and Saturday and a Pilsner battered Walleye fish fry ($27) on Friday night. We were so happy not to miss either of these stellar dishes on our second visit. To finish off the evening there are three desserts ($8) or you can get the flight of all three for ($22). The dark chocolate cremeux consists of velvety chocolate topped with maple fudge, a touch of sea salt and pistachio ice cream. The strawberry rhubarb tart is sweet and topped with Chantilly cream. Rounding out the dessert menu is the creative bacon and root beer pots de crème, root beer and bacon silky caramel topped with Amarena cherries and sugared almonds. ARIA is adjacent to the posh champagne bar called Giggly, whose libations can be ordered while dining at the restaurant including cocktails such as the Oak Aged

Manhattan, the champagne based Sparkling Cosmo or the Je Ne Sais Quoi made with a northern rye, Hennessey V.S.O.P., Antica, Benedictine and Four Corners bitters ($13-$16). Giggly’s wines are offered by the glass or bottle including Veuve Clicquot Brut and a nice selection of bottled beers including some local brews. The service at Aria (and Giggly) was outstanding on both visits and took our whole dining experience to exceptional.

ARIA 139 E. Kilbourn Ave. | (414) 270-4422 Open Tuesday through Saturday 5 p.m.-9 p.m. | $$$ Handicap Accessible: Yes

Alisa Malavenda is a professional chef, culinary instructor, caterer and cookbook author.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 21


Lełłuce, Before and Afłer Solstice BY ARI LEVAUX


n many parts of the country the fall gardening season has begun. It’s time to sow your cold-loving crops like lettuce, spinach, beets, broccoli, mustard, cabbage, collards, carrots, kale and radishes, which can live well into winter. So if you’re willing to cover your greens with blankets and even build cold frames around them, you can coax a four-season harvest out of most planting zones. For more details on four season farming, consult the books of Eliot Coleman, of Four Season Farm in Maine, who eats local salad all year long and has written several books, including Four Season Harvest. And if you think you want to give it a shot, by all means plant now and read later!

For newbie gardeners who may or may not want to try the winter gardening thing, a fall garden is a final shot at redemption. If your corn isn’t going to be knee high by the 4th of July, or your tomatoes will still be green when the frost hits, or if you haven’t even gotten around to digging up your garden, or you’re otherwise behind the ball, you might be ready to try again this fall. Starting now, I think I mentioned? For experienced gardeners, planting the fall garden is a second spring’s worth of work, with all of the excitement that goes with it. Yes, it’s another garden chore to add to the weeding, watering, and harvesting of summer. But this is also the beginning of a whole new, cold weather garden that could be babied long after the winter solstice, and into the lengthening days. It’s cause for celebration. The reason to wait until summer solstice has passed before planting winter greens is that the pre-solstice lengthening days can cause many leafy plants to bolt, which is something like when a human hits puberty. Changes happen. Irreversible changes, not all of them good. Changes in size, shape and flavor. The plant essentially becomes a long, central flowering stalk, and the leaves get pointy and develop extra-bitter flavor. Now that solstice has passed, you can sow your fall greens, either by direct seed or by planting little starts, without risk of them bolting.


Every seven years, the summer solstice falls on Father’s Day, and both days make me think of lettuce. Solstice, of course, because it divides the spring and fall seasons of lettuce, and Father’s Day because my dad used to make the most amazing lettuce salad. We would go into a meditative state as he prepared it, patting down each leaf with a paper towel. He’d store leftover washed leaves wrapped in paper towels too. He’d serve his salad in these beautiful wooden bowls. It was super garlicky and everybody loved it. It’s perfect as a salad and also quite handy as a condiment of sorts. If you happen to be chewing a glorious morsel of food, perhaps fatty, perhaps meaty, a bite of marinated onions, lettuce and tomato can, and usually does, add to the experience.

Photo by Ari LeVaux.

Background illustration by rraya/Getty Images.

Dad’s Salad

Photo by Ari LeVaux.

This is the salad I grew up eating, and the ultimate side salad. Serves 2-4, depending on one’s salad intake • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped • 1/2 a medium onion, minced • 1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed • 1 teaspoon salt • 2 tomatoes, sliced for salad • Olives and feta to taste • For the dressing • 1/4 cup cider vinegar • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar • 3/4 cup olive oil Toss the chopped lettuce, tomatoes and onions with the garlic and salt. Let sit for 20 minutes. Mix the dressing vigorously and dress, tossing as lightly as possible. Garnish with olives and feta.

Ari LeVaux has written about food for The Atlantic Online, Outside Online and Alternet.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 23


The Arts are C oming Back!



uring the past year and a half, performing arts groups and museums found creative ways to use new technology to reach their audiences. But useful as that technology can be, it cannot replace the core values of live performance and the appreciation of human creativity in a physical space.

This September, we’re happy to report that most museums are open to visitors and many performing arts groups are planning shows. The season for many companies will start later than usual, in October or even late fall or early winter, but before long there will be few dark weeks on the arts calendar.

For updates and ongoing coverage of the arts, visit and look for our Holiday Arts Guide in November.







Beautiful You Beautiful Me, September 25

2021 Homecoming Concert, October 17



David Luhrssen, Managing Editor

Betrayal, October 1-9 Performing Arts Series: Janus Adams, October 5 Fall Choral Concert, October 31 CEDARBURG CULTURAL CENTER



Dave Geisthardt, September 4

Jakob Dufner, September 11


Vince Condella, September 25 CABARET MILWAUKEE

Demetra Prochaska, October 2


Ricky Nelson Remembered


Starring Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, September 25

The Texas Tenors, October 8


Background and leaf illustrations by Sophie Yufa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 25






“Welcoming Week Story Slam” at Haggerty Museum of Art, September 14

“Mary L. Nohl Fellowships for Individual Artists,” through May 22, 2022


“Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Sea and Self,” through December 19 THE COMPANY OF STRANGERS THEATER

Things My Mother Taught Me, September 24-Ocober 3








DAVID BARNETT GALLERY DEAD MAN’S CARNIVAL EARLY MUSIC NOW “Back To Basics,” September 22 GREENDALE COMMUNITY THEATRE GROHMANN MUSEUM The Railroad and the Art of Place: Photographs by David Kahler,” September 10-December 19 Architect David Kahler, designer of Milwaukee Art Museum’s 1975 addition as well as the Haggerty Museum of Art, is also an accomplished photographer and noted railfan. His black and white photographs illustrate the ebb and flow of communities dependent on railroad traffic amidst the decline of a once powerful industry. “Historically, the railroad and industry go hand in hand—and given our tradition of showcasing the art of industry at the Grohmann, we regularly feature the images of railroading as a part of our program,” says museum director James Kieselburg. (David Luhrssen) 11th Annual Lost Arts Festival, October 9 GROVE GALLERY


Photo courtesy of the Harley Davidson Museum.

“Passion, Faith, and Fate,” October 23 FIRST STAGE

Fight or Flight, October 30-November 7 This is Christal Wagner’s first concert and first season as the new artistic director of Danceworks Performance MKE. No wonder she’s a little nervous, but her decision to create a show about the workings of the human nervous system has much more to do with what we’ve all been through since covid hit. She’s been studying the science behind anxiety and nerve-induced exhaustion. It’s the subject of this concert. She hopes it helps to heal her dancers and the watching audience. The whole outstanding crew of choreographers and dancers assembled before the pandemic by Wagner’s predecessor Dani Kuepper will perform. (John Schneider)


Fall Pajama Jamboree, September 22 October 8-10

“Double Vision: Art from Jesuit University Collections,” through December 19

“Off-Road Harley-Davidson,” p continuing During Harley-Davidson’s first 65 years, couldn’t most of the Milwaukee company’s motorcycles be called “off-road bikes”? “That’s exactly right and that’s the point of the exhibit,” says David Kreidler, exhibition curator at the Harley-Davidson Museum. In the early days, one of Harley’s selling points was enabling riders to travel into places where automobiles couldn’t go—into woods for camping and fishing and across rugged landscapes more suitable for horses than rickety four-wheeled cars. They were built with a Germanic pride of mechanical craft coupled with the latest developments in engineering. “They needed to handle all different kinds of road conditions,” Kreidler says. (David Luhrssen) Building a Milwaukee Icon: HD’s Juneau Ave. Factory, continuing Tsunami Motorcycle Display, continuing H. F. JOHNSON GALLERY OF ART “Natural History,” September 8-October 15 “Declassified,” October 27-December 5 Background by Sophie Yufa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 27




Hyperlocal MKE #25: Gathering as Experience at Milwaukee Art Museum lakeside, September 4 The performers agree to a verbal prompt, something broadly evocative, suggestive of action and open to interpretation. They keep it in mind, to whatever degree, for inspiration as they improvise the entire performance, creating it on the spot. The prompt is the show’s title; in this case, “gathering as experience.” The seasoned musicians and choreographer/dancers also respond imaginatively to their particular environment—in this case, the lawn between the Milwaukee Art Museum’s backside and the lake. They respond to their impulses, urges and lifetimes in artmaking. Listening, watching, sensing, they respond to and inspire one another. Each moment is hyper-alive. (John Schneider)

“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime: Jewish artists of the WPA,” u through September 5 The exhibition focuses on federally funded art from the Great Depression produced for the WPA agency. Assembled are some 70 works by 41 artists including paintings, lithographs, prints and sculpture. Wisconsin’s Aaron Bohrod and Alfred Sessler are among the artists represented. Most WPA art reflected the prominent visual movement of the day, social realism, whose proponents sought to accurately depict immediate reality through compositions in simplified lines suggesting motion and strength. (David Luhrssen)


“Detours and Side Roads: A Tribute to Ruth DeYoung Kohler II,” through September 5


Greendale: A New Deal Greenbelt Town, September 5 JOHN MICHAEL KOHLER ARTS CENTER

The Claudettes, September 9 “Communities in Conversation: Cultural Asset Mapping in Sheboygan,” through September 26 The Belle Weather, September 30 “Barnard Langlais: Live and Let Live,” through October 3 “Annabeth Marks: Extender,” through January 9, 2022 “Jennifer Levonian: Cinnamon, Thunderstorm,” through January 23, 2022 “Allison Wade: The Good Parts,” through February 6

Don Linke Trialogue, September 3 p Led by guitarist-vocalist Don Linke, the trio includes bassist Todd Richardson and features Victor Campbell, one of Milwaukee’s most experienced drummers. He’s performed with many local and national musicians, including Manty Ellis, Berkeley Fudge, Melvin Rhyne, Carlos Santana, Brian Lynch, Delfeayo Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, and classic R&B groups The Drifters, The Platters, and The Coasters. He is also one of Milwaukee’s notable musicians who received funding from the Jazz Foundation of America during the pandemic. (Kevin Lynch) 28 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Above: A Nickel a Shine by Isaac Soyer. Lithograph, 1937. Image courtesy of Jewish Museum Milwaukee.

“High Touch,” through March 13

LATINO ARTS, INC. “Mauricio Ramirez: Poly Wave Seeds of Color & Shape,” September 2-October 1 “Day of the Dead Ofrendas,” October 15-November 12 Day of the Dead Concert: Las Cafeteras, October 29 LILY PAD GALLERY WEST “Patterson and Patterson,” through September 26 LYNDEN SCULPTURE GARDEN “Daniel Minter: Root Work,” through September 26

“On Loan: Objects from Barbara Rossi’s Home Collection and Selected Works,” ongoing KACM THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS KETTLE MORAINE SYMPHONY KO-THI DANCE COMPANY

Background by Sophie Yufa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 29


Above: John Singer Sargent, Ilex Wood, Majorca, 1908. Oil on canvas, 22 1/2 × 28 in. (57 × 71 cm). © Carmen Thyssen- Bornemisza Collection on loan at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

MARCUS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER De La Buena, September 2 (Peck Pavilion) DLC Dance, September 9 (Peck Pavilion) Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, September 16 (Peck Pavilion)



t “Americans in Spain: Painting and

Stew, October 22-November 7

Travel, 1820-1920,” through October 3 The exhibit features over 100 individual works–paintings, photographs and prints– drawn from institutions as renowned as the Prado and the Musée d’Orsay, as well as dozens of other lenders from around the world. There’s even a recently discovered portrait by Mary Cassatt from a private collection in Spain. Co-curators Brandon Ruud and Corey Piper avoid an airtight categorical articulation of this sprawling subject, choosing to break up the story into a number of sub-sections that highlight its most compelling and colorful individual chapters. (Shane McAdams) Music and Dance: Hyperlocal MKE Jam Open Rehearsal, September 2 Virtual In Conversation: “Travel in Spain with Rudy Maxa and Brandon Ruud,” September 9

Dianne Reeves, Chucho Valdés & Joe Lovano, October 2 (MPAC Presents)

Virtual In Conversation: “Spanish Art and

Hamilton, October 13-14 (Broadway Series) Lin-Manuel Miranda’s audacious reimagining of the American Revolution and its aftermath is a multi-ethnic spectacle of music and dance. In this musical theater production, no one stands still for long— there is a revolution to win and a country to define once the battle is won. Yes, there is a love story. But the main thrust of Hamilton is on the body politic. The struggle against the British and over the authoring of the Constitution is neatly summarized. Rapping on “The Federalist Papers” and the need for a national bank? Miranda shows how those arguments continue to resonate today. (David Luhrssen)

Story Time in the Galleries: “At Home,” October 2


American Portraiture,” September 30

“The Quilts of Pauline Parker,” through December 5 “American Memory: Commemoration, Nostalgia, and Revision,” through January 16 “First Impressions: Early Printed Books in Europe,” through December 12 MILWAUKEE BALLET Connect, October 28-31 “It’s called Connect because we’re reconnecting with everybody, we’re doing what we do best, and we’re reconnecting with our space at the Marcus PAC which has just been renovated. That’s a big thing,” says artistic director Michael Pink. Another big thing is the program: contrasting world premieres by two exciting choreographers, the American Darrell Grand Moultrie and the Australian Danielle Rowe, and the revival of Purple Fools, a wildly creative and hilarious work made for Milwaukee Ballet by the Italian Mauro de Candia in 2012, that Pink has wanted to bring back ever since. (John Schneider)

MILWAUKEE CHILDREN'S CHOIR MILWAUKEE COMEDY Todd Barry at Shank Hall, October 22 MILWAUKEE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP /MilwaukeeEntertainmentGroup/ MILWAUKEE FESTIVAL BRASS Free Summer Park Series Concerts, September 1 & 15 MILWAUKEE INSTITUTE OF ART & DESIGN “Mary L.Nohl Suitcase Exhibition,” through September 25 MILWAUKEE MAKERS MARKET Discovery World, September 26 Ivy House, October 31 MILWAUKEE MUSAIK MILWAUKEE OPERA THEATRE


Background and leaf illustrations by Sophie Yufa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 31




“Carey Watters: Tiny Cuts,” through September 12

Photo MKE, early September

“Claiming Space: A New Century of Visionary Women,” through October 3

MILWAUKEE REPERTORY THEATER Dad’s Season Tickets, October 29-January 2, 2022 Fall in Wisconsin can only mean one thing: the Green Bay Packers! And there’s nothing more coveted then season tickets to Lambeau Field. Dad’s Season Tickets is a new musical comedy that tells the story of the three Kosinski sisters as they each scheme to get ahold of their father’s treasured tix—up for inheritance. With book, music and lyrics by Matt Zembrowski, audiences who loved Guys On Ice and Lumberjacks in Love can revisit that wacky regional humor with songs like “When You Live in Green Bay” and “What Do You Do With Bye Week.” (Harry Cherkinian) MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Open House: Free Community Day of Music, September 26 “A Grand Opening,” October 1-3 “Grand Opening Gala, October 9 “Frank Almond Plays Bruch,” October 15-16 “Dance & Delight,” October 22-23 “Prohibition,” October 29-31 MILWAUKEE YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Jazz Combo Performance at Summerfest, September 2, 9, 16 & 17 Steel Pans Performance at Summerfest, September 11 MORNING STAR PRODUCTIONS Escape from the GULAG, September 25-26, October 30-31 32 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS


2021 Members’ Show, September 18-October 17

Whatever Happened to Karl Janko, through September 18

“Sixty Years of Wisconsin Glass: The Hyde Collection,” October 23-January 16, 2022

Naked Radio, through November 6

MOWA | DTN (SAINT KATE—THE ARTS HOTEL) “Anwar Floyd-Pruitt: Retina Records,” u through November 14 Sun Ra’s sci-fi big band may have been an early manifestation of Afrofuturism, but it has grown since then into a full-fledged movement embracing literature and visual art. Anwar Floyd-Pruitt’s Afrofuturist visual language evokes time travel through layered representations of overlapping realities in an “improvised alchemy of unassuming materials including found paper, spray paint and brass eyelets.” (David Luhrssen) NEXT ACT THEATRE Three Viewings, September 23-October 17 Jeffrey Hatcher’s Three Viewings interweaves three stories taking place in a Pittsburgh funeral parlor: there’s Emil, the mild-mannered undertaker who will go to great lengths to win the love of a woman who attends all his funerals; Mac, a drifter who steals jewelry off corpses and returns home to reclaim a family heirloom; and Virginia, a recent widow, left to pick up the pieces of her late husband’s shady business dealings. “David [Cecsarini, Producing Artistic Director] and I ran through a number of ideas before he suggested this one. I knew some other plays by Jeff Hatcher, though not this one, but when I read it, I liked it,” explains director Ed Morgan. “We both wanted something good for bringing people back into the theatre. So that meant something with some popular appeal, but yet really theatrical. I think the play, the space and the cast are an excellent combination, and I'm optimistic that people will come see it live.” (Harry Cherkinian)

Above: Anwar Floyd-Pruitt, Untitled, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

NORTH SHORE ACADEMY OF THE ARTS /northshoreacademyofthearts “Inclusion,” through Oct. 10 OCONOMOWOC ARTS CENTER OIL GALLERY MILWAUKEE OPTIMIST THEATRE A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Lovers’ Tale Bristol Renaissance Faire, September 4-6 OUTSKIRTS THEATRE Background and leaf illustrations by Sophie Yufa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 33






Wisconsin Prison Art Exhibition available online now

Br!nk New Play Festival, September 7-8 Romance in D, through September 19

PRESENT MUSIC “Untimely,” October 14-15 The focus of PM’s season opener is on the world premiere of a new commission by Latvian composer Krists Auznieks. Co-Artistic Director Eric Segnitz describes him as “young, brilliant with a special sound— high on the sensitivity meter, into coloristic things, fine textures.” Appropriately for an anniversary, the program’s music forms a meditation on the passing of time. (David Luhrssen) RACINE ART MUSEUM RAM Artist Fellowship and Emerging Artist Exhibition 2021,” September 1-November 27 “Collection Focus: Mara Superior,” through January 15 “Alien Invasion: (Un)Familiar Forms in Contemporary Art,” through January 22, 2022 “Alien Invasion: RAM Virtual Community Art Show,” through January 22, 2022 “Get a Bead On: Jewelry and Small Objects,” through January 22, 2022 “Component Parts: Artworks Made of Multiple Elements,” through February 12, 2022 “Playful/Pensive: Contemporary Artists and Contemporary Issues,” through July 9, 2022 RACINE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA


The Cake, October 22 – November 14 Playwright Bekah Brunstetter was inspired by the news story a few years back about a baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In this play, the baker, a God-fearing Christian woman, is asked to make a cake by her beloved goddaughter, who is marrying a woman. Director Susan Fete says, “What I love is that it shows what happens when people think really differently but love each other. It’s about the journey everyone in the story takes. They come out better at the end, I think. And there’ll be cake for everybody in the audience.” (John Schneider) SACRA NOVA CATHEDRALE Gloria, October 31 SCULPTURE MILWAUKEE SAINT KATE—THE ARTS HOTEL “Hanging Out the Laundry by Maeve Jackson,” through September 6 “The Money $how curated by Frank Juarez and Ric Kasini Kadour,” through September 12 “The Seed Collection,” through September 30 SHARON LYNNE WILSON CENTER FOR THE ARTS SKYLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE

“Fall Masterworks,” October 30

The Full Monty, September 24-October 17 “Less” (clothing) will be so much “more” (comedy) as the Skylight kicks off its return to live performance with The Full Monty. The Tony Award nominated musical and hit film features a group of out of work friends that take to stripping to pay the bills. Director Jason Danieley starred in the original Broadway cast. So, expect some serious bump and grind from someone who’s been there. (Harry Cherkinian)

Background and leaf illustrations by Sophie Yufa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 35






The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, October 2

EmiSunshine, October 7

“Summer in Wisconsin,” through Septmber 4

Magic Morgan and Lilliana, October 9

Laurie Hogin, September 10-October 9 Michael Noland, September 10 – October 9

Above: Image courtesy of the Extra Crispy Brass Band website.

Extra Crispy Brass Band, p September 23 In 2011, the Extra Crispy Brass Band debuted at the Uptowner, the Riverwest tavern that would not seem out of place on Bourbon Street. In relocating the sound of New Orleans to Milwaukee, the horn-centric band mixes traditional jazz sounds with the pulse of funk—a take on “St. James Infirmary Blues” moves from the familiar minor-key lament into a celebratory second-line rave-up. As the saying goes, if they don’t move you, check your pulse. Bandleader, vocalist, and trombonist Gregory Cramer formed the band because he missed New Orleans. (Blaine Schultz)

A Place with the Pigs, October 12-15 VAR GALLERY & STUDIOS

Rodger Bechtold, October 15-November 13 Aniela Sobieski, October 22 – November 20 UW-MILWAUKEE PECK SCHOOL OF THE ARTS “2021 Sum Total: Department of Art & Design Faculty Exhibition,” September 8-22 Street Signs, October 20-30 Guest Artist Recital: Paul Cohen and Anna Keiserman, October 17

Big Band, Big Club, Big Night!, September 24 Steven Wright, October 1 ComedySportz Halloween Hoot-Tacular, October 23 Knightwind Ensemble, October 31 SUNSET PLAYHOUSE Run for Your Wife, September 9-September 28 THEATRE GIGANTE THEATRICAL TENDENCIES THIRD AVENUE PLAYHOUSE, STURGEON BAY Gutenberg: The Musical, October 6-October 31


Background by Sophie Yufa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 37



SEPTEMBER 2021 | 39


VILLA TERRACE DECORATIVE ARTS MUSEUM “Villa Incognito: Latent Narratives in the Permanent Collection,” through September 26



MKE Fine Craft Studio Tour, October 2-3

“Classic Jewels – A concert to honor the memory of Don Taylor,” September 26



“Facets of Broadway with John McGivern,” October 28 WOODLAND PATTERN BOOK CENTER

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, September WALKER'S POINT CENTER FOR THE ARTS Featured Member Exhibition: Andrea Lira-Landa, through Sept. 24 Annual Members Show, September 3-October 1 WAUKESHA CIVIC THEATRE Miss Holmes, September 10-26 Film Series: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, September 11 “A Sparkling 65th Season Cabaret,” September 15 Film Series: Knives Out, October 11 Deathtrap, October 22-November 7 Cabaret Series: Villains, Monsters and Ghouls, October 27-28 WEST PERFORMING ARTS CENTER /westpac.cfm WICA Dance Recital, October 9 The Children’s Playhouse Presents, October 24 New Berlin Community Band Concert, October 29 WILD SPACE DANCE WINDFALL THEATRE


Background and leaf illustrations by Sophie Yufa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 41





Photo courtesy of Summerfest.


HELLA MEGA TOUR 5:30 p.m., American Family Insurance Amphitheater BY ALLEN HALAS Summerfest 2021 is set to open with an alternative rock explosion with the first of three “Wednesday Weekend Kick Off” concerts taking place before each weekend of the festival. Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer will bring the Hella Mega Tour to the American Family Insurance Amphitheater, which was originally set to take place in 2020, albeit skipping Milwaukee. The tour is the first time that all three bands have shared the same stage.

While each of the acts have grown to stadium status from their live shows, none of the bands have slowed down in terms of putting out new music. Green Day and Weezer both have a pair of releases out in 2020 and 2021 respectively and Fall Out Boy’s Mania made waves when it was released in 2018, followed by a greatest hits compilation in 2019. With a name like the Hella Mega Tour, and a new and improved American Family Insurance Amphitheater, fans can certainly expect a spectacle from the pop punk powerhouses.

The material is certainly enough to test the foundation of the newly revamped amphitheater. Each band has a litany of radio hits over the past three decades, all three have made Milwaukee a regular tour stop in their careers. Fall Out Boy have played everywhere from Shorewood Legion Hall to the Bradley Center in a 20-year span, and Weezer have a pair of Summerfest appearances under their belt as well. Green Day, however, has not played Milwaukee in 17 years, with their last appearance coming in 2004 at UWM Panther Arena, supporting their American Idiot album that reintroduced the band to a new generation of listeners. Photos courtesy of Summerfest.


BLACKBERRY SMOKE 10:00 p.m., Uline Warehouse Stage BY JOSHUA M. MILLER Georgia rockers Blackberry Smoke have a strong affinity to Southern rock and their native Georgia. For the last 20 years, they’ve always sought to honor these roots and continue to add their own spin to the genre. It’s a lesson that continues on the band’s latest album You Hear Georgia, produced by Dave Cobb.

On the title track, Starr wanted to clear up misconceptions people have about the South and its people and culture. “It’s basically saying, don't judge a book by its cover,” he says. “You can't ever assume something about someone without knowing them. You can’t look at somebody and judge them by how they look or how they speak.” He looks for inspiration for lyrics from anything from modern day to Biblical stories. “I think anything that can or will inspire you can put the wheels in motion,” he says. “Religion is definitely oftentimes inspiring to me, growing up in the Baptist church in the South. And there's a lot of imagery there that's really powerful.”

“I loved the songs, the playing, the freedom that those bands enjoyed musically,” says singer Charlie Starr of his love for Southern rock. “They could play blues and jazz and Gospel and country music. They could touch on it all, and they weren't tied down to one particular musical idea.” He’s proud to be in the same state that produced “timeless music” from soul greats like Little Richard, James Brown, Ray Charles; blues legends like Blind Willie McTell, Barbecue Bob, Curley Weaver; and more modern performers such as The Allman Brothers Band, The Georgia Satellites, The Black Crowes and R.E.M. “It’s all over the place, but Georgia is really home to so much great music,” Starr says. Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 43


SEPTEMBER 3 LEON BRIDGES 9:30 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion BY MICHAEL POPKE Leon Bridges, the 32-year-old purveyor of neo-soul and R&B, began his career playing as many open-mic nights as possible until he attracted the attention of Columbia Records—home of such classic genre forebearers as Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Isaac Hayes. Beginning with 2015’s Coming Home followed by 2018’s Good Thing, Bridges built a broad audience and was described by one critic as a “throwback to ‘60s-soul a la Otis Redding and Sam Cooke.” Both albums were nominated for a “Best R&B Album” Grammy, and the single “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” won “Best Traditional R&B Performance.” In July, he released his third studio album, Gold-Diggers Sound, a record with roots in all-night jam sessions at the Los Angeles studio on Santa Monica Boulevard that inspired the album’s title. “There’re multiple ways of how I approach songwriting,” Bridges told Fort Worth Magazine, which covers the city in which the

singer-songwriter grew up. “I’m constantly fiddling on guitar, and a lot of the times, those songs never see the light of day. And then there are moments, specifically during the Gold-Diggers process, where a lot of these songs are collaborative. There are musicians in the room who start improvisational jams. … [T]he melody or rhythm that’s going on initially, that’s what dictates the concept for me.” Between Good Thing and Gold-Diggers Sound, Bridges recorded an EP with the Texas instrumental trio Khruangbin titled Texas Sun, which mixed rock, funk, soul, Americana and psychedelic influences. He also cut the anti-racism single, “Sweeter,” with hiphop artist Terrace Martin in the wake of George Floyd’s 2020 murder. “It was the first time I wept for a man I never met,” Bridges told Photo courtesy of Summerfest.


9:30 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion BY MICHAEL POPKE Few bands that peaked in the ‘70s toured as hard and consistently as Styx. The two remaining original members—guitarist James “J.Y.” Young and bassist Chuck Panozzo—both are in their early 70s, and longtime guitarist and de facto band leader Tommy Shaw will be 68 on September 11. Yet Styx still manages to sound upbeat, fresh and vital, performing sets in recent months that mix older cuts with new material and even a few deep tracks.

Over the past 25 years, Styx suffered punches that would have knocked out other bands. In 2001, Panozzo announced he’s gay and living with full-blown AIDS; his twin brother, original Styx drummer John, died from cirrhosis of the liver in 1996; and the ugly departure of original vocalist/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung in 1999 led to legal issues within the band and more than two decades later still divides the Styx fanbase. Nevertheless, the band’s current version has been together since 2003 and also includes Lawrence Gowan on vocals and keys, Todd Sucherman on drums and bassist Ricky Phillips (who sometimes is joined by Panozzo on stage). In June, Styx released Crash of the Crown—its 17th studio album and second since 2017—which succeeds at keeping the band’s signature sound alive.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the band’s first album, Styx, but it wasn’t until Shaw joined the group in 1975 that Styx’s arty progressive-rock sound morphed into something substantially more mainstream. Future classics quickly followed: “Crystal Ball,” “Come Sail Away,” “Miss America,” “Renegade,” “The Best of Times,” “Mr. Roboto.” All told, 16 Styx singles have hit the Billboard top 40 (beginning with 1972’s “Lady” and ending with 1991’s “Love at First Sight”); eight of those songs have gone top 10. 44 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 45



4:00 p.m., Generac Power Stage BY MICHAEL POPKE Will Smith may have left the man born Jeffrey Allen Townes behind, but the 56-year-old DJ and record producer has done quite well on his own since the duo won Grammys for “Parents Just Don’t’ Understand” and “Summertime” in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

“the U.K.’s Herbie Hancock”) for French DJ producer Sebb Junior’s soulful R&B collaboration “Don’t Stop” featuring Eric Roberson & Paula. Jazz also livestreams his own “Magnificent House Party” shows and chronicles his world travels in his “Vinyl Destination” web series, which takes viewers behind the scenes with him and his crew. He’s even reunited with Smith for production credits and a handful of live shows. While Smith is not likely to pop up at Summerfest, DJ Jazzy Jeff brings plenty of material and charisma to the stage, pulling from multiple eras and styles.

Since the turn of the millennium, DJ Jazzy Jeff has consistently released albums and mixtapes, including 2018’s M3 — which completed The Magnificent trilogy he began in 2002 and continued in 2007. described that record as “in tune with [his] aesthetic, predominantly mellow but invigorating grooves with diversions into post-bop jazz, funk, straight hip-hop, and house, and occasionally laced with the man’s distinctive scratching.” Along the way, DJ Jazzy Jeff (also known as simply “Jazz”) has worked with Jill Scott, The Roots, Talib Kweli, Mac Miller and several other artists. Among his more recent projects is a series of remixes he made with Kaidi Tatham (who’s been referred to as Photo courtesy of Summerfest.

Photo courtesy of Summerfest. Photo by Annabel Mehren.


10:00 p.m., Miller Lite Oasis BY DAVE GIL DE RUBIO Wilco is back and it’s a pretty big deal for fans of a band that started out a quarter of a century ago in the alt-country corner of the room, before evolving into an eclectic indie rock band more concerned with unique creative expression than fitting into a neat box. While Jeff Tweedy seemed the busiest member of this sextet during the three-year gap that followed Wilco’s 2016 album, Schmilco, fellow founding member John Stirratt not only spent that time touring as a duo with singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne, he also got involved in running a hotel in North Adams, MA. But at this juncture, singer/guitarist Tweedy, bassist Stirratt and the other Wilco members are focused on resuming a tour to promote Ode to Joy, the group’s 11th album. “I don’t think there was any feeling that we were going to stop,” Stirratt says. The seeds for Ode to Joy were planted by Tweedy and drummer Glenn Kotche, both of whom sought to make a more atmospher46 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

ic record goosed along by the latter’s rhythms and the former’s wistful croon. Comfortably ensconced in middle age, Tweedy’s lyrics are wrapped in a cloak of self-awareness. Tweedy’s experience of losing a loved one is at the heart of “White Wooden Cross,” with its layering beautifully strummed guitar and Kotche’s subtle timekeeping, while the lumbering cadence of “We Were Lucky” gives guitarist Nels Cline a chance to cut loose with a bit of six-string squall and howl. experiences. “Things have been a little more rushed out in our lives than in years past. We hammer everything out on the floor arrangements-wise. But most of the arrangements are pretty set,” Stirratt says. “Glenn and Jeff got together to work on these drum sounds and drum performances, along with acoustic guitar and some bass. We sort of created these kinds of big, dry drum sounds. It kind of set the tone for the record. Everyone else convened and sort of just worked through the rest of the instrumentation after the fact, from that point. We never really recorded like that before. It’s a change in process. A lot of times it paid off.”

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 47



6:00 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard BY MICHAEL POPKE Where have The Gufs been for the last 15 years? Until recently, the last recorded output we’d heard from the Milwaukee quartet was the 2006 album, A Different Sea — which featured one of the band’s finest songs, “Beautiful Disaster.” After that came sporadic and select local shows over the years, including a pair of soldout 30th anniversary performances at The Pabst Theater.

R.E.M., Gin Blossoms and fellow Milwaukeeans BoDeans — while still sounding contemporary, relevant and undaunted. While The Gufs were on their latest hiatus, Kralj stayed busy. He recorded two solo albums under the name “Goran” (2019’s Under A Nashville Sky and 2020’s Airports & Alibis) as well as a single about the pandemic, “When This Is Over.” But demand for The Gufs to play Summerfest had built over the years. “You asked. They listened. We’re back!” proclaimed the band’s Facebook page on May 6 announcing the gig at The Big Gig.

Now, one month shy of the silver anniversary of their 1995 self-titled major-label debut, The Gufs will reunite once again for Summerfest. The band formed at UW-Milwaukee in 1988, and all four original members remain. In addition to a back-catalog that contains several studio albums, and a handful of memorable singles, The Gufs will have at least two new songs to perform. During the coronavirus lockdown last year, the band recorded “One” and “Hero” individually across four different studios. The new singles embrace everything that endeared The Gufs to altrock fans in the first place — a fuzzy sound tempered by Goran Kralj’s sweet lead vocals along with moderate influences from Photo courtesy of Summerfest.


good along the way since his 2018 debut. Authoring an empowering children’s book, raising money for charity on Family Feud and organizing a music festival in his little New England hometown are all admirable pursuits. But none of them will be what fills seats at Summerfest. It will be his voice. As well it should be.

8:00 p.m., USCellular Connection Stage BY JAMIE LEE RAKE Jimmie Allen’s uniqueness among current country radio mainstays lies more in his being from rural Delaware than being a Black man in a genre where—Darius "Hootie" Rucker excepted—lighter performers get most of the airplay. There has been a significant, if intermittent, African American presence in country since The Grand Ole Opry’s earliest days. Country singers hailing from Joe Biden’s old stomping grounds, however, are considerably rarer. Demographics and geography aside, it’s neither his heritage nor point of origin that first drew country listeners to Allen. It was his voice. Allen possesses a buttery smooth, intimately youthful instrument befitting his handsome visage as well as his female-friendly material that has been downloaded and streamed millions of times. And though Allen currently stylistically veers toward the more pop-oriented side of country, he can deliver the goods with rootsier material, too. Regardless of how he next decides to present himself, Allen has been about the business of extending his brand and doing some Photo courtesy of Summerfest.



PSYCHEDELIC FURS 10:00 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard BY JOSHUA M. MILLER Since forming in London in the late ‘70s, The Psychedelic Furs have excelled in creating their own unique brand of post punk. “I think we’re the missing link between punk and alternative,” says bass player Tim Butler. “When we started with punk, we had the sort of songwriting of like a sort of more of a Roxy Music. We took the energy of punk and added it to those bands and came up with our own sound.” While the band’s tour plans last year were put on hold due to the pandemic, they made up for it by releasing Made of Rain, their first album since 1991. “We had a hiatus from ‘92, all the way through to 2000. And when we started getting together again, we had our song ideas that we passed around through the past whatever it is, 20 years, since we got back together,” says Butler. “But we were always nervous the songs we were writing wouldn't stand up alongside some of our so-called classic Fur songs. We were really nervous actually about going and recording.

“But it came to a point, a couple years ago, where we were listening to our demos. And we all said to each other, ‘Well, we have the makings of a great album.’ And we were halfway through our tour, and we were firing on all cylinders, musically. We just thought, ‘Let's get in while we’re together and we’re playing well together and record this stuff?’” The band recorded the album in two two-week sessions, often recording songs into two or three takes and picking the best one. “It’s really first album we didn't over-bake it, or overthink it, or over-overdub,” says Butler. “I think it’s very fresh, and I think it does stand up there with our older stuff.” The band is excited to get back out on the road and share Photo courtesy of Summerfest. these songs with their fans. “We’ve been off the road for almost two years. It’s been almost two years since I’ve actually seen the other members of the band, which is bad enough. My brother [Richard], I haven’t seen him in-person,” says Butler. “That’s going to be exciting, and to get back onstage and play new material … We’re excited. Hopefully, the audience is excited. It’s doubly exciting, because of the new album. So, I just can't wait.” SEPTEMBER 2021 | 49



GUNS N' ROSES WITH MAMMOTH WVH 6:00 p.m., American Family Insurance Amphitheater BY MICHAEL POPKE The reunion tour that was never supposed to happen keeps rolling on. After reuniting in 2016 for the first time since the ‘90s, three of the original five members of Guns N’ Roses hit the road for the “Not In This Lifetime Tour.” The three-and-a-half-year trek—featuring Axl Rose on vocals, Slash on guitar and Duff McKagen on bass—included a 2017 stop in Milwaukee and grossed almost $600 million. So why not keep it going? Easier said than done when it comes to Summerfest. Originally booked to play the American Family Insurance Amphitheater on the Fourth of July last year (before coronavirus canceled 2020’s Big Gig), Guns N’ Roses rescheduled for July 10, 2021, before Summerfest altered its format to three weekends in September. Getting Rose, who is notorious for unpredictable and irrational behavior, to recommit a third time to Summerfest was no guarantee, but organizers pulled it off. What’s more, Photo courtesy of Summerfest. Summerfest will be the only performance on Guns N’ Roses’ North American summer tour that won’t take place in a stadium or arena. Recent setlists have leaned heavily toward material from 1987’s Appetite for Destruction: “Welcome to the Jungle.” “Paradise City” “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” “Nightrain.” And why not? That record is still the best-selling debut album of all time, moving more than 30 million copies globally. Guns N’ Roses reportedly is working on a new album, too. The artist opening the show might very well represent the next generation of American rock. Wolfgang Van Halen— Eddie’s kid who took over for original bassist Michael Anthony in Dad’s band— released a self-titled debut album in June under the name Mammoth WVH (a nod to Eddie’s first band before Van Halen became Van Halen). On it, he plays all instruments, sings all vocals, delivers big choruses and manages to sound nothing like you-know-who. Photo courtesy of Summerfest.


Milwaukee Oktoberfest Guide O

ktoberfest began two centuries ago in Munich, but despite Milwaukee’s German heritage, the event only became widely observed at area parks and taverns during the past couple of decades. This year’s lineup includes many outdoor settings for enjoying the pleasure of good beer and good company.

Photo by FooTToo/Getty Images.



Thursday-Sunday, September 2-October 3 Free on Thursdays and Sundays, $5 on Friday, $10 on Saturday

September 25-26 Dheinsville Historic Park, Holy Hill Road Highway 145

Bavarian Bierhaus in Heidelberg Park, 700 W. Lexington Blvd.

Admission is free.

Parking is free. CUDAHY LION’S CLUB OKTOBERFEST PROSIT TOSA Saturday, September 18 Wauwatosa Historical Society, 7406 Hillcrest Drive

September 25 Cudahy Family Library, 3500 Library Drive, Cudahy CEDARBURG OKTOBERFEST

OKTOBERFEST OF GREATER RACINE September 23-26 Franksville Craft Beer Garden, 9614 Northwestern Ave.

October 2-3 U.S. Bank Parking Lot, W63 N641 Washington Ave. Admission is free.

Admission is free. OUR LADY OF LOURDES OKTOBERFEST MILWAUKEE OKTOBERFEST September 24-26 War Memorial Center, 750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive

October 8-10 3722 S. 58th St., Milwaukee

Admission is free.



October 9 Foxtown Annex, Mequon

September 24-25 N56 W14750 Silver Spring Drive, Menomonee Falls Admission is free.



October 9-10 Downtown Lake Geneva (between Main and Broad streets)

September 24-25 Frame Park, 1150 Frame Park Drive

Admission is free. Photo by repinanatoly/Getty Images.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 51


For the True Nature of Wine, Try Natural Wine BY GAETANO MARANGELLI

Brad and Allie Kruse at Nonfiction Natural Wines.

Photo courtesy of Nonfiction.


ou’re in the sunshine of an April morning in Athens. You’re in the amphitheater of a sanctuary on the southwest slope of the Acropolis. You’re at the Great Dionysia, the city’s festival of Dionysus, the god of wine. It’s 405 BCE.

Around you are thousands of people from Athens and the cities of the Greek islands, the Black Sea, Asia Minor and the South of Italy. In front of you is a stage, where performers are about to engage you in an act of worship to the god of wine. The ceremony you’re about to enjoy is a play. The premier of one of the greatest plays by one of the greatest playwrights of your age or any—The Bacchae by Euripides, a story set thousands of years ago about the true nature of wine.


Society has been cultivating grapes, fermenting their juice, and drinking its alcohol for 8,000 years. But the wine we drink today is a new kind of wine: Wine made from grapes using herbicides, pesticides, and machinery; Wine processed with chemical additives, like products in a factory; Wine metamorphosed by the demands of commerce and the capacity of industry; Wine which has little to say to its 8,000 years of ancestry.

GRAPES, LOVE AND TIME But if Dionysus were to appear in the city of Milwaukee today, the god of wine could take refuge with Brad and Allie Kruse at Nonfiction Natural Wines, a temple of wine and its true nature.

Brad and Allie devote their shop to wines classified as natural. But natural describes how all wine was made from the beginning of its history until the middle of the last century. “Natural wine is simply wine made by humans, without the use of synthetic chemicals, and with minimal intervention in the cellar,” explains Brad. “Or as one of our favorite Austrian producers Franz Strohmeier puts it ‘Trauben, Liebe, und Zeit,’ which translates to ‘Grapes, Love, and Time.’” Natural wine specifies practices of both viticulture and vinification. It’s made from grapes which are cultivated organically or biodynamically and which are

vinified without additives. (Adding small quantities of sulfur as a preservative is practiced by some natural winemakers, eschewed by others.) The benefits of natural viticulture and vinification are honest wines. These wines are exciting. They’re alive. They speak to you. They tell you about wine’s true nature. And their nature makes you want to listen to them. “They’re almost always more lively,” says Brad, “more expressive, and just a hell of a lot more fun to drink than conventional wines.”

DISCIPLES OF BACCHUS Like the Dionysus of The Bacchae, Brad and Allie and the wines at Nonfiction can make anybody into one of the wine god’s disciples. “It's been great to encounter so many different types of people that are now embracing natural wines,” says Brad. “Whether they're drawn to it as a more fun and inviting entry point into the wine world, or as longtime wine lover that had to stop drinking conventional wine because of adverse reactions, or someone who just thinks they taste better, hopefully it can create enough demand to affect real change in farming and winemaking techniques, and push wine back to its true roots.” “Ideally, in the not-too-distant future,” Brad concludes, “natural wine can go back to just being called wine and the big corporations can worry about what to call whatever it is they're making.” And all of us can go back to enjoying the true nature of wine. Nonfiction Natural Wines ( is located at 800 E. Potter Avenue. The shop’s hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 12-7 p.m. and Sunday, 12-5 p.m.

Gaetano Marangelli is a sommelier and playwright. He was the managing director of a wine import and distribution company in New Yorkand beverage director for restaurants and retailers in New York and Chicago before moving to Wauwatosa.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 53


Bars Wiłh a View



hen you think of Milwaukee, what view comes to mind? Do you see the skyline from above downtown or from the lake? Do you think of the lake looking outward from where you’re standing in the city? There are so many different vantage points that could make Milwaukee feel like a different city simply from seeing it from a slightly different angle. In a town known for its fierce love of warm weather and enjoyment of a cool beverage to battle the inevitable humidity, the question is raised: Where to go for a great Milwaukee view? We’ve got seven answers to that question, each with a different and wonderful view.



1955 S. Hilbert St. 414-481-9974

818 S. Water St. 414-212-8115

As Milwaukee continues to build along its three rivers, Barnacle Bud’s has become a destination location for more people than just boaters—Giannis was even spotted here the day after the Bucks championship parade. A true seafood joint with a great outdoor bar, the view of Milwaukee from the Kinnicinnick River is hard to beat. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll spot Bud himself on a nice summer day.

Boone & Crockett has a little bit of everything for everyone. There’s an outdoor bar area fitted for patrons to be in the sun or shade, an indoor bar that makes you feel like you’re up north and is attached to The Cooperage where you might attend a concert or private event. The parking lot shares space with rentals for pedal taverns, kayaks and motorboats in the summertime. Just like its website says, Boone & Crockett has the pretentious drink menu you want without any of the pretense.

BLU BAR & LOUNGE 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. 414-298-3196 Arguably the best view from above Milwaukee is at Blu atop the historic Pfister Hotel. Blu is a traditional jazz lounge equipped with comfortable velour seats, high-quality cocktails, and the perfect view of the lake and Downtown all while staying cozy indoors. Blu is the perfect spot for a date night or a more formal business meeting any time of year.


MOTHERSHIP 2301 S. Logan Ave. No phone Located on the perfect little Bayview corner facing the lake and a dog park, Mothership is the modern version of a corner dive bar. Here, you can drink anything from Narragansett tall boys to topshelf tequila with an array of house cocktails in between. The flair is a mix of hipster cool and pop culture friendly, which is the exact vibe the place gives off. Outdoor space continues to expand as the clientele continues to be loyal to their Mothership. Both photos by Michael Burmesch.

THE OUTSIDER 310 E. Chicago St. 414-291-3970 The Outsider at the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel is home to a spectacular outdoor patio. Located in the heart of the Third Ward, this rooftop is open all four seasons and adjusted to the varieties of weather Milwaukeeans are used to. Whether you’re out shopping on a Saturday and want a break to sit down or showing out-of-towners a great time, The Outsider is always a win. SKYLINE BAR + LOUNGE @ NŌ STUDIOS 1037 W. McKinley Ave. 414-226-6516 As we watch the Bucks win and the Deer District grow, it’s hard to keep up with all the new spots near the Fiserv Forum. Nō Studios is influenced by East Asian culture, named after the Sino-Japanese word meaning “skill” or “talent,” alluding to the creative people they seek as members. The Skyline Bar + Lounge atop the Studios is open for members daily and the public Wednesday through Saturday evenings, offering views of Milwaukee from a point higher and more west than we’ve seen before. ST. PAUL FISH COMPANY TIKI BAR q 400 N. Water St. 414-220-8383

St. Paul Fish Company is known for its great lobster rolls and hard-hitting margaritas at the outside Tiki Bar. It’s the ideal spot to post up and enjoy the outdoor weather while catching some good people watching and a strong buzz. The bartenders are super friendly and will even oblige your dog with a piece of cured fish if you ask nicely. It feels like the sun never sets when you’re at the Tiki Bar.

Sandy Reitman is a Milwaukee freelance writer tackling many different writing projects that come her way. When she's not in a word document, you can find her taking in whatever city surrounds her with good food, drink, and people. SEPTEMBER 2021 | 55


You Can Grow & Support your Family NORTH SHORE BANK’S “YOU CAN” SERIES IS ABOUT YOU. Your hopes. Your plans. Your slice of the American Dream. And we understand that the goals you set don’t have to match anyone else’s. This is your life to live. Let us help you live it. Remember: No matter where you’re starting out, you CAN move forward and achieve your financial goals. Our team is here to help you at every step along the way!

WHEN PLANNING TO HAVE A CHILD, HOW WOULD YOU SUGGEST SOMEONE START PREPARING FOR THE EXPENSES OF PARENTHOOD? Start by creating a new budget: Identify how much you’ll need to add to your monthly budget to pay for things like food, diapers and daycare. If this is your first child, you will likely have a number of onetime expenses for things like a car seat, crib and stroller. Don’t forget about the hospital costs – take time to review your health insurance policy to understand your deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Once you’ve identified these costs, then take a look at your current expenses to see where you need to make adjustments.


WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT IS YOUR ROLE? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH NORTH SHORE BANK? My name is Shannon Weber, and I am a branch manager at North Shore Bank’s Shorewood location. I have been with the bank for just over five years now.

WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU COULD SHARE FOR TALKING TO A SPOUSE OR PARTNER ABOUT MONEY? Talking about money can be a really personal conversation – even with your spouse or partner. Be open to the conversation you are about to have, and be willing to agree to disagree. Together, create a financial game plan with shared spending and savings goals that are realistic.

Bring your little one to the bank! When I brought my daughter to the bank with her piggy bank, I let her empty her coins into the coin machine to watch it all add up. We then opened a savings account for her and talked about how the funds can continue to grow. She felt so grown up! North Shore Bank partners with Banzai, a fantastic online educational program that focuses on budgeting, borrowing and general personal finance for all ages. For children, it provides a fun, interactive game to teach the value of making wise spending and saving decisions.

WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN’S SAVINGS ACCOUNTS, AND AT WHAT AGE CAN A CHILD OPEN THEIR OWN STUDENT CHECKING ACCOUNT? We offer the Seymour Savings account (Seymour the Seagull is our mascot!). This account is designed to help children understand the importance of saving money.

For teens starting at 13 years old, as long as they have a parent or guardian jointly on the account with them, we offer a Student Checking account. With no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement, they can learn how a checking account works, start budgeting and saving for the future.

WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR PARENTS WHO WANT TO START THEIR CHILD’S COLLEGE FUND? Look at your budget and see how much you are comfortable putting aside now for college. You really do not want to wait and find yourself using some of your retirement savings later down the road. Speak with your banker to talk about account options that can help your savings grow over time. Together, we can design a practical and personalized plan that gets you where you want to be.

WHAT OTHER FINANCIAL RESOURCES DO YOU HAVE FOR FAMILIES? I encourage you to reach out to your local North Shore Bank office. If we haven’t yet had the pleasure to partner with you, we’d love the opportunity to help you achieve the life you want. Visit our online Financial Wellness Center, featuring interactive tools to help you confidently manage your money: Lastly, I’d like to invite you to join our You Can Happy Hour Meetup on October 20, 2021 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m at The North End (1551 N Water St). Come chat with our bankers in a casual setting where you can get your specific financial questions answered. To register, visit

You Can... take charge of your financial future, and we’ll be here to assist you and your family along the way! MEMBER FDIC


SEPTEMBER 2021 | 57


Photo by Andrew Feller.




ilwaukee and Memphis are just a bit over 600 miles apart. However, as local musician Zach Pietrini and Memphis’ McKenna Bray recently learned, music has the ability to transcend distance. With their new EP Modern Love, they found plenty in common musically.

“I think we talk a lot about different parts of love that aren't necessarily talked about often in songs, when it comes to commitment, or the challenges that come with love,” says Bray. “A lot of these songs are more at a deeper root of love than just this feeling of romance.”

“We were just feeling the magic of it,” says Pietrini.

For example, “Yours” was written about a committed love regardless of how one feels at a given time, while “Young Love” as Pietrini puts is about “being young, not knowing a lot, just knowing that you each want to chase this thing down and wrangle it, no matter what happens.”

Authenticity and honesty are at the heart of their songs, weaving a gritty determination and hard work ethic into the melodies and lyrics. Bray calls it a “laid-back authenticity.” They’re proud to come from independent-minded music communities where songs don’t necessarily need fit exactly into one genre or category. The EP offers everything from rock and Americana to pop and soul. “It’s got rock, it’s got Americana, but then it’s got this pop, which I feel like brings a little bit more of this modern Nashville sound to this grittiness,” says Bray. “With ‘Young Love’ and ‘Ends In Fire,’ it gave me more Memphis grit and soul vibes.” For Pietrini, songs like “Young Love” reminded him of his Midwestern roots and the streets of Milwaukee. They’re also reminders of how love can transcend everything. In “Amelia,” Pietrini sings “modern love is complicated.” They trade off on lead vocals throughout the EP, which allowed them to examine the male and female perspective of relationships.

On the flip side, “Ends in Fire” and “Keep on Running” talk about a love in peril. “It’s about a love goes wrong, and what that can look like and what that does to people,” says Pietrini. “And then ‘Keep On Running’ is the idea of being so engrossed in other things in life that you kind of miss the person who's right there in front of you.”

Zach Pietrini and EP collaborator McKenna Bray. Photo courtesy of Zach Pietrini.


CHANCE ENCOUNTER Their Milwaukee to Memphis connection began rather audaciously a couple years ago. After recommendations from friends and a constructive first phone call, they decided to go on tour. “I could tell right away that McKenna was not afraid of getting her hands dirty in that [administration] stuff and keeping things straight and doing weekly meetups. I got the sense she would work really hard,” says Pietrini. “When someone wants to work hard, too, and you don’t feel like you have to do it alone, that’s a win in my book.” They planned to go on a short tour of Memphis and the surrounding area last year. However, the pandemic forced them to cancel the tour two shows in. Despite the discouraging news, they decided to continue working together in whatever ways they could. Bray booked a day at

Farmland Studios in Nashville with her friend Caleb Fisher, after hearing Pietrini recount stories of his time on the road when he was younger and struggled to make ends meet. They were pleasantly surprised with the ease they felt working together in the studio. “Nobody really has a big ego,” says Pietrini. “We’re just a pretty open bunch, and not very easily offended. It was really fun.” After spending a day in the studio creating their first song together, “Keep on Running,” they decided to keep writing songs and see where it led them. They held weekly FaceTime conversations to discuss song ideas. Without pressure to get something done by a specific date, the ability to work at a relaxes pace gave them limitless freedom. That process went exceptionally well, despite the frequent appearances of Pietrini’s kids. One song would lead to another and soon they had a handful of songs. “I think we work really well together because McKenna has a really great ear for melody. She has a really good sense for rhythm, and how things need to move,” says Pietrini. “Whereas I will just sometimes ignore that and just write the song and finish it.” Adds McKenna, “But [Zach’s] so good at lyrics. He can write something that I’ve thought about, but in a way that I probably could have never said it.” Those qualities made their first project co-writing a breeze. It was a chance to get out of their own heads for a moment and get some added perspective. They didn’t have to do all the heavy lifting and could share responsibilities. “To have somebody just to be there, witnessing that with you, I think it just makes songs better,” says Pietrini. “It makes them more honest. It makes it easier to tell the story.” There were many moments creating the EP that felt “sacred” to him because they “represents something bigger happening between humans.” “When, normally speaking, people disagree about something, it’s a reason for people to pick up their toys and go home, but this ended up being a way for us to move forward into a deeper understanding of how we work together, and how we relate,” says Pietrini. “It was a beautiful moment of, ‘Cool, this is fun, we’re not here to just make music. We’re also here to connect.’” One such moment was recording “Amelia” live, where not even creaking floorboards from the apartment above the studio could stop their momentum. There’s a “weird telepathy that you develop when you're with somebody that long,” says Pietrini. Getting a song to greatness rarely happens alone “because we can only see so much as one human.” The songs from the EP have already gained some pre-release buzz. For example, “Ends in Fire” will appear in new film Deep Woods, which is produced by fellow Milwaukeean Jeffrey Kurz. Says Pietrini, “he was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is perfect.’”

Joshua Miller is a music writer and frequent contributor to Background by Polina Raulina/Getty Images.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 59







Mr. Nice Guy Presents Cactus Club Prior to the pandemic, the Mr. Nice Guy podcast had featured a variety of up-andcoming acts in a monthly showcase. Now relocated to Cactus Club, the series returns in September with a bill featuring avantgarde singer/songwriter Kyle Kenowski, indie rock band Weird Storm, soulful act Fressure Point and quirky rockers Anson Obvious and The Uncomfortable Moments. If you’re into discovering new music, this is a concert series to keep your eye on.

23rd Louie’s Last Regatta on Milwaukee Bay Back by popular demand, Louie’s Last Regatta is a memorable boat race and scavenger hunt that’s raised money for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for over 22 years. There is a skipper’s meeting and party from 5 to 8 p.m. the night before at the Milwaukee Ale House and the scavenger hunt runs all of September leading up to the race. Check out the event on Facebook or on Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s website. Since 1999, Milwaukee sailors have raised over $1.2 million for Children’s Hospital.

Jon M. Sweeney Boswell Book Company They say that St. Francis of Assisi talked to the animals, and even if this isn’t literally true, the lesson of the story is clear: there is spiritual wisdom to be found in nature and the other creatures with whom we share our world. Milwaukee writer Jon M. Sweeney discusses the spiritual practices of St. Francis and their application to the 21st century in a live talk (welcome back authors!). Register in advance at

SEPTEMBER 6-12 Cultures & Communities Festival Oriental Theatre The recently reopened (and renovated) theater will be the site of Milwaukee Film’s Cultures & Communities Festival, a week of screenings and events focused on the lives of marginalized communities. Included are some 20 films plus workshops, panel discussions and Q&As. SEPTEMBER 10 Sad Summer Festival The Rave When the Vans Warped Tour stopped its annual run in 2018, it left a hole in the schedule of pop punk and emo fans nationwide. In the wake of the travelling festival emerged Sad Summer Festival, bringing the all-day affair into a more condensed show at The Rave. The six-act bill starts at 4 p.m. and is headlined by pop punk powerhouses All Time Low. The Story So Far, Movements, The Maine, Greyscale and Destroy Boys also perform. SEPTEMBER 11

SEPTEMBER 25 SunSquabi The Miramar Theatre The Miramar Theatre has long been a hub for underground music events, but the recently remodeled club will host a popular jam band hybrid when SunSquabi comes to Milwaukee. Bringing a funky mix of EDM, live instrumentation and modern psychedelia, the group has developed a sizeable internet following by putting on extravagant live shows, and Milwaukee is sure to be a trip in its own right. SEPTEMBER 25 Man Random, The Raging Nathans, The Smart Shoppers, and Brat Sounds X-Ray Arcade A four-pack of regional power pop will converge on Cudahy’s X-Ray Arcade when Milwaukee’s Man Random and Brat Sounds are joined by Dayton, Ohio’s The Raging Nathans and Green Bay act The Smart Shoppers. The all-ages show will be an intersection of alternative music, nearly guaranteed to send fans moshing onto Packard Avenue.

Home: Cultural Plant Walk with Angela Kingswan Lynden Sculpture Garden Native American herbalist and artistin-residence Angela Kingsawan leads a series of guided tours of the Lynden’s “narrative gardens,” which tell stories of specific cultures and moments in history. The fun and informative outing is a learning experience about the plants that hold significance as food, medicine and tradition within the exchange and migration of refugee, immigrant and indigenous communities. Free but register ahead at


St. Francis photo by Joe_Potato/Getty Images. Background Photo by EJ_Rodriquez/Getty Images.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 61


Answering the Question:



ow much time do we spend thinking about ourselves, or what some refer to as contemplating one’s navel? Lots. Unless fully absorbed in some task, interaction or pursuit, we spend the majority of our cognitive bandwidth observing, judging and obsessing over ourselves. Thinking about one’s self comes in many flavors, including self-criticism, the comparison game, worrying about one’s health, contemplating one’s actions, remembering past events, and a persistent sub-vocal narrative about one’s moment-to-moment experience. Regarding the latter, this pedantic voice we call “self-talk” provides ongoing reminders of who we are, what we’re doing, how we feel, what we think, and the rest. Sometimes it works against us (“I’m a bad person”) and, at other times, for us (“I’m kind and giving”). Regardless, the absence of a positive self-definition leaves us feeling that many personal challenges are insurmountable. So, answering “Who am I?” is vital work. We begin pondering this existential question early in life, although most young kids don’t focus on it that much. Sure, even as youngsters, we possess a sense of self, but it remains fuzzy, labile and under development. However, as puberty approaches, self-definition becomes front and center, usually peaking during adolescence and early adulthood. We begin defining who we are (“I’m good at math” or “I’m very sensitive” or “I’m plain looking,” and so on), often by comparing ourselves to others in our families and social groups.


OPINIONS OF OTHERS Of course, as teens, our sensitivity to peer influences soars, so no small amount of one’s self-definition comes from the opinions of others. Granted, some teens manage to define their identity on their own terms rather than by listening to input from the peer-based peanut gallery, but it’s not the norm. Why is defining one’s self, rather than being labeled by others, so challenging as an adolescent? Primarily because the pressure to belong keeps the focus on what others think. The question of “Who am I?” is counter-balanced or even obscured by the challenge of “Where do I fit in?” Well, as most elderly folks can attest, the answer to “Who am I?” morphs over time, primarily under the influence of a growing body of life experiences. In fact, some feel this disparity in profound ways. Adam was a prime example. Several years into retirement, he discovered that he didn’t feel much like prior versions of himself. “Even looking back 10 years, I find myself wondering who that guy was. I’ve read some of my journals from then, and it seems like somebody else’s voice,” he told me. At other points of passage and transition, including in response to a personal crisis or loss, many of us revisit the “Who am I?” question. While the issue of “What do others think of me?” remains important, the question of “What do I think of me?” takes on increasing significance. Of course, the timing and progress of resolving this existential question varies across individuals. And some fail to get a satisfactory answer

at all, resulting in a life of obsessive introspection—a confining psychological state analogous to living in a house of mirrors.

ONE OF US? Defining one’s self can be tough duty, particularly if significant people in one’s life do not approve of the emerging “me.” Which is why some of us prefer to let others tell us who we are rather than enduring the mental slogging that self-definition often requires. Consequently, many people simply take the path of least resistance and embrace a sense of self that is conferred through group affiliation. This “tell me who I am” formula is bestowed by cults, gangs, tight-knit social groups, certain religious and political clusters, controlling families, and other “you are one of us” groupings. When we express admiration for those who are, as we say, “self-made,” we are usually referring to vocational or financial success. However, from the standpoint of mental well-being, self-made individuals are actually those who have done the hard inner work of determining their fundamental and genuine nature, and then mustered the courage to be who they truly are. They have become, as psychotherapist Wayne Dyer suggested, “Independent of the opinions of others.” Given how many people will opine, label and judge who we are, that independence is a very good thing.

Philip Chard is a psychotherapist and author with a focus on lasting behavior change, emotional healing and adaptation to health challenges. Background by A_Z_photographer/Getty Images.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 63




Photos taken by Shepherd Express staff.


ickets are on sale now for the 2021 Wisconsin Cannabis Expo, presented by the Shepherd Express. The event takes place in Milwaukee on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Wisconsin Center, Halls B and C. There will be an additional Expo in Madison on Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Alliant Energy Center. The inaugural Wisconsin Cannabis Expo in February 2020 attracted more than 2,000 attendees and 150 diverse exhibitors that included players from all facets of the cannabis industry— retailers, farmers, growing materials suppliers, scientists and researchers, packaging and marketing companies, and legal and tax accounting experts. This business-to-business and business-to-consumer expo also includes speakers and panel discussions on topics covering legalization, medical benefits of cannabis and entrepreneurship. All products sampled and sold at the expo are legal in the state of Wisconsin. Jill Rowe of Hazy Dayz, one of the sponsors of this year’s event, anticipates a tremendous amount of interest this year. She says events such as the expo serve as an opportunity to educate people in a world of information—and misinformation—overload. “Cannabis information will be given to them more direct, in person. When trying to learn about cannabis alone and online,

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 65


there can be an overload of information that may be hard to sort through. In some instances, you also may run into conflicting or opinionated facts online. The seminars and vendors at the expo will be able to answer specific questions that attendees may have,” Rowe says.

SHARING AND EDUCATING In addition to providing an educational opportunity for consumers, Stephanie Lembke of Canna Bloom Farmacy, a vendor at this year’s expo, says it is also a great opportunity for those in the cannabis industry to learn from each other. She’s looking forward to sharing and educating people about a vast array of new, unique products that she will have available. “There are so many cannabinoids out there other than CBD or Delta 8. My company loves to work with many different, lesser-known cannabinoids, such as CBG or CBC to see how they can help people to live a better life,” she enthuses. “We love to teach people so they are more aware of what is available to them. It will be exciting because the last expo, we did not have Delta 8, and now we do.”

Confirmed vendors at press time include, AAS Design (Advertising Art Studio), All Pack Supply, Badger Labs, Canna Bloom Farmacy, Canna Haus Farms Cannabis Accounting, LLC, Canni Hemp Co., CanniLabs, DynaVap, ePac Flexible Packaging, Farmer Will Allen, Global Organic Distro, Green Haven Fields, Happy Endings No Kill Cat Shelter, Hazy Dayz, Ignite Dispensary, Infinite Vapor & CBD, Kind Oasis, Knuckleheads CBD & Vapes, L.B. White Company, Marsh Castle Cannabis Company, Milwaukee Hemp Company, Presto Labels & Packaging, The Hub Collective Torch CBD, Tree Huggers Co-op, UFCW Local 1473 and WI Hempgineering. More vendors are expected. For an updated exhibitor list, visit

Sheila Julson is a Milwaukeean who writes about food and cannabis for the Shepherd Express.

Colin Plant, owner of Canni Hemp Co., one of this year’s sponsors, spoke at the 2020 expo. He says being a part of last year’s event was a great experience in that it allowed members of Wisconsin’s cannabis community to network and share ideas. “We are excited to continue the networking among members of our community and to hopefully continue to find new partners and great brands to work with in the future,” he says. Plant concurs that in-person events such as the Wisconsin Cannabis Expo provides a forum for people to learn about cannabis directly from people in the industry. “Education has brought us a long way, but we still have a very long way to go. We feel that events like this continue to remove the stigma around cannabis here in Wisconsin,” he says.


Photos taken by Shepherd Express staff.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 67


Patrick Mutsune (left) and Brett Timmerman (right) created a welcoming home combining both contemporary design and casual comfort.

Art and E legance

Meet Warm and Welcoming in this Impressive Milwaukee Home



tep into the home of Brett Timmerman and Patrick Mutsune and you find yourself in a world of contemporary design combined with comfort, function and even a pinch of smile-inducing kitsch. Located in Milwaukee’s Kane Commons, the eight-room, 3.5bath, single-family condo includes a movie theater, five balconies, a custom-designed kitchen, fireplaces and an art collection that rivals many local galleries. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the home, however, is demonstrated in the couple’s ability to create a space that’s both posh and welcoming at once. Timmerman, a relator with Keller Williams North Shore, and Mutsune, a managing director at R.W. Baird Co., purchased the four-story condo in 2013 and found themselves with a blank slate with which to work. “When we bought the home, it was just the basic structure. We were able to customize pretty much every-


thing.” Timmerman explains. “Patrick has always had an eye for design and was an art major prior to switching to finance, so that was a big help.” Mutsune adds, “As an artist, a blank canvas is very exciting. I was able to design the home of my dreams, while Brett watched for impracticalities. We make a good team that way.” The couple also excels at balancing the seemingly opposite aesthetics of sophistication and comfort. “The house is designed to reflect a home that is lived in and showcases our personalities,” says Timmerman. “It's not meant to be an immaculate, sterile museum.” Mutsune agrees. “While the art feels sophisticated at times, the space holding the art is relaxed,” he notes. “The floors and the furnishing are distressed on purpose. We’re very conscious about what materials we choose for the interior.” Photos by Tyler Nelson. Background by surachet chansingkhorn/Getty Images.

LIFE AMONG ART While textures of wood, tapestry and copper lend a warm touch, it’s the couple’s art collection that steals the spotlight. Paintings, sculptures, mixed-media pieces, photography and other works are perfectly displayed throughout the home. “The art collection took shape when we bought the house from Julilly Kohler, the developer,” says Mutsune. “She was downsizing her collection and we bought several pieces to kickstart ours.” The pieces are diverse yet work well together, lending extraordinary interest throughout the home. “We always say diversity matters in all things,” Mutsune notes. “Many pieces are from Kenya, my home country. These pieces are important because traveling home and seeing family is a once-a-year thing for me. Having art from back home is a daily reminder of my roots.” The couple enjoy purchasing art when travelling but also feel it’s important to bring local artistry into their house. “We have many pieces from local artists and take great pride in supporting those artists,” says Timmerman. From a dining room table by Matthew Gramling Woodworks to Jon Schroder’s stained glass featuring local landmarks, Milwaukee’s art scene is well represented. “The stained glass is at the top of my favorite things in the house,” Timmerman says. “It’s iconic Milwaukee. It’s by a local artist. We love Milwaukee, and I think no matter who you are, you ought to be proud of where you're from or where you live.” To the homeowners, it’s the stories behind the artwork that unify the collection and represent the house overall. “I love pieces that tell a story,” Mutsune explains. “It lets us share a piece of that artist with our guests. Storytelling is universal and brings people together. That's kind of the purpose of the house and the art.” Mutsune and Timmerman say they designed their home for entertaining, and their art collection clearly reflects a desire to intrigue their guests. “Sharing art is just one way we can learn more about each other,” says Mutsune. “Even if art isn’t your thing, there is something here that will speak to you. I hope guests feel they got to know Brett and I better, and I hope, in turn, we got to know them better by seeing which pieces speak to them.” “I think our house speaks to how different Patrick and I are,” Timmerman notes, “and I also think it shows how wonderfully complementary those differences can be.” Want to see more of this incredible home? Visit for additional photos.

Mark Hagen is an award-winning gardener whose home has been featured in numerous national publications. His work has appeared in Birds & Blooms, Fresh Home and Your Family magazines.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 69


YOUR CHEATIN' HEARTS DEAR RUTHIE, Can a couple ever get over infidelity? My husband cheated on me, and then I cheated on him a few years later. I recovered from his cheating, but he seems unable to get over me doing the same. We’re in couples counseling but I don’t see it helping. Should we call it quits?


Confused Carl DEAR CARL, There’s a lot to unwrap here, sugar booger! I’m sorry your homelife isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, and I credit you for trying to turn lemons into lemonade with therapy. You say you dealt with your hubby cheating on you; but then, you cheated on him later. Seems like that might have been a revenge move, so maybe you didn’t get over the pain of infidelity as well as you thought you did. Express your concerns about ineffective therapy to the counselor. He or she better might tailor sessions to address these worries. If that still doesn’t help, you may have to go your separate ways, honey. I know it’s hard to hear, but you both might be happier in the end. XXOO

Ruthie Have a question for Ruthie? Want to share an event with her? Contact Ruthie at Follow her on social media, too! Facebook: Dear Ruthie | Instagram: RuthieKeester | Twitter: @DearRuthie



Ruthie's Social Calendar SEPTEMBER 4 & 5 FIESTA SELENA AT THE FARMHOUSE PAINT BAR (4511 S. SIXTH ST.): Miss Selena? It’s time to honor the legendary performer like never before! Hit up this two-day tribute featuring live music, a Selena-inspired art installation, a fashion show, kiddie crafts, food and more. The fun runs 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. SEPTEMBER 9 JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS AT BMO HARRIS PAVILION (200 N. HARBOR DRIVE): Rocker, LGBTQ+ leader and stellar entertainer Joan Jett returns to Brew City with this 8 p.m. concert. Head to the Summerfest grounds and get ready rock by purchasing your $38 ticket in advance at SEPTEMBER 11 OUT IN THE PARK 2021 LGBTQ DIVERSITY NIGHT AT SIX FLAGS GREAT AMERICA (1 GREAT AMERICA PARKWAY, GURNEE, IL): Once per year, Great America re-opens at 7:30 p.m. for a helluva Pride night. Round out the summer with short lines, pop-up DJ booths, food and the sort of fun only an LGBTQ+ amusement park can offer. Tickets are limited so get yours before they’re gone at SEPTEMBER 17 MILEY CYRUS AT AMERICAN FAMILY AMPHITHEATER (200 N. HARBOR DRIVE): You’ll party in the USA like never before when you hit up this Summerfest concert featuring pop princess Miley Cyrus. The night kicks off with special guest The Kid LAROI but nab a seat first via Tickets run $58 to $109 to the 7:30 p.m. show. SEPTEMBER 19 PFLAG (VIRTUAL) MILWAUKEE CHAPTER MEETING (1110 N. MARKET ST.): Parents and friends of those in the LGBTQ+ community have long found comfort, friendship and guidance at the city’s PFLAG meeting. If you’re looking to make some connections, consider joining the 5 p.m. online session. Call 414-299-9198 for logon info. SEPTEMBER 25 SATUR-DAZE AT HUNTY’S SOCIAL CLUB (734 S. FIFTH ST.): Check out Hunty’s lanai when you take in this Saturday outdoor cocktail party featuring $10 Smirnoff mini pitchers. Hostesses Loretta Love Lee and Mercedes Benzova promise you’ll have a blast during the 2-7 p.m. party. SEPTEMBER 26 ROOFTOP TEA DANCE AT HAMBURGER MARY’S (730 S. FIFTH ST.): Grab yourself a mini pitcher of Mary’s infamous (and potent) sweet tea at this end-of-the-month extravaganza. The good times start at 3 p.m. and run to 7 p.m. at the rooftop bar that has all of Milwaukee talking. SEPTEMBER 29 BOMBSHELL THEATRE SEASON PREVIEW GALA FUNDRAISER AT INSPIRATION STUDIOS (1500 S. 73RD ST.): Experience what Bombshell Theatre has to offer during this 6:30 p.m. gala. Cocktails, appetizers, performances and a silent auction make this a great way to celebrate the exciting new company. Purchase your $50 ticket from

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 71


Bisexual Awareness Week BY PAUL MASTERSON


ack in 2014, actor Shailene Woodley with great pride announced her bisexuality. “I fall in love with human beings based on who they are, not based on what they do or what sex they are,” she declared. With that she captured the essence of bisexuality. Meanwhile, seven years later, whilst chitchatting about his most recent MVP award and having scraped his nose hairs for 180 days straight, Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers mentioned, as casually as he did his grueling nose hair grooming regimen, some bombshell nuptial news, namely of his engagement to the very same notable bisexual celebrity, Shailene Woodley.

with windmill stone-ground flour, too). Still, try as I might, I found no reference to the bride’s own bombshell revelation of yore. It doesn’t even seem to have been a matter of a spat on The View. I suppose Woodley’s bisexuality really isn’t as big of a deal today as it was seven years ago. It’s like celebrity Ellen’s historic coming out during her TV sitcom’s “Puppy Episode” in 1997—we’ve become educated, so we don’t react beyond a “that’s nice.”

NOT OUTLIERS Back in the day, when the community initials were still but a mere quartet, the “B” for bisexual added to the cadence and flow when saying “LGBT.” But, for many, the letter signified an outlier group, whose members grappled with their identity and, sooner or later, would come out and embrace their gayness or lesbianism. Despite their bitter frustration and insistence of bisexuals that their sexual identify wasn’t “just a phase,” the on-the-fence notion remained pervasive.

Of course, the Rodgers-Woodley coupling has since received the fawning press coverage any celebrity nuptials might. In an article on the online rag we read in great detail about their fairy tale love story and plans for an environmentally conscious solar powered wedding. Woodley, it seems, is an avid environmentalist (I expect their wedding cake will be baked


Photo by nito100/Getty Images.

In the meantime, science and the ever-evolving realm of gender studies have caught up with bisexuality. In fact, a 2013 Pew Research Center survey revealed 40% of the LGBTQ community identified as bisexual. A more recent Gallup study puts the number at 54.6%. Nowadays, more and more people across the spectrum from celebrities to your co-worker at the brewery are coming out as bi. The New York Times itself recently published an opinion piece by sex expert Zachary Zane entitled “I Don’t Know Who Needs to Hear This, But You Are Bi Enough.” It may be just a sign of the times, but during the Olympics, when the White House was lit in red, white and blue in support of American Olympians, the resulting blend of the lighting appeared curiously reminiscent of the bisexual pride flag’s stripes of magenta, lavender and blue. If one didn’t know better, one might

suggest it was intentional. Realistically, though, we’re so aware of bisexuality that, as brains are wont to do, we perceived the familiar hues as those of that now familiar flag.

AFFIRMING IDENTITY The progress made in affirming bi identity has also been advanced by activists supporting the cause through Bisexual Awareness Week. Established through the collaborative efforts of GLAAD and BiNet USA, the week is dedicated to education, cultural acceptance and advocating for bisexual rights. This year Bisexual Awareness Week (BAW) begins on September 16 and culminates with Celebrate Bisexuality Day on September 23. Over the years, BAW’s cumulative impact may be seen in the many comings-out we hear about (and the even greater number of those we don’t hear about) and the

social affirmation of bisexual men and women. This is not to say, however, that bi-phobia and obstacles to the self-realization of those individuals do not persist today. They do, but great progress continues to be made. In Milwaukee, various resources are available to the bisexual community. For those seeking information, the local social media group, “Bi+ Pride Milwaukee” offers a full spectrum of resources as well as links to other bisexual groups. Meanwhile, congrats to Aaron and Shailene.

Paul Masterson is an LGBTQ activist and writer and has served on the boards of the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, Milwaukee Pride, GAMMA and other organizations.

SEPTEMBER 2021 | 73


From The City That Always Sweeps BY ART KUMBALEK


’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? And good lord, it’s September already, what the fock. Seems to me like it was just August, and now out of nowhere we’re into the ninth month of the year? (Although, through a tad of research, I found this: As to the “Old English from Latin: the seventh (month) according to the original calendar of ancient Rome, from septem seven.” That means that September, technically, ought to be the seventh month of the year and not the ninth. Jesus H Christ, my head spinneth.

when a sax player is at your door? They don’t know which key to use or when to enter. Ba-ding-ding-ding!])

Either way you number the month of this time of year, the autumn leaves are about to fall, and for a guy like me that can only mean that the summertime is soon to crumble and about time for crying out loud, what with the heat, humidity/dewpoint, noisy racket and outdoor insects that seem to find their way inside. Can’t use it, I kid you not.

Anyways, I do look forward to the gemütlichkeit of the Oktoberfest to be bacchanaled, curiously, in September. Shouldn’t it really be called Septemberfest, for christ sakes? I guess I should not really be discombobulated by this calendar schmutz, after all, I’ve heard that a bunch of astronomers figure that the baby Jesus was actually born in June based on their crafty calculations of horizoned stars at that time when the world was flat.

But what I look forward to this month is the peaceful return of the Oktoberfest guten-time shebangs around the town. Jawohl! As we verstehen jah from uber dere in the Vaterland, they have canceled all Oktoberfest schtuffen die festlichkeit for the second year in a row on account of this coronavirus thing going around that, here in the Land of the Free with Purple Majesties, people living above the Mason-Dixon Line have heard something about. But here in the City that Always Sweeps and surrounding areas, we will indeed celebrate the triumph of the will to say “COVID, SCHMOVID, let the party days of accordions and beers commence.” (Time out: What is the definition of a gentleman? A guy who knows how to play the accordion, but doesn’t. Ba-ding! [Sorry Grant K., I had to go there. I owe you one, so here it is: How do you know 74 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Speaking of canceled, if only this corona schmutz had shined around about 82-focking-years ago, ain’a? It would’ve forced the Nazis to postpone or cancel their invasion and conquerage, September 1939, by a year or two of my Poland people, and the world may be a different place today; and today, I’m all for the world being a different place than the place I’m placed upon, you betcha.

Personally, I’m glad, regardless of scientific evidence in this case, that Christmas is Dec. 25 rather than sometime in focking June. Cripes, ordinarily we’d be smackdab in the middle of festival and baseball season, and now on top of that we’ve got to go shopping for gifts? And where the fock are you going to find nice wrapping paper that time of year; although I believe that cans of bug spray would be a popular item to be found under one’s tree (oleander?) in June—certainly more practical than a winter parka, sweater or pair of mittens, ain’a? Perhaps I digress, it’s Oktoberfest in September we got coming up, so ladies and gents, guys and gals, männer und frauen, get ready to grab and slide into your lederhosens and drindls. And this year, Oktoberfest ought to be extra festive,

since German Fest on the Summerfest grounds was kiboshed again. Of course, it was not the only fest to get the heave-ho ’cause of the pandemic. We missed out on Festa Italiana, to boot. Hey, how ’bout this, an idea I’ve ballyhooed for many a year: Next summertime, German Fest combines with Festa Italiana to form the Axis Powers Fest—the festival to last 1,000 years! Abbondanza, ain’a? But no matter which Oktoberfest event you choose to attend, you will be required to sing the Ein Prosit beer-drinking song (about every couple, three minutes), the lyrics to which follow (so get it memorized before you go): Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit Der Gemütlichkeit (repeat) Oans, Zwoa, Drei, G’suffa! Zicke Zacke Zicke Zacke Hoi! Hoi! Hoi! And remember: “You must sing this song, and drink after each song. It’s the law.” And speaking of lederhosen, remember that it’s a cultural tradition that they are not to be cleaned, and so the following little story: So this guy from Bavaria goes to the doctor for a checkup. Doctor examines him and says that he needs the guy to give a blood sample, urine and stool sample, so further tests can be run. The Bavarian nods, removes his lederhosen and hands them to the nurse. Ba-ding-ading-ding! And so in conclusion, what else is there to say but this: Go Pack! Go Brewers! ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.

Photo by DeluXe-Pix/Getty Images. Background by BreakingTheWalls/Getty Images.

Profile for Shepherd Express

Shepherd Express - September 2021  


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded