2014 Best of Milwaukee Winners

Nov. 11, 2014
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Katie Gingrass Gallery

Art Gallery (Non-Museum)

Katie Gingrass Gallery

207 E. Buffalo St.




For nearly 35 years, the Third Ward-located Katie Gingrass Gallery has enriched Milwaukee’s cultural scene with the exhibition of arts and artists of all stripes: the up and coming, the established, the antique, the regional, the international. With its corporate sales and services (offering onsite consultation and presentation as well as commissioned site-specific works of art in all media), the gallery has also enriched the white office walls of white-collar workers. (Tyler Friedman)



Rogues Gallery

David Barnett Gallery

Tory Folliard Gallery


Art Museum


Milwaukee Art Museum

700 N. Art Museum Drive




The Milwaukee Art Museum became the architectural symbol of our city with the opening of the Santiago Calatrava addition in 2001, which houses a gift shop, the visually impressive Windhover Hall overlooking the lake and galleries for changing exhibitions. The permanent collection housed in the older wings spans medieval to post-modern and includes works by Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Marc Chagall and Wassily Kandinsky. (David Luhrssen)



Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Charles Allis Art Museum

Museum of Wisconsin Art

Haggerty Museum of Art


Dance Company


Trinity Irish Dancers

Multiple Locations



At age 17, Emmy Award-winning choreographer and Trinity Irish Dancers’ Artistic Director Mark Howard founded the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, which has won an unprecedented 32 World Championship titles for the United States and is now the largest Irish dance program in the world. The company is intent on preserving the legacy of Irish dance and Milwaukee extends a round of applause to the hard work and dedication showcased in every performance. (Amanda Sullivan)



Danceworks Performance Company

Glencastle Irish Dancers

Wild Space Dance Company


Local Filmmaker


Jim Hamberg

17700 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield




Jim Hamberg is the man behind the camera at BlackDog Studios. Specializing in wedding films, the auteur crafts short montages that mix slow motion pan shots, nostalgia and sentimental music to give your heartstrings a tug in days to come. (Alan Smithee)



Eric J. Ellis

Betty Allen


Local Radio Personalities


Dave & Carole (96.5 WKLH)


Dave Luczak and Carole Caine of the “Dave & Carole” morning show have been a top-notch radio team for almost 30 years, dominating this classic rock station’s airwaves with snarky humor and fantastic interviews with athletes, comedians and many others. The duo broadcasts live at various (and sometimes bizarre) locations and also hosts charity events and drives throughout the city. Dave and Carole’s show is steadily ranked in the city’s top two wake-up shows, owing to the duo’s great on-air chemistry and dedication to delivering consistent, top-quality programming that appeals to 25-year-olds, 54-year-olds and everyone in between. (A.S.)



Marcus Doucette



Local TV Personality


Ted Perry


One of Milwaukee’s longest-tenured anchors, Ted Perry is a proud supporter and advocate of the Cream City and offers a distinctive take on current topics important to southeast Wisconsin. His daily opinion piece called “Ted’s Take” invites viewers to think critically about how Milwaukeeans fit within the bigger picture of the world and reminds viewers that their voices really do make a difference. Perry is an anchorman who continues to inspire and motivate our community for the better. (A.S.)



Vince Vitrano

Brian Gotter

Tiffany Ogle


Milwaukee Author


John Gurda


John Gurda has worked for years to remind us that our city is a special place with a unique heritage. Gurda has been examining Milwaukee’s past from many angles since the ’70s; his most recent published work is One People, Many Paths: A History of Jewish Milwaukee, but he achieved star status when his book The Making of Milwaukee was adapted by MPTV into an Emmy-winning documentary series. A public rather than an ivory tower intellectual, Gurda is also a thoughtful commentator on contemporary issues, grounding his analysis of the present on a profound understanding of the past. (D.L.)



Liz Shipe

Dan Vaughn


Movie Theater


Oriental Landmark Theatre

2230 N. Farwell Ave.



Even people who seldom go to movies have been to the Oriental. The building was a landmark long before it became part of the Landmark Theatres chain. While not the city’s oldest movie house (that would be its Landmark sister, the Downer Theatre), the Oriental remains Milwaukee’s last functioning movie palace—at least until the Avalon reopens. Although it makes room for blockbusters, the Oriental devotes most of its screen time to films that would never appear in the bland settings of the local multiplexes. (D.L.)



Rosebud Cinema



Museum (Non-Art)


Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells Street




Grade school field trips have made so many Milwaukeeans nostalgic for this natural and human history museum. From the candy store in the Streets of Old Milwaukee to the howler monkey in the rainforest exhibit, there’s lots for kids to love and learn. Where else can you go from the Amazon to the Incan empire to the Arctic Circle all in one day? Additions of the domed IMAX theater and live butterfly garden have kept the museum current. Generations of locals look forward to the day they can teach their children about the rattlesnake button. (Lacey Muszynski)



Harley-Davidson Museum

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum


Outdoor Festival


Irish Fest

200 North Harbor Drive




The world’s largest celebration of Irish culture is held right here in Milwaukee every August. More than 130,000 people attend Irish Fest each year, making it the largest of the ethnic festivals held at the Summerfest grounds. Irish and Celtic music is the prime attraction, with many bands flying in from Ireland. Celtic rockers Gaelic Storm are the main draw, headlining every night of the festival. Cultural exhibits on Irish food, instruments, genealogy and language are popular, as are baked potatoes topped with Irish stew. (L.M.)



Bastille Days

Locust Street Festival


Radio Station


88Nine Radio Milwaukee

220 E. Pittsburgh Ave.




 Some seven years ago, WYMS was a jazz station owned by MPS. Since then, a new format was created with management and programming turned over to 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. Now the station is about community and a diverse selection of adult alternative music. They bring new music to our Midwestern ears, frequently long before the commercial stations pick it up, and give radio play to local musicians at least once an hour. “Listener supported” means no commercials, so in between songs, you may hear brief, uplifting reports about people and things making a positive impact in Milwaukee. (Susan Harpt Grimes)



WSSP SportsRadio 1250



Stage Actor


John McGivern


Offstage, John McGivern is as nice a man as you will ever meet. Onstage, in any of his enormously popular one-man shows, he’s just as nice but funnier; and he might be a woman. In The Wonder Bread Years, he plays TV hostess Earlene Hoople, the “Queen of Rural Media,” taping her last live Christmas special. His autobiographical A Kodachrome Christmas appears at a variety of art centers this (and every) December. Bravely, sweetly honest, his comedies remind us of the things we have in common and the need to respect our differences. His PBS series “Around the Corner” begins its fourth season in January 2015. In each episode, the Emmy-winning actor/playwright chats with residents of a different Wisconsin town while historian John Gurda explores the town’s history. (John Schneider)



Lee Ernst

Christian Siebert


Local Actress


Deborah Staples


Deb Staples is an associate artist at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and a longtime member of that company’s immediate family. Her bravura performance last season as the good-hearted trouper Belinda Blair in the farcical Noises Off was hilariously recognizable and mercifully humane. Her warm, wise portrait of the grown-up Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird the season before was the perfect bridge for the audience to that delicate story. Happily, she’s appearing on more Milwaukee stages these days. An impeccable artist, she’s also a fine teacher, carefully mentoring young actors at Marquette University. When students speak of their experience in her classes, they beam with love and pride. (J.S.)



Liz Norton

Angela Iannone


Theater Company


Milwaukee Repertory Theater

108 E. Wells St.




With the second largest budget among Milwaukee art institutions, the Rep has the responsibility to meet the highest standards of artistic excellence while serving the city’s many communities. Clearly, the company takes those responsibilities seriously. Excellence in production, casting and direction has been the Rep’s longstanding forte and last season’s play selection was outstanding. Theaters large and small often strive to avoid controversy, justifying an ivory tower or commercial stance with the notion that art is apolitical, itself a political position. Sensitive, risk-taking script choices have made the Rep bravely progressive in matters of art and community, even as its shows entertain and move us with great acting and designs. (J.S.)



First Stage

Soulstice Theatre


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