Best of Milwaukee 2022: Arts & Entertainment

Art Gallery (outside the museum)

Hotel Saint Kate-The Arts

As of 2019, Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel features live music, art exhibits, theater, cocktails, and food from steak to pizza. Its location is close to the Riverwalk, theaters, Lake Michigan and the Third Ward. Winning in several categories is a feather in the cap for this unique destination. The galleries alone, one of which is run by MOWA and the other by the hotel, are worth a visit. (Blaine Schultz)


Dream Lab

En Pointe Gallery and Gifts

Galeria Var

Museum of Art

Milwaukee Art Museum

The tall towers of the museum addition by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava have become a symbol of Milwaukee – and in the winter, you can’t beat this heated underground garage. The Milwaukee Art Museum has a strong collection at its base that spans the ancient world through yesterday and hosts several major exhibitions each calendar year. Don’t miss the current exhibition, a look at the artists who reflected America’s gritty urban scene in the early 20th century, “After Ashcan: The 14th Street School,” through March 26. (David Luhrssen)


Grohmann Museum

Haggerty Museum of Art

Warehouse Museum of Art | WAM

Art & Craft Fair/Makers Market

Milwaukee Makers Market

With the goal of supporting local artisans, Ryan Laessig launched the Milwaukee Makers Market in 2015 as a small outdoor event in the parking lot of Colectivo Coffee’s Bay View location. Now held at venues such as Discovery World and The Ivy House, the market has grown into a thriving hub for makers to sell products and network with customers and other artists. (Sheila Julson)

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Cream City Creatives


Re: Craft & Relic

Choir group

Children of Wisconsin

The Kids From Wisconsin are an extremely talented group of singers, musicians and dancers. Do yourself a favor and check out one of their all-ages shows. The Kids will blow your socks off with their high energy renditions of classic tunes, Broadway hits, pop and country songs. (Susan Harp Grimes)


Bach Chamber Choir

Sing Claire

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

A set of classical music

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

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Under the baton of Music Director Ken-David Masur, the MSO’s current season includes everything from Disney animated films to Handel’s Messiah, from contemporary composer Tan Dun to concert hall favorites such as Dvořák and Vivaldi—usually in the beautiful setting of the Bradley Symphony. center. (Morton Shlabotnik)


Bach Chamber Choir

Sing Claire

Contemporary music


Charlie Berens

Charlie Berens has become a local household name over the past decade. While Berens has traveled the country on comedy tours, written a hilarious guide to surviving the Midwest, and given countless interviews over the years, he may be best known as the “Manitowoc Minute Guy” who helps us laugh at our Wisconsinisms. Our accent, our unique customs, our heroes and perhaps most importantly, ourselves. (Susan Harp Grimes)


Dana Ehrmann

John McGivern

Ton Johnson

Community festival

Bastille Days

Bastille Days hosts a wide range of all things French in the heart of the city. The festival has everything for your inner Francophile; live music, a wide selection of cuisines, a 5K run to kick off the festivities, a replica of the Eiffel Tower and much more. On Bastille Day, there is an endless supply of beautiful art and cultural entertainment, as well as the best crepes to be found this side of the Atlantic. (Elizabeth Lintonen)


Bay View Bash

Irish Festival in Milwaukee


Dance company

Milwaukee Ballet Company

The Milwaukee Ballet continues to blend the contemporary with the classical, making it a favorite among Shepherd Express readers. During its 52-year history, Milwaukee Ballet has built a national reputation for its work in modern ballet historical works such as Swan Lake. For children, there is always a popular holiday pet, the Nutcracker. (Harry Cherkinian)


Catey Ott dance collective

Danceworks, Inc.

Ko-Thi Dance Co Inc

Local radio personality

Alley Faith

There are few constants in Milwaukee radio, but for the past 18 years, one of them has been listening to Alley Faith in the mornings on 103.7 KISS FM. Alley’s presence as part of the station’s morning show is always welcome, whether it’s discussing celebrity gossip or sharing stories of her own family. In addition to radio, Faith also hosts a public affairs podcast for the station and has been known to volunteer her time and give back to the greater Milwaukee community off-air. (Allen Halas)


Anthony Foster

Element Everest-Blanks

Mandy Scott

Local TV personality / theater actor

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John McGivern

There’s something about John McGivern that puts a smile on your face. He has a huge personality and is full of positive energy. His explorations of Milwaukee neighborhoods and neighboring communities on his PBS show “Around the Corner” are a joy to watch. If you’ve seen him on stage, you’ve surely found yourself laughing as John McGivern does what he does best – make Milwaukee a brighter place. (Susan Harp Grimes)

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Finalists: Television personality

Brian Gotter

Shannon Sims

Ted Perry

Finalists: stage actor

Anna Marie Zorn

Dear Ruthie

Dimonte Henning

Elyse Edelman

Author from Milwaukee

British Nicole

Brit Nicole is many things – poet, singer, healer, performer and musician to name a few. In 2013, she co-founded PENtastic open mic; currently hosts open mic Lyrical Sanctuary and is involved with Heal the Hood MKE, Wisconsin Association for Child and Youth Care Professionals, and Rooted Society. Earlier this year in April, Nicole released her debut spoken word album, Nocturnal Butterfly. (Ben Slowey)


David Luhrssen

Ellia Ana Hill

Jenna Kashou

The cinema

MKE Oriental Theater

Milwaukee is fortunate to have several movie theaters from Hollywood’s golden age that are still operating as movie theaters. Perhaps the greatest of all, the Oriental is an architectural fantasy connecting the Middle East with the Far East. Its ambitious program includes foreign, independent films and revivals across all genres. (David Luhrssen)


Atmospheric theater Avalon

Landmark’s Downer Theater

Marcus Theatres

Museum (non-artistic)

Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells St.

The Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM), Milwaukee’s beloved natural and human history museum, first opened to the public in 1884. Since then, permanent exhibits like Streets of Old Milwaukee, along with special exhibits, programs and collections, have educated and delighted more than half a million visitors per year. With a new home on the horizon, MPM will offer the wonders of the world for generations to come. (Sheila Julson)


American Black Holocaust Museum

Discovery World

Milwaukee Jewish Museum

Music education

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

For nearly 125 years, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music has been Wisconsin’s premier community music school. The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music is now the first institution to offer Smart Start™, a new and innovative early childhood education program that uses musical activities to train basic cognitive skills for children as young as four. Students of all ages can learn; WCM also offers tuition assistance. (Blaine Schultz)


Children of Wisconsin

Milwaukee Jazz Institute

Sound Check Studios

Lake Festival


Milwaukee’s premier music festival and outdoor venue brings “summer” to the festival scene. The internationally known – and renowned – music festival literally offers every kind of music and entertainment possible under the sun, moon and stars. In fact, this is the best way to enjoy it. (Harry Cherkinian)


German festival

Irish festival


Outdoor music series

Chill on the Hill

It’s no secret that here in Milwaukee we try to cram as much summer as possible into the rare days of warm weather. Every Tuesday night from June to August, the band in Humboldt Park offers an array of local live music. The family-friendly event attracts a bevy of food trucks, there’s a beer garden and wine garden, overnight cars are welcome, dogs are welcome. The site also hosts other events, including a fall pumpkin pavilion, ethnic festivals and movie nights. (Blaine Schultz)


Franksville Craft Beer Garden

Jazz in the park

Tosa tonight

Radio station

Radio Milwaukee

For 15 years, Radio Milwaukee has been making our radio band a happier place. Being supported by the community, they seem to know what people want to hear. Whether it’s Marcus Doucette taking requests on Saturday mornings and weekdays at noon, or Kenny Perez giving us a reason to get up and dance on Saturday nights. There is something for everyone at 88.9 FM. (Susan Harp Grimes)


91.7 WMSE-FM

Milwaukee NPR 89.7 WUWM-FM

WISN – News/Talk 1130

Theater company

Milwaukee Repertory Theatre

Milwaukee’s premier theater company ranks first among readers with its innovative and diverse programming.

At age 67, Rep continues to truly live by the saying, “The show must go on!” even when the pandemic halted everything, including the season approaching Titanic: The Musical last spring of 2022 in mid-, um, mid-production. The ill-fated ship sailed again when the Rep brought it back last fall, stronger and stronger in a sleek, stylish production that captivated audiences by bringing live performance to life…again. (Harry Cherkinian)


Players on Falls Terrace

The first stage

Theater of the next act

Svetlíkové musical theater


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