Best of Milwaukee 2022: Arts & Entertainment | #gossip | #entertainment

Art Gallery (Non-Museum)

Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel

Since 2019, Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel, has offered 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 multiple categories is a feather in the cap for this unique destination. The galleries, one of them run by MOWA and the other by the hotel, are alone worth a visit. (Blaine Schultz)


Dream Lab

En Pointe Gallery and Gifts

Var Gallery

Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum

The soaring spires of the museum’s addition by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has become Milwaukee’s symbol—and you can’t beat that heated underground parking garage in winter. The Milwaukee Art Museum has a strong collection at its base, spanning the ancient world through just yesterday and hosts several significant exhibitions during each calendar year. Not to be missed is the current exhibition, a look at the artists who reflected America’s gritty urban scene at the start of the 20th century, “After Ashcan: The 14th Street School,” through March 26. (David Luhrssen)


Grohmann Museum

Haggerty Museum of Art

Warehouse Art Museum | WAM

Art & Craft Fair/Makers Market

Milwaukee Makers Market

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

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Cream City Creatives


Re: Craft & Relic

Choral Group

Kids From 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 suitable-for-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 Harpt Grimes)


Bach Chamber Choir

Chant Claire

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

Classical Music Ensemble

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Under the baton of music director Ken-David Masur, the MSO’s current season includes everything from Disney animated movie scores to Handel’s Messiah, from contemporary composer Tan Dun to concert hall favorites such as Dvorak and Vivaldi—usually in the gorgeous setting of the Bradley Symphony Center. (Morton Shlabotnik)


Bach Chamber Choir

Chant Claire

Present Music


Charlie Berens

Charlie Berens has become a local household name over the past decade. While he has traveled the country doing comedy tours, written the hilarious Midwest Survival Guide, and conducted countless interviews over the years, Berens 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 Harpt Grimes)


Dana Ehrmann

John McGivern

Ton Johnson

Community Festival

Bastille Days

Bastille Days hosts a wide variety of all things French in the heart of the city. The festival has everything for your inner Francophile; live music, a vast range of cuisine, a 5K run to kick off the festivities, and an Eiffel Tower replica and much more. At Bastille Days, there’s an endless supply of beautiful art and cultural fun, as well as the best crepes one could find this side of the Atlantic. (Elizabeth Lintonen)


Bay View Bash

Milwaukee Irish Fest


Dance Company

Milwaukee Ballet Company

Milwaukee Ballet continues to mix contemporary with classic, making it a favorite with Shepherd Express readers. Over its 52-year history, the Milwaukee Ballet has developed a national reputation for its work in modern ballet historical works like Swan Lake. For children, there’s always the beloved holiday favorite 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 hearing Alley Faith in the mornings on 103.7 KISS FM. Alley’s presence as part of the morning show on the station is always welcoming, whether 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 is known to volunteer time and give back to the greater Milwaukee community off the airwaves. (Allen Halas)


Anthony Foster

Element Everest-Blanks

Mandy Scott

Local TV Personality / Stage Actor

John McGivern

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

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Finalists: TV Personality

Brian Gotter

Shannon Sims

Ted Perry

Finalists: Stage Actor

Anna Marie Zorn

Dear Ruthie

Dimonte Henning

Elyse Edelman

Milwaukee Author

Brit Nicole

Brit Nicole is many things—poet, vocalist, healer, performer, and musician to name a few. She co-founded PENtastic open mic in 2013; currently she’s hosting 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

Movie Theater

Oriental Theatre MKE

Milwaukee is fortunate in having several cinemas from Hollywood’s golden age that are still operating as movie theaters. Perhaps the grandest of them all, the Oriental, is an architectural fantasy blending the Near East with the Far East. Its ambitious programming includes foreign, independent films and revivals across all genres. (David Luhrssen)


Avalon Atmospheric Theater

Landmark’s Downer Theatre

Marcus Theaters

Museum (Non-Art)

Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells St.

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


America’s Black Holocaust Museum

Discovery World

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

Music Education

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

For almost 125 years the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music has been Wisconsin’s leading 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 fundamental cognitive skills for children ages up to four-years-old. Students of all ages are welcome to learn; WCM also offers tuition assistance. (Blaine Schultz)


Kids From Wisconsin

Milwaukee Jazz Institute

Sound Check Studios

Lakefront Festival


Milwaukee’s premier music festival and outdoor venue puts the “summer” in the festival setting. The internationally known—and renowned—music fest literally features every type of music and entertainment possible under the sun, the moon and the stars. In fact, that’s the best way to enjoy it. (Harry Cherkinian)


German Fest

Irish Fest


Outdoor Music Series

Chill on the Hill

It is no secret that here in Milwaukee we try to stuff as much summer as we can into the precious few days of warm weather. Each Tuesday evening from June through August, the bandshell at Humboldt Park features a line-up of local, live music. The family-friendly event draws a bevy of food trucks, there is a beer and wine garden, carry-ins 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. Because they are community-supported they seem to recognize what the 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’s a little something for everyone on 88.9 FM. (Susan Harpt Grimes)


91.7 WMSE-FM

Milwaukee’s NPR 89.7 WUWM-FM

WISN – News/Talk 1130

Theater Company

Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Milwaukee’s premier theater company hits the top spot with readers given its innovative and diverse programming. 

At 67 years old, The Rep continues to really live the adage, “the show must go on!” even when the pandemic shut down everything, including its season closer of Titanic: The Musical last spring 2022 mid-stream, er, mid production. The ill-fated ship sailed again when The Rep brought it back this past fall, all the more sturdy and solid in a sleek, stylish production that enthralled viewers making live performance come alive … again. (Harry Cherkinian)


Falls Patio Players

First Stage

Next Act Theatre

Skylight Music Theatre


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