Best of Milwaukee 2022: Arts & Entertainment

Art Gallery (Not Museum)

Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel

As of 2019, Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel offers live music, art exhibitions, 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 run by MOWA and the other by the hotel, are worth a visit in themselves. (Blaine Schultz)


Dream Lab

En Pointe Gallery and Gifts

Var Gallery

Art museum

Milwaukee Art Museum

The high rails of the museum addition by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava have become a Milwaukee icon—and you can’t beat that heated underground parking lot in the winter. The Milwaukee Art Museum has a strong collection at its core, covering the ancient world as recently as yesterday, and hosts several major exhibitions during each calendar year. Not to be missed is the current exhibit, a look at the artists who reflected America’s raw urban scene in the early 20th century, “After Ashcan: The 14th Street School,” through March 26. (David Luhrssen)


Grohmann Museum

Haggerty Museum of Art

Art Museum Warehouse | WAM

Art & Craft Fair/Market Market

Milwaukee Makers Market

Aiming to support local artisans, Ryan Laessig started the 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 products and network with customers and other artists. (Sheila Julson)

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Cream City Creatives


Re: Craft & Relic

Choir Group

Wisconsin kids

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


Bach Chamber Choir

Hunt Claire

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

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 features everything from Disney animated film scores to Handel’s Messiah, from contemporary composer Tan Dun to concert hall favorites such as Dvorak and Vivaldi – usually in the wonderful setting of the Bradley Symphony Center. (Morton Shlabotnik)


Bach Chamber Choir

Hunt Claire

Present Music


Charlie Behrens

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


Dana Ehrman

John McGivern


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 wide variety of cuisines, a 5K run to kick off the festivities and a replica of the Eiffel Tower and more. At Bastille Days, there is an endless supply of beautiful art and cultural entertainment, 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

The Milwaukee Ballet continues to blend the contemporary with the classical, making it a favorite among Shepherd Express readers. During its 52-year history, the Milwaukee Ballet has developed a national reputation for its work on historic works of modern ballet, such as Swan Lake. For the kids, 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 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 welcoming, whether she’s discussing celebrity gossip or sharing stories of her family. In addition to radio, Faith also hosts a public affairs podcast for the station and is known to spend time volunteering and giving back to the greater Milwaukee community outside of the airwaves. (Allen Halas)


Anthony Foster

Element Everest-Blanks

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Mandy Scott

Local TV Personality / Stage Actor

John McGivern

There’s 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 on his PBS show “Around the Corner” are a joy to watch. If you’ve seen him on stage, you’re sure to find yourself laughing as John McGivern does what he does best—making Milwaukee a brighter place. (Susan Harp Grimes)

His friends Shepherd

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Finalist: TV Personality

Brian Gotter

Shannon Sims

Ted Perry

Finalist: Stage Actor

Anna Marie Zorn

Dear Ruthie

Dimonte Henning

Elyse Edelman

Milwaukee author

British Nicole

British Nicole is many things – poet, singer, healer, performer and musician to name a few. Co-founded the PENTastic open mic in 2013. currently hosts the Lyrical Sanctuary open mic 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 Lursen

Ellia Anna Hill

Jenna Kashou

Movie theater

East Theater MKE

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


Atmospheric Avalon Theater

Landmark’s Downer Theatre

Marcus Theatres

Museum (Non-Art)

Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells St.

Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM), Milwaukee’s favorite museum of natural and human history, 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 each year. With a new home on the horizon, MPM will deliver wonders of the world for generations to come. (Sheila Julson)


America’s 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 teach foundational cognitive skills for children as young as four. Students of all ages are welcome to learn. WCM also offers tuition assistance. (Blaine Schultz)


Wisconsin kids

Milwaukee Jazz Institute

Sound Check Studios

Lakefront Festival


Milwaukee’s premier music festival and outdoor venue puts ‘summer’ on the festival scene. The internationally renowned—and famous—music festival features literally every genre of music and entertainment 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

Relax on the Hill

It’s no secret that here in Milwaukee we try to cram as much summer as we can into the precious few days of warm weather. Every Tuesday night from June through August, the band in Humboldt Park features a lineup of local, live music. The family-friendly event attracts a number of food trucks, there’s a beer and wine garden, blankets are welcome, dogs are welcome. The site also hosts other events, including a fall pumpkin stand, ethnic festivals and movie nights. (Blaine Schultz)


Franksville Craft Beer Garden

Jazz in the Park

That much tonight

Radio station

Radio Milwaukee

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


91.7 WMSE-FM

Milwaukee’s NPR 89.7 WUWM-FM

WISN – News/Talk 1130


Milwaukee Repertory Theatre

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

At 67 years old, the Agent continues to truly live the saying, “the show must go on!” even when the pandemic shut down everything, including the upcoming season of Titanic: The Musical last spring of 2022, in the middle of production. The ill-fated ship set sail again when The Rep brought it back last fall, even more robust and sturdy in a sleek, stylish production that thrilled audiences performing live … again. (Harry Cherkinian)


Falls Patio Players

First stage

Next Act Theatre

Skylight Musical Theatre


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