Imagine This Podcast

Imagine MKE

Join David Lee, Mac Antigua, and Lindsay Sheridan for a breezy weekly podcast about the goings on at Imagine MKE where they celebrate the joyful abundance in Milwaukee's arts and culture world.

Every week, they welcome Milwaukee artists, administrators, civic and business leaders, and other cultural creators to talk about how their work enriches Milwaukee and the region.

All Episodes

This week, we have a very special show: during our Summit on Tuesday, November 16, we invited attendees to step up to a StoryCorps style booth and record a conversation. They responded, in pairs or solo, to questions pulled from a deck. We start the episode with reflections on the outcome of the Summit with Lindsay, Mac, and David. Then:  18:10 (Lalese Stamps) and (Reva Kashikar) (LollyLolly Ceramics)  “ (Gotta Have That Cute Mug? Act Fast)” (NY Times)  “ (This Milwaukee Native is Moving her Famous Ceramics Business to her Hometown),” (Journal Sentinel) (Maranta Plant Shop)  “ (Not Just a Plant Shop): Two Milwaukee entrepreneurs grow a business while impacting Black and brown communities,” (Journal Sentinel)  20:46 (Cate Miller)  21:55 (Mikey Murry) and (Genesis Renji) (Dream Lab)  25:30 (Terry Murphy)  “ (Supporting Arts and Culture)” Shepherd Express  26:50 (Kailee Evans) and (Mikey Murry)  30:56  Lindsay and Antoine  Music Transition: “Milwaukee Strong,” Shonn Hinton, Featuring the Milwaukee All Stars          Support this podcast

Nov 23

55 min 28 sec

The Milwaukee Arts, Culture, Creative Industry Summit today is sold out! If you can't join us today at the St. Kate, we've put together a compilation of 32 Arts and Culture Czar segments from the three seasons of our podcast. At our Summit, we will be asking the 200-plus folks to tell us their Arts and Culture Czar proclamations. You can play along at #ImagineSummit. Jim Neuner, Sunstone Studios, 5:20: Collaborate and use under-utilized resources like schools Megan McGee , Ex Fabula, 8:30: Fund and value local arts and artists Rosy Petri, Artist, Co-Chair Public Policy Work Group, 10:09: Make beauty and public art accessible Michael Hostad, Light the Hoan, 11:08: Create a culture where creative people can make cool things Ian Abston, Light the Hoan, 13:30: Take the opportunity to “finish” and build Milwaukee Kristina Gomez, Milwaukee Public Library, 15:00: Incorporating food access into cultural production LaShawndra Vernon, Artists Working in Education, 16:19: Tax hospitality for neighborhood arts development Wes Tank, Tank Think, 17:20: Share, collaborate, and make dope things Pat Buckley, Buckley & the Russian General, 19:16: Flood the zone with funding for creatives Ray Nitti, Sharp Creatives, 21:26: Talent Retention and invest in neighborhoods Que El-Amin, Young Enterprising Society, 23:32: Tax Credits for creative industries Mikal Wesley, Urbane Communities, 24:24:00: Tax Incentives in local talent Bobby Drake, Independent Artist, 24:52:00: State funding coming through a creative council Anne Basting, TimeSlips, 25:55:00: Social Rx & Artist in Residence in City & County Eric Tillich, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 27:54:00: Increase state and local funding Malkia Stampley, Actor/Director, 28:44:00: Transition existing leadership Kurt Ravenswood, Producer, 31:00:00: Film fund; get out of the way Pardeep Kaleeka, Interfaith Conference, 31:33:00: Make more access to art May Adrales, Milwaukee Rep, 32:10:00: Make Theater free & free coffee Arvind Gopalratnam, Milwaukee Bucks, 33:36:00: Bring back the holiday folk fest Kendra Ingram, The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 34:55:00: Arts and culture tax district Briana Baurichter, Artist, 37:08:00: Integrate arts into education Beth Weirick, Downtown BID #21, 38:34:00: Make kids travel and bring back culture Jeffery McAllister, Fashion Sense, 39:44:00: Emerging neighborhood arts council Wendell Willis, MPS Foundation, 40:57:00: New buildings/development must have an arts and design aspect Dan Schafer, Journalist, 43:43:00: Equitable funding for BIPOC artists Sarah Smith Pancheri, Summerfest, 44:40:00: Abundant arts education Bob Babisch, Summerfest, 45:21:00: Ensure small arts eco system Dasha Kelly Hamilton, Wisconsin and Milwaukee Poet Laureate, 45:57:00: Mandate arts experiences Greg Bach, The Laughing Tap, 49:04:00: All arts respected; mandatory attendance Kaitlin McCarthy, The Laughing Tap, 49:50:00: Arts funding in schools; reduce stigma in participation Matt Kemple, The Laughing Tap, 51:36:00: More arts funding Support this podcast

Nov 16

57 min 28 sec

This week on the pod, we're guest-less! Mac, David, and Lindsay talk all about Imagine's upcoming - first ever - Arts, Cultural, and Creative Industry Summit at Saint Kate next Tuesday, Nov. 16. Register for the Summit: (   Episode ephemera: (MSG is the King of Flavor)  “ (The Campaign to Redefine Chinese Restaurant Syndrome)” (NY Times) (Imagine MKE Launch Party video) (Register for the Pre-Conference Orientation on November 10 at Noon)  Support this podcast

Nov 9

28 min 36 sec

This week, we welcome Jason Foster, Destination Crenshaw President and COO. Destination Crenshaw is a reparative development project and will be the largest Black public art project in the U.S. and quite possibly the world. Ultimately, the project will commission more than 100 works by Black artists who have strong ties to Los Angeles, creating a pipeline of work and jobs for emerging, seasoned and internationally renowned artists. Jason joins the pod at 15:00.  Follow Jason Foster: (Destination Crenshaw)   Insta: @DestinationCrenshaw   Twitter: @DestinationShaw  Episode ephemera: (All Growns Up) (Mork’s First Appearance on Earth) (The Cunningham House on Happy Days) (Barbells Protein Bars) (LA Gear) (KERRY JAMES MARSHALL: "PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A SHADOW OF HIS FORMER SELF") (The Improbability Principle) (California Creative Workforce Act)  Support this podcast

Nov 2

51 min 26 sec

This week, we welcome on Joost Allard and Pete Reynolds, co-founders of Learn Deep. Learn Deep is an independent initiative to drive the creation of a Milwaukee model for education that encourages connection between teachers and new community partners. This is driven by the knowledge that students need repeated opportunities for hands-on work across disciplines, an environment that rewards curiosity and collaboration, and a community that is willing to experiment and dare together to drive change for its students. Follow: (Learn Deep) and on Twitter @LearnDeepMKE  Episode Ephemera: (Chilly Willy) (Eagle Rock School) (Aspen Institute) (Big Hearted Misanthrope)  Support this podcast

Oct 28

1 hr 9 min

This week on the pod, we welcome Bobby Drake (stage name for Larry D. Brown II). Bobby started his career in Milwaukee as a spoken word artist, has been active working in community and political activism, and has been a Television Segment Producer with PBS Black Nouveau which led to an Emmy Award and a National Association for Black Journalists Award. Currently, he is the founder of an ecommerce workshop called Royalties Build Lifestyles, which teaches independent music artists how to build income strategies, and works as part of the Executive Committee at Courtier House.  In the intro, Mac and David welcome Lindsay back from a couple weeks away from the pod and talk about her visit to Iowa. Then, they think about putting 10,000 into work, art, and more.  Bobby Drake joins at 15:00. Growing up watching his family practice music and perform at Summerfest (16:35), creativity is a technical skill and arts creation is real work (22:45), helping audiences and buyers understand the professionalism of arts and creativity (29:15), getting a loan for an album (31:00), Royalties Build Lifestyles (37:20), getting in the work and clocking in as an artist every day (43:15), Czar of Arts and Culture (1:00).     Follow Bobby Drake (@BobbyDrakeDidIt ) (Royalties Build Lifestyles) relaunching on Cyber Monday  311 Ephemera (Decorah, IA: Drift Less, Visit More) (Why do some people call Rock-Paper-Scissors Rochambo?) (Complexity and the Ten-Thousand Hour Rule)  Support this podcast

Oct 19

1 hr 10 min

This week, we welcome on Misha Siegfried – musician, producer, designer, and Creative Director at Neu-Life to talk about the organization’s upcoming Gallery Night pop-up exhibition created by students.  In the opening, David and Mac talk about our recent community leader gathering and working towards the Imagine year three vision.   Misha joins the pod at 17:40. his previous life as a professional touring musician (19:05), starting at Neu-Life and becoming Creative Director (21:58), growing teaching creative arts at Neu-Life and working towards more equitable access to arts education (28:50), launching Neu-Life TV (37:25), building Neu-Life into a content creation medium and Neu-Life's new building (41:25), opportunity for Milwaukee’s creative class (46:50), tikkun olam and Blues music (49:50), joy (56:45), Metamorphosis (58:00), Czar of Arts and Culture (1:10:48). (Neu Life) (Misha’s personal site) (Working in the Imagine Salt Mines) (The Racial Divide in the Creative Economy) (Greater Equity) (BrandLab) (Neu-Life Youth Work Innovation Center) (Arte Para Todos)  Metamorphosis, Fri 10/15 at The Shoppe, 5 – 9 pm  Support this podcast

Oct 12

1 hr 19 min

This week, we welcome on friends from Historic Milwaukee to talk about their recent Doors Open event: Grace Fuhr, Special Events Director and Julia Griffith, Program Director.   David and Mac start off the episode by roasting Lindsay in her absence. Then, Mac updates us on his creative life outside of work - a filming of a sketch piece involving official things like booms and green screens.   Grace and Julia join at 16:00 and we start by celebrating this as Julia’s third appearance on the pod. Food and dance experiences that left a strong imprint on them both (17:30), the return of in-person Doors Open (23:10), offering virtual tours (32:40), Historic Milwaukee’s app (38:40), favorite sites at this year’s Doors Open (41:45), what’s coming up at Historic Milwaukee in 2021 and 2022 (46:50), Julia’s third reign and Grace’s first as Czar of Arts and Culture (54:00).  Follow Historic Milwaukee, Inc. on (Facebook,) (Twitter), and (Instagram)  Download the Historic Milwaukee App on (Google Play) or the (Apple Store)  309 Ephemera (Symphony Secrets: Dirt from the Pit) (E107: Milwaukee’s Rich History w/ Julia Griffith) (E221: 414 Day, Sharks and Space w/ Julia Griffith) (Ck Ledesma) (Google Arts and Culture) (Proyecto Conbif Beef) (Woodland Pattern) (Doors Open MKE) (Virtual Content) (Port of Milwaukee) (Jones Island: The Story of Milwaukee’s Lost Fishing Village) (Terry McCormick Contemporary Fine and Folk Art Gallet Virtual Tour)  Support this podcast

Oct 5

1 hr 4 min

This week on the podcast, we welcome Matt Kemple, Kaitlin McCarthy, and Greg Bach - comedy masterminds behind The Laughing Tap, Milwaukee Comedy Fest, and many other things Milwaukee comedy.  To start, we hear about Mac’s trip to Vegas, Lindsay answers David’s questions about orchestras, and we brainstorm getting Milwaukee stars trained up as musicians or dancers.  Matt, Kaitlin, and Greg join the pod at 15:30. Impactful comedy experiences in their past (16:10), opening The Laughing Tap (23:40), the audience at the Tap (28:53), the Milwaukee Comedy Fest (37:53), tips for a first time visit to the Fest (48:38), Czars of Arts and Culture (52:15).  Follow: (Laughing Tap) (Milwaukee Comedy Fest) (10/3 - 10/10)   Music Transitions: “Milwaukee Strong,” by Shonn Hinton and the Milwaukee All-Stars  E2 Ephemera (Imagine MSO, March 2020 – Sept 2021) (Why the Concertmaster is always a Violinist) (What Does a Conductor Actually Do? (BBC)) (Does an Orchestra Need a Conductor?) (Matt Kemple on Arts Forward MKE) (Why chicken fingers are the best (Washington Post)) (Chicken Fingers & Comedy Clubs) (History of Milwaukee’s Comedy Scene (OnMilwaukee))  Support this podcast

Sep 28

1 hr 5 min

This week, we welcome Adam Carr, a freelancer and “Milwaukeeist” that has worked in community organizing, in-depth tours, journalism, public art, history projects, mentoring, filmmaking, photography and dialogue. He has been described him as a “social justice storyteller,” a “connector,” a “public artist,” a “story activator.”  First, David and Lindsay tackle the intro sans-Mac and celebrate two years of working at Imagine.  Adam joins the pod at 9:45. Growing up the son of an art therapist (10:56), developing an addiction to the feeling of walking into the story of someone’s life (15:20), Milwaukee’s perceptions of locals and outsiders (17:57), Adam’s experience of going away to college (20:05), Milwaukee’s Asian story and growing up in a multicultural environment (29:00), history of The Oriental Theatre and considering the problem of its reductive nature in 2021 (33:50), comparing The Oriental Theatre to wrestling (47:20), Czar of Arts and Culture (53:10).    Follow (Adam Carr) and read (Neighborhood News Service).  Music Transitions: “Milwaukee Strong,” by Shonn Hinton, featuring the Milwaukee All Stars  307 Ephemera (Nancy Wang Yuen) (Atmospheric Theaters) (Oriental Theatre Urban Spelunking) (Gimmicks (Professional Wrestling)) (Shinsuke Nakamura) (The New Day) (Travel Writers Convention)  Support this podcast

Sep 21

1 hr 3 min

This week we welcome Eric Tillich, President & CEO, and Mitch Shiner, Chair of Jazz and Contemporary Music, from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music to the podcast to talk about the MusiCreation Station, their new, mobile music recording studio.   After a warm welcome, the gang share stories about their own music education experiences (1:42); Eric and Mitch join and share stories about inspiring arts and culture experiences (spoiler: having Bobby McFerrin see into your soul and The Replacements fighting each other) (13:43); Innovating arts education online during the pandemic (26:40); Expanding music access with the MusiCreation Station (39:27); The MusiCreation experience at Summerfest, and Mitch gets the gang in a call and response! (49:15); Changing the landscape of music education in Milwaukee (53:00); Eric and Mitch’s turn as the Czars of Arts and Culture (58:08); Easter Egg outtake: David’s outlaw car (01:15:00)  Follow: (The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music) on (Facebook) and on Twitter and Insta @wcmusic1899 and (Mitch Shiner) on (Facebook) and on Twitter & Insta @Shiney_Music  Go visit the MusiCreation Station at Summerfest near the entrance of the south marketplace next to the Feris wheel!  Music Transitions: “Milwaukee Strong,” Shonn Hinton and the Milwaukee All Stars  306 Ephemera: (Palos East Elementary) (Roosevelt Middle School) (Sun Prairie High School) (Bobby McFerrin “VOCAbuLarieS”) (The MusiCreation Station) (The Milwaukee Artist and Creative Survey) Support this podcast

Sep 14

1 hr 18 min

This week we welcome Heather Dunn, senior vice president and chief financial officer of West Bend Mutual Insurance Company. She’s wrapping up her tenure as one of the three co-chairs of the United Performing Arts Fund 2021 Community Campaign, and brings her lifelong passion for the arts – fueled by experiences like working as a Dickens caroler at the American Club in high school and singing throughout college – to volunteer leadership in the Milwaukee arts community.   In the intro, the crew talks about their own recent artistic pursuits – taking auditions, acting in commercials, and more. If there’s anything Lindsay can audition for on our next recurring bit, send the information our way.  Heather joins the pod at 14:10. Growing up surrounded by arts and books (15:40), forks in the road between the arts and other interests (19:50), West Bend Insurance’s band (24:50), Heather’s nonprofit service (28:45), reacting to the pandemic and the arts as a way to heal (32:15), the importance of funding the arts (39:00), turn as Czar of Arts and Culture (44:15).  Follow: (Heather Dunn;) (West Bend Insurance) on (Facebook;) and (UPAF) on (Facebook,) (Insta), and (Twitter)   Music Transitions: “Milwaukee Strong,” by Shonn Hinton, featuring the Milwaukee All Stars  E305 Ephemera: (Metcalfe Park Painted) (Jewish Community Food Pantry Mural Celebration) (Kettle Moraine Symphony) (Bel Canto Chorus) (Festival City Symphony) (Sunstone Studios)  Support this podcast

Sep 7

51 min 25 sec

Our guest this week is Malkia Stampley-Johnson is an actor, director, arts facilitator and consultant and emerging producer who – among many incredible credits – is the Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival, which just wrapped up its second year.  In the intro, Lindsay, Mac, and David discuss the big news that Mayor Barrett is being recommended for appointment as the Ambassador of Luxembourg – meaning we’ve gotta brush up on our Luxembourg arts and culture knowledge.  Malkia joins the pod at 14:30. The impact of TV, theater, and family music-making early in life (15:40), growing up in Milwaukee and beginning her theater career here (21:40), what it means to be centered in Milwaukee (28:05), how Milwaukee Black Theater Festival was built (29:40), how the second year unfolded (35:55), how the festival honors leaders and celebrates young talent (38:35), “Pretty Fire”’s lead Camara Stampley (41:55), change needed to build a more equitable arts and culture community (45:40), turn as Czar of Arts and Culture (56:50).GUEST BIO:  Follow (Malkia Stampley): @MalkiaStampley on Facebook and Insta  E304 Ephemera: (Luxembourg Culture) (Onboarding innovations at the State Department) (UNESCO (United Nations Education Scientific Culture Organization) World Heritage Sites in Luxembourg)  “ (Raisin in the Sun” (1989), American Playhouse (dir. Bill Duke))  “ (61st Street” (2022))  Support this podcast

Aug 31

1 hr 5 min

This week, we are honored to have Sarah Smith Pancheri (COO and VP of Sales and Marketing of Milwaukee World Festival) and Bob Babisch (VP of Entertainment, Milwaukee World Festival) join us – and we can’t believe they were able to take a break to hang with us in the middle of Summerfest preparations.  To start out, the crew shares our top picks for things to check out at Summerfest (see list below).  Sarah and Bob join at 17:50. Past arts experiences that highlight their love of arts and music (19:40), what’s changed and what’s stayed the same in Milwaukee arts and culture over the years (29:00), what makes the Milwaukee audience and experience unique for touring artists (37:10), the thrill of discovering new music (41:20), making the shift to a three-weekend format (45:15), anticipating the logistics of the vaccination and COVID test requirement (54:25), both Sarah and Bob take a turn being the Czar of Arts and Culture (57:50).  Follow (Summerfest): @Summerfest  Music Transitions: “ (The Marina),” The Docksiders  302 Ephemera  Summerfest Schedule  9/2 to 9/4:   Lindsay: Yola, Leon Bridges  David: Steely Dane  Mac: Indigo Girls  9/9 to 9/11  Lindsay:  Klassik, Tank and the Bangas, Nikhil Korula Band  David: Wilco  Mac: Living Colour  9/16 – 9/18  Mac: Joan, The Bleachers  David: Thurston Moore, Pixies, GGOOLLDD, Psychedelic Furs  Lindsay: The Black Pumas  Imagine Friends playing Summerfest  Klassik  You Win!!!  Trapper Schoepp  Peter Mulvey & Sistastrings  Reyna  Support this podcast

Aug 24

1 hr 5 min

This week on the show, we welcome Kurt Ravenwood. Kurt directs commercials, music videos, and short films. He also produces indie feature projects with friends, including the forthcoming film “Corridor” based in Milwaukee. He also started SRH, a full-service agency with a team of 25 and clients like Harley-Davidson, Dean Health Plan, Children’s Hospital, and Palermo’s Pizza. Plus, he helped Wes Tank with his runaway Dr. Seuss / Dr. Dre mashups, and lead the effort to create the show StoryRaps for Kidoodle TV.  The team starts by welcoming Mac back after his week away in San Francisco. Lindsay and Mac share about their own prior (very professional) filmmaking experience, and David shares about filming at golden hour and being both the director and craft services.   Kurt joins the pod at 19:10, calling in from sabbatical in Pasadena. Then: a memorable screening of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (20:50), gaining new perspective on Milwaukee’s strong film scene (24:00), Milwaukee’s roots of hard work and current forward energy (28:00), arts and culture as a way to understand different cultures and ways of being (30:55), being the Jrue Holiday of “Corridor” (35:35), fundraising for the film (44:45), potential for growth in Milwaukee’s film scene (47:15), NFTs get a shout out (55:00), an efficient Czar of Arts and Culture reign (55:35).  Personal Website: (  Corridor: (  Corridor Teaser Trailer: (Corridor Teaser)  StoryRaps: (  SRH: (  Music Transitions: “One Fish, Two Fish,” Wes Tank  E302 Ephemera (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts) (Charles Gaines – SF MOMA) (The Marriage of Charlie Johnson) (Days of Heaven)  116: (Dr. Dr. With Wes Tank) (Vilmos Zsigmond) (Close Encounters of the Third Kind) (The Bonfire of the Vanities Opening Oner) (The Great Muppet Caper) (Point Blank)  Support this podcast

Aug 17

1 hr 5 min

We’re back! This week, David and Lindsay are recording live and in-person at Sunstone Studios’ grand opening, speaking with Meg Stroble - Director of Marketing and Community Engagement for Sculpture Milwaukee. Meg has a background in filmmaking & photography and a passion for public art and the city of Milwaukee- which she has called home for almost 15 years. She lives in a cream-city brick building in Walker's Point with her fiance, Andrew, and their 70 houseplants. In the opening, we share a story from our live audience member Jared and talk about our summer vacations (including some rejuvenating arts experiences). Meg joins the pod at 7:40. We start with talking about being a plant parent. Then: seeing a Broadway style show as a young kid (9:45), participating in theater growing up (11:05), moving to Milwaukee for film school (12:50), Milwaukee as a strong film city (14:15), working with a fashion photographer and moving into jewelry (17:55), starting at Sculpture Milwaukee (20:50), how Sculpture adjusted in 2020 and 2021 (23:45), the importance of public art in engaging communities (25:10), Buskerfest (32:08), working with partners (36:10), this year’s exhibition (40:00), and Meg’s turn as Czar of Arts and Culture (45:00). Follow: (Sculpture Milwaukee) S301 Episode Ephemera (Sunstone Studios) (Stephen Hawking’s Time Travel Party) (South Dakota Trip!) (The Blue Shirt Controversy) (Percent for the) (Arts National Database) (Film Tax Credits) (Database by State) Support this podcast

Aug 11

49 min 49 sec

The whole Imagine MKE team is here for a particularly harebrained season finale show concept. Join us as we wait to see who calls in. When they do, we’re gonna ask them two questions: What’s something you’re looking forward to this summer? What’s something you’re taking forward with you from the pandemic?  Our guests:  2:50 – Jason Haas (Twitter/Instagram: @haazah)  9:35 – Steven Olikara (Twitter/Instagram: @StevenOlikara)  20:20 – Samer Ghani (Twitter/Instagram: @SamerGhani)  26:20 – Ray Nitti (Twitter/Instagram: @RayNitti)  33:30 – Dan Condon: (Twitter/Instagram: @theDanCondon)  To wrap it all up, Antoine shares what he’s excited about coming up in our neighborhood partnership work. Mac talks about upcoming travels, and how going away always gives him even more appreciation for Milwaukee. We talk about the power of seeing friends in person again. Esteban shares his reflections as his time with Imagine wraps up. Lindsay makes a plea for Milwaukee friends. And finally, we roast ourselves a bit by naming what would be on an Imagine MKE bingo card.   E32 Ephemera (The Dignity Tour) (Mild Tiger Shirts) (The Creative Corridor) (Rainbow Summer)  Support this podcast

Jun 29

57 min 33 sec

This week, we welcome writer Anuradha D. Rajurkar. Anuradha is the national recipient of the SCBWI Emerging Voices Award for her contemporary debut novel, American Betiya. Born and raised in the Chicago area to Indian immigrant parents, Anuradha earned two degrees from Northwestern University, and for many years had the joy of being a public school teacher by day, writer by night.  In the intro, the crew talks about being back out in the world and experiencing extrovert overload - and how that’s led to some waking up in the middle of the night and needing to get back to sleep through counting sheep/Madden plays/fantasy careers.  At 15:20, Anuradha joins the show. The influence of Call Me By Your Name on her book revisions (16:27), growing up as a journal writer and wanting to become an author (19:45), finding moments to write while working and raising two kids (22:55), Milwaukee’s supportive author and artist community (28:35), breaking ground in the YA genre (33:30), reaction to the book so far (38:15), importance of visual art in the book (40:50), the book’s cover art (45:45), thinking about the movie/show of the book (49:50), learning through the editing process (53:20), turn as Czar of Arts and Culture (54:47).  Follow Anuradha: (Web) | Insta: @AnuradhaDRajurkar | Twitter: @ADRajurkar1  Buy (“American Betiya” at Boswell Book Company)  Music Transitions:  E31 Ephemera (The ImagineNation Epic Partnership) (Saqiba Suleman)  Support this podcast

Jun 22

1 hr 4 min

This week on the pod we welcome Milwaukee business owner and community leader Omar Shaikh. Omar is well-known for his award-winning restaurant Carnevor, one of the top-rated steakhouses in Wisconsin, and he is also a partner in Wisconsin Ticket Concierge, O & B Consulting, and 3rd Street Market Hall at The Avenue and Tuk Tuk Chicago, a short-distance electric cab service. Omar has a passion for moving the city of Milwaukee forward through his active involvement in the community. He currently serves as board chairman of VISIT Milwaukee and is a member of the Wisconsin Center District board of directors.   In the intro, Mac and David are on their own with Lindsay away. After a Gen-X-things chat gone too long (which you can hear some of in the easter egg at the end), they decide to share about their experiences of going back to favorite Milwaukee restaurants post-pandemic.  At 12:16, Omar joins. His experience of visiting Wynwood Walls in Miami (12:56), his role in the Third Street Market Hall development which will feature 24 different vendors (15:10), how his love of connection with people got him into the hospitality industry (16:57), how restaurants worked together and the challenges and excitement of ramping back up (18:53), growth in Milwaukee and Omar’s deep belief in the city (23:59), Milwaukee’s diverse culinary scene (26:15), chef cliques and collaborations (27:50), Milwaukee’s tastes from simple to adventurous (29:30), Omar’s turn as Czar of Arts and Culture (31:55).  Then, Mac and David wrap up the episode – and stick around for an easter egg of “Gen-X Things” at 41:00.   Follow Omar: ( & @OmarMKE1 on Twitter  Music Transitions: “Milwaukee Strong,” The Milwaukee All-Stars  E2 Ephemera (Wynwood Walls) (New Jersey Nets June 10 Menu at Carnevor) (The Avenue)  Alternate Opening Easter Egg Ephemera (McDade’s) (American Sale) (What Killed Service Merchandise?)  Support this podcast

Jun 15

45 min 18 sec

Our guest this week is artist Amanda Huff: electronic musician, film composer, lawful-evil sorcerer, and bug extraordinaire hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition to Huff's solo work, one of Amanda’s band is "You Win !!!" - a fresh, new, trip-hop/dark-pop project comprised of longtime collaborators Amanda Huff (vocalist/composer), and This Random Machine (producer). Together, their sound is a dynamic blend of thunderous arrangements, playful vocals and sharp lyrics.  In the intro, we copy Pop Culture Happy Hour and share what we’ve been taking in this week: for Mac, a cricket documentary of YouTube; for David, Passion Pit and the podcast “Asian Enough”; for Lindsay, Bo Burnham’s “Inside” on Netflix.  At 9:30, Amanda joins the pod. Seeing a shocking piece as a MIAD freshman (11:10); experiencing disorienting moments in art (14:20); putting emotion and vulnerability in art (19:30); the role of audience in experiencing art (21:20); working in various mediums (24:15); claiming the title of artist (28:00); how Milwaukee can better support artists (31:00); how pandemic times influenced Amanda’s art making (34:05); what is the conversation Amanda wishes was happening in the arts scene? (38:10); Amanda’s turn as Czar of Arts and Culture (40:55); the joy of naming components of self and songs (43:30).  Follow Amanda and You Win !!!:  You Win !!! (Facebook Page), (Spotify), (Bandcamp)  Amanda Huff on (IG), (Spotify)  Music Transitions: “Caroline’s,” by Amanda Huff  Ephemera: (“Fire in Babylon” Pt. 1)  “ (Manners)” (Turns 10) (Asian Enough: Sandra Oh) (Bo Burnham: “Inside”) (The Name Change Project) (Alex Corona)  Support this podcast

Jun 8

56 min 7 sec

This week, we welcome Christine Yoon – Senior Program Officer, Arts at the Wallace Foundation. She brings to the role experience in philanthropy, nonprofit arts administration and for-profit business development at American Express and the New York Philharmonic.  In the intro, we welcome Lindsay back from Minneapolis and talk about what the team has been thinking about this week – uncertainty and creativity and how to navigate getting through this moment.  At 18:47, Christine Yoon joins the pod. Her arts and culture experience that left an imprint on her was seeing Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings live (20:45); her musical childhood being obsessed with classical music idols (23:10); how Christine’s career has brought through culture shifts and into philanthropy (27:35); being an AAPI leader in the philanthropy field (33:50); lack of philanthropic funding in AAPI communities (35:45); lack of leadership development funding for nonprofits, and the problem with relying on sweat equity (39:35); how foundations are meeting this moment and choosing what to leave behind (47:15); how Christine manages uncertainty (54:10); scenario planning (58:38); closing with a family story (1:01:40).  Music Transitions: “The Marina” by The Docksiders  E2 Ephemera (The Neuroscience of Creativity, Perception, and Confirmation Bias | Beau Lotto | Big Think) (The Role of Play in Health Equity) (Building Audiences for the Arts) (Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy) (AAPIP) (Seeking to Soar: Foundation Funding for Asian American & Pacific Islander Communities) (Scenario Planning for the Arts and Culture Sector) (Culture Track)  Support this podcast

Jun 1

1 hr 10 min

This week on the pod, Mac and David revisit the glory days of being a podcast-producing duo as Lindsay is out of town. To start, cueing up Christine Yoon from Wallace Foundation who will now appear next week (you know, best laid plans). Starting at 6:45, how a chat about how to use their podcast time led to an immediate trip to the Lover’s Lane Sushi and Seafood Buffet for lunch – and a return to the sort of pre-pandemic spontaneity we had around the office pre-pandemic.   At 18:30, they dive into an exploration of person/role/system - and cue up digging into Mac and David in person more by grabbing questions from a “50 Diversity and Inclusion Questions” booklet. They answer: “What makes you uncomfortable about diversity and why?” ”Do you ever feel the need to hide a part of yourself to fit in?” and “What is the best part of being you?”  E227 Ephemera: (Navigating Uncertain Times: A Scenario Planning Toolkit for the Arts and Culture Sector) (The Wallace Foundation) (Lovers Lane Sushi and Seafood Buffet) (The Brimful Life) (Making the Invisible Visible: A Celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Culture, Art & Activism)  Support this podcast

May 25

45 min 28 sec

Our guest this week is Pardeep Singh Kaleka. Kaleka is executive director of Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, founder of Serve2Unite, a published author of “The Gifts of Our Wounds” and a clinician specializing in utilizing a trauma-informed approach to treat survivors and perpetrators of assault, abuse and acts of violence. A native of Punjab, India, Pardeep Singh Kaleka grew up in Milwaukee, WI. As a former police officer and educator in the city of Milwaukee, Pardeep understands the difficulty facing our communities locally and abroad. Both in his practice and out, Pardeep’s passion remains one of healing and transformation.  In the intro, David’s back with another dogecoin update. Then, we talk about the possibility for the arts and culture sector as the City and County begins to make decisions around American Rescue Plan Act money.   At 13:25, Pardeep joins. We start off talking about seeing the value in each of our neighbors, and appreciating the artistry in each person (14:55); how do we get people to lean into who they are (18:40); what helped him to have the courage to forge his own career path (24:45); how to show and respond to callings from the universe? (29:35); how to we stay connected to each other in this new future? (36:47); how do we hold on to green shoots of humanity? (42:00); forgiveness and freedom (44:50); creating vulnerable sacred spaces (50:48); love for self and love for others, and navigating political divides with friends and family (57:00); Pardeep’s turn as Czar of Arts and Culture (1:01:55).  Follow Pardeep Kaleka @PardeepKaleka on Twitter and @PardeepSinghKaleka on Facebook   Web: http://www.the/ (  Music Transitions: “Milwaukee Strong,” by Shonn Hinton featuring the Milwaukee All-Stars  E2 Ephemera (Write the Mayor and Common Council about ARPA) (2021 Unity Awards: Pardeep Singh Kaleka – Milwaukee Magazine) (Pardeep Kaleka’s Carroll University Commencement Address) (Passing Down Trauma through Epigenetics)  Support this podcast

May 18

1 hr 13 min

Today’s guest is Steven Olikara, Founder and Senior Advisor of the Millennial Action Project (MAP), a national, nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to renewing American politics through post-partisan, Millennial leadership. In this role, Olikara activates young policymakers to bridge partisan divides and forge common ground on future-focused policy issues. He was the driving force behind establishing the bipartisan Congressional Future Caucus, the nation’s first Millennial-led caucus in the U.S. Congress. A nationally-recognized social entrepreneur, Olikara’s work has been featured on NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera America, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, National Journal, POLITICO, USA Today, and more. Olikara has been named the Millennial of the Year, an Aspen Ideas Scholar, and one of the Most Influential Leaders Under 40 in Washington Life magazine.  In the intro, Mac, Lindsay, and David talk about dogecoin, and their own early artistic experiences that showed exactly who they would be when they grew up.   At 14:25, Steven joins the pod. Early arts experience that shaped him – seeing a rock band perform at an elementary science fair for the first time and convincing his parents to buy him a guitar (15:45); what he learned from making music that informs what it takes to organize politically (22:00); what it takes to set up spaces where people of different political views can show up and be vulnerable, and getting young political leaders on board with agreeing to be in conversation to break down these barriers (27:00); jazz as an example of artists leading societal change (41:00); repairing polarization and encouraging greater human connection in politics coming out of the pandemic (43:00); Steven’s turn as the Czar of Arts and Culture (49:00).   Finally, after we say goodbye to Steven, the end is the beginning: Pre-SNL Dogecoin and Elon Musk Easter Egg (59:17).  Links  Follow Steven Olikara: @StevenOlikara on Twitter and Instagram (Millennial Action Project): @MActionProject (Meeting in Middle America Podcast)  Music Transitions:  “Lift You Up,” Steven Olikara and Michael Chang  “Different,” Steven Olikara  E225 Ephemera: (Dogecoin) (What is Dogecoin?) (Dogecoin: Cryptocurrency as Community) (If Democracy Has a Sound, It Would be Jazz) (To Build Back Better, Find the Jazz in Democracy)  Support this podcast

May 11

1 hr 1 min

Our guest this week is Arvind Gopalratnam, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Milwaukee Bucks and Executive Director of the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation. In his role, Gopalratnam will oversees the day-to-day operations of the Bucks Corporate Social Responsibility Department while furthering the philanthropic efforts statewide of the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation.  But first off, in the intro: the Imagine team is almost fully vaccine “marinated,” so they’re starting to get back out into the world. David went to a performance at the Milwaukee Rep, Mac went to his daughter’s vocal recital, and Lindsay’s rehearsing with Bel Canto. Plus, Mac has a pitch for Planet Fitness.  At 12:53, Arvind joins the pod. Mac can’t help but open with some Bulls/Bucks rivalry. Then: learning piano and becoming a diehard Phish fan (he’s been to over 50 shows) (15:40); Arvind's career start as an NBC Page, including work with NBC Sports and doing seating at SNL (25:20); how his view of Milwaukee’s arts and culture has been informed by his role on the board of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music (32:30); how the Bucks embrace supporting Milwaukee’s arts community (36:00); how the Bucks lived into the responsibility of the moment last summer in support of Black Lives Matter and how it will impact their community engagement work moving forward (38:20); it’s Arvind's turn as Czar of Arts and Culture and he wants to bring back the holiday folk fair (50:30).   Plugs (Milwaukee Bucks)  Twitter: @Bucks  Twitter and Instagram: @BucksCommunity (Bucks Foundation Week) (5/3 - 5/7)  Ephemera (What tackle football in a sauna *might* look like ) (Ella Fitzgerald First Lady of Song) (Milwaukee Rep AAPI Month) (Ralph Vaughan Williams “Dona Nobis Pacem)” (Trey Anastasio loves Milwaukee) (Becoming an NBC Page is harder than getting into Harvard)  Support this podcast

May 4

1 hr 3 min

This week, we welcome Kendra Whitlock Ingram, President and CEO of the Marcus Performing Arts Center, one of the premiere performing arts centers in the state. Previously, she has held senior leadership positions with several major performing arts institutions including Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver, Omaha Performing Arts, Shenandoah Performances at Shenandoah University, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and The Detroit Symphony.   Intro: we jump right into getting excited about the Oscars (though we recorded it pre-Oscars). We highlight Milwaukee ties to the Oscars over the years, including Mark Rylance, Orson Welles, John Ridley, Justin Hurwitz, and Willem Dafoe.  Kendra joins the pod at 11:44 and starts off by sharing about how her love of the arts was sparked by attending performances in her hometown of Scranton with her mom at a young age. Kendra shares about the beginning of her career in arts administration (19:26), perspective on Milwaukee’s experience of arts and culture in comparison to other cities (26:33), race and equity in the arts industry at large and Marcus Center’s focus (30:10), learnings from a year running a performing arts center during a pandemic (44:00), Kendra’s turn as the Czar of Arts and Culture includes building more public funding for the arts (51:45).   New segment easter egg: Mac and David explain Gen-X stuff to Lindsay (1:02:41)  LINKS (Marcus Center for the Performing Arts)  Facebook:  Twitter: @MarcusCenter  Instagram: @Marcus.Center  Audio Transitions: (“Caroline’s” by Amanda Huff)  EPHEMERA (Shaka King (for the Vassar lolz)) (Mark Rylance) (Orson Welles) (John Ridley) (Justin Hurwitz) (How they Got the Wrong Envelope) (Willem Dafoe) (“Voices Carry” Til Tuesday) (“No Myth” Michael Penn)  Support this podcast

Apr 27

1 hr 3 min

Show Description  Our guest this week is Maya Enista Smith, Executive Director of Born This Way Foundation, which was co-founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, to support the mental health of young people and work with them to create a kinder and braver world. In the intro, we bring back the “interpret my dream segment” with a dream submission from Lindsay. Mac and David share about art and culture experiences from their youth that affirmed their identity. Mac shares about Milwaukee based-orgs doing similar work to Born This Way Foundation. Maya joins at 19:09. She shares her arts and culture origin story and love of storytelling (22:15); finding moments for daydreaming and enchantment, and finding inspiration in watching talent, passion, and purpose at Lady Gaga’s level (25:10); what it’s like to have Lady Gaga invite you to be part of her team (26:40); creating fun partnerships with Starbucks, Deloitte, and young people (30:17); how to have a conversation around KPIs with things as unique and personal as kindness, love, and mental health (34:00); adjusting to meet the mental health challenge of the pandemic (38:10); and favorite examples of fostering inclusion through arts and culture (43:25).   Bonus to close us out: Mac’s interpret my dream (55:37).  Audio Transitions: “ (Lovely Child)” by VUCA (featuring Barbara Stephan and Dave Olson)  Plugs:  Maya Enista Smith / Twitter: @MEnista (Born this Way Foundation) (Channel Kindness) (Facebook) (Twitter) (Instagram ) S222 Episode Ephemera: (NGen Fellowship (where are the pre-2014 classes???!)) (414 (New) Day) (British New Wave) (Big Trouble in Little China) (Barbershop Real Talk) (PEARLS for Teen Girls) ( (Project 150 in Las Vegas) (Exploring the Arts) (Move this World)  Support this podcast

Apr 20

57 min 1 sec

Our guest today is Julia Griffith, Program Director at Historic Milwaukee – back for the second time to follow up on her 2020 appearance, which was our most popular episode ever.  We get started by answering question #414 from Mac’s book of 1,001 conversation starters: If you could do something very daring without fear, what would you do? (Answers include swimming, jumping out of an airplane, hiking the Appalachian Trail.) Then, we talk about the pilot programs launching in San Francisco and St. Paul to provide a universal basic income to sets of artists for the next six to eighteen months.   Julia joins at 20:30. Historic significance of 414 as our area code, and how rotary phones work (22:20), 414 Day start in MKE in 2010 (25:00), how Historic Milwaukee has innovated during pandemic times (29:46), what lessons might Historic Milwaukee take with them moving forward (35:00), where is Julia looking forward to getting back into and how might Milwaukeeans relate to space moving forward (38:20), Julia's thoughts on how we’ll look back on this time (42:45), Julia answers question #414 from Mac’s book and we are surprised to find out that Julia loves sharks (48:10), where to find Historic Milwaukee, and about their new walking tours app (52:35), and who is the next John Gurda and is it Julia (55:00)?  Stick around for a totally whimsical, mainly space camp focused after-pod hang with Julia (and David comes back) starting at 59:41.  Historic Milwaukee: (Website), (Facebook), (Instagram), (Twitter)  For the app, search Historic Milwaukee Inc on Apple Store or Google Play (Historic Milwaukee 414 Day Sale)  E2 Ephemera (414 Day Activities in Milwaukee) (Imagine this Podcast, E.7 w/ Julia Griffith, the last time we had someone in the studio) (What is a rotary phone?),causes%20the%20shark%20to%20release.%E2%80%9D (A Life Saving Tip: Bop a shark on the nose) (Why do rockets launch from Florida?) (Correction: Space Camp was saved by private fundraising (look out class of 2022)!) (Space elevators)  Support this podcast

Apr 13

1 hr 10 min

Our guests today are Jenny Gropp and Laura Solomon, Executive Directors of Woodland Pattern Book Center - and perfect timing, as we start National Poetry Month!  We get started with a challenge for our listeners: let us know if you’d come to an in-person, outdoor podcast recording someday. Then, we talk about the American Rescue Plan Act money coming to Milwaukee and what we’re working on proposing for how it could support artists. And Mac shares how the Arts and Culture Advancing Public Health cohort is kicking off (which you can still (sign up for here)). Plus, Lindsay previews a new video that will be coming on 414 Day.  Jenny and Laura join us at 12:00. We start with a couple poetry readings to center us. Past cultural memories that were powerful opportunities for connection and healing (18:35); finding the balance between in person and virtual events moving forward (29:00); what’s can be the role of poetry for Milwaukee moving forward (32:35); news about a Milwaukee Youth Poet Laureate program starting (35:40); what Jenny and Laura hope we’re all talking about a year from now (38:16); how will we handle sharing space together moving forward (41:10); Jenny and Laura’s reigns as the Czar of Arts and Culture (44:15).   Woodland Pattern: (Instagram) and (Web)  Music Transitions: “All of Everything at Once” Ruth B8r Ginsburg at Woodland Pattern’s 39th Anniversary Gala  E220 Ephemera: (An American Tail) (Arts and Health Cohort) (Life in Motion) (Natalie Diaz) (Bruise Bullet Flower)  Support this podcast

Apr 6

56 min 19 sec

This week, we start off with Lindsay’s new piano variations on the tropical house beats, David (Lee’s) invitation to audition for a reality TV show, Mac asking Lindsay and David to interpret his dream, and the Bloomberg article about The New York Times NFT.  David Najib Kasir (and the only David reference in the rest of this paragraph, not to be confused with David Lee) joins the podcast at 14:27. Reconnecting after a year and sharing some love for the Bulls; going to see the Bisa Butler exhibit at Art Institute of Chicago (19:24); David’s work and how it helps change the narrative for Arabs (23:29); how David has dealt with the last year (28:43); going to the studio every day during the pandemic (33:50); David’s sculpture-turned-NFT made at our last in-person work group meeting (36:00); David’s take on NFT’s (41:30); and what would help make Milwaukee better for artists to create? (50:14)  David Najib Kasir: (Instagram), (Website)  Music Transitions: “Tropical House Variations,” Lindsay Sheridan  E2 Ephemera (Beeple’s $69 Million JPEG) (Planet Money) (Bisa Butler) (Chicago Institute of Art) (David Park) (The Ratio of Percents in Ghosts)  (David Najib Kasir) (Epstein Was Murdered) (Rarible) (NFTs Are a Pyramid Scheme) (FStoppers) (NFTs (SNL))  Support this podcast

Mar 30

1 hr 2 min