This Month in Milwaukee: 16 Things to Do in August 2020 – Shepherd Express

Posted By on August 12, 2020

As uncertainty continues, local arts groups stage events virtually and musicians venture cautiously onto Milwaukee stages. Be sure to check ahead in case of cancellations.

Milwaukee County Zoo

The decision to transition to reopen parts of the Milwaukee County Zoos indoor spaces has involved much careful thought, planning, and review, with staff, visitors and animals safety as the first priority, said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley last month. And he wasnt being overly cautious about the zoos permanent residents. Animals at the Bronx Zoo have contracted COVID. In Milwaukee, the zoos outdoor habitats were already reopened in June to limited numbers of daily visitors. Physical distancing, masks and reservations continue to be required.

360 Degree Tour @ Milwaukee Public Museum

The Streets of Old Milwaukee has long been one of the museums most visited permanent exhibits. History books show pictures and tell stories of the citys past, but the Streets of Old Milwaukee allows us to step inside and connect the senses to imagination. The narrow brick-paved lanes and small storefronts selling goods made on-site paint a living portrait of an all but forgotten, hand-crafted time. One thing an observant eye will appreciate: theres not a screen in sight.

Free Admission @ Milwaukee Art Museum

For the first half of the month, the Milwaukee Art Museum will continue to offer free admission to all visitors. New protocols are in place, including robust cleaning procedures, signage to promote social distancing and hand sanitizing stations throughout. Staff and visitors must wear face coverings. Only the first floor will be open but paintings from the American collection and masterworks from the Bradley Collection have been moved to areas open to the public. The Museum Store and Windhover Caf are open. Advance tickets can be reserved at

The Dog Show @ Tory Folliard Gallery

Forget about all those pet dog pictures on Facebook. When Wisconsin surrealist Fred Stonehouse paints a dog, the canvas is filled with a tearful beast under a full moon, grasping an egg in clawed palms. A sad were-dog? Stonehouse is curator of The Dog Show, an exhibition of paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and sculpture by more than 30 artists. Stonehouse is celebrating the canines role as mythic surrogate and formal muse.


The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka in the d Ghetto @ Jewish Museum Milwaukee

When the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz, a Russian officer found a diary in the rubble of the crematorium. The author, a teenage girl named Rywka Lipszyc, had been locked inside the dz Ghetto along with the Polish citys other Jews. Seventy years later, her journal was translated and published as The Diary of Rywka Lipszyc. The journal is at the heart of the most recent exhibition at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, which continues as a virtual tour.

A Community of Voices @ Museum of Wisconsin Art

The West Bend museum presents work by six Milwaukee artists associated with the Sisters of Creativity, an art collective that seeks to recognize African American women who have long been marginalized from the mainstream art world. The diversity of the exhibition includes assemblages, collages, sculptural work and works on paper by Blanche Brown, Rhonda Gatlin-Hayes, Chrystal Denise Gillon, Ruthie Joy, Tia Richardson and 2019 City of Milwaukee Artist of the Year Rosemary Ollison. While their media vary, they are united in purpose: championing social justice and civil rights, giving voice to the voiceless, expressing spirituality and coping with trauma.

I Am a Story: Self-Portraits at The Warehouse @ The Warehouse

Fifty self-portraits from the collection of John Shannon and Jan Serr were chosen for this exhibition at their Menomonee River Valley art space. At the heart of this exhibition is that through these self-portraits each artist is telling us a story, curator Nick Pipho says. This concept has become even more appropriate given the current state of the country and the world. At a time when meeting new people, interacting with them face to face and learning their stories has become increasingly fraught, this exhibition offers a new way to have that experience. The concept of a self-portrait is also one that permeates our society perhaps more than any time in the pastin an age of selfies and social media.

Better, Bigger, Brighter: 150 Years of Milwaukee Politics @ Milwaukee County Historical Society

In most ways, Milwaukees story fits in with the national narrative, but it contains significant twists that stand out, says Milwaukee County Historical Society curator Ben Barbera, including a half century under what was a particularly Midwestern Socialist Party focused on fiscal responsibility, municipal services and the health and well-being of its citizens. The exhibit will feature photographs, banners, buttons and other artifacts from the Historical Societys archives that relate to Cream City politics from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Alejandro Escovedo @ The Back Room at Colectivo

Alejandro Escovedo has become a familiar face to Milwaukee music fans in his visits over the last few decades. His career has moved from punk rocker opening for The Sex Pistols to performing with the likes of Ian Hunter and Bruce Springsteen. Able to move from acoustic ballads to melodic, high-energy guitar music, Escovedos songs draw from his rich heritage and rock n roll adventures. This show was rescheduled from March.

GGOOLLDD with special guests Lex Allen and Seasaw @ Turner Hall Ballroom

GGOOLLDD singer Margaret Butler has always dreamed big. The bands pop-synth sound and accompanying stage spectacle makes no bones they are out to deliver a show to remember. As Butler once told the Shepherd Express, Theres a reason that I made the band name obnoxious and huge and in all caps. Thats the vibe were trying to give off.

The Exotics @ Captain Pabst Pilot House

The Beach Boys sang about surf, but the real surf bands never sang a word. Surf instrumental acts such as Dick Dale and The Ventures expressed the exhilaration of surfing through trebly guitar-powered music. Milwaukees long-running surf/instrumental quartet will deliver a master class lesson in the genre. Like their 60s forbearers, The Exotics evoke a wider range of emotions than is usual in pop music. Urgent melancholy chases the elation of danger; Latin and Oriental cadences with resonant guitars and moist timbres ride on a big rolling beat.

The Verve Pipe @ The Back Room at Colectivo

Multi-platinum selling alt-rock band The Verve Pipe are one of the few acts continuing their 2020 touring schedule, and that includes a pair of Milwaukee dates. Best known for hits like The Freshmen and Photograph, the band is set to play the pair of rescheduled dates from this past April. All previously issued tickets for the shows will be honored. In the interest of public safety, the Pabst Theater Group has provided a list of safety guidelines and policies on their website for concerned concert-goers to reference.

Strummerfest MKE 2020 @ Walkers Point Music Hall

EEven before his untimely death in 2002 at age 50, The Clash, Mescaleros and 101ers outspoken front man, Joe Strummer, was known as a born leader. In death, he is nearing rock n roll sainthood. Expect a full night of music paying homage to Strummers wide-ranging influence.

The Bel Airs w/The Blues Disciples @ the baaree (105 S. Main St., Thiensville)

For three decades, the Pruitt brothers trio, The Bel Airs, have played the circuit with a danceable mix of authentic and eclectic blues/country/soul/rock n roll, a sound influenced by the likes of Wilson Pickett, Slim Harpo, Howlin Wolf and Johnny Cash.

Joe Louis Walker @ Shank Hall

With more than two dozen albums to his credit, Joe Louis Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner celebrates a career that exceeds a half a century. He began by playing psychedelic rock, detoured into gospel music and came around to the blues by the time of his 1986 debut album, Cold is the Night.

Kathy Mattea @ Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (3270 Mitchell Park Drive, Brookfield)

Grammy-winning country singer Kathy Matteas has enjoyed many hit songs across the years, including Goin Gone and Whereve You Been. Her 2018 album, the independently released Pretty Bird, was her 17th long-player. The recording showed changes in her voice, the effects of aging that could have put a permanent end to her performing. Heeding the advice of Tony Bennett, who suggested Mattea find a teacher and re-learn to sing, she returned to performing after extensive vocal training.

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This Month in Milwaukee: 16 Things to Do in August 2020 - Shepherd Express

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