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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

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Milwaukee Ballet announces Harmony Initiative

The Milwaukee Ballet has teamed up with the UWM Peck School of the Arts and the Medical College of Wisconsin to launch the Harmony Initiative, a new vision for Milwaukee's performing arts and education community.

The initiative will help establish a nationally recognized destination for Milwaukee's fine arts and higher educational institutions and satisfy a critical need to develop a unique business model that better addresses funders' and audiences' needs, while allowing the city to utilize its creative community as a force for civic engagement and economic development.

As part of the project, the Medical College intends to develop a full sports medicine clinic within the space that will serve as the new home for Milwaukee Ballet and its school.

UWM's Peck School of the Arts will amplify its partnership with the Ballet by providing students a state-of-the-art space to stage public dance programs, heightening its accessibility and visibility within the dynamic arts district in downtown Milwaukee.

The Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation has announced a $1 million gift, which allows the partnership to take critical next steps that establishes a project cabinet, considers additional creative partners, and identifies a studio site, while also pursuing an architect of record.

Columbia St. Mary's bright new grand atrium.
Columbia St. Mary's bright new grand atrium.
A view of Lake Michigan from a patient room.
A view of Lake Michigan from a patient room.
Another view from a patient room.
Another view from a patient room.
Green roof exemplifies commitment to excellence.
Green roof exemplifies commitment to excellence.
Art throughout, from Wisconsin artists.
Art throughout, from Wisconsin artists.
State-of-the art air flow and recycling system.
State-of-the art air flow and recycling system.

New Columbia St. Mary's hospital opens Oct. 12

The dust has settled and the attractive landscaping is complete, paving the way for the East Side's new Columbia St. Mary's Hospital to open Oct. 12.

President and CEO Leo P. Brideau says they've created a hospital "different from anything else in the region ... and will make significant contributions to the way health care is delivered both locally and nationally."

Principal architect Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum designed the new hospital according to Evidence-based design, an emerging science that guides health care design to improve patient outcomes based on elements such as access to nature, patient control and stress reduction.

The results of the $417 million project are stunning.

The nine-story building includes expansive windows offering an abundance of natural light as well as panoramic views of Lake Michigan and Downtown.

Spectacular additions include an airy grand atrium facing the water and two-story family lounges. The hospital now has 312 patient beds, with a 411 on the total 22-acre campus.

The hospital's design also paid special attention to the environment, incorporating green technologies that reduce energy consumption. Two rooftop gardens, which can be viewed from patient rooms, absorb rainwater to alleviate pressure on the city's drainage system.

A computerized lighting system automatically adjusts exterior lights based on the time of day and season and all fixtures use high-efficiency fluorescent bulbs.

Additionally, 80 percent of the old building materials were recycled and 84 percent of the new building materials are recycled materials.

Teecycle's Tim Cigelske.
Teecycle's Tim Cigelske.

Do your part to help #SaveTeecycle

If you're a Milwaukeean on Twitter, chances are you're already aware of the various efforts to help the homeowners who lost close to everything this past July in what's been dubbed "The Great Brew City Flood."

One family in particular, Tim and Jess Cigelske (and their baby Clara) own Teecycle, a venture that recycles the cool used T-shirts and sells them cheaply while donating a portion to the city's River Revitalization Foundation. When word surfaced that their Whitefish Bay home was raved by flood waters, friends, family and the Twitter community stepped up to help them.

The culmination of this effort unfolds tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 18 at Sprecher Brewery from 7 to 10 p.m. It's called #SaveTeecycle and it's a free event, though donations are accepted at the door for the Cigelskes and other families in need.

There'll be music, food (provided by COA) and lots of sweet T-shirts for sale.

Call Me Lightning's Nathan Lilley.
Call Me Lightning's Nathan Lilley. (Photo: Sam Macon)

Call Me Lightning hits the road with Russian Circles

Call Me Lightning kept fans waiting for more than three years before releasing its follow up to 2007's highly-praised "Soft Skeletons." And sure, record label and bass player changes had a lot to do with that, but we like to stand by the adage that says good things come to those who wait.

The band got back to basics this year and signed with Milwaukee's own Dusty Medical Records to release "When I'm Gone My Blood Will Be Free" in late July. This is the record that, at long last, pays proper tribute to the fact that the band is named after a Who song.

It's a pretty significant departure from "Soft Skeletons" -- and especially from "The Trouble We're In," both of which prettied up semi-sloppy punk into something you could dance to but did nothing to discard the chaotic immediacy of each song.

"When I'm Gone..." on the other hand takes its time. It's an album of epic builders that, at times, reach anthem-like climaxes and then chugs along in the dramatic way only ‘70s rock can.

It's sounds like a good fit for Call Me Lightning. Frontman Nathan Lilley sings as if he's been liberated.

After playing a few shows locally this summer, including the inaugural "Save the Turf" benefit show at the Cactus Club in late September, the trio is hitting the road with Chicago's Russian Circles for a tour that shoots them around the Midwest and the West Coast. There aren't any Milwaukee shows on the list, but Madison's High Noon Saloon has the band booked for Oct. 16.

For specific tour dates, look here.