A few weeks ago, OnMilwaukee announced that Kendra Whitlock Ingram was named the new CEO for the Marcus Center. Whitlock moved to Milwaukee after living in Denver and serving as executive director of the University of Denver's Newman Center for the Performing Arts.
To get to know Ingram a little better, we asked her what she was most excited about to explore in her new city. Here is a great list of five Milwaukee things she's passionate about and thoughtful commentary from her as to why.
1. Diverse arts throughout the city
"It's no secret that the Marcus Performing Arts Center attracts impressive, innovative and diverse programming. This results in deep engagement from community members and truly makes it Milwaukee's premier arts destination. The diversity of the Marcus Center's programming was a major draw for me throughout the interview and selection process. Although I was trained as a classical musician, I have always had a great love for all forms of performing arts. Leading an organization that presents the best of touring Broadway, as well as a mix of music, dance and theatre, strongly aligns with my interests and experience. I’m looking forward to the exciting shows at the Marcus Center this year, like Hiplet Ballerina Company, National Geographic Live and Florentine Opera's Macbeth, as well as programming in the community, like The Rep’s production of 'Eclipsed.'"
" Milwaukee’s Downtown renaissance has received national attention. When I experienced Milwaukee as an attendee at the Arts Midwest Conference in 2016, I was blown away by everything the city had to offer. Although I'll be sad to part with my Denver Nuggets, now is an amazing time to be a Bucks fan! I hope to make it to Lambeau Field for a game next season, and I am excited to join a dynamic, growing community with a vibrant arts, entertainment and sports scene."
3. Local beer / breweries
"Denver has a strong history of beer culture, but Milwaukee's 'Brew City' nickname is well-deserved. My husband and I love trying new restaurants, bars and breweries, and we're excited to get acquainted with beloved Milwaukee establishments, like Lakefront Brewery, Good City Brewing, Sprecher and MobCraft. While here in 2016, I, of course, needed to try the famous Spotted Cow. I immediately understood the hype and bought a case at the airport on my way out of Milwaukee."
4. Local competitive fitness
"My husband and I enjoy participating in triathlons, and after volunteering at his first Ironman race, which he completed here in Wisconsin, I caught the bug to race, too. I enjoy the diversity of the training, the process of working toward a goal and using my training as time to de-stress. Both Milwaukee and the entire state of Wisconsin offer and host amazing outdoor activities. I will be participating in the Milwaukee Half Marathon on April 11, which will be a great way to experience the city as a new resident. I'm also looking at competing in the Bigfoot Triathlon at Lake Geneva this summer. There is a strong communal aspect to fitness here, and we're excited about the various groups and organizations that will allow us to engage with members of the Milwaukee community through fitness."
"In the same way that the downtown revitalization has gotten national attention, Milwaukee's food scene is clearly making a name for itself. Saint Kate, Odd Duck and The Fitz have certainly already caught my eye, plus Hotel Madrid and Dandan. My husband and I will be looking to the irreplaceable charm of Midwestern restaurants, the endless adored establishments in the city, and the delicious food to familiarize ourselves with our new home."
Welcome to Milwaukee, Kendra!
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.