By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Aug 04, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Milwaukee's performing arts fiasco at the Skylight Opera has made its way to The New York Times.  

Reporter Dan Wakin was in town last week to explore the "meltdown" at this 50 year-old cultural institution.  His piece is published today.  

I don't claim to know the ins and outs of this situation, so I won't even attempt to provide opinion on the matter itself.  But, several local bloggers including Jonathan West (, Mike Brenner and former newspaper classical music and dance critic Tom Strini have written extensively on this "issue."  

I will provide a few thoughts on arts and entertainment in Milwaukee and its coverage.  Let's face it, we are blessed with an extremely plentiful quantity of quality arts groups.  When you factor in Milwaukee's size, our numbers for the arts are very impressive. 

The arts spur creativity, business growth and generate buzz.  Yet, it's a somewhat niche topic area.  Of course the arts are for everyone, but reality is that like local music and to an extent sports people are either fans or very indifferent.  But, the fans -- by definition -- are passionate and loyal.  

At we're comitted to Milwaukee and the local arts scene.  And, we open our magazine to all who want to discuss, review and converse about the topic. No, we haven't written about the Skylight situation. But, since our medium is a conversation, not a sermon, many readers have chimed in via our talkbacks and message boards.  

Yet, it is a bit sad when we see an arts group bickering and taking their "troubles" to the national press.  But, hey, life happens and exposure is exposure.  

So, read the Times piece and react as you will.  No matter what you do, I suggest that you support our local arts scene.

Personally, I like that Wakin called us an "earnest and polite city."  We are just that and more. 



Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.