Press Release

Black Lives Matter: Racial Disparity and the Criminal Justice System

February 2, 2016

Alverno Forum

Alverno College is hosting a forum on racial disparity and the criminal justice system. Milwaukee has a long history of residential segregation, educational inequalities and employment gaps. This discussion will address the repercussions that discrimination has on African Americans and explore the disparities in the criminal justice system. The panel will also discuss why black lives matter, and share ways in which the community can engage in efforts to make a change.

The forum will be moderated by Celia Jackson, director of the Alverno College International and Intercultural Center. Panelists include:

  • Martha Barry, Racial Justice Director, YWCA Southeastern Wisconsin
  • Reverend Willie E. Brisco, past president of Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope, MICAH
  • Edith Hudson, retired Assistant Chief of Police, Milwaukee Police Department
  • Reggie Jackson, Chairman of the Board of the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation, the parent organization of America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM)

The Alverno Forum series seeks to join community leaders in discussing cutting-edge topics that have a daily impact on the lives of people in our community and beyond. The next discussion in this year’s series takes place on Thursday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sister Joel Read Conference Center. The Alverno Forum series is free and open to the public. For more details, please visit our website at http://www.alverno.edu/forum/.

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Alverno Presents to Close Its Doors at the End of the Current Season

January 13, 2016

Alverno Presents, the performing arts series of Alverno College and Milwaukee’s longest-running fine arts series, will close at the end of the 2015-2016 season. For 56 years, the college has sponsored the innovative, critically-acclaimed program, but must now strategically direct the college’s resources toward increasing student financial aid, programming and services.

“Alverno College passionately believes that a vibrant performing arts culture is vital to our community and to student life. Throughout our history, the arts have been and will continue to be an integral part of our mission,” said Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., president of Alverno College. “We are saddened by the loss of Alverno Presents but incredibly proud of all that David and his team have accomplished.”

The decision to close the curtain on Alverno Presents did not come lightly. The program has carved out a niche for itself bringing contemporary dance, world music, jazz and avant garde performances to the Pitman Theatre stage, as well as crowd favorites including Judy Collins, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Barbara Cook. Other performances featured up-and-coming artists like Rodrigo y Gabriela, Andrew Bird, Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso) and Christopher Porterfield (Field Report). Under the leadership of David Ravel, artistic director for the last 13 years, Alverno Presents has cultivated a loyal audience and garnered both local and national acclaim. His vision brought world-class performances to Milwaukee audiences, and introduced many to cutting-edge dance performances, conceptual pieces and performance art not seen on other Milwaukee stages.

Among his many successes, Ravel is responsible for bringing Global Union to town. The one-day world music festival, which takes place in September at Humboldt Park, features artists from every corner of the globe and is free to attend.

Continuing the Legacy
Some of Alverno Presents’ other productions will live on through a partnership with the Pabst Theater Group, including the thoughtfully curated “Uncovered” series, where artists explore and reimagine the music of an important American composer. Ravel will continue to serve as Artistic Director and curator of these performances. “The Pabst is really proud to continue the great work of Alverno Presents,” said Gary Witt, CEO of the Pabst Theater Group. “We feel that the work that David and Alverno Presents have done has contributed greatly to our city and we are pleased now to nurture its ability to continue. The community will continue to enjoy Milwaukee artists’ interpretations of the ‘Uncovered’ series and, after a one-year hiatus, we will review the possible return of Global Union in 2017.” The Pitman Theatre, built in 1953, will continue to be available to local artists for rehearsals and performances as it has been in the past.

History of Alverno Presents
In 1960, Sister Laura Lampe, SSSF, founded Alverno’s Society of Fine Arts (SOFA), the precursor to Alverno Presents. Lampe, who taught in Alverno’s music department, used her knowledge and contacts within the fine arts community to contract world renowned performers for the Alverno theater stage. Her vision to bring quality fine arts programming to a smaller Milwaukee venue has lived on for nearly 60 years. Some of the artists Lampe brought to Alverno include Merce Cunningham, Robin McCabe, Jose Limon, Joshua Bell, Odetta, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Other performers who graced the Pitman Theatre stage over the years include Joan Baez, McCoy Tyner, Wynton Marsalis, Stephen Petronio and Trisha Brown.

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Alverno College Will Hold its 152nd Commencement on December 18 and 19

December 14, 2015

Alverno College graduation, May 2013. Photo by Troy Freund, 2013.
Alverno College will hold its 152nd commencement this weekend as 156 students walk across the Pitman Theatre stage (39th St. and Morgan Ave.) to receive their undergraduate degrees. The ceremony will be on December 19 at 2 p.m. Sixty-six master’s candidates will receive their degrees from Alverno on Friday, December 18, at 7:00 p.m.

Commencement activities for undergraduates will begin with an 11 a.m. liturgy in the Alverno College chapel, followed by a brunch for degree candidates and their families. The undergraduate commencement introduction will be given by Casey Scheibengraber, who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics; the undergraduate invocation will be given by Sister Margaret Sergon, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology; and the student address, “All Without a Cape,” will be given by Lynda Diaz, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Communication. The graduate commencement invocation will be given by Sandra Baker, who will receive a Master of Science in Community Psychology degree. A champagne reception will follow the graduate commencement ceremony. Baker and Diaz are Milwaukee residents, Scheibengraber is from West Allis, and Sergon is from Uganda.

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Building a Case for Change on Food Initiatives with the Amani Neighborhood

November 30, 2015

Alverno Forum

Alverno College is hosting a forum on building a case for change on food initiatives in the Amani Neighborhood. The neighborhood, which is located between 15th Street and 35th Street, and Capitol Drive and North Avenue, fits the definition of a food desert as described by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is an urban neighborhood without ready access to fresh, healthy food.

In order to address this, current MBA students are in the beginning stages of building a case for change management in this community. They will share their collaborations to date with community partners and Northwestern Mutual in the hope that sustainable change can be achieved. This is the pioneering class in what will be a long-term engagement between Alverno students and the Amani Neighborhood to help build sustainable change, an effort that will continue after the current class graduates.

The forum will be moderated by John Kordsmeier, President, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. The Alverno Forum series seeks to join community leaders in discussing cutting-edge topics that have a daily impact on the lives of people in our community and beyond. The next discussion in this year’s series takes place on Thursday, December 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sister Joel Read Conference Center. The Alverno Forum series is free and open to the public. For more details, please visit our website at http://www.alverno.edu/forum/.

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Teaching, Learning and Trauma

October 16, 2015

Alverno Forum

Alverno College is hosting a forum on teaching, learning and trauma, and the best ways for educators to respond to students who bring experiences of trauma, family difficulty and community violence into the classroom. Often times these challenges impede a child’s ability to learn, and teachers want to help children learn to respond to society’s challenges with resilience. Our panelists will explore multiple perspectives on the current state of trauma-informed education and specific strategies educators can use to respond.  An experienced school leader, a school psychologist, a nurse, and a nonprofit leader will also present how they view trauma and education and what they think teachers can and should do in response.

Panelists include:

  • Desiree Pointer Mace, associate dean of graduate programs, Alverno College School of Education (facilitator)
  • Patricia Luebke, interim dean, Alverno College School of Education, with 40 years of experience in teaching and school leadership
  • Kenya Patterson-Brown, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee
  • Dena Radtke, Coordinator – School Social Work, School to Work and Community Services at Milwaukee Public Schools
  • Peg Rauschenberger, interim dean, Alverno College JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and a trauma nurse with 23 years of experience with incarcerated adolescents
  • Anna Silberg, director of instruction & research at Growing Minds, experienced educator in secondary education and at the university level, and a leader in mindfulness practices

The Alverno Forum series seeks to join community leaders in discussing cutting-edge topics that have a daily impact on the lives of people in our community and beyond. The next discussion in this year’s series takes place on Thursday, October 29 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sister Joel Read Conference Center. The Alverno Forum series is free and open to the public. For more details, please visit our website at http://www.alverno.edu/forum/.

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