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Quite a Way to Spend the End of Summer — Basking in the Clear Air of Green Bay, Wisconsin

The end of August may be the dog days of summer for most. But for the cool folks in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the month closed out with five fantastic days of visiting our great north central state — one I had never visited before. By an odd quirk of circumstance and opportunity, I got to take it “all” in during a far-too-rushed first visit to this lush state of lakes and green up North.

Three of those days were full of mostly local artistic expression thanks to the efforts of Nate’s Home and Garden and MLC Scene Awards’ Freddy Moyano, a filmmaker and festival founder. Kicking off at 5:30 pm on Friday, August 25th, the inaugural Music Art Film Craft Fest took place in downtown Green Bay at the long-established Tarlton Theatre in the Broadway-Walnut Historic District. Formerly West Theater, West Pitcher Show, and Historic West Theatre, the building is a Streamline Moderne theater built around 1925. In 1999, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property. For a visit to this area alone, with its outdoor market, little old-school burger joints, vintage havens and motel/hotels untrammeled by over-modernization, the trip was worth it. I basked in this retro-futurism where women in tats and piercings partied along side Packers fans.

A plethora of local artists, musicians, filmmakers and other talents showcased themselves and the scene once the doors open at the Tarlton. Performing that night were dream pop indie rockers The Pale Figures, classically trained cellist Arthur Gabriel Smeall and keyboardist Sam Bodhi. Also in attendance was local chef and sustainability advocate Selena Darrow who featured tastings of her locally sourced snacks during the evening.

Running from roughly six to midnight, the night was produced by MLC Awards and mental health advocacy group, Nate’s Home and Garden. Launched by members of the band Pale Figures — a group started in 2009 — it was revived once a family member had taken his own life after coping for years with having been a victim of clergy abuse. This event was a benefit for mental health and suicide awareness in association with a local prevention lifeline. Mental health advocacy has become a bi-partisan issue that concerns many people who passionately want to support it.

There was also some local fine art on display by Eric Cash — noted for his detailed portraits of the Beatles — and The Stain Glass Duo, whose artistic renderings are based on a local folk art stylizations. Jamie Bruhn of the Lizardz, a popular local rock band, was the MC throughout the evening. He has co-written and recorded three albums with The Lizardz including “Eyeblinder” in 2013. He has also worked with Blue Oyster Cult legend Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, one of his musical heroes as well as done “River to Nowhere” in 2018 and the latest, “Memoria.”

Various music videos were projected on the walls in a constant stream throughout the evening.

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And then the spotlight was on me. I debuted my live show — “Punk Portraits/Legendary Polaroids” — which detailed my experiences as a pop culture chronicler. Through an hour-long Q&A, talking about my images and interviews made during the late ’70s and ‘80s, I spoke of chatting with such stars as The Rolling Stones, Johnny Rotten and the Ramones. I got them and others to pose long enough to pull off that one perfect shot. 

The next day, Saturday, August 26th, the MLC Film Festival kicked off in the Waterford Room at the Irish-inspired St. Brendan’s Inn (234 S. Washington St, Green Bay, WI 54301). Organized and hosted by local personality Moyano, he has been holding the MLC Film Festival for several years. Last year, he had feted Green Bay native, veteran actor Tony Shaloub (“Monk” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), and has awarded local luminaries in other years.

Q&As were held in between screenings of such films as the creepy “Desperate Souls” (dir. S.J. Hermann) and “Rise Again” (dir. Lauren Parker). During the lunch hour, I visited the local Farmers Market, tasted cheese curds and other local food fare. I saw The Pale Figures’ own film, “Mort Aux Lapins” and locally produced “Confessions of a Sailor” (dir. Kurt Krauss). The following day were more screenings of select movies from Canada, Mexico, Europe and beyond.

On Saturday, the MLC Film Festival hosted the premiere of Moyano’s own locally shot film, “Room 108” at the Neville Public Museum — an unusual combination of a historical society and natural history museum. Visiting there was worth the trip alone.

Then, before the MLC Scene Awards — which were scheduled for Sunday night — there was a sumptuous brunch at Chef Fusion, a fine dining downtown district restaurant on Broadway. Many selfies were taken and hands shaken as I bade my newfound fans goodbye. Then it was back to the cool ’50s styled Bay Motel (like the Bates Motel?) where I had stayed, to pack. I then took off for a three hour drive to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and the flight home.

Oslo Freedom Forum Assembles Minds From Around the World in Norway

Held at Oslo Norway’s scenic Oslo Konserthus, the Oslo Freedom Forum brings together minds from around the world to further human freedoms. Running June 13 to the 15th, the Oslo Freedom Forum is a global conference series produced by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) that brings together human rights advocates, journalists, artists, tech entrepreneurs, and world leaders to share their stories and brainstorm ways to expand freedom and unleash human potential across the globe. Originally the Freedom Forum began as a way to tell the stories of survivors of Nazi and Communist atrocities, but has since grown to encompass stories from around the world.

Special guests include New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly, fashion designer Louise Xin, musician Manasseh Mathiang, and more. Panel discussions during the festival examine human trafficking, the women-led revolution happening in Iran, China’s use of AI, and the growing authoritarian regime from Russia and how it affects the world.

The theme of this year’s Freedom Forum is Celebrating Solidarity and honors the unity, mentorship, and community that HRF and our global community — from frontline dissidents to journalists, philanthropists, and technologists — have fostered in the last 15 years. While the event is being held in Oslo, Norway, all theater talks will be live streamed at and on their Twitter and YouTube pages so viewers abroad can hear incredible stories from human rights advocates.


To learn more, go to:

Oslo Freedom Forum
June 13 - 15, 2023

Oslo Konserthus
Munkedamsveien 14, 0115 Oslo, Norway

Summer at the South Street Seaport Museum


Looking to enjoy some history while taking in the warm summer weather? The South Street Seaport Museum has you covered. The South Street Seaport Museum has announced their summer exhibitions, sailing season, and events at 12 Fulton St and on Pier 16. The free exhibitions on offer include the new, introductory gallery South Street and the Rise of New York, as well as a newly reconfigured return of the popular Millions: Migrants and Millionaires Aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914.

Also now open is Seaport Discovery: Exploring Our Waters with Eric Carle, a discovery room of maritime-themed art by the late Eric Carle, beloved creator of picture books for young children. Each exhibition and the Eric Carle discovery room will be open to the public on Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 5pm. In addition, tall ship Wavertree, lightship Ambrose, and the outdoor exhibition on Pier 16 are continuing to welcome visitors for free on Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 5pm. General Admission includes access to the galleries and Wavertree, and advanced timed tickets can be reserved at, where you can also choose to add on a free guided tour of the Ambrose or $5 tickets to the Eric Carle discovery room.

The 2022 sailing season for 1885 schooner Pioneer and rides aboard the 1930 tugboat W.O. Decker is now underway, with departures from Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets) through October 30, 2022. Tickets for rides aboard Pioneer and Decker are available at

Monthly upcoming public programs include Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music Live Sing-Along, Vinyasa on a Vessel, a sail freight cargo delivery by schooner Apollonia, Coffee with Captains, and more to be announced. For more information, visit

Vinyasa on a Vessel
Starting May 21, 2022, join the South Street Seaport Museum for a 60 minute vinyasa-based yoga practice on the deck of the tall ship Wavertree. Start your Sunday with a mindful and physical practice that is accessible and challenging for all levels, peppered with information about the Wavertree itself. The practice will be followed by a tour of Wavertree for anyone who wishes to participate. Yoga will continue every third Sunday through August. The event is free, and registration is required at

Coffee with Captains
The Seaport Museum is partnering with schooner Apollonia to bring sail freight cargo like cider, wool, and honey from the Hudson Valley to Pier 16 between May and October. See Apollonia deliver her cargo and join a rotating selection of ship captains, including Apollonia‘s Capt. Sam Merrett, for coffee brought to shore that morning. Meet some of the crew who will share sailing stories and answer your questions about sailing, navigation, and sustainable shipping. Apollonia will dock at Pier 16 on May 28, June 25, August 27, September 24, and October 22. The event is free, and advanced registration is recommended at

Apollonia Boat Boxes
Members of the public are invited to order a monthly Boat Box subscription for pick up on Pier 16. This is a new offering for Apollonia's second sail freight season hauling goods down the Hudson River to New York Harbor. Each Boat Box contains a number of Hudson Valley goods sourced from local shipping partners, ranging from maple syrup to hot sauce to soap. Proceeds from the Boat Box sales go directly to pay the sailors aboard Apollonia to keep her low carbon mission sailing along. Orders must be placed at least 10 days before scheduled delivery dates of May 28, June 25, August 27, September 24, and October 22. For more information, visit

June Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music Live Sing-Along
South Street Seaport Museum’s monthly sea-music event Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music – the original NYC chantey sing, now made popular on TikTok – continues on Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 2pm ET, in-person aboard tall ship Wavertree. Join a round-robin of shared songs featuring members of The New York Packet and friends. Singers of all levels, as well as listeners, are welcome to lead or request a song, join in the choruses, or just listen as we present traditional maritime work songs and ballads on the first Sunday of every month. The event is FREE. For more information and to sign up, visit

Sail the New York Harbor on 1885 Schooner Pioneer
The only place to sail New York Harbor aboard a historic 1885 schooner! See the sights of New York Harbor, the magnificent Lower Manhattan skyline, and Governors Island from the decks of this National Register of Historic Places-listed vessel. Bring your family for an afternoon sail, a date for a sunset sail, or just yourself to enjoy history at sea. See the city from a new perspective as you grab a halyard to help raise a sail or simply sit back and enjoy the view. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner, afternoon snack, beverages, or a bottle of wine to enjoy on your two-hour sail.

Take a Ride on 1930 Tugboat W.O. Decker
Take an exciting 75-minute ride on the last surviving New York-built wooden tugboat W.O. Decker, recently named "Tugboat of the Year" by the Steamship Historical Society of America. Cruises will explore New York Harbor, and views may include the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Battery, and Governors Island, as you set out on an adventure unlike any you've had before!


To learn more, go to:


Tartan Week Festivities in NYC

Tartan Week 2022 has arrived with celebrations throughout the United States. From the Carolinas, to Los Angeles, to San Antonio to New York, music history, and culture around Tartan Week are in full swing. NYC will have several Tartan Week events.

On April 7, Papillon Bistro & Bar (22 East 54th Street, NY, New York) will have the live event Celebrate Burns in Music & Words. Based around the poetry and music of Robert Burns, the event will have guest appearances by Noisemaker, Highland Diva, Jamie McGeechan, Alan Beck, Colin Hunter, and more.

On Friday, April 8 the American-Scottish Foundation presents Tartan Day Observance at Bryant Park, with Craig Weir, NYU Pipe Band, Noisemaker and the Highland Divas.

The New York Tartan Week events will culminate on Saturday April 9 with the largest celebration of all, the 24th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade.

To learn more, go to:

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