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John Gurda to Lecture at South Milwaukee PAC

Dec. 19, 2011

Lake Michigan and the rivers that feed it have been Milwaukee’s dominant natural resources since the days of the Potawatomi. Join historian John Gurda at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (SMPAC) on January 7 for a lively look at the lake and its adjacent watersheds. See how they served the community as transportation routes, recreational resources and industrial corridors, and how they have weathered a cycle of heavy use and flagrant abuse to emerge as focal points of both celebration and concern in the twenty-first century.

This is a timely topic as area leaders and residents discuss the future of our region’s freshwater resources. A historical perspective is imperative so that we don’t repeat abusive practices but rather learn from them to succeed in the future.

John Gurda will present Saturday, January 7, at 7:30 pm. Join him afterward for a book signing and a pizza and dessert reception sponsored by Tazinos. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased through the Box Office at 414-766-5049 or online at www.southmilwaukeepac.org.

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown since 1972. He is the author of 19 books, including histories of Milwaukee-area neighborhoods, industries and places of worship. With 450 pages and more than 500 illustrations, The Making of Milwaukee is the first full-length history of the community published since 1948. Milwaukee Public Television created an Emmy Award-winning documentary series based on the book in 2006.

In addition to his work as an author, Gurda is a lecturer, tour guide and local history columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He holds a B.A. in English from Boston College and an M.A. in Cultural Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (SMPAC) provides the greater community with a creative, innovative and diverse exploration of the performing arts. Through the many opportunities offered, the SMPAC is bringing art to life on stage and to the lives of the people in the South Shore and surrounding communities. Located on the South Milwaukee 6-12 campus, the SMPAC serves as a creative outlet for the greater community, as well as the students of South Milwaukee.

Along with the nine-show Performing Arts Series, the SMPAC opens its doors to other presenters to bring such acts as Cantare Chorale, Tommy Emmanuel, John Hiatt, Ian Hunter, Joe Lovano and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. They also provide a home to the School District of South Milwaukee events as well as Grant Park Players, the local community theatre.

The South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center is located inside the South Milwaukee High School at 901 15th Avenue, South Milwaukee, WI between College and Rawson Avenues. It is easily accessible from I-94 and 794. Free parking is located in the northwest parking lot. Patrons should enter door #9. For tickets or directions, call 414-766-5049. For more information about the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, visit their website at www.southmilwaukeepac.org.

This performance is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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