Grand Opera House

Author: Cody Wiesner

African Heritage, Inc. Hosts Black History Celebration

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On February 17, African Heritage, Inc. will host its 20th annual Fox Cities community black history program event, which promotes unity through culturally focused speakers, presentations and food. “African Heritage, Inc. is also this year celebrating their 20th anniversary. Created in 1998, … we’ve been doing the black history month [event] every year since then,” READ MORE

A Local Alternative: Renting New Fiction at The Book Store

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In an era of Redbox and Amazon Prime where thrifty customers commonly rent movies for a fraction of their total cost, it is perhaps strange that book rentals in the same vein are overlooked. One explanation, perhaps, is lack of public knowledge—people more commonly associate book rentals with college textbooks, not fiction. Thoughts may turn to war-scarred flashbacks READ MORE

History in the Making 

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For the Appleton Historical Society, establishing a museum to encapsulate and preserve the city’s history has been a dream since before they first formed in 2011. After years of planning, that dream came true on July 20, 2017. “In 2010, a group of us said the Outagamie County Society is fine, but that’s the whole READ MORE

New Face: Kelli Strickland

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The Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay welcomed its newest executive and artistic director, Kelli Strickland, on October 31. Strickland’s goal is to attract more interest to the center among students and the community. Strickland, who replaced former director Kate Green, now the manager at the Ashwaubenon Performing Arts READ MORE

A Local Development: Jack Richeson & Co.

Posted on Jan. 5, 2018 by Cody Wiesner
Via the Richeson School of Art & Gallery Facebook page.

Art supplies manufacturer Jack Richeson & Co. is now a nationwide name among art retailers, but when it started as a small-scale downtown Appleton paintbrush seller in 1982, it was much like any other local store in the Fox Cities, selling high-quality products to the community. Three decades later, now based in Kimberly, the company READ MORE

Snowflakes & Sugar Plums

Posted on Dec. 9, 2017 by Cody Wiesner
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The Makaroff Youth Ballet, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Appleton Boychoir will combine their talents at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton on December 16 and 17 for their interpretation of “The Nutcracker” ballet. Makaroff Youth Ballet dancers will take performing roles in Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet, following the adventures of protagonist Clara, READ MORE

IntoWishin’ Arts Offers Opportunities

Posted on Dec. 6, 2017 by Cody Wiesner
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Jim Weidert of Menasha is crowdfunding a new business, IntoWishin’ Arts, which strives to solve underemployment and lack of arts opportunities for people with special needs. The Indiegogo campaign has a funding goal of $36,000 by December 30, going to support artist workshops for people with disabilities, art supplies, paying staff, an online store, legal READ MORE

A Local Alternative: Anderson Pens vs. Office Depot

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Imagine your average big-box office supply and stationery store—say, Office Depot. Its wares likely include assortments of paper, notebooks and folders, electronics and, of course, a row of shelves relegated for pencils and pens. They have all the affordable standards, Pilot G2s, Paper Mates, the package of 500 Bics you always lose within a week. READ MORE

A Local Alternative: Lyons Fine Books vs. Amazon

Via the Lyons Fine Books Facebook page

Pages & Pipes, an Appleton bookseller that has been in business since 1942, announced on November 3 that it will be closing its doors. The closure, due to the company no longer being able to compete with e-commerce giants like Amazon, reflects a larger competition problem that brick-and-mortar booksellers have faced in the past decade. READ MORE

WWI and The Fox Valley 

Posted on Nov. 9, 2017 by Cody Wiesner
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World War I remains a “Forgotten War” in comparison with other major U.S. conflicts, but on its centennial anniversary, the Elisha D. Smith Public Library in Menasha hopes to change that by chronicling the history and significance of the Great War through five thought-provoking presentations and a memorable exhibit. The event will partially depict local READ MORE

Emily Meder

Posted on Nov. 1, 2017 by Cody Wiesner
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Name: Emily Meder Residence: Appleton Medium: Mixed-media painting Self-starting abstract artist Emily Meder a proves that art education doesn’t have to come from universities. Instead, she learns from the internet and constantly creating new art, which has found her audience in both the Fox Cities and online. The kaleidoscopic designs she paints are vivid, enigmatic READ MORE

Vintage Toys from the Valley

Posted on Dec. 1, 2017 by Cody Wiesner
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The Fox Cities were once a toymaking hot spot Toys—they simply don’t make them like they used to. Not only are modern plastic toys a departure from the wooden and fabric designs of yesteryear, but many people aren’t aware that the industry model used to be much more localized. Those who grew up in the READ MORE