ExpiredNotes from the Field: Community Perspectives

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  • Notes from the Field: Community Perspectives
    October 11, 2017
    9:00 am - 11:30 am

Program Description:

Best known for her portrayals of Nancy McNally on The West Wing and Gloria Akalitus on Nurse Jackie, Anna Deavere Smith is also an acclaimed educator, playwright and activist. Her one-woman show will feature characters she’s created based on her nationwide observations and interviews.

Join us for an intimate journey into the lives of individuals affected by social issues such as:

  • Gun Violence
  • Racial Inequality
  • Homelessness

Then, help us explore solutions with a panel of noted community leaders. The presentation will be moderated by Sheri Williams Pannell of First Stage. Our dynamic panel features:

  • Susan Lloyd, Zilber Family Foundation
  • Ricardo Diaz, United Community Center
  • Reggie Moore, Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention
  • Ken Taylor, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families

The panel will further the discussion of how area funders and nonprofit organizations can effectively address these issues.

Group rates available starting at $35.00!
Contact Amanda Buckley, Director of Program Development, at
262.317.6005 or abuckley@wiphilanthropy.org for more information

Program Timeline:

8:00 a.m. - Registration Opens

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. - Performance by Anna

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. - Discussion

11:30 a.m. - Lunch for WPN Members and Program Sponsors


“Anna Deavere Smith is the ultimate impressionist: She does people's souls.” The New York Times

“There are moments in a theater when one knows-this is different, this is special, this is singular. Such was the feeling Monday night at the Guthrie. Your unique and splendid performance as well as the skill and artistry of your words made this Global Voice night more than successful...was thrilled and privileged to hear you.” - Guthrie Theater

“Anna Deavere Smith is a remarkable chronicler of the human character and condition. In her examination of such thorny subjects as race relations or our feelings about death, she has applied her virtuosic talent to questions that most of us would prefer to avoid.” - National Endowment for the Humanities

“Anna was wonderful! Everybody loved her presentation. The format was so unusual; she was dramatic, engaging, moving, to the point and inspirational. She got a standing ovation.” - Adventist Healthcare



Playwright, actor, and professor Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to highlight issues of community, character, and diversity in America. The MacArthur Foundation honored Smith with the “Genius” Fellowship for creating “a new form of theatre — a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism, and intimate reverie.”

Best known for crafting one-woman shows based on conversations with real people from all walks of life, Smith turns her interviews into scripts, transforming herself into an astonishing number of characters. For her multi-character plays about American social issues, Smith has been awarded the 2013 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the largest and most prestigious awards in the arts, as well as the National Humanities Medal.

Smith’s breakthrough plays, Fires in the Mirror and the Tony-nominated Twilight: Los Angeles, which dramatized the LA Riots in the days that followed the Rodney King trial, tackle issues of race and social inequality that have become touchstones of her work. Her upcoming play on the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, continues in this tradition by exploring the cycle of suspension from school to incarceration prevalent in low-income communities.

2009's Let Me Down Easy examines healthcare and the resilience and vulnerability of the human body. Smith presents 19 characters, including a bull rider to a prize fighter to a New Orleans doctor during Hurricane Katrina to Texas Governor Ann Richards to Lance Armstrong. With a mix of personalities based on patients and healthcare professionals, she delivers a vivid look at healthcare in the United States. The show aired on PBS’ Great Performances in 2012.

In addition to appearing on Showtime's Nurse Jackie, Smith’s television credits include The West Wing, Black-ish, and Madame Secretary. She has appeared in films, including Rachel Getting Married, Philadelphia, and The American President.

In 1997, Smith founded Anna Deavere Smith Works at Harvard. Now part of the Aspen Institute, where Smith is on the Board of Trustees, ADS Works “cultivates artistic excellence that embraces the social issues of the day.” In 2016, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for theatre arts.

A University Professor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and an affiliate with the NYU School of Law, Smith delivered the 2015 NEH Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities.


Generously Sponsored by

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Venue Phone: 414-908-6001

Venue Website:

500 W. Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, 53203, United States


For Parking Options Visit: https://www.parkmilwaukee.com/destinations/9#main_content

The nearest parking lot is: 6th and State Lot
965 North 6th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Parking Costs at the 6th and State Lot:

  • Early – Early Bird – In by 9 AM – $7.00
  • Event – Rates Vary from $5 to $50 – $20.00
  • Hourly – Each 45 Minutes – $2.00