Thank you Dustin Pickering and Mutiu Olawuyi for listening. Hence caring. We need more like you in this world of ours.
by founder of Creativity Portal
Chris Dunmire January 4, 2009 at 12:21 PM
“When Angela Mack first approached me in late 2004 with her Chronic Creativity excerpts, I found her ingenious way of describing the condition Chronic Creativity in diagnostic terms metaphorically apt.
It didn’t take long into reading about the first symptom, Claustrophobia, that I realized Angela possessed a perspective on “being perpetually creative” that I identified with. She gave the state of creative lucidity I’ve been experiencing almost daily since I left my corporate job in 2000 a name that fit so well: Chronic Creativity.
I found each of Angela’s subsequent Chronic Creativity excerpts not only engaging, but also insightful. As an accomplished teacher, musician, composer, and artist, Angela writes from a place of living the dynamic creative mind, and witnessing its fruit in those she guides. Her enthusiasm is contagious, to say the least.
So many ideas and much discussion can come out of Angela’s Chronic Creativity excerpts. Not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to express my own thoughts, I’ll note my impressions on Creative Slush as each excerpt is published on the Creativity Portal. “
–Chris Dunmire, founder of Creativity Portal taken from
by Angie Mack Reilly 9.12.20
Learning. Loving. Laughing. Living.
Laughing. Learning. Loving. Living.
Learning. Living. Laughing. Loving.
Loving. Laughing. Living. Learning.
Laughing. Loving. Learning. Living.
Living. Laughing. Loving. Learning.
Learning. Loving. Laughing. Living.
This is me from the beginning.
by Angie Mack Reilly written in January 2019 and published on 8.8.20
Especially In this age of artificial intelligence (AI), we need to take another look at the universal language of music. It is an essential component to any culture. The question is, will we embrace all that the gift of music has to offer?
I often tell my private music students that singing and playing an instrument is a sport. I know that, in Wisconsin, we value sports. Musicianship requires rigorous training and mastery over the muscles involved. Because of that, it is considered a “discipline” which takes patience and time. I consider myself a “personal trainer” for musicians of all ages.
After working with thousands of youth over past few decades, I am very concerned that our children are not expressing themselves and innovating as much as they are capable of. “The screens” are robbing them of these two very essential components. Weekly music lessons keep that creative expression alive and spark innovation. Our children are going to have to compete with artificial intelligence (AI). How will they do that? With creative communication, expression, intuition and innovation.
I am the most passionate about people coming together to creatively collaborate. The acronym for team is “together everyone achieves more”. That is why I am involved with so many different music events. Music events create a sense of belonging and are vital for the good health of any culture. Simply put, music events improve our quality of life in Ozaukee County and give us a sense of community.
On the morning of January 10, the cast and crew of NSAA’s Elf Jr. will be featured on Real Milwaukee with Brian Kramp of Fox 6 . Children will get to experience first-hand why improvisation and confidence are essential skills in the television industry.
My wish for 2019 would be to see more financial resources thrown at cultural offerings and arts events particularly in Grafton where I live. This is why Ozaukee Talent has become a fiscal receiver through Arts Wisconsin. We need benefactors who can donate to keep the arts alive and thriving.
There needs to be a way for funds to trickle down to the artists themselves. Sadly, this is not happening in our county as much as it should be. The arts scene in Grafton is struggling. I dream of a day when artists and musicians can be adequately compensated for their contributions. I applaud Cedarburg for how much they value the arts with their dollars. In my opinion, this directly results in educational, economic and cultural success.
Can I be frank and say that kids who grow up with the arts as a vital part of their upbringing do not grow up and shoot other people? There is a cure for mass violence. It’s a preventative cure and it’s called the arts. The arts industry naturally teaches an awareness and appreciation for human life and the human experience.
Isolation and disconnect make emotional and mental imbalances even worse. I have used the arts my entire life as a means of coping with childhood trauma and combating depression and anxiety. Socializing and connecting with others does not come naturally to me. I have to work really hard at it. The bulk of my friendships began while working on arts projects with others. The arts provide a place of belonging. The arts can help re-wire a traumatized brain and provide a place of human connection which is also known to help with addiction.
Pure and simple. We need to get busy mentoring the next generation in the arts. And Wisconsin communities need to be financially and generously supportive. Innovation and creative communication need more priority and respect in the business world.
FOR CONSULTING, WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING: email@example.com
Angie is a lifetime arts advocate and leader with proven and documented success who is looking for benefactors to help her keep launching forward. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the podcasts, television appearances, radio interviews, articles and videos that feature Angie and her work:
- World Music Foundation
- Parrot TV (New York)
- TMJ4 Milwaukee
- Grafton Chamber of Commerce
- Riverwest Radio
- Milwaukee Rep
- Paramount Records: The Key to Understanding Black History and the Foundation of American Music
- Sessions with Sandy
- Grave Stories with TR Rongstad
- Music Interview with Z.M. Wise
- Delta Download Mississippi Blog
- Livia Peterson Feature Story
- Creativity Portal
- Women as Visionaries
- Amerika’s Addiction
Follow Ozaukee Talent on Facebook to see samples of work
Follow Ozaukee Talent on Instagram to see samples of work
The Music of Milwaukee Radio Host Ben Merens
by Angie Mack Reilly 3.9.20
New Release! Listen to “Babylon” by Ben Merens on Hot Seat Records
A Master of Improv
Have you ever seen the show, “Who’s Line is it Anyway?”
It’s an improvisational comedy television show. One feature is that the actors are asked to make up comedic lyrics and a melody on the spot while a band plays music that they’ve never heard before. NOT an easy task!
I have always marveled at the show’s actors’ ability to do this. Decades of teaching music and drama has taught me that improvisation requires a heightened sensitivity and a rapid mind. Improvisation is done without any preparation. It requires having a wealth of knowledge to pull from as well as a bravado of spirit.
This is why I like to listen to jazz. In my opinion, jazz is one of the most difficult and advanced musical art foms to master. Why? Because of the improvisation. Likewise, stand-up comedy. It requires a high skill level of improvisation that is extremely difficult.
Like I was saying. Very few people have this high level of skill that entails composing music, creating lyrics and creating a melody on the spot.
Ben Merens has this skill.
Having been in journalism for over 30 years, Ben is somewhat of a celebrity in the Milwaukee area. Most people know him as the longtime radio host for Wisconsin Public Radio’s At Issue With Ben Merens on the Ideas Network.
As a live radio host, Ben has had to improvise on every program. He has literally spoken on thousands of shows without a full script. Again, not many people can do this.
I find it fascinating that Ben has taken this strongly exercised skill of improvisation and has applied it to music.
Ben came over to record some music recently and met my son Joshua for the first time. Within minutes of meeting Joshua, Ben created a comedic song complete with lyrics, melody and music. The song played on the ironic fact that Joshua is a baker who cannot eat gluten. Check it out.
“Yes. God must have a sense of humor you see. When a baker cannot eat gluten. I think that’s God’s stand-up comedy.” – Ben Merens
Ben explained to me that all of his experience in radio has taught him amazing focus and mindfulness. He is a keen listener which can be a rare commodity in today’s self-centered and busy world. In fact, Ben has written a book called People Are Dying to Be Heard. He is an experienced keynote speaker on the topic of communication. He conducts workshops that help people and organizations find their unique story or voice. His ability to understand people also fuels his ability to create on-the-spot songs.
“And the only constant in life is change. And we all must be willing to rearrange” – Ben Merens lyric from One Hundred Voices
People who have the ability to improvise are highly adaptable. They quickly adjust. They are keenly sensitive. Aware. Flexible toward change. Adaptability knows how to feed an audience while feeding off of the audience. Because no two audiences are the same, you will find that no two versions of Ben’s songs are the same. He adjusts the song to fit the environment.
Forget buying mood lighting at a party. Hire Ben to come and entertain your guests in a way that they won’t ever forget! I’m serious! Hire him to speak or sing at your place of worship, school, workplace or event. Ben has a long track record of connecting with audiences of all demographics.
The Background and the Vision
Ben and I recently started connecting after a music event that we both attended in Cedarburg. The more I have gotten to know him, the more I have appreciated what a gem of a human being he is. Ben loves people. Pure and simple. And he uses his talents to help others in a variety of creative ways. We have a similiar intuitive, improvisational and heartfelt manner in which we share our talents with others. We both understand adaptability or, as I like to call it, fluidity. Ben recently invited me talk with him about creativity on his Riverwest Radio show called Just Talking. You can listen to the link below.
Because of how creatively compatible we are, I thought that it would be great to work on a creative project with Ben. Since we both love networking, I thought that we should invite others who want to join us. It’s a bit improvisational. The musicians and singers will have to be adaptable. But we want to communicate a message as a performance public art piece. Not perfect. But heartfelt. Because a lot of people need a glimmer of light right now. Please join us.
100 Voices: Public Performance Art
Event has been cancelled and will hopefully be rescheduled due to Covid-19 crisis
We Need the Theater
by Angie Mack Reilly 2019
We need to get raw and real
and express our emotions.
We need the theater to make us cry
and laugh and love again.
Humanity is threatened and compromised
by artificial intelligence.
We are at a pivot
and must preserve.
Most photos below were taken by Angie Mack Reilly. Otherwise used with permission.
by Angie Mack Reilly
Stretching a rubber band.
Stretching a muscle.
Stretching the truth.
Stretch a note.
Stretch a line.
Stretch a piece of gum.
Stretch your imagination.
*photo taken by Angie Mack Reilly at Kohler-Andrae State Park
The Artist Cries
by Angie Mack Reilly* 2019
Where empathy lacks
And judgement abounds
Is where the artist lies
The artist cries
And they keep walking by
Greed is thick
So charity is sick
Money given upward
To impress CEOs with bribes
That feed their vanity and ego
The money needs to flow down
Down down down like rain
Down on the people
*Feature photo also by Angie Mack Reilly
I Love Contradictions
by Angela K. Mack © 1/6/09
Feature photo by Angie Mack Reilly (c) 2015
I have always preached,
“The best art forms contain the greatest contradictions.”
I love contradiction. It is the drama of our existence.
Right now, I am humored by the earth being blanketed by cool virgin snow.
Meanwhile, my burning heart is inflamed with the passion of my prime.
The earth is being cooled and my soul is flaming hot.
My nerdy and shy highschool friend is now a diva.
Another boy has pleasantly matured.
Popular friends have vanished
and unknown ones have become beacons of light.
Life has a way of leveling
and bringing the obscure to the spotlight
and the stars to the pit.
Life is full of drama and…
the best drama is full of contradictions.
Who would have known
we would all end up here?