Category Archives: Public Art

First Chairperson for Paramount Plaza Walk of Fame

Names in the Paramount Walk of Fame through 2008

Grafton, WI

Chairperson of International Committee:   Angie Mack Reilly

(Patriarch of St. Louis Blues) Henry “The Mule” Townsend
(Father of the Delta Blues) Charlie Patton
(Mother of the Blues) “Ma” Rainey
(First Country Blues Star) Blind Lemon Jefferson
(Mississippi Blues Legend) “Skip” James
(Father of Gospel Music) Thomas A. Dorsey
(America’s Jazz Ambassador) Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong
(Preeminent Mississippi Bluesman) Eddie James “Son” House Jr.
(American Jazz Pioneer) Joe “King” Oliver
(King of Ragtime Guitar) Arthur “Blind” Blake

Follow Angie’s Paramount Records Educational Facebook Page




Angie’s Early Pioneering Activism for Obscure Local Blues History (2004-07)

Contact: for speaking engagments and interviews

December 2004
Angela got in touch with Alex van der Tuuk and began corresponding with him on a regular basis and reading his book

January 2005
ParamountsHome goes online, collects data, and begins networking locally and worldwide

April 2005
Kris of the Grafton Jaycees begins to tackle the project of putting on a blues festival in Grafton after Angie proposed the idea to the group.

May 2005
Angela gets in touch with Michael “Hawkeye” Herman and he begins encouraging her and mentoring her toward her goals.

September 2005
Joe Krupski approaches the Grafton Planning Commission to open a Paramount Restaurant

September 2005
Michael “Hawkeye” Herman does Blues in the Schools for all 3 Grafton Elementary Schools (Thanks to principal Scott Oftedahl, area music teachers and Kennedy P.A.C.E.)

Fall 2005
“Embrace the Legacy” concert series designed to educate adults about Paramount at the Timothy Wooden Building/North Shore Academy of the Arts (Thanks to Barbara Krause and Grafton Area Live Arts)

October 2005
Angie pitches the “Paramount Blues Festival” to the Cedarburg Cultural Center.  Angie helped plan the event featuring Ann Rabson, Fruitland Jackson, and a Paramount panel discussion

October 2005
Ad Hoc Committee forms to discuss the possibilities of incorporating the Paramount theme into the downtown redevelopment and Grafton’s identity. Ad Hoc Committee Members Present: Jim Brunnquell, Jim Grant, Angela Mack, Tom Sweet, Melissa Schmitz, Darrell Hofland, and Michael Rambousek. Discussion begins about creating a Paramount music society of sorts

December 2005
Paramount GIG (Grooves in Grafton) begins to form and later brings “the mobile museum” to area banks, businesses, and the library to educate the community. (Thanks to Missy Schmitz)

January 2006
Grafton Blues Association begins to form out of members from the Grafton Jaycees

July 2006
Paramount GIG presents “A Dance With Early Jazz” to raise funds for the etching of artists into the Walk of Fame

July 2006 ParamountsHome wins the annual Wisconsin Historical Society website award

July 2006
PBS History Detectives films in Grafton upon Angie’s written request and story pitch

August 2006
“Lost Musical Treasure” by PBS History Detectives airs nationwide

August 2006
The Grafton Hotel is purchased by Rob Ruvin

September 2006
Angie presents “Passionate about Paramount and the Blues” at the Grafton children’s library

September 2006
First annual Paramount Blues Festival presented by the Grafton Blues Association and attended by first lady Jessica Doyle

September 2006
Representative Mark Gottlieb issues a legislative citation to the Village of Grafton acknowledging the importance of the history and praising the Village, individuals, and groups who have embraced the history

September 2006
The Village of Grafton holds the first annual Walk of Fame ceremony to honor Henry Towsend as the first inductee into the new Walk of Fame.  Angie provides a team of youth singers to accompany the event.

September 2006
North Shore Academy of the Arts (Angie) presents a second annual “Embrace the Legacy” concert featuring the Paul Curtis Band

October 2006
ParamountsHome (Angie) lectures at the Wisconsin State Historical Museum

October 2006
Henry Townsend Memorial Benefit Concert presented by the GBA- American Legion, Grafton

November 2006 Grafton Blues Association becomes organization of the year – Grafton Chamber of Commerce

November 2006 Paramount Plaza tree lighting ceremony – Grafton Chamber of Commerce

December 2006 Paramount Restaurant opens and begins to provide a venue for musicians to play (Thanks to Joe Krupski)

December 2006 North Shore Academy of the Arts (Angie) finishes its recording studio and does some makeshift recording projects with Scout Groups, classes and birthday parties

December 2006 Paramount GIG begins to merge into the Village of Grafton Historical Preservation Commission

The News Graphic lists Angie as one of the most influential leaders in Ozaukee County. (2006)

June 2007 Playwrite Kevin Ramsey announces his new musical, “Grafton City Blues” to be performed at the Milwaukee Rep Theatre Jan-March 2008.  Angie’s interview of Kevin is published in the playbills.

June 2007 Paramount Walking Tour is completed

Summer 2007 Many of the components of the Paramount Plaza are completed

September 2007 2nd annual Paramount Blues Festival

September 22, 2007 Walk of Fame ceremony inducting Louis Armstrong and Son House. Dick Waterman came for the ceremony and gave the Grafton Historic Preservation Commission a photo of Son House and Skip James that hasn’t ever been published before.

October 18, 2007 Village of Grafton and Grafton State Bank formally dedicate the sculpture by Norm Christensen

world music foundation

Listen to Podcast Paramount Records:  the Rise, Fall and Resurrection featuring Alex van der Tuuk and Angie Mack Reilly presented by The World Music Foundation

“America Is Coming Home Again” by Angie Mack Reilly (2012)

America is Coming Home Again* (c) 8/12
by Inspirational Writer Angie Mack Reilly 
Accompanied by “My Living Room”
a painting by Matthew Reilly

If I were to listen to America,
MY America,
I would visit the masses online
to hear what the individuals would have to say.
I would not turn on the news
or view the perspective of the entertainment industry.
I would not look on Wall Street
or see what the Dow has to portray.
I would go to the Information Superhighway;
yes, to the digital streets to find my answer
as to where America is heading……….

I see Instagram trending with photos of
homemade gardens, homemade meals, pets doing pet things, happy children and seamstress’ weaves.
I see Facebook smothered in quotes of
encouragement, acceptance and prayer.
In fact, I met an entire army of friends
who have cheered me on to beat breast cancer!

We are coming home.
Many of us, especially the middle class,
have learned that we have had to fend for ourselves, our families and our communities in order to stay alive.
We have learned that capitalism
and its “ists” cannot be trusted.
Therefore should not be embraced.
So we have created an America of our own….
by the people, with the people, FOR the people.

We are traveling less because of the oil crisis.
We are making and giving homemade gifts
in order to support local and American-made business
as opposed to commerce oversees.
We are growing our own food and
sharing our recipes with friends.
We are growing our own herbs
and embracing alternative remedies.
A shift from dependent to self sufficient.
Many of us have learned that the health care system
cannot be trusted.
The Healthcare SYSTEM.
The Corporate SYSTEM.
The Education SYSTEM.
The Medical INDUSTRY.
The Religious INSTITUTION.
The Government INSTITUTION.

I see a rejection of system, of industry, of institution
and I see America coming home
and traveling less toward
the American Dream
as it has been dangled before us.
We are smarter than that.
We are coming home
to morality and truth.
We are making music in our homes together
and laughing once again.
We are entertaining ourselves by telling jokes,
creating fun, sharing stories and wine,
prioritizing art and love.
WHY HOME? Because we’ve realized that
we have nowhere else to go.
We were lured away from homes
for decades to travel afar
for the sake of power, esteem and wealth.
Perhaps the true American Dream
is to stay close……
to love and help family, friends,
coworkers and even enemies,
to dwell in and influence our own
personal communities—
our neighbors, our schools,

This is good, America.
This is good.
America is coming home again.

*Please remember that this is a piece of literature or art and should be viewed as such

From an Ant’s Perspective: A Parable by Angie Mack Reilly

From an Ants Perspective
(C) 11/2004 Angela K. Mack
Hello.  My name is Alfred Ant XII.  This is my testimony of my salvation…..


You see, on the day I was ready to walk, my father pulled me aside.  We sat underneath the dandelion and he gave me “THE TALK”. He said, “It is time for you to go to work, young man”.  Then, he proudly placed a pin on my chest with the numbers 1-4-2.  “Your place in this society is to stand 142nd in line.  You are now ready and strong enough to carry dirt from point A to point B.”  Immediately I questioned him, “But dad, I was thinking about being some sort of pioneer.  You know, like Columbus or something.  I want to travel.  I want to explore.  I want to voyage like the Vikings.  I want to know the world like no other has known it.  I want to be a like a gypsy.  I want to be an artist.”  My father gave me a blank stare as if I had thrown him off of his brainwashed mind.  To be honest, he looked as though he were going to have a heart attack.  “Dad, are you OK?” I asked.

Then, he awoke from his stare and frowned while firmly pointing.  “Get in line.  This is the way our people live.  They have lived like this for billions of years.  We are the working middle class.  We have our place in the queen’s society.  We follow the rules.  We toil with all of our might.  This helps create order.  Your desires are deviant.  They are dysfunctional.  It’s not normal, son.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from him.  I actually thought that he would be happy for me and my dreams.  I thought that, perhaps, he would bring me before the queen and say, “Your majesty, meet my brilliant son.  He has a vision.  He wants to explore.  You may want to listen to what he has to say.”  But no, he didn’t even care.  (I learned from that point on that I could not fully trust or confide in my rigid father.)  He must have pitied the sadness on my face as he continued, “Son, I do love you.  But in our society, deviance is not allowed.  The queen does not allow for any artists or explorers.  She does not want any countercultures to rise up, gain the affection of the people, and potentially dethrone her.  Thus, all rebels are carried by the colony to the spider’s web only to have their blood sucked out of them alive.  It’s torture.  I’ve seen it before many times.  I don’t want to see that happen to you.”

Well, of course I didn’t want to be eaten alive.  So I took my place as 142nd in line.  Each day, as I carried out my monotonous tasks of carrying dirt from A to B, I questioned my existence.  I questioned why I was created.  I questioned what was wrong with me.  I tried to stop thinking about exploring.  I tried to keep my mind on the task.  But I often got distracted and tripped on others during the job because I was daydreaming.  I couldn’t help but secretly fantasize about things such as flying, meeting different species, and living independent of the colony.  I felt like an outsider, clumsy, and ashamed.  My feet just didn’t seem to walk as steadily as theirs.  I had an odd walk.  It was sort of bouncy and syncopated.  I felt hated by God.

Then, one day out of nowhere, I saw a bright light.  It nearly killed me.  It began to literally fry my antennas.  I looked up in terror to the blinding light.  But I couldn’t see where it was coming from.  Next, I saw a raging fire about a foot away from me.  A leaf was burning.  Again, in confusion, I looked up.  Two human boys were hovering over me and my people.  One was holding a magnifying glass and laughing.  I was terrified.  I felt as though I was about to be eternally punished in the fires of hell for being “different”.

Then I heard a voice from above, “Stop!  I have an idea!”  Before I knew it, I was soaring high above my colony.  I started to giggle.  It felt so strange, yet so right.  I was being carried by one of the boys on a woodchip.  I wasn’t even afraid of falling.  In fact, I raised my hands and thanked God.  “Thank you, Jesus!” I shouted over and over again.  At the moment, I didn’t care where I was going.  I was just so elated to be GOING SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE!  I saw the blue sky so clearly.  I felt like I could touch it.  The colors of the trees around me were greener than I ever imagined.  Like angels, I watched a flock of geese fly overhead.  It was beautiful.  I thought I was going to heaven.

Suddenly, PLOP!  I was rapidly dropped toward the ground and landed in a puddle of water by the curb.  As scary as THAT was, sure enough I began to swim!  I never knew I could swim.  I always dreamt about it.  I wasn’t afraid.  Like flying, it just felt “right”.

As soon as I was able to work my way out of the puddle, I went on to meet many species of insects, birds, and small mammals.  Most of them, aside from some of the human children, were friendly.  I wandered around on my own.  I couldn’t find my way back to my colony even if I wanted to.  It was wonderful.  I ate what I wanted and when I wanted.

Now, my fellow geese, I bring my message to you.  Perhaps, you too, can be saved from your social system.  Perhaps some of you long to soar on a different path.  Perhaps you are tired of flying from North to South to South to North year after year.  There is hope for you.  There is deliverance……..I was saved.  You can be, too.