Category Archives: public speaker

My Dream Home

by Angie Mack Reilly 7.20.19

The Art of Dreaming

I believe that dreaming is an underrated skill.

Not the sleep kind of dreaming.

But daydreaming.

Dreaming gives us hope.

I see dreaming as a coping skill.

I see it as being visionary.

Being visionary is a skill that any good leader needs to have.

I encourage dreaming.   Fantasy.  Fiction.  And everything in between.

My Dream HomeSunset on the Wisconsin Farm by Angie Mack Reilly

Featured image taken by Angie Mack Reilly titled, “Sunset on the Wisconsin Farm”

Follow My Chronic Creativity Pinterest Board below!

Angie’s Dream Home

Design concepts are open, natural, creative and aesthetic.   Free flowing.  Like my soul.

open aesthetic






Angie is Interviewed by The World Music Foundation About Music History

Much thanks to John Gardner of The World Music Foundation for capturing this very important story that has global influence!

Listen to the Music Podcast Here

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Crazy Ideas by Angie Mack Reilly

by Angie Mack Reilly, author of Chronic Creativity:  A Diagnostic Look at the Condition and How to Become Infected (c) 2008

I have come to understand through many observations that the craziest ideas are usually the most brilliant ideas.

These “crazy” ideas are initially met with mocking, negativity, rejection, disbelief and even persecution.

When I see someone with an idea, concept, creative thought, etc….that is welcomed by any of the above in the initial stages, I take notice.  (Herein lies a brilliant idea!)

Take, for instance, my cousin. Many years ago, she had a vision to create vintage undergarments out of recycled materials. It was a new concept…cutting edge…almost silly at the time. Yet she has stuck with her dream, is growing, and will flourish in my opinion. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up making her mark in the world of fashion.

I often call people like this “ahead of their time”. These creative idea makers seem to have an intuition or vision for the future. They create something or present something. But the idea is often so “out of the box” that it is not understood by others in its entirety initially. Because it is not understood, it is faced with rejection, criticism, and on and on………

So my encouragement to all of the “silly” idea-makers….stick with it! If you are facing negativity and ridicule from others, you are most likely onto something grand.  Press on my friend……..

Original Poem: Inward and Outward by Angie Mack Reilly

Inward and Outward

by Angie Mack Reilly (c) 3.1.19

I’m a treasure hunter.
Truth finder.
I’m looking inward and outward.
Inward and outward.
Always inward and outward.
But looking.
Looking because of discontentment? Restlessness?
Or looking for hope? Looking to fulfill a much longed for dream?
Is the dream pure?
As in, is it just me being greedy or wanting my ego stroked?
Or is it OK to go looking for something such as love?  Or talent?  Or truth?
I am always digging deeper and reaching higher.
Again, is this me being discontent ?  Am I overly ambitious? Do I have faith that I will find something?
That’s why I keep looking.                                                                                                        Inward and outward.

“But your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.

Without, everything seems discordant; only within does it coalesce into unity.

Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.”

With best regards,

Yours sincerely,

DR. JUNG ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 33

What is the Result of Greed?

What is the Result of Greed?* by Angie Mack Reilly

We have branded ourselves
as the Country of Greed.
From that GREED
stems the workaholism
that builds bigger houses
then destroys families.
From that workaholism
stems a chronic fatigue.
From fatigue stems illness
and a faulty perception
of what is meaningful in life.
We stop excelling in our relationships.
We drift into
and criticism
and judgement
and bickering
and hating
and killing
and killing
and killing.
So here we are.
This is what we have reaped.
For stealing
and conquering
AND KILLLING as a nation.
For targeting and destroying
vulnerable groups of people
for the sake of monetary gain,
sexual pleasures
and relief from our deep-rooted depression.
The cup of greed is brim and
overflowing into our
most vulnerable spaces.
This invasion has caused
quivering among the innocent.
They do not feel safe…….
Their basic needs are not being met.
Our country is quaking with the
anxieties and the
anger of the people
who are waking
up to realize
that the country
they were taught
to believe in
has failed them.
On so many levels.
Land of the brave?
They are not brave.
How can they be brave
to speak their truth
when nobody is listening?
They are not free.
They are slaves of
politicians and Wall Street.
We must wake up.
Digital dictators
will trump humanity
if we do not awake
from our slumber,
use our minds
and defend what it means
to be human.
(So this is where you ask,
“Alexa, what is the result of greed?”)

*punctuation, grammar, spelling intentional

You Are Free

You Are Free

Angela K. Mack © 10/04

Baby elephant,
your feet have been chained.
From the moment you could stand,
you have been trained.
At first the ka-ching clang jingle
made you hostile.
Your natural instinct screamed.
A circus performer,
you were not meant to be.

Baby elephant,
you thrashed and you threw.
You cried out in anger,
“Paleese, Paleese, Paleese!”
Then, one day, resigned.
With your head hung in shame,
you consented to be tame.
You no longer complained
about the chain.

Baby elephant,
You were CONDITIONED to see yourself
as tied to the ground.
Low down slowed down LOW.
When you grew
to the size of elephant enormity,
your master unshackled you-
yet you did not realize you were free.

What’s this?
Free in body?  Captive in mind?
Look down elephant!
Open your eyes!
Can’t you see?
Has your vision been stolen?
Have you forgotten your destiny?
Oh no!
In your mind you think you are chained!

Baby elephant,
What if I stand up from the grandstand
and shout,
over and over again?
Will you hear?
Will you see?
Your bondage is an illusion…..

You are free!

You are free!


POEM #2:  “You are Free”

I got the idea for this poem when a friend told me how circus elephants used to be trained.  Baby elephants were chained to the ground in order to learn submission.  When they got older, their feet were unshackled by their master.  Yet they were so conditioned to a life of bondage that they didn’t realize that they could freely run away.

This poem is about the plight of the circus elephant on a literal level.  At a deeper level, it is about imprisonment of the mind.  This imprisonment can be looked upon from many different viewpoints.  Bondage and freedom is a universal theme.  My favorite line to say is, “What’s this?”  because it breaks the rhythm of the poem and it transitions into a frantic state of discovery, awareness, and revelation.  It begins the questioning.  Questioning is a good first step to freedom.


lutes.  matc literary and arts magazine

Staked Upon History it Didn’t Understand

used with permission from Tim Carpenter

“Grafton’s blossoming retro blues business staked upon history it didn’t understand”


April 25, 2006

GRAFTON – When Grafton found out that it was home to some of music’s most influential and earliest recordings of jazz, blues and gospel, it could hardly contain itself. After all, it had spent years trying to break away from the shadows of neighboring towns, Cedarburg and Port Washington, but never seemed able to do so. But there was another reason for their giddiness, as they unearthed an economic diamond in the rough with enough appeal to potentially make Grafton not only the top tourist destination in the region, but also a travel hot spot for music enthusiasts all over the world.

“The artists that recorded for Paramount were etched into American culture the moment the needle hit the wax,” said local music historian Angela Mack,

noting that musicians such as Thomas A. Dorsey, the godfather of gospel; and legendary blues songstress “Ma” Rainey were just two of several artists who came to Grafton in the 1920s and early 1930s to record albums at The New York Recording Laboratories for the Paramount Record label.

A subsidiary of the Grafton-based Wisconsin Chair Company, Paramount released a wide variety of music but is best known for its recordings of African-American jazz and blues, controlling 25 percent of the black music market at its peak. However, like many of businesses of that era, the original incarnation of Paramount folded in 1935 due to the Great Depression.

While Paramount’s legacy was known by music aficionados around the world, the label’s association with Grafton remained unknown to its hometown until a few years ago when a vinyl collector looking for records manufactured by Paramount sent inquiries out via mass mail to several Grafton residents. After that, it wasn’t long before interest in the record label’s connection with Grafton ignited like wildfire throughout the village.

“Embracing this history also embraces the arts, which in turn embraces tourism and business,” Mack said in regard to the domino effect Paramount’s legacy has had on the village. “When you tap into the history and arts of a community and get the people involved, the businesses will then get involved to draw tourists to come here.”

Using the past to sell the future

Village President Jim Brunnquell originally learned about Paramount Records’ connection with Grafton in spring 2004 when Mack approached him about starting the Paramount Blues Festival, which will debut on Sept. 23 at Lime Kiln Park. Although the idea intrigued him, Brunnquell wasn’t able to grasp Paramount’s importance in American music history until coming across a considerable amount of material that had been published about the label, including a book by Scandinavian author Alex van der Tuuk.

“It appears that everyone knew about the history of Paramount and Grafton except for the village of Grafton,” said Brunnquell. “It involved a matter of somebody opening my eyes to it. Once that happened, it was like ‘Holy cow, this is amazing. We played an amazing part of Americana here.’”

The revelation couldn’t have come at a better time, as the village was in the early stages of creating a redevelopment plan for the downtown area. At the same time, resident/chef Joe Krupski had just bought the old Bienlein Hotel on 12th Avenue. After learning of Paramount’s connection with the village and the likelihood that many of the label’s musicians stayed at the Bienlein while recording, he decided to call the place The Paramount Restaurant.

“What we’re trying to do is tell the story of the artists and what they did in Grafton,” said Krupski of the theme of his restaurant, which will feature various items of Paramount memorabilia. “I think Grafton’s always been searching for some kind of identity, and now they’ve found it. So we’re just celebrating that history.”

With plans already in motion to add a plaza downtown and community interest in Paramount on the rise, the village decided to team up with Krupski and the organizers of the blues festival in paying homage to its musical roots.

“Whenever you’re trying to bring in a mix of businesses into a community, it’s all about identity and having a selling point,” said Brunnquell of the Paramount Plaza, which once complete will resemble a record disk and will feature among other things a gazebo with a stage and seating area, a timeline of the label’s history and a large flat metal medallion of the Paramount eagle. “This is a great idea to wrap around because it’s unique to us and is a vital part of music history.”

The plaza will also feature a piano design walkway complete with ivories and a Paramount Recording Artists’ Walk of Fame. Paramount Grooves in Grafton, a group headed by Mack to educate and inform the public about Grafton’s musical heritage, has been put in charge by the village board to select the first five inductees for the fame walk, which is expected to cost somewhere around $2,000 per artist.

The first Paramount Blues Festival is scheduled for Sept. 23 at Lime Kiln Park, with a daylong slate of music and workshops, including an appearance by van der Tuuk.

While the village has fully embraced its rich musical heritage, it is unknown whether the rest of the world will react to Grafton’s legacy in a similar fashion. However, the chances look good that it will. After all, Grafton was the last one to find itself.

“Economically, I think it’s a great tool,” Brunnquell said of the village’s long-lost musical heritage. “It’s something that’s uniquely Grafton and the great thing about it is that it’s truly legitimate.”

This story appeared in the Ozaukee County News Graphic on April 25, 2006.