The engine of communities across the USA is creativity. If not for the makers, the communities would be less vibrant, the human experience less enriching, our daily lives less full. Commonstate is a tribute to creative thinkers in every community who believe that a culture of creativity is a better culture for all.

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Articles by Nicholas Pipitone

Co-founder, Editor-in-Chief,

Meet Milwaukee Film's illustrator in residence (and membership director): Kristopher Pollard

If you’ve attended an event hosted by Milwaukee Film, there’s close to a 100% chance you’ve run into or at least seen Kristopher Pollard. I have run into him on and off over the years, and have always meant to sit down and have a chat with the man who, as membership director, has grown the organization from the 400 or so members they had when he started to nearly 5,200.

The Post-est with the mostest: The Super Bowl 2019 post mortem

Welcome to the Super Bowl of the United States of America. Where “All things to all people” has now reached it’s full self-actualized potential. It’s an all-inclusive where everyone is represented and no one wins. What is supposed to be a showcase for the best in football, the best in advertising, and the best in music is now none of those things, drowning in it’s watered down, neutered existence.

A story and a vision: My conversation with documentary filmmaker Erik Ljung

“I was literally watching the Olympics at home when Sherman Park happened. My buddy plays for team Nigeria in basketball and I was watching and scrolling through Instagram and I saw an activist that I follow was posting videos of people smashing cop cars. I thought, where is this happening? A little later he posted more stuff and I was like, holy shit. This is in Milwaukee. So I flipped on the news and just grabbed my camera and raced over there.”

Confessions of an escapist: I'm a middle-aged gamer

I worked at JC Penney in 1982. Employee #750. Yes, I still remember. My department was ground zero for the sales of hundreds of Sony Walkmen – the first cassette version – and my cash register was where hundreds of small town Wisconsinites (in Beloit, specifically) went home with the culinary wonders of the revolutionary microwave oven.

Talking to The Posies about life, harmonies, power pop and tacos

In the pantheon of pop/rock music there are only a handful of iconic duos – those whose voices mesh together seamlessly, whose songwriting and approach perfectly complement each other, who sang as if some kind of magic wand tapped them on the vocal cords at birth and made it so. There is Lennon & McCartney, Simon & Garfunkel, Phil and Don Everly, and I submit, Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of the Posies.

The brilliant pop songs of Michael Rault and "sounding like the 70s"

There was a something happening in the late 60s and early 70s where bands – and a whole bunch of them – found their own voice very quickly. When you consider that Led Zeppelin came out of the woodwork with a sound no one had heard before, taking traditional blues and blowing the cover off of it making it their own, they in many ways didn’t invent hard rock; they invented a sound that can only be described, simply, as Led Zeppelin.

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