Judith Ann Moriarty

Judith Ann Moriarty

Raised in rural Iowa, she asked the editor of the berg’s local newspaper if she could be a writer for the weekly Villisca Review. Alas, she was but seven and couldn’t spell Omaha.

That said, the tales she lived to tell (and the fairytales she lived to write) are rooted in her old hometown, where, until 2013, she wrote a weekly column skewed left. It drove the natives wild. She had learned to spell Omaha.

Moriarty was a late bloomer, taking the housewife route for fifteen years before returning to finish her University of Missouri college education at Carroll University in Waukesha. Not knowing what to do with herself, she ended up with a 1977 degree in Art Education and set off to teach kids how to cut and paste. During her downtime, she painted wild abstract canvasses and participated in various exhibitions while occupying various studios in Bay View, Brewer’s Hill, Walker’s Point and the Third Ward. Five of her commissioned paintings hang in the Wisconsin Room in the student union at UW-Milwaukee. For a decade she worked for the prestigious Art Muscle Magazine and then for three more as the magazine’s publisher/editor.

The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel has profiled her and in turn, she wrote several pieces for their Wisconsin Magazine. Milwaukee Magazine used her talents to shape gossip (The Mil), features, Insider, and you name it, she did it. A longtime visual art reviewer for the Shepherd Express (she’s still writing for their A&E section), and a former writer for the Orbit, Vital Source and Third Coast Digest, she’s pleased to have landed (in 2012) at Urban Milwaukee as their City People profiler.

In 2006, while writing for Milwaukee Magazine (Bruce Murphy was the editor), she was honored by the Wisconsin Press Club for excellence in magazine articles of 750 words or less. She came in second, iced by the author of an article about frozen custard. She holds no grudges. By the way, the article was about what happened to Samson the Gorilla, after he died…..

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Recent Articles

City People: Lona Long Velasco
City People

Lona Long Velasco

A social service worker, clown and nail salon owner, she has also helped guide Walker’s Point Center for the Arts.

City People: Jim Brozek
City People

Jim Brozek

Inspired by people at work, Brozek has for decades captured laborers of all kinds in his photos.

City People: Nicholas Frank
City People

Nicholas Frank

An artist, gallery director and teacher, Frank has been a huge asset for Milwaukee’s cultural community.

City People: Laura Goldstein
City People

Laura Goldstein

The artist’s scarves and other hand-made items have a contemporary beauty but also honor her family’s past.

City People: Judith Solochek Jacobson
City People

Judith Solochek Jacobson

How an overweight corporate administrative manager transformed herself into a svelte fitness guru.

City People: Dan Baker
City People

Dan Baker

He’s a small business owner, art activist and Christian, not necessarily in that order.

City People: Mack Bates
City People

Mack Bates

The free lance film reviewer fell in love with movies as a teen and pursued his passion.

City People: Steve Fendt
City People

Steve Fendt

He’s a neighborhood activist leading the Southside Organizing Committee, but that doesn’t mean he’s a liberal.

City People: Mary Overman
City People

Mary Overman

At age 27, she’s building a national profile as artist while doing dog therapy on the side.

City People: Alexis Twito
City People

Alexis Twito

With her multiple tattoos and piercings, Pastor Twito serves her flock with a distinctive style.

City People: Jen Ede
City People

Jen Ede

How a 29-year-old West Allis native became publisher of a new magazine.

City People: James Bruss
City People

James Bruss

An English teacher, he coaches the poetry slam team from High School of the Arts, which just won the national championship.

City People: Vanessa Allen
City People

Vanessa Allen

A numbers cruncher with the Public Policy Forum, her life is a testament to the value of education.

City People: Frances Ullenberg
City People

Frances Ullenberg

Her family was musical but Ullenberg became an ad designer who tries to “sneak in” a little art.

City People: June Perry
City People

June Perry

How a civil rights activist from South Carolina came here and created the New Concept social service agency.

City People: Mark E. Foreman
City People

Mark E. Foreman

Shot by an AK 47, a Vietnam vet survived countless operations to become an artist, teacher and veterans leader.

City People: Frank Ford
City People

Frank Ford

For 40 years he’s shot photos of everyone from Mayor Maier to Paul Cebar to Divine to Richard Avedon.

City People: James Phelps
City People

James Phelps

How to succeed at business without ever leaving your neighborhood.

City People: Gregory Stanford
City People

Gregory Stanford

The longtime newspaper journalist now writes plays and helps run an art gallery.

City People: Dimitri Topitzes
City People

Dimitri Topitzes

A Greek orphan brought to Milwaukee, this UWM professor studies how children can be permanently harmed.

City People: Melissa Goins
City People

Melissa Goins

How a onetime correctional sergeant built a career in real estate development.

City People: Robert Kraig
City People

Robert Kraig

An activist with a Ph.D, the Citizen Action leader is working to change history.

City People: Al Cimperman
City People

Al Cimperman

The life and times of an award-winning school social worker.

City People: Peggy Karpfinger
City People

Peggy Karpfinger

The co-owner of Centro Cafe is helping lead a Riverwest renaissance.

City People: Lynne Shumow
City People

Lynne Shumow

The Haggerty Museum’s curator of education’s impact on the arts scene barely gets noticed, which is fine with her.

City People: Marina Lee
City People

Marina Lee

The creator of Snail's Crossing park in Riverwest brings her art directly to the people.

City People: Jeff Murrell
City People

Jeff Murrell

A lawyer who knows five languages, collects decorative glass and is working on a cook book, his life has been a long adventure.

City People: Tarik Moody
City People

Tarik Moody

How a globe trotter and former architect settled down to become a Milwaukee deejay.

City People: Shelly Lalonde
City People

Shelly Lalonde

A world traveler with 25 years experience framing art, Lalonde is a survivor in a tough economy.

Middle Earth, Wisconsin

Middle Earth, Wisconsin

Marquette University’s huge archive of Tolkien manuscripts has made it a treasure trove for fans of “The Hobbit.”

City Business: Allium
City Business


In a city of 1,600 restaurants, this family-owned place offers a European-styled, small-plate cafe and bar.

City People: Juli Kaufmann
City People

Juli Kaufmann

The developer and “Innovator of the Year” is more about people than buildings.

City People: Gary Tuma
City People

Gary Tuma

The one-time political activist and civil rights leader now runs the Walkers Point Center for the Arts.

City People: Sarah Gail Luther
City People

Sarah Gail Luther

A modern Flower Child uses her artistry to rediscover the lost culture in abandoned city lots.

City Business: CrossFit 414
City Business

CrossFit 414

Three young guys in very good shape can help you get fit.

City People: Steve Vande Zande
City People

Steve Vande Zande

A state teacher of the year and founder of the RedLine art incubator, he loves his Silver City neighborhood.

City People: Arnoldo Sevilla
City People

Arnoldo Sevilla

A Hispanic activist and part-time historian reflects on how things have changed.

City People: Raquel Filmanowicz
City People

Raquel Filmanowicz

The Chicago native has become a Milwaukee booster who helped lead the effort to reduce teen pregnancy.

City People: Frank Alioto
City People

Frank Alioto

He’s a fireman, an author, a walking tour guide, and a true urbanite.