88Nine Radio Milwaukee
Press Release

Radio Milwaukee Launches Second Season of Award-Winning “Be Seen” Podcast with Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project

Eight episode season, hosted by Radio Milwaukee’s Nate Imig and Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project’s Michail Takach, documents state’s unique LGBTQ history

By - May 23rd, 2023 10:00 am

MILWAUKEE (May 23, 2023)Radio Milwaukee has again partnered with the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project on a eight episode second season of award-winning podcast “Be Seen” documenting the state’s LGBTQ history, the station announced Tuesday.

Nate Imig, Radio Milwaukee’s director of digital content, and Michail Takach, curator for the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project, will both return as co-hosts for the podcast. Season one of “Be Seen” received a silver award from Milwaukee Press Club for Best Original Podcast in 2022. The first episode of “Be Seen” season two was released today.

“From gay softball to the pride parade, from a civil rights pioneer to a national broadcaster, this season will again demonstrate that Wisconsin’s LGBTQ+ history is everywhere, in every era,” said Imig. “We aim to show you, from the first episode, how deep our history goes.”

“It has never been more important for our history to be seen and for our heritage to be known,” shared Takach. “This season, as we explore long-standing community traditions that are flourishing – and even some that have disappeared, we highlight a unique cultural heritage at high risk of assimilation. And come to understand that pride is not just a party, but an expression of self-acceptance.”

The season’s first six episodes will be released every Tuesday through June 27, with two bonus episodes dropping after Pride Month is over. The stories will also be shared in Radio Milwaukee’s “Uniquely Milwaukee” podcast each week.

  • Episode 1: Season Preview (May 23)
    Hosts Nate Imig and Michail Takach give listeners a preview of season two of the podcast with clips of what to expect from upcoming episodes.
  • Episode 2: Bobby Rivers (May 30)
    Bobby Rivers, a national television host and entertainer who had his own celebrity interview show on VH1 in the late 1980s, reflects on beginning his career in Milwaukee and working at WQFM and WISN 12. The episode will feature archival audio from Rivers’ interviews with Meryl Streep, Robin Williams, Debbie Reynolds and more.
  • Episode 3: Milwaukee Pride Parade (June 6)
    Milwaukee’s pride parade is celebrating its 20th anniversary, after being sidelined for several years due to the pandemic. The episode features an interview with Parade President Jim Melotte and Chuckie Betz, who is pictured in the “Be Seen” podcast logo and recalls the first pride demonstration in Milwaukee, a radical act of protest.
  • Episode 4: Saturday Softball (Beer) League (June 13)
    2023 marks the 46th anniversary of gay softball in Milwaukee. In this episode, we talk with Kurt Baldwin, Brian Reinkober, Tommy “Southside” and long-time SSBL board member and ally, Mona Garcia. Interviews represent teams from past and present Milwaukee gay bars This is It, Harbor Room, D.I.X., Fluid and Woody’s.
  • Episode 5: Donna Burkett (June 20)
    The story of the first lesbian couple – Donna Burkett and her partner – to seek a marriage in Milwaukee County. When denied, they filed a lawsuit in Federal court, received extensive media coverage but ultimately lost their case due to an attorney error. Michail shares the narrative behind this story with archival audio from Burkett.
  • Episode 6: Old Timers Party (June 27)
    A Wisconsin tradition ended by the pandemic, for decades the “Old Timers Party” would unite the women of Milwaukee’s shuttered lesbian and women’s bars to drink and share stories. The events three main organizers – Mary Connell, Lois Ratzow and Carole Pecor – are all interviewed in the episode.
  • Bonus Episode 7: Unsolved Mystery
    Carla Mitchell shares the story of the unsolved murder of her uncle James “Jimmy” Spencer, allegedly stabbed by his mentally ill and controlling older partner, Wally Whetham, owner of the Black Nite, in 1967. Steve Schaffer from the Wisconsin Historical Society shares in the research he conducted with Michail, including insight into the original case files.
    Bonus Episode 8: Historical Marker
    Season one listeners will remember the story of the Black Nite and the archival audio from Josie Carter. This year, the site of the Black Nite will officially be recognized with a plaque from the Milwaukee County Historical Society. Michail speaks to the journey to receiving this recognition and the legacy it leaves for generations to come.

Episodes of “Be Seen” will be available for listening on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, in addition to radiomilwaukee.org.

Media can download the “Be Seen” podcast icon and headshots of Imig and Takach at bit.ly/BeSeenS2. For more information or interview requests, please contact Sarah Lahr at sarahm@radiomilwaukee.org or 414-892-4190.

About Radio Milwaukee
Radio Milwaukee (WYMS-FM 88.9) has been a positive force for Milwaukee on air, online and in the community since its 2007 launch. Through its creative programming and content, non-commercial Radio Milwaukee utilizes a multimedia platform for creating a better, more inclusive and engaged community. 88.9FM broadcasts and streams a unique blend of musical styles, including at least one song by a Milwaukee artist each hour, and short Uniquely Milwaukee stories that foster engagement and positive change. On 88.9FM-HD2 and hyfin.org, the station operates an Urban Alternative channel, HYFIN, that focuses on connecting with young, diverse audiences through the full spectrum of Black music. The organization runs a 24/7 all-Milwaukee music channel at 414Music.fm online and 88.9FM-HD3 on-air. The award-winning station receives the great majority of its financial support from its 6,000 contributing members, more than 150 underwriters and 25 foundations.. Learn more about Radio Milwaukee and stream the station at RadioMilwaukee.org or via the 88Nine mobile app.

About the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project
Founded by Don Schwamb, the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project seeks to reconnect Wisconsin with its lost LGBTQ history. Since 1995, the Project has become the state’s largest digital collection of historical LGBTQ media. The project provides independent consulting, walking tours, presentations, publications, and research services. The Project is independent, not-for-profit, self-funded and volunteer-run. The Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project Inc. is a sponsored project of the Cream City Foundation Inc., and accepts tax-exempt donations through the Foundation as our 501c3 fiscal agent.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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