On December 16, 2022 at the High School Fine Arts Assembly, three new members were inducted into the Fine Arts Hall of Fame:
Michael Werwie, Class of 1999
Michael Werwie is an award winning screenwriter and producer whose work has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences. He won a Nicholl Fellowship for his screenplay Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, starring Zac Efron and Lily Collins. He also wrote the true crime adaptation, Lost Girls, starring Amy Ryan and Thomasin McKenzie, based on the New York Times bestseller. Both movies world-premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and were acquired by Netflix. His work has been featured on the Black List, an annual survey of the “most-liked” screenplays in Hollywood. Michael is a New York-produced playwright who lives in Los Angeles, and a graduate of the University of Southern California where he received a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, with a focus on Leadership Development, and a triple minor in Psychology, Spanish, and Film.
Michael had many exceptional teachers in the Whitefish Bay school system but one who stands out as having had a particular influence on me is the late, great Julia Bresnahan. "Ms. B," as she was called,, was not just an art teacher, she was a friend, mentor, and advocate of all things creative. I had the great fortune of having had her several times over the years but perhaps the most impactful was her A.P. class in which she treated us not as students but as friends, collaborators, and fellow artists. She spoke to us like adults. It was in this class that she taught me how to give and receive criticism, how to trust and follow my artistic instincts, and the importance of keeping a journal, all practices he still uses to this day. She could be prickly at times but it was rarely undeserved, and always intended to make you do your best work. She didn't suffer fools. Most importantly, she never judged bad work, only bad effort. Michael emphasizes that he could not have had a more encouraging, supportive teacher in my most formative years and he feels extremely grateful to have kept in touch with her until the end. “Thank you, Ms. B, and the entire Whitefish Bay school system for helping me become who I am today.
Adam McKinney, Class of 1994
Adam W. McKinney has been recognized nationally and across the globe as a dancer, choreographer and activist. He attended Whitefish Bay High School as part of the Chapter 220 program and graduated in 1994. His thanks go to Pam Kriger for encouraging him to begin formal dance training. New York City and San Francisco as well as Lausanne Switzerland and Johannesburg, South Africa (and other venues) have showcased Adam’s talents.
Dance has been a focus for Adam’s involvement in performance and social justice. His Master of Arts thesis theorized connections between internalized racism and the use of dance as a healing modality. He has created dance work for post-combat veterans and populations who struggle with homelessness and heroin addiction. Adam is co-founder and co-director of DNAWORKS, an arts service organization committed to healing through the arts and dialogue. Currently Adam is the driving force to acquire and transform a former KKK Auditorium into the Center and Museum for Arts and Community Healing named after Fred Rouse.
Adam attributes part of his success as a performing artist with his early studies in voice, dance and theater at Whitefish Bay High School under the tutelage of Randal Swiggum, Pam Kriger and Frank Laycock. He enthusiastically thanks these mentors!
Julie Bamberger-Roubik, Class of 1990
Julie Bamberger-Roubik is an established Wisconsin music educator for viola and violin. Her emphasis is on performance and pedagogy for both Suzuki and Dalcroze string instruction.
Julie is often recognized for her excellence in teaching, her guest clinician roles and the establishment of her own studio, Cream City Strings which followed a number of years working with the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Private and group lessons, plus coaching, have been many, both in state and internationally. Invited overseas assignments have included stints in Ostend, Belgium and Tokyo, Japan. Julie performed as a backup musician for artists including Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution, Keiko Matsuik, Brad Little, Rita Coolidge and Lorna Luft!
Julie has organized performances such as the “Voices of the Holocaust” and “Milwaukee Artists Unite for Japan” to commemorate the anniversary of concentration camp liberation and to raise funds for earthquake victims respectively. She has been published in the American Suzuki Journal and earned a number of awards and scholarships for her accomplishments.
Julie was asked to write a few words about what brought her to her calling of violist and music educator. She credits the artist that she is today to her mentor and orchestra teacher, Robert Chase. Her parents instilled a love of music from birth, and it was Mr. Chase who first introduced her to the viola and who kept her involved in music, allowing it to become her profession. Ms. Roubik hopes that she can be for her own students the inspiration and influence that Robert Chase was for her.