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The American Dream in Wisconsin - Terese Agnew, Patty Loew, Jesus Salas - <span class="date-display-single">11/04/2017 - 4:00pm</span>

The American Dream in Wisconsin

11/04/2017 - 4:00pm

Overture Center for the Arts - Wisconsin Studio

The American Dream is a shared dream of our own creation. The phrase implies the inclusion of all who live here and embrace the promise of a democracy that represents its diverse citizens and communities. Yet rapid, even erratic, policy changes surrounding immigration and American influence abroad are having an effect on people who share this dream across the United States. At the same time, the Seventh Generation philosophy that guides sovereign Indian nations often collides with dreams that center on short-term economic success.


In Whose Dream Is It?, artist Terese Agnew will host a panel discussion with journalist and Academy Fellow Patty Loew and community organizer Jesus Salas exploring what it means to be an American today and how different perspectives on Americanism contribute to—or detract from—our shared identity. The panel will open with a short performance by Blanche Brown about Caroline Quarlls, the first person known to have escaped slavery through Wisconsin’s Underground Railroad. Quarlls and panelist Jesus Salas are both featured in the Writing in Stone exhibition, on view in the James Watrous Gallery.


Terese Agnew

About Presenter Terese Agnew


A Milwaukee native, Terese Agnew began her art career as a public sculptor. Her early work included huge temporary installations that engaged hundreds of people in the art making process. In 1991 Agnew began making art quilts in addition to sculpture. Her quilts are intricately detailed; Practice Bomber Range in the Mississippi Flyway for example, is entirely embroidered with up to fourteen layers of hand guided machine stitching.



Agnew’s Portrait of a Textile Worker, is a quilt constructed with over 30,000 clothing labels contributed by people from across the globe.  She says of the piece: “The repetition of thousands of people cutting out their clothing labels is retained in the piece, giving it the impact of a chorus of voices." Agnew’s artworks are in permanent collections including the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY;  the Renwick Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., Merton College, Oxford, England; Milwaukee Art Museum; the John M Walsh III Collection of Contemporary Art Quilts; and numerous other private collections. 

Patty Loew

About Presenter Patty Loew


Patty Loew, Ph.D., is a professor in the Medill School of Journalism and the inaugural director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University. A citizen of Mashkiiziibii- the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe- Dr. Loew is a former broadcast journalist in public and commercial television. She is the author of four books, including Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and RenewalNative People of Wisconsin, which is used by 20,000 Wisconsin school children as a social studies text; Teachers Guide to Native People of Wisconsin; and Seventh Generation Earth Ethics. In 2019, she produced a StoryMap and GPS-guided Indigenous Tour of Northwestern: https://bit.ly/2n8Acr5  


Loew has produced many documentaries for public and commercial television, including the award-winning Way of the Warrior, which aired nationally on PBS, and Faces and Places of Alaska for KATU-TV in Portland. She works extensively with Native youth, teaching digital storytelling skills as a way to grow the next generation of Native storytellers and land stewards. In 2019 Dr. Loew was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received the state of Wisconsin’s Martin Luther King Jr. Heritage Award.


Seventh Generation Earth Ethics: Native Voices of Wisconsin

Jesus Salas

About Presenter Jesus Salas


Jesus Salas is the descendant of a Mexican-American family who first came to Wisconsin during the 1940s. He worked throughout his early school years as a migrant farmworker. Salas led protests, marches, and organizing efforts to secure rights and improve conditions for himself, his family, and the migrant community during the 1960s and 1970s. Salas has an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and an advanced degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked as a teacher and scholar at Madison Area Technical College (now Madison College), the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Salas served as a member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents from 2003-07.

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