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Yesterday in La Crosse

Two ballerinas found a home downtown, 16 years ago

Brad Williams

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In the summer of 2004, a metal sculpture called ‘Dancers’ was installed in the parking lot of the Pump House Arts Center.  Local artist Donna Gerke-Cutta designed the artwork showing a metallic pair of ballerinas, painted blue.  It was the fourth in a series of works created for the Downtown La Crosse Sculpture Project, following Fledgling, Scrolled Tablets, and Water Over the Dam.  In 2019, the Dancers got a new coat of paint, and were moved to the other side of Front Street, outside the Weber Center.  

Democrats held their national convention that July in Boston, choosing John Kerry to challenge incumbent president George W. Bush.  One speaker at the convention was billed as the only gay woman in Congress, Wisconsin House member Tammy Baldwin.  And the convention introduced America to a young black politician from Illinois, who called himself ‘a skinny kid with a funny name.’ At the next Democratic convention in 2008, that skinny kid, Barack Obama, would be the party nominee.  But Obama was the new kid on the block in 2004, yesterday in La Crosse.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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