Jeffrey C. Kasch Foundation Research Trip: Maddie House-Tuck

I received Kasch funding to travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to conduct archival research on the Milwaukee police band. The police band was inaugurated in 1898 and has remained a critical yet oft-overlooked venue for Milwaukee policing’s image management. 

Through the funding, I was able to visit archives at the Milwaukee County Historical Society, Milwaukee Public Library, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and more. I found a lot of fascinating and unexpected material about where the band practiced and performed in their early years, the role different chiefs played in the band’s development, and how various conductors/composers (including John Philip Sousa!) interacted with the band. By being in Milwaukee, I was also able to learn more about the city’s geography and built environment - both of which are now inflecting my thinking on the Milwaukee police band in new and surprising ways.

The Milwaukee trip I took through the Kasch funding was instrumental in allowing me to continue my dissertation research, which considers the role live performance has played as an image management strategy for police departments. I have also presented on the research I gathered in Milwaukee, most recently at the Urban History Association.