Sheri Williams-Pannell, born Sheri Pannell was born to create.
Growing up in Milwaukee Wi, Sheri was introduced to art at an early age. From birth, she was paired with a loving creative pack, also known as her new (at the time) family. Her mother, found her creative solace within poetry, she was also an exceptional Pianist that was known to recreate songs just by ear. Her father, a story teller, a blue collar man that could tell you all about it while wielding a gracefully rugged tone. Sheri’s unique family atmosphere, played a huge role in both her and her siblings creative lives. Being the younger of her siblings, Sheri grew up watching her older brothers perform with their Doo-Wop group, while their sister created socially engaging articles for magazines and journals. At the age of about 4, Sheri decided that it was now her time to spread her own creative wings.
As a young girl, she was able to remember and replicate, fully choreographed dance pieces
naturally. Coming from a creative atmosphere (Milwaukee, Mom, Dad, Siblings…), exposure to the arts was more of a daily routine than just a scheduled occurrence. During our interview, Sheri recalled her own MPS Art experiences, speaking highly of their “very fine” and “all-round” art programs.
“So, on Saturday morning I took, acting courses and at that time it was at the Wisconsin Avenue School, also Drama classes. I took Ballet, African Dance… and that was through what we called, The Academy For Beauty And Culture. It was on what we know as king drive now, but it was on, at that time, 3rd & Center St., ‘by Mr. Wardell Anderson, God rest his soul.”
Through this program, she was introduced to the various creative sectors that supported her performance interests, such as the learning of instruments and singing.
During our conversation, Sheri went on to mention influencers and mentors such as Juliette Stellar who oversaw her initial Piano experience and Ella Washington who was a music supervisor at MPS during Sheri’s youth years. These Key experiences accompanied by her unique mission, to “uplift the community” that serves us, gave Sheri the mold that created the foundation that we see her standing on today.
Within her own artistic timeline, Sheri was introduced to a partner, who would help provide support and love her pieces throughout her artistic process.
“You know, so I was working as a family-life educator, which is a wonderful word for sex educator. Thats what my undergraduate training is in, and I was…in the community doing these workshops during the day ‘and at night... and on the weekends rehearsing, and I remember him saying, “You know I gotta see you some time…What is it that really feeds your soul?” and I said, it’s the performing, it’s the Art’s... and he said “Do it.””
Support hits differently when it’s meant for you. Sheri added this love to her tank making it her mission to fulfill this purpose...
You can catch the rest o f this recorded interview, live via The Creative
Friday February 3rd @ 7pm