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Category: Arts & Humanities

The Unrivaled Legacy of Dale Chihuly

Smithsonian Magazine

After majoring in interior design in the early 1960s at the University of Washington, a foundation for his collecting aesthetic and artistic vision, Chihuly enrolled in the country’s first glass program at the University of Wisconsin, where he also studied sculpture. Incorporating glass into tapestries to create textile and glass curtains soon gave way to his overriding interest in glassblowing.

Yung Gravy returns to Wisconsin a star, at Milwaukee’s Eagles Ballroom with bbno$

A fair number of famous musicians have called Wisconsin home. Les Paul. Al Jarreau. Steve Miller. Justin Vernon.

Now, there’s Yung Gravy.

Matthew Hauri didn’t actually grow up in Wisconsin; he was born in Rochester, Minn. But the now 26-year-old was a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison when he uploaded his first Yung Gravy EP to SoundCloud in 2016. A year later, he signed a deal with Universal Music Group’s Republic Records (the label behind Taylor Swift, the Weeknd and other A-listers), before graduating in December 2017.

Center for Black Excellence in Madison will celebrate Black culture in Wisconsin

Noted: My mother moved to Madison from Chicago just over 50 years ago to pursue a college degree and provide a brighter future for my sister and me. The Gee family now consists of three generations of University of Wisconsin-Madison graduates. The university, and a small but thriving community of Black UW alumni, offered opportunities, resources and friendships that allowed us to create lives of unlimited promise, rooted in Black excellence and Black culture.

Milwaukee stars in National Book Award finalist ‘All This Could Be Different’

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Sneha, the narrator and protagonist, is a young Indian immigrant and University of Wisconsin-Madison grad who comes to work in Milwaukee in 2013. She’s a low-level contract consultant doing dehumanizing work at a corporation. Every boss encounter is fraught, because she’d like to be sponsored for permanent residency in the United States.

UW-Madison’s Dr. Sami Schalk releases “Black Disability Politics”

Daily Cardinal

University of Wisconsin-Madison Gender and Women’s Studies Professor Sami Schalk recently released her second book “Black Disability Politics.” The book was designed to bridge a gap between Black activism and disability activism because, as a disability activist, Schalk said the Black perspective is often neglected or not seen in the disability studies field.

Q&A: Filmmaker Robert Stone, ‘American Experience: Taken Hostage’

PBS Wisconsin

Unfolding like a political thriller, American Experience: Taken Hostage is a riveting four-hour, two-part documentary film about the Iran hostage crisis, when 52 American diplomats, Marines and civilians were taken hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979.

Ahead of its premiere, PBS Wisconsin spoke with writer, producer, director and University of Wisconsin-Madison alum Robert Stone about the film.

“It placed a hunger in me.” UW Odyssey Project celebrates 20 years of changing lives

Madison 365

The potential for adults returning to school to reach goals of obtaining degrees and knowledge is often most affected by external factors that can make everyday life and returning to academics a difficult balance. The UW Odyssey Project is a remedy to that problem, and over their 20 years working to bring adults to higher education, they have gone the extra mile every time.

The Odyssey Project started in 2002 and quickly started changing lives. Acting as an avenue for adults to return to higher education through the resources and knowledge that run throughout UW-Madison has allowed the Odyssey Project to serve a plethora of people each year to achieve their academic, career, and personal goals. A celebration at the UW-Memorial Union was only fitting.

A Wisconsin artist is using her art to change the way people think about insects

Spectrum News

Jennifer Angus is a professor of design studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. About 22 years ago, she moved to the city, bringing with her a passion for insects and art.

“I got into it when I was doing research in northern Thailand on tribal minority dress, and I came across a garment that was embellished with these hard outside wings that are known as elytra,” said Angus.

UW-Madison historian Monica Kim awarded MacArthur ‘genius’ grant

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A University of Wisconsin-Madison historian on Wednesday won one of the nation’s most prestigious awards, which comes with a no strings attached $800,000 stipend to spend however she sees fit.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named UW-Madison professor Monica Kim, 44, as one of 25 national recipients of the MacArthur fellowship. Also known as the “genius grant,” the awards are given annually to a select group of individuals across a range of disciplines who show exceptional creativity in their work and future ambitions.

Three questions for Erika Meitner: The poet and UW-Madison creative writing professor will read from her latest collection, “Useful Junk” at the Wisconsin Book Festival


Erika Meitner recently arrived in Madison as a professor and master of fine arts program director in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s English Department. She’s written six books of poems, and her work frequently appears in anthologies. In her latest collection, Useful Junk, Meitner considers what it means to be a sexual being in a world that often renders women all but invisible. Meitner takes the podium Oct. 15 at the Central Library at 7:30 p.m. 

Storytellers share pieces of themselves at Madison Moth GrandSLAM Championship


Last December, Danielle Hairston Green took the stage in front of a roomful of strangers and told a witty, passionate story about “leaping and soaring” to overcome life’s obstacles. Not only did she receive raucous applause, but she also won that night’s monthly themed StorySLAM at the High Noon Saloon, sponsored by The Moth Madison.

On Oct. 14, Hairston Green will join nine other area storytellers at The Barrymore Theatre to compete in the first in-person Madison Moth GrandSLAM Championship since October 2019.

“It’s important for people to find a home to not only share their thoughts and experiences, but to do so in a space that’s nonjudgmental and where people are vulnerable,” says Hairston Green, who is director for the Human Development and Relationships Institute in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension. “Sometimes at StorySLAMS, you’re in front of people you’ve never met and may never see again, and that’s a freeing experience.”

Legendary UW Marching Band director Mike Leckrone returns to the stage in October

Madison Magazine

Leckrone, who spent a dazzling half century (1969-2019) as director of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band — years filled with fun, hard work, great acclaim and, inevitably, loss — has fashioned a cabaret-style show, “Mike Leckrone: Moments of Happiness,” that will mix music and storytelling across five performances at Overture’s Playhouse theater Oct. 12-16.

Watch Why Race Matters Ep. 2: Higher Education

PBS Wisconsin

A college degree can be an important step for starting a career, but many colleges and universities struggle to create a welcoming environment for students of color. Angela Fitzgerald sits down with Tiffany Tardy from All-In Milwaukee, a nonprofit working to improve college retention and graduation rates for students from underserved communities.

Tardy is the Program Director for All-In Milwaukee, an organization providing financial aid, advising, program and career support for limited-income college students from the Milwaukee area. She has a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Wisconsin Watch joins national project to help fight misinformation, preserve democracy

Editor & Publisher

Wisconsin Watch is joining a nationwide project led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers that aims to protect democracy by limiting the spread and impact of misinformation.

With a newly announced $5 million award from the National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator program, researchers will continue development of Course Correct, a tool designed at the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication to help journalists identify and combat misinformation online.

UW-Madison Art Professionals Support Black Artists’ Demands for MMoCA


Thursday afternoon, a group of alumni, faculty and students from UW-Madison’s art and art history departments will read an open letter outside the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

They’ll be there to protest the mistreatment of artists during this year’s Wisconsin Triennial exhibition, which was the first Triennial in the museum’s history to focus exclusively on the experiences of Black women, femmes, and gender non-conforming artists.

New season of ‘Why Race Matters’ available now

PBS Wisconsin

Why Race Matters, a digital series elevating issues of importance affecting Wisconsin’s Black communities, returns to PBS Wisconsin with four all-new episodes.

In the premiere episode of the new season, available now, Fitzgerald speaks with University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Emerita Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings to discuss the history of Critical Race Theory, what it is and how it’s used in educational settings.

“Sifting and Reckoning” exhibit grapples with racist history of UW

Madison 365

Today, a new exhibit is being opened to the public at the Chazen Museum of Art on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The culmination of multiple years of research and planning, the UW-Madison Public History Project exhibit looks to ask questions about the real history of UW-Madison itself. The Public History Project looks to give voice to a lesser-known history of UW-Madison through students, staff, and associates of the university who have been affected by marginalization across identities.

Kinfolk to headline Wisconsin Leadership Summit entertainment


The band’s origins come from Fountain of Life Church on Madison’s south side, where Saffold, Dr. LaVar Charlston, Anthony Ward and Marcus Fleming were church musicians. Each of them were regularly asked to perform at weddings and other functions, and over time it became clear they had something special.

UW alum and Oscar winner Fredric March’s name was removed from a campus theater in 2018. Calls for its return are getting louder.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

There’s a renewed push to restore Academy Award-winning actor Fredric March’s name on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

A student-led group voted in 2018 to remove the UW alum’s name from a theater in Memorial Union because of his association with a student group that shared a name with the Ku Klux Klan in the early 20th century.

Opinion | In the sandbox also known as academia, it’s the golden age of the grovel

The Washington Post

This history professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and president of the American Historical Association tried to say something sensible, and partially succeeded. It is, however, perilous to deviate even microscopically from progressive orthodoxy, as enforced by today’s censorious professoriate, so he experienced Twitter crucifixion. His “crap” was “white-centric” and advocating “white supremacist Aryan eugenicist” history, etc. Sweet’s critics reduced him to quivering contrition because he had written this:

A Genius Cartoonist Believes Child’s Play Is Anything But Frivolous

The New York Times

And since 2012, Barry, a 66-year-old who in 2019 received a MacArthur Foundation fellowship — the so-called genius grant — has been at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she has held various positions and now does cross-disciplinary teaching on creativity. So when it comes to self-expression, to making art, it’s fair to say that she’s an expert. But in many ways, not nearly as much of an expert as your average little kid, which is something Barry has been thinking about a lot lately.

Poem: Lipstick Elegy

New York Times

Poem by Paul Tran, a poet and an editor whose debut collection, from which this poem is taken, is “All the Flowers Kneeling” (Penguin Books, 2022). They are an assistant professor of English and Asian American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

John Bascom and the Wisconsin Idea – with J. David Hoeveler

Wisconsin Public Radio

Explore John Bascom, the colorful President of the University of Wisconsin from 1874-1887 who championed women’s rights, worker’s rights, temperance, the pursuit of truth, and a notion that would go on to earn fame as “The Wisconsin Idea.” Professor Emeritus of History J. David Hoeveler, of UW Milwaukee, whose most recent book is John Bascom and the Origins of the Wisconsin Idea, sheds light on the important Wisconsin figure.

Art museum director and UW-Madison pediatrician who promotes reading chosen for national board

Wisconsin State Journal

Two well-known names from UW-Madison will now be part of the 11-member body that advises the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, the university announced Thursday. Amy Gilman, director of the UW-Madison’s Chazen Museum of Art, and Dipesh Navsaria, professor in the School of Human Ecology and of pediatrics and adolescent medicine in the School of Medicine and Public Health, were named Aug. 12 as new members of the National Museum and Library Services Board.

Page turners: the most exciting new fiction from Africa, Latin America and south Asia

The Guardian

Kuku’s stories are delectable and fun, but they also reveal the ridiculousness of gender expectations and the sexual politics that assign men and women rigid roles in intimate relationships.

-Dr Ainehi Edoro is assistant professor of global black literatures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founder and editor-in-chief of Brittle Paper, an online magazine for African literature

Movement to ban books reaches Wisconsin schools, libraries


Quoted: “What any curriculum should be is thoughtful, give students something they don’t already have, and make them into what we may call critical democratic citizens,” Michael Apple said. He’s the John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Apple says the efforts to ban “Flamer” and other books centered around the LGBTQ+ experience are part of a well organized campaign.

He adds that “Flamer” is an award-winning book about acceptance and self-discovery.

A Cedarburg clinic and a Walker’s Point apartment conversion are among projects honored by the American Institute of Architects Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: The American Institute of Architects Wisconsin bestowed honor awards, the Wisconsin Architectural Awards program’s highest recognition, on four projects designed by its members.

Another eight projects received merit awards including:

• Hamel Music Hall, Madison. Strang Inc., Steinberg Hart.

University of Wisconsin’s Mead Witter School of Music’s concert and performance space uses the “warmth of precast concrete (which) echoes the limestone of other iconic campus buildings, but the form of the Music Center reflects the forward-thinking, progressive ‘Wisconsin Idea,'” the nomination said.

Museum of Wisconsin Art exhibitions showcase Native American identity, history, veterans

Wisconsin Examiner

Over the past few weeks, the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) in West Bend has opened two new exhibitions by indigenous artists to the public.

On July 23, the museum opened Ho-Chunk photographer Tom Jones’s first major retrospective, which features 120 photos from sixteen bodies of work over 25 years.

“There’s something that a friend of mine said once,” says Jones, a professor of photography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “She came to a show, and she’s like, ‘Your work is so beautiful, but then when you really look at it and get up on it, it slaps you in the face.’”

‘Heat’-ing up: Michael Mann writes sequel-prequel ‘Heat 2’

Washington Post

Noted: “Heat 2” is the first of three planned novels (one of which may be related to “Heat”), and an ambitious literary beginning for a man who had never attempted a work of fiction before. He majored in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with thoughts of becoming a teacher, but decided that would be “really immensely boring.” Asked to cite literary influences, he mentions John le Carre, but otherwise says he doesn’t read crime fiction. Instead, he looks to “primary sources,” the various killers, crooks, law enforcers and government agents he has met and befriended and whose stories he adapted for “Heat,” “Thief” and other films.

National acclaim and a Wisconsin retrospective for Ho-Chunk artist Tom Jones

Wisconsin State Journal

Jones, a photography professor at UW-Madison, is having an especially big year. This summer alone his artwork — steeped in his perspective as a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation — is part of exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. On Saturday, the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend will celebrate the opening of his first major retrospective, “Tom Jones: Here We Stand,” featuring some 130 works from 16 series that span his career.

Jewish families to be key topic at Greenfield Summer Institute

The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

The Jewish family can be considered the core of Jewish identity. At a four-day event, attendees can develop a rich understanding about the history and function of family in a Jewish context, according to organizers.  

“In many ways, the Jewish story is a family story,” said Cara Rock-Singer, co-chair of the Greenfield Institute Committee. “There are so many different formations and meanings of family related to issues about how families function and work to produce and reproduce Jewish life.” 

The 22nd annual Greenfield Summer Institute, which is part of the George L. Mosse and Laurence A. Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be held July 11-14, 2022, featuring the theme of “The Jewish Family across Time and Place.” 

Former WPM Director Gene Purcell inducted into WBA Hall Of Fame

Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin Public Media and the Educational Communications Board joined broadcasters from around the state to celebrate the life and career of former WPM Director Gene Purcell who was one of four people inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame on June 23, 2022. Purcell was a longtime WPR reporter, regional manager, and former director of the ECB before becoming director of WPM at UW-Madison in 2018. He was killed in a traffic collision in August 2021.

New novel by UW–Madison French professor explores love and loss in the early years of the AIDS crisis

Madison Magazine

Richard Goodkin wrote the first draft of what would become his new novel, “Mourning Light,” over the course of a few months back in 1993. For the University of Wisconsin–Madison French professor, working on the novel was a way of processing some difficult personal emotions surrounding the loss of his partner two years earlier — and so he wrote a fictionalized story about a UW–Madison professor who loses his partner during the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

Zola Jesus finds purpose in the process

National Public Radio

Noted: She started producing music, drawing equally from her childhood opera training and love of noise, while in college at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her debut, The Spoils, was released by Sacred Bones in 2009, when she was still a student, after which she moved to Los Angeles. After time in the Northwest and the Northeast, and four more albums later, she moved into a house she built with her two uncles, a contractor and an electrical engineer, on the land where she grew up.