Inspire(d) Fall 2016

Page 1


NO. 47 • Fall 2016












Be an





309 EAST WATER STREET, DECORAH, IOWA 10-5 Mon/Tues/Wed/Fri/Sat 10-6 Thurs . 563.382.4474

Connect > /LillesosterButikken

Fuel Efficient. Environmentally Sensible. You’ll Love More Miles Per Dollar! Downtown La Crosse, WI at 4th and Cameron Streets Phone: 877-4-A-HYBRID

FALL 2016 contents 26

what we’re loving right now


five profiles of local political do-ers


barn sales


make it: paper plants!


infographic: be an acorn


raising resiliance – foster care in iowa


q&a with rosanne cash


fall art trips


road trip packing list


Probit: phyllis green


...and more!




We love the “magic acorns” made by Viroqua-based artist, musician, and all-around cool guy, Eddie Danger! Check him out at Thanks for letting us use one of your acorns as a model, Eddie! Photo by Aryn Henning Nichols \ Fall 2016


Engage with the Extraordinary!


Center 2016 17







Reduced Shakespeare Co.: The Complete History of America (Abridged): Election Edition! Comedic rendition of 600 years of American history

Vocalosity: The Aca-Perfect Concert Experience

High-energy a cappella celebration

Versa-Style Dance Company Hip-hop inspiration for everyone



L.A. TheatreWorks: Judgment at Nuremberg

World War II drama explores loyalty, compassion, and law

Rosanne Cash Duo: The River & the Thread Grammy-winning Americana

Pick up a brochure, visit, or contact us at (563) 387-1357 or Subscriber discounts expire on August 26.  2016–17 Center Stage Series Major Sponsors Luther College Diversity Council

We thank these incredible community sponsors who make this amazing art possible in northeast Iowa!

From the Editor


s I write this, it’s 5:24 in the morning. I’m dreadfully behind on my magazine deadline, even though this is the third time this week I’ve been up all night – once for flooding, though. Benji’s been on the road for seven weeks “living the dream” (living out dreams is something we highly encourage around here), and tomorrow, Roxie and I go to pick him up! Exciting! I’m not gonna lie – it’s been a lot of work, these past seven weeks, but, man, as I’m reaching all sort of finish lines here tonight, I’m feeling like a mother bleeping champion! Seriously, you might even be able to hear me roar. And it makes me think about you and me and us, and how we really can do anything we put our minds to. Somehow, we started this magazine nine years ago in October. It’s far from being “to the nines” (i.e. perfect), but it’s been a whole lot of fun and I truly believe we’ve changed our world – at least a little bit – for the better. It brings it all around to our cover this magazine: “Be an acorn.” I’ve said this ever since my Ralph Waldo Emerson kick in college. His quote is, “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Boom. That sums up everything behind our mission for Inspire(d) – small changes can lead to big world changes. Be an acorn, man! There are lots of acorns in this issue. Folks changing the world through politics, like John Beard, Chuck Gipp, Kurt Friese Alicia Leinberger, and Sarah Schroeder (pg. 14). Others trying to help, care for, and inspire some of the nearly 6,000 kids in foster care here in Iowa (pg. 34). Others still, living out their dreams of being artists and being successful – you can visit artists all around the region in the fall during studio art tours or at cool art festivals and more (pg. 52). And, of course, Viroqua-based artist Eddie Danger, the maker of the “magic acorn” on the cover, is an “acorn” change-maker too! There’s a lot of fun in this issue (and in the region in the fall) as well: Barn Sales (pg. 26), outdoor dining, (pg. 9), and great music and performances all over the Driftless. Speaking of performances, make sure you check out Rosanne Cash’s performance at Luther College November 12, and before you go, check out my interview with the prolific singer/songwriter. I had a blast chatting with her on the phone, even though I always get so nervous about stuff like that! The top of my fun list always includes a road trip too – we’ve gotten pretty good at packing the car and getting ready, so don’t miss our little essentials guide at the end of the mag (pg. 64). I’m hoping to put that list to good use, because, seriously, as I was putting this magazine together, I was all, “I want to go to Mineral Point! I want to go to Soldiers Grove! I want to go to see Rosanne Cash! I want…” Apparently, there are a bunch of things I want to do this fall. We hope you feel the same way! Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols P.S. Roxie started pre-school this fall! Ahh! How is that possible?! We thought you, dear readers, might want to know. ‘Cause, you know…you’re family! Thanks for sticking with us for NINE years! Whew! HBD, Inspire(d)! XOXO

What’s it mean?

Inspire(d) Inspire(d) – pronounced in-spy-erd... you know: inspired – stands for both inspire and inspired. The idea is that person one inspires person two. That person is now inspired. Then that person inspires person three (or person one again), who is now inspired. Then the cycle continues! That’s what those arrows around the (d) are about! And our mission is, ultimately, to change the world… starting with our own community!

Who are we? Co-founders:

Aryn Henning Nichols / editor & designer Benji Nichols / writer & advertising sales (& husband, support team, dinner-maker)

We couldn’t do it without: Kristine Kopperud Jepsen / contributor Sara Friedl-Putnam / contributor Martha Hall / Inspire(d) Intern Inspire(d) Magazine is published quarterly by Inspire(d) Media, LLC, 412 Oak Street, Decorah, Iowa, 52101. This issue is dated Fall 2016, issue 47 volume 10, Copyright 2016 by Inspire(d) Magazine.

support inspire(d) Although Inspire(d) is free on stands, you can have it sent to your door (or extended family!) for only $25/year. Email for a membership or visit for more info. Write inspire(d) Want to make a comment about something you read in the magazine? Email Interested in advertising? Contact Benji at or call 563-379-6315. Visit our website: 05

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO RETIRE FEARLESSLY? It means having confidence that your financial bases are covered. And, that you’ve prepared for many of retirement’s uncertainties— and opportunities—so you can live life to the fullest. Let Thrivent Financial help you retire fearlessly. Contact us today! Decorah Area Team 218 E Water St Decorah, IA 52101 563-382-1801 Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Thrivent Financial representatives are licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent. For additional important information, visit Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • • 800-847-4836

29027B N1-16

What We’re


right now

Luther College Writers Festival

This past spring, we discovered that we LOVED Galena, Illinois-based band the Driftless Sisters, so we were SUPER excited to find out that Decorah’s Photo: Driftless Sisters own Water Street Music Series was going to be hosting them for their fifth season opener Saturday, September 24. But the excitement didn’t stop there, because the WSMS organizers announced that it isn’t just going to be a Driftless Sisters concert…it’s going to be an Oktoberfest celebration, and there will be two more great bands – Them Coulee Boys and The Big Payback! WSMS is partnering with the Oneota Community Co-op for this shindig, and they’re even closing the 300 block of Water Street right in front of the Co-op to make it happen. We are stoked! The “festive fall party” runs from 5 to 10 pm and features local beer, aforementioned awesome regional bands, and delicious food. The Water Street Music Series’ entire season’s details can be found at Check out the musicians in advance at: We might be a bunch of Norwegians, but we sure are looking forward to seeing you at Oktoberfest, friends! Continued on next page


Obviously, we love to write around here, so we’re excited when a group of writers come together to share ideas and stories! Such a time is coming up here in Decorah at the Luther College Writers Festival, September 23-24, 2016 The Festival will feature some of our most celebrated literary greats – Erik Larson, Jane Hamilton, Bret Anthony Johnston, Charles Baxter, and others – alongside up and coming writers such Anais Duplan and Gretchen Marquette. “I’m excited for the sheer number of writers gathering in one place to celebrate writing and literature,” says Keith Lesmeister, local writer and the Assistant Director of the Festival. “Where else in the world can you talk about those things you love – writing and literature – with like-minded people who love words and sentences and as much you do?” The Festival will be held on the scenic Luther College campus. Registration for the general public is $50, plus there are discounted rates available for Luther faculty and staff, and all students! The schedule will include fun stuff like readings, craft lectures, two keynote addresses, and a book fair! Get details and register at

Decorah Oktoberfest

Dance & Theatre






OCT 8: 1:30 & 7:30 PM


NOV 17: 7:30 PM NOV 18: 9:30 PM

NOV 19: 1:30 & 7:30 PM

Ticket information & full 2016-17 Luther Dance & Theatre season details at \ Fall 2016


What We’re


right now

Capitol Steps

September 30 @ 8:00PM

Greg Brown

Fall Events 9/9

November 19 @ 8:00PM

Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King

9/26 The Mountain Goats 9/27 Dark Star Orchestra Co-presented with Iowa City Yacht Club 9/30 Capitol Steps Sponsored by Hands Jewelers 10/1 John Waters Co-presented with FilmScene 10/3 Shoves & Rope 10/5 Alloy Orchestra Presents: Man with a Movie Camera Co-presented with FilmScene 10/7 Rick Riordan - sold out Sponsored by Iowa City Book Festival and Prairie Lights Bookstore 10/9 John Hiatt Co-presented with Frank Productions 10/14 Nick Lowe 11/19 Greg Brown

221. E. Washington St. Iowa City | | (319) 688-2653

Driftless Flyathlon

Run. Fish. Beer. The Driftless Area Flyathlon is a unique, new event that combines those pursuits into one amazing “flyathlon” October 15, 2016. Inspired by a similar event in Colorado, participants will complete an approximately 4.4 mile flat trail run (or walk) while carrying necessary fishing gear. At points along the course, participants will have to stop and catch a trout. Once a fish is caught, they snap a picture for proof, then complete the course and , finally, enjoy craft beer! The mission of the Flyathlon is to raise money for cold-water conservation – all proceeds are going to Iowa Trout Unlimited. Participants are encouraged to help fundraise, and as an incentive, some sponsors have donated great gear that will be awarded to the top fundraisers. Driftless Flyathlon will be held in the Yellow River State Forest near Harpers Ferry, Iowa. The actual event runs from 9 am to 3 pm, but participants are encouraged to camp the weekend at Yellow River State Forest. Registration is $65 and includes an awesome swag bag for participants, a catered meal, and craft beer. Register at For more details visit, Facebook, or email



Fall 2016 /

Regular readers will know we love following Decorah’s Peter Awad through his podcast, Slow Hustle, where he interviews entrepreneurs around the world who are attempting to figure out the balance between the slow and the hustle in their lives. I (Aryn) was excited to join Peter on the show early this fall. I talked about how Inspire(d) got started, the good and the bad of working with your spouse, and the evolution of creative work (and the necessity to keep doing it). You can Photo by Parker Deen listen at, and then, if you’re not sick of me just yet, tune into ANOTHER podcast, the Joy Factor (who knew I was going to be a podcast regular? Not me!), to hear me talk about living joyfully and how tiny changes in our lives and communities can lead to big world changes!

The Joy Factor is run by Maryland-based (but Decorah-native) Julie Hanson. The goal of the podcast is to help people “find joy in everyday life as well as in the midst of struggle.” Julie is hosting a series of episodes in honor of her family’s upcoming fundraiser for Helping Services for Northeast Iowa: the Sena Hanson Memorial 5k Walk/Run/Bike (the 2nd Annual is set for October 1, 2016). Sena was a victim of domestic homicide in 2009 and the Hanson family has since partnered with Helping Services to raise awareness, and help others as a tribute to Sena and her life. My podcast will air late September – we’ll share it from our Facebook page ( iloveinspired), or visit to check it out!

250 artists. 7 days a week. 1 gallery.

Decorah al Fresco!

Take a stroll in almost any major city and you’ll see sidewalk dining galore, but outdoor options in Decorah-land have been pretty limited until recent times! Our favorites like Toppling Goliath, Don Jose, The Courtyard, Pulpit Rock, and Magpie have held it down for the past few seasons, but additions like a roll-up garage door at T-Bock’s (we just love that cool door!), and some new outdoor tables at Restauration in the Hotel Winneshiek are downright exciting. The Decorah City code allows for stores and restaurants to use a maximum of three feet of sidewalk in front of their establishment, and the Decorah Downtown Betterment association has been working to help secure additional ideas and space that might soon come to fruition. We can’t wait to see who gets creative this fall – and into the future – with outdoor dining! Take it to the streets – we’re ready to eat and drink outside!

LIVE MUSIC & FUN! September


A Symphony Sampler OVCO Fundraiser!


Mark your calendar now for the third annual Feast! Local Foods Marketplace festival, Saturday, December 3, 2016 in Rochester, Minnesota. At FEAST, you get to sample, sip, and stock up on a ton of tasty products – more than 100 farmers and artisans from Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota will be there to share samples and the stories behind their foods for festival-goers. Say hi to this past summer’s Inspire(d) Sum of Your Business, Sno Pac, and have a sip from Rochester brewery Forager for us, okay? When you’re done sampling, check out workshops, cooking demonstrations, and kids’ activities too. The event runs from 9 am to 4 pm at the Mayo Civic Center. Admission is $2 for children and $5 for adults with an additional fee for wine, beer, and cider tasting. Last year’s event brought in more than 2,000 visitors from the tristate region – it’s a great way to connect with your local farmers even when it’s not high farmers market season. For more info visit or like Feast! Local Food Network on Facebook.

An elegant evening of live music, fine food and drink.

$35. Tickets at Dragonfly Books, Oneota Food Co-op & at



Fall Concert Featuring guest artist Miko Kominami on piano. Free Admission \ Fall 2016


Looking for more details about events on the calendars? Check out these great fall activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

1. September 3: Seed Savers Tomato Tasting, 1-4pm. Taste dozens of varieties of heirloom tomatoes & vote for your favorite. Workshops & Salsa contest. 2. September 3: A Peculiar Costume Party-Dragonfly Books! Celebrate Loop Day. Dress as your favorite peculiar; partake of peculiar games; a peculiar photo booth. 6:30pm. 3. September 10: Root River Trail Towns Taste of the Trail! Experience a taste of Lanesboro, Peterson & Whalen while you pedal your way through the beauty of Bluff Country! 10am-3pm 4. September 13: Award-winning author Cheri Register reads from The Big Marsh: The Story of a Lost Landscape. An environmental history of southeast Minnesota. 7:30pm.

12. September 24: Root River Trail Towns Taste of the Trail! Experience a taste of Rushford, Rushford Village & Houston while you pedal your way through the beauty of Bluff Country! 10am-3pm 13. September 24: Water Street Music Series and Oneota Co-op: Oktoberfest. Local brews and regional bands on the 300 block of Water St. - Decorah. 5-10 p.m. Ticket info - 14. September 30. Oneota Valley Community Orchestra fundraiser “A Symphony Sampler” - an elegant evening of live music, delicious food and drink. Visit for ticket information and details. 15. October 1: Sena Hanson Memorial 5k Walk/Run/Bike. Proceeds benefit Helping Services Domestic Abuse Resource Center. www. 1-800-383-2988 10am-1pm $25 adults $10 children - Lunch included!

25W/ $25B

5. September 17: Root River Trail Towns Taste of the Trail! Experience a taste of Harmony, Preston & Fountain while you pedal your way through the beauty of Bluff Country! 10am-3pm 6. September 17: Chosen Bean Concert Series presents Drew Nelson, 7:30pm, Chatfield Center for the Arts $20. Storytelling songwriter Americana, roots-rock and traditional folk. More info 7. September 19: New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger returns for a 5:30pm ticketed evening of dining/ conversation; followed by a 7:30pm free author talk. www. 8. September 22: Dragonfly Books hosts Kali VanBaale with her new book The Good Divide. Kali will share her stories and talk about writing, 7:00pm 9. September 22: It’s an ArtHaus Poetry Slam sponsored by Dragonfly Books, 8:30 pm at the Elks Lodge. $5/$3 students. Slammers needed, signup online 10. September 23-24: Luther College Writers Festival on Luther’s Campus. Readings, craft lectures, and panels with some of our most celebrated authors. 11. September 24: Decorah Rotary Club’s annual Loop de Loop, 5k/10k walk run and Half-Marathon on the Trout Run Trail. Challenge yourself in the beatiful hills of Decorah.

16. October 1: VEGAS! Elvis tribute concert with Brad Boice. Chatfield Art Center - Potter Auditorium Grand Reopening! Pre-concert Party 5:30. Food, drink, and fun! Concert 7:30 $25/$30/$35 17. October 1: An evening of contemporary solo piano with Lisa Downing and Windham Hill recording artist Liz Story. Historic St. Mane Theatre in downtown Lanesboro, MN

18. Octbober 6: Taste the Local Harvest at the Oneota Co-op. Meet local producers, sample local products: 4:30-6:30pm. Free. 19. October 7: Anna Carlson, 2015 Emerging Artist Exhibit Best of Show, takes over the ArtHaus gallery with her first ever solo show. Opening reception, 6-8 pm. On display through November 18. 20. October 7-9: 19th Annual Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour! 52 Artists at 40 locations - all within 40 miles of Decorah! Selfdriving. Scenic. Free. Daily 10-5. 21. October 7-9: Fall Foliage Weekend, Harmony MN. Fall City Wide Garage Sales, Fall Foliage Tour maps, tours of Niagara Cave, Amish Tours, Amish Farmers Markets & more. 22. October 8: Hawk Watch! Celebrate migrating raptors found along the Mississippi Flyway. Free live raptor programs, activities, banding stations. Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, Marquette, IA 23. October 8: Peter Ostroushko and Dean McGraw perform at the Chatfield Center for the Arts Chosen Bean Concert Series. 7:30 PM. $20. Concessions, beer and wine. 24. October 14: Michelle Cox reads from “A Girl Like You,” Dragonfly Books. 1930s Chicago with diverse neighborhoods, eclectic residents, and its seedy side. Friday, 7pm. Continued on next page


Fall 2016 /

fun stuff to do











Steely James, Trempealeau Hotel, 7pm

14 30 Oneota Valley Community Orchestra “A Symphony Sampler” Fundraiser

11 8 24 22 Luther 23 Loop de Loop Author Kali Sept 23-24: Distinguished 5k / 10k / Half VanBaale, Lecture: Erik GermanFest Marathon Dragonfly, 7pm Larson, CFL, Celebration, 12 Guttenberg 9 ArtHaus Poetry 7:30pm Root River Taste Slam, Elks Nick Foytik of the Trail! Band, September 23-24: Luther WSMS: 13 10 College Writers Festival Haymarket Oktoberfest!


SEPTEMBER 30: • Seed Stories Workshop, Seed Savers • General B & The Wiz, Haymarket, 10pm • Spring Grove Uff Da Fest Sept 30 - Oct 1




The Sept 24-25: Iowa All State Mountain Goats, Barn Tour, 8:30am-5:30pm Englert, IA City 7pm Buddy Bass Tournament, Guttenberg



Sept 22-25: Boats and Bluegrass Festival, Winona

7 Author William Kent Krueger dinner & reading, Dragonfly Books


5 16 17 4 13 15 14 11 12 St. Mary’s Root River Trail Bucketlist Author Cheri Register Fall Festival, Towns Taste meetup for Sept 16-18: reads from The Big Marsh, Guttenberg Wanderlusters, Luther College of the Trail! Dragonfly Books, 7:30pm 10am-3pm SEPTEMBER 24: Sutra Imports, Family • “Frame by Frame” presented by Oneota 6 Dakota, MN Weekend Film Fest, St. Mane, Lanesboro 7:30pm Drew Nelson, Sept 15-17: “Tremptoberfest”, • Lanesboro Girls Day Out Chatfield Center for Trempealeau Hotel • Guttenberg Hospital 5K Walk/Run the Arts, 7:30pm

September 1-4: La Crosse Bicycle Festival

1 3 Vesterheim Museum - From Tradition to Seed Saver’s Luther SAC Tomato Tasting, Protest: Lila Nelson’s Weaving Life 12-4pm outdoor Movie, Through November 13, 2016 2 The Jungle Book, Bentdahl Peculiar ‘Birds on Canvas’by Eric Cornett at Commons, Costume Party Sept 10: Luther CSS, The Complete - Loop Day, Lanesboro Arts through October 16 8:45pm History of America Abridged Dragonfly Books Election Edition! CFL 7:30pm 6:30pm 10 4 6 5 7 Justin 8 Over the 9 Lamoureux, 3 SEPTEMBER 17: Back Fence Trempealeau • River Park Cruisers Car Show, Community Root River Hotel, 7pm Cruise, & Dance, Guttenberg, Iowa Variety Show, Trail Towns • Ride the Ridges Bicycle Ride, Winona, MN St.Mane, Taste of the Sept 9-11: Villa 7:30 pm Trail! Louis Carriage Classic 10am-3pm Doug Otto & Sept 10-11: Great Dakota The Getaways, Gathering, Winona, MN Haymarket,


September Sept 3: String Feast Festival, Trempealeau Hotel, 2-11pm










31 Halloween Trunk or Treat, Guttenberg



1 16

Potter Auditorium Grand Opening, Brad Boyer “Vegas!”, Chatfield CFA Lisa Downing & Liz 17 Story Piano, St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro



Sena Hanson Memorial 5k Walk/ Run/Bike, Decorah


Oct. 1: Seed Stories Workshop, Seed Savers, Decorah Dam Challenge Triathlon, Kickapoo Valley Reserve

25 Esperanza Spalding, Englert

26 28 29 29 27 OCTOBER 29: Oneota Valley • Simon & Garfunkel Tribute Concert, Collective Unconscious, Chatfield CFA, 7:30pm. Community Orchestra • Luther Faculty Recital, Organist Brad Shultz, “Rhapsody CFL, 7:30pm in Blue.” DHS • Driftwood Bones / Weathered Heads, Auditorium Haymarket, 10pm • Teague Alexy Band, Trempealeau Hotel

18 19 20 21 28 22 27 Ghouls’ & Goblins’ Luther CSS, Haunted Paul Night Out, OCTOBER 15: Versa-Style Harmony Lawrence, • Driftless Fly-a-thon, Guttenberg Dance Co., Monster Bash, ArtHaus Yellow River Forest CFL, 7:30pm Harmony, MN Alex • Pinter’s Zombie 5K Run, Rossi Deb Lee Carson, 5:30pm (American Cancer Trio, photography opening Society Fundraiser) Trempealeau 6pm, Lanesboro Arts

25 15 24 14 Lidtke Mill Author Harvest Michelle Cox, Festival, Lime Dragonfly Books, 7pm Springs 4-8pm 26 Seed Savers Harvest Fest, 12-4pm

22 18 19 7 8 6 Hawk Watch! Taste the Local Anna Harvest, Oneota Carlson artist Driftless Area Co-op, 4:30-6:30pm reception, Wetlands Centre Marquette ArtHaus Oct 7-9: NE Iowa 20 Peter Ostroushko Artists’ Studio Tour 23 & Dean Magraw, Oct 7-9: Fall Foliage Chatfield Center for 21 Weekend, Harmony, MN the Arts, 7:30pm Oct 5-7: Halloween Hikes, Hartman Reserve, Cedar Falls



Oct 6-8: Twelfth Night, Luther Dance & Theatre

OCTOBER 8: • “Breakfast in a Victorian Kitchen, Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien • “Lost Conquest”, Frozen River Film Fest, St. Mane, 4pm, Lanesboro


John Porter House Hyatt, Concert Englert, w/ Brooke IA City OCTOBER 14: Joyce & Craig • Over the Back Fence Community Variety Show, Hultgren, St. Mane Theatre, 7:30pm, Lanesboro 7:30pm • Joseph Hall Elvis Tribute, Elkader Opera House, 7pm • Native American Feast, Pepperfield Farm, Decorah



Shovels & Rope, Englert, IA City


Kinstone Permaculture Institute Open House, 125pm Fountain City, MN




fun stuff to do





Holiday Open House & Extravaganza, Guttenberg, Iowa






Doublecheck your grocery list!

NOVEMBER 19: • Bluegrass Night at the Opera, Elkader Opera House, 7pm • Greg Brown, Englert, IA City









31 Nov 11: Over the ArtHaus Back Fence Poetry Community Slam, Fence, St. Elks Lodge Mane Theatre Honeywise, 7:30pm Haymarket

Happy Thanksgiving!

Helping Services Holiday Lights Walk-Through & fireworks! 5:30-9pm






Lanesboro Arts Annual Swingsation Fundraiser!





Winona Art Walk, 10am-5pm

32 19 Harmony Holiday Fest Expo, Harmony, MN


Rosanne Cash, Luther CSS, CFL, 7:30pm Brian Laidlaw free concert & songwriting workshop, High Court Pub

Luther SAC presents Nov. 5-6: Fall Iowa Wine HALFLOVES & Sires, and Food Trail Marty’s 7:30pm

Nov 17-19: What Do You Trust, Luther Ilika Ward Group, Dance & Theatre Haymarket, Nov 18-19: 10pm Luther Fall Opera Performances, Nov 18-19: Villa Louis Jenson-Noble ‘Behind the Scenes’ tours




Guttenberg Luther CSS, Gallery & Judgment at Creativity Nuremberg, Center 5K Glow 7:30pm Walk/Run


COMING UP: December 2, 2016-January 2, 2017 - Vesterheim Gingerbread Fair December 3 - Vesterheim Norwegian Christmas




Election Day!

NOVEMBER 5: • Dan Mahar, Chatfield CFA, 7:30pm • Keystone Chorus w/ Crossroads Quartet, Elkader Opera House, 7pm • Breakfast in a Victorian Kitchen, Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien


Nov 12-13: Dorian Keyboard Festival, Luther College


November 4-5: Deck the Tables, Vesterheim Museum

Vesterheim Museum: From Tradition to Protest: Lila Nelson’s Weaving Life - ends November 13

MN Marine Art Museum: 150 Years of Marine Art - through November 3.




fun stuff to do

25W/ $25B












Inspire(d) World’s Greatest Party


Date (not included in word count): Worlds Greatest Party! 7-10 pm. Inspire(d) invites you to the greatest party ever! We’ll have amazing amounts of fun! See you there!



Questions? Email

(Direct link:

See - we told you about our amazing fictional party in less than 25 words! On the visual calendar (like the one at left), your event will be listed along with a number that corresponds. People can just scan on over to the following pages to get the details!


Simple! We get an email with all your details exactly as you’d like to see them in the listing, and then we add it to the calendar!

It works like this: 1. Go to and click on the 25W/$25B sidebar box 2. Enter your information in our online form 3. Click through to PayPal to complete the transaction

Thus we’ve implemented a simple, expandable list of events for the pages following our regular calendars. Those who are planning “fun stuff to do” get a guaranteed spot on the calendar and in that event listing by purchasing “25 Words/$25 Bucks.”

We know it’s a tough racket to put on live music, activities, and special events, so we want to give you a chance to get the word out without breaking the bank.

Calendar time is always an exciting time at Inspire(d) Headquarters. “Just how much can we fit on there this month?!?” In recent years, what we had chosen for these lovely pages had been entirely editorial and subjective. We figured, hey, you like our magazine, so you’ll probably like the fun stuff to do that we pick out from around our region. But we’re running out of space and want you, our lovely readers, friends, and fellow event planners, to be able to tell us a little more about your fun.

25 Words/$25 Bucks


Looking for more details about events on the calendars? Check out these great fall activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

25. October 15: Lidtke Mill Harvest Festival 4-8pm. Ghost Tours of Old Town Adults $5/Children $3 Craft Show & soup supper at the Lime Springs Community Building

EVERYTHING FROM JEANS TO SUITS! Extended hours! 130 W. Water St. Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5761

26. October 15: Harvest Festival at Seed Savers Exchange, 12-4pm. Soup cook-off, pumpkin carving, garlic workshop, cider pressing, workshops on food preservation and seed saving +more. www. 27. October 18: Live music with Paul Lawrence and special guests at ArtHaus. Doors open 6:30 pm, show at 7 pm. Tickets $8/$5 students, available in advance at or night of.


25W/ $25B

28. October 22: Haunted Harmony. Visit Fillmore Central’s Monster Bash Haunted House, 5K Zombie Crawl, costume contests, lantern tours at Niagara Cave & more! Follow Monster Bash on Facebook.

29. October 29: Oneota Valley Community Orchestra Season 3 Premier featuring Miko Kominami on piano in “Rhapsody in Blue.” Also works by Bernstein, Copland. Deceorah HS Auditorium, 7:30pm 30. November 5: Swingsation! Lanesboro Arts annual fundraising gala with art auctions, gourmet food, & classic New Orleans swing jazz by the Southside Aces. Lanesboro Community Center. www.

M, T, W, F 9-6 Thursday 9-8 Saturday 9-5 Sunday 12-4

Perfect catered for weddings, showers, birthdays, graduations... or just for you!

404 West Water St, Decorah, Iowa . 563.419.4016 Mon-Fri 10am-4pm . Sat 10am-3pm .

118 Washington St.






31. November 11: Celebrate the spoken word with an ArtHaus Poetry Slam at the Elks Lodge. Sponsored by Dragonfly Books. Doors open at 7:30 pm, event at 8. Details online 32. November 19: Holiday Fest – Harmony’s Art, Craft & Gift Expo. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping! Over 40 art and gift vendors in the Fillmore Central High School Gym. www. 563.419.3141 Single origin pour overs. Nitro Cold Brew. Bulk Coffee.

custom GLAM

33. November 23: Holiday Lights Walk-Through. Your chance to walk the Lights and watch the fireworks! Drive through starting November 24. 5:30-9pm Pulpit Rock Campground, Decorah www.



& more!

did you know? You can print these calendars at!



930 Division St. Cresco, Iowa \ Fall 2016




Fall 2016 /

electing for

CHaNgE By Sara Friedl-Putnam

HOW CAN I CHANGE THE WORLD? How many of us have ever pondered that question, only to become paralyzed by the next question that (almost) inevitably follows: Can I really change the world? Mahatma Gandhi – of the world-changing peaceful protest – most certainly thought so. “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing,” Gandhi once said, “would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” There are countless ways to effect positive change, of course – and you don’t have to be Gandhi to do them! You can start by changing your world. Organizing a neighborhood get-together, for example, or donating your time to a favorite non-profit, or, just maybe – running for political office! With the first Tuesday in November just around the corner, the timing seemed right to ask five of the Driftless Region’s own residents why they choose politics as a way to change their communities (for the better!). Those residents include two former Iowa House members – John Beard, now a Winneshiek County supervisor, and Chuck Gipp, currently Iowa DNR director – and two longtime activists mounting their first political careers, Kurt Friese, an Iowa City restaurateur and writer, and Alicia Leinberger, a Viroqua, Wisconsin, green-energy advocate. We also spoke with Sarah Schroeder, mayor of Spring Grove, Minnesota, who will seek reelection for her seat this November. While all five took very different paths to the political arena, they share the same can-do philosophy. “If you want something to change, you can’t be afraid to get out and do it yourself, at whatever level is appropriate,” Friese aptly puts it. “Don’t count on someone else to do it.” In other words, as Gandhi also once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s a message these five leaders have clearly taken to heart. Read on to see for yourself - who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to join in on the fun! At the very least, we hope you’re inspired to vote November 8! \ Fall 2016


Sarah Schroeder

obstructing groups that are working to make the town a better place to live, work, and visit.” A self-described “joiner, doer, get-involved type of person,” The debate was heated, and, as it turned out, not easily forgotten. Schroeder recalls engaging her parents in political discussions while “I felt that the admission prices being proposed for the town’s she was just in grade school. By high school, she had found another new swim center were outrageously high,” says Sarah Schroeder of outlet for her love of debate, discussion, and the democratic her tenacious verbal sparring with the Spring Grove, Minnesota, city process – serving on the board of Ye Olde Opera House. “I was administrator during a 2006 city council meeting. “And I didn’t keep young, but I really enjoyed the dynamic of people sharing ideas, my opinion to myself.” agreeing, disagreeing, and The moment passed, the admission ultimately deciding things prices were set, and that was that – or so together,” she says. “It Schroeder thought. was really fun for me.” “The city administrator remembered The same holds true that encounter and later suggested I today – and that’s a good consider running for elected office,” she thing. Schroeder, who says. “I remember first laughing and then works in audio-visual thinking, well…maybe I should.” media at Gundersen The seed planted, Schroeder went Lutheran in La Crosse, on to mount a successful campaign for jokes that “when there city council that same year, knocking on is a fifth Tuesday in the doors, passing out flyers, and sharing her month” is the only time ideas with all who took time to listen, she has a week without including patrons of her mother’s local meetings. In addition beauty salon. “I didn’t know much about to (still!) serving on the city government, but I cared very deeply opera house board, she about the future of Spring Grove,” she also sits on the town’s says of her motivation for entering the economic development political arena. “It was an interesting authority, planning and four years serving on the council, and I zoning commission, and learned a lot.” “Local government impacts everybody’s fireman’s relief association In January 2015, Schroeder took the daily lives – it’s responsible for the water board. oath of office once again, this time as As she looks mayor of this thriving small (population you drink, the streets you drive on, the optimistically toward 1,300) town. Her responsibilities include parks you play in, the sidewalks you reelection this fall, presiding over council meetings, serving Schroeder says on various council subcommittees, don’t trip over because they have been feels energized she by the helping guide the town through Sarah Schroeder maintained.” importance of the work emergency situations (as she did when that local citizens have the town received a hoax bomb threat entrusted to her and her in late July 2016), and, of course, casting fellow council members. “Local government impacts everybody’s votes on city matters. daily lives – it’s responsible for the water you drink, the streets you Her overriding philosophy? “I believe it’s city government’s drive on, the parks you play in, the sidewalks you don’t trip over responsibility to facilitate the betterment of the town,” she says, because they have been maintained,” she says. “Very few citizens noting that contention over the city’s extensive, multi-million-dollar of Spring Grove want to complain – most are just grateful we care Main Street renovation project (now complete) was one of the enough to take the time to serve.” reasons she decided to get back into local politics. “It’s about not

It’s a (super fun) out there... Toys Gifts

Flu shots available even needle-free options!


with (Super hero) helpful pharmacists in back.

and more!•201 W Water St. Decorah•563-382-2626•Download Our New Smartphone App! 16

Fall 2016 /

electing for


Standard Showtimes

Friday-Wednesday 7 pm Saturday & Sunday 4 pm & 7 pm

Rent the Cinema for special events.

Visit us online or call 507-498-SHOW for this week’s movie.

Modern Digital Cinema with a Small Town Price.

Alicia Leinberger

SEPT. 30 – OCT. 1, 2016

The words – uttered on public radio the fall of 2015 – stopped Alicia Leinberger in her tracks. They also changed the trajectory of her life. “A Bernie Sanders supporter was talking about how the campaign was all about creating a political revolution,” recalls Leinberger, founder of Ethos Green Power, a renewable energy business in Viroqua, Wisconsin. “When she said that, I was like, ‘Wait! What?! Someone actually said that out loud?’ Those words set me on fire.” Leinberger immediately threw herself into the local Sanders campaign, joining a couple dozen other tireless supporters who Alicia Leinberger photo by Alison Wheeler canvassed doorto-door in Viroqua to educate voters about the Vermont Senator’s platform. Their efforts met with success last April, when Sanders tallied more votes than rival Hillary Clinton both in Viroqua and statewide in the Wisconsin primary. “It felt great,” says Leinberger, who attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July as a Sanders delegate. “But then my thoughts turned to, ‘Now what?’” She didn’t have to ponder that question very long. Soon members of the local Democratic Party were knocking on her door, asking if she would run for the 96th District Seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Leinberger, a single mom who has never held elected office, carefully considered their pitch, consulting both her parents and her daughters (Maiela, 13, and Zirelia, 11) before announcing her candidacy in May. Continued on next page


at mean? What does th eans LØVE LØPE m gian. we or N in n” “Lion Ru ed It is pronounc pah” “Lew-vah Lew-

October 1, 2016 SPRING GROVE, MN -

OCT 7-8



November 25-27 • Woodland Christmas

Spring Grove Fest Building \ Fall 2016


“Win or lose, I hope my daughters learn that nothing can stop them but themselves. I hope they learn that if they have an opportunity they really want to pursue, they should let nothing hold them back.” – Alicia Leinberger If elected this November, she will take her seat in early January, when the assembly convenes for the 2017–18 legislative session. Leinberger sounds poised to hit the ground running in Madison, where her responsibilities would involve working on Wisconsin’s state budget and other legislative matters, serving on standing committees, and, of course, handling constituent matters back home. “Win or lose, I hope my daughters learn that nothing can stop them but themselves,” she says of her decision to run for office. “I hope they learn that if they have an opportunity they really want to pursue, they should let nothing hold them back.” Leinberger has lived her life by that credo. A native of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, she moved to El Salvador with the Peace Corps in 1994 to teach sustainable agriculture to coffee farmers after earning a degree in conservation biology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Three years later, Leinberger returned to Madison to advance the fair trade movement in the Midwest. She worked first with coffee farmers, then with dairy farmers, before cofounding Seventh Generation Energy Systems – which promoted renewable, clean energy – in 2002.

In 2007 Leinberger moved to Viroqua, lured by the fresh water, clean air, and overall beauty of the Driftless Region, as well as her desire to enroll her daughters in Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School. Three years ago, she opened the doors of Ethos Green Power, a small business that offers opportunities to buy, build, and sell green power. “The two best ways to effect positive change are through business and through politics,” says Leinberger. “I don’t have a problem taking a risk if I believe in something.” Certainly entering politics at a time when many Americans feel disenfranchised from the political process could be considered a risky proposition. But Leinberger has been inspired by “learning what the people of the 96th District hold most dear” and hopes she gets the opportunity to communicate what she has learned when the assembly convenes in Madison next January. “I’ve always had a strong belief in the democratic process, in putting the best parts of ourselves – and the best interests of the people – first,” she says. “The only way to make the process work better is to participate.”

Every week, we display a photo taken in the Driftless Area front & center on Photo of the Week winners have their name included in the gallery. Share with your friends on social media!


Fall 2016 /

Knowledgeable staff • Great Gifts • Book Signings

Hooray! We’re celebrating 5 years in business!

Photo courtesy Friese for Supervisor

Kurt Friese Iowa City activist, writer, and restaurateur Kurt Friese got his first taste of politics (literally!) when he was a mere eight years old. “My older sister dragooned me into licking envelopes for George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic Presidential candidate,” he says with a laugh. McGovern may not have won the election, but Friese most certainly caught the political bug. He went on to study political science (and photography) at Coe College in Cedar Rapids and, in 1984, caucused enthusiastically for former U.S. Senator John Glenn’s presidential campaign. After decades of supporting other candidates for political office, he decided to throw his own hat into the ring in November 2015 when he announced his candidacy for one of five seats on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. The lawmaking body of the county, the Board of Supervisors meets weekly year-round in Iowa City (the county seat) and has a wide range of duties, from approving the budget proposals of county offices and levying property tax to managing all county buildings and grounds and establishing building zones for unincorporated areas of the county. Continued on next page

Bestsellers plus special interest: gardening, Scandinavian, cooking, poetry, children’s books & more…even e-books! 563-382-4275 • 112 West Water Street, Decorah

Got a great business plan?

Enter the Biz Booster Contest You could win BIG! April 30, 2017

ss Your New Busine 00 100 twelve thousand and 1


Winn.Co. Development, Inc.

Congratulations! PLUS

“You can’t just write about or talk about or scream about or cry about things you want to change – you actually have to get your hands dirty and work to make the change you want to see.” – Kurt Friese

Mini Ag Grant! $5000 Eligible businesses must be located in Winneshiek County Contest runs Spring 2017 Contact Stephanie Fromm at

for an application \ Fall 2016


R.M. Granet & Company Nort h Io wa’s In t ern ational Gi f t & Antique Store

Featuring... fine art, estate jewelry, porcelain, crystal, silver, antiques and home furnishings

1110 North Grand Avenue Charles City, IA 50616 Phone Number 641-220-5100

WINE TASTING & BEERS AVAILABLE FRI 4-9 . SAT 10-5 . SUN 1-5 | 563-568-2758 1253 Apple Rd. Waukon, Iowa

Perfect for private parties! Seating for 200 + catering available!

Say hi!



“I’m concerned about many issues, but my main motivation for running for supervisor now is that the county’s decennial [ten-year] land use plan will be changed or renewed in 2018,” says Friese, who advanced in the June primaries by just a few hundred votes. “Our current land use plan allows for pouring far too much concrete on farm land, and it’s hard to grow local food from concrete.” A talented chef who honed his cooking skills at the New England Culinary Institute, Friese has long been one of Iowa City’s most vocal advocates of local, sustainable agriculture. In 1996, he and his wife, Kim, opened the popular tapas restaurant and wine bar Devotay, named after their son, Devon (who now manages the restaurant’s bar), and daughter, Taylor. The intimate eatery has served globally inspired dishes prepared from locally sourced sustainable foods from the start. “Very few other restaurants in the area were even talking about using local, organic, sustainable foods in the mid-1990s,” Friese recalls. “Fewer still were actually partnering with local organic farmers.” It proved a winning combination, and in 2006 Friese took the entrepreneurial plunge once again when he launched the quarterly magazine “Edible Iowa River Valley” to promote (you guessed it!) the area’s best sustainably produced food and drink. Also an avid proponent of “slow food” – which he describes as “food raised with care, prepared with passion, and served with love” – Friese joined the national board of Slow Food USA in 1999 and spearheaded Slow Food Iowa City, which helped build a 12,000-square-foot garden and orchard at a local high school. As he takes his fight for local organic food and regenerative land use to the ballot box, Friese admits he has been surprised by how well his candidacy has been received throughout Iowa City and the rest of Johnson County. “I thought people might question why a chef was running for political office,” he says, “but those I have met have been pretty excited about it.” And that’s an encouraging sign for Friese, who, despite a career spent educating others through palate and print, recognizes that politics is the ultimate way to effect positive change. “You can’t just write about or talk about or scream about or cry about things you want to change – you actually have to get your hands dirty and work to make the change you want to see,” he says. “There are policies in the way of making this place the way I and so many others think it should be, and I’m ready to do something to change that.” 415 W WATER ST, DECORAH, IOWA

Come home to Decorah!


M-F 10-15 • Sat 10-4 • Sun 12-4

563-382-4646 | 20

Fall 2016 /

Tom 563-380-6712 Travis 563-380-7912

electing for

CHaNgE Chuck Gipp It makes sense that current Iowa DNR director Chuck Gipp thought he “knew a lot of people” when, in 1990, he declared his candidacy for the District 16 seat in the Iowa House of Representatives. He was, after all, a Decorah native, a Luther College graduate, an established Winneshiek County dairy farmer, and the chair of the county’s solid waste agency. But, more than 25 years later, Gipp still vividly recalls the lesson he learned while sitting at his kitchen table, strategizing his inaugural campaign with a political mentor. “He asked me to take out my local phone book and start reading the names,” he recalls. “Then he said that if I could identify every 10th name, I knew a lot of people…I didn’t get any further than the B’s before I realized I really didn’t know that many people at all.” Today, Gipp knows considerably more people in Decorah and throughout Iowa. After winning that first campaign, he continued on to claim victory in his next eight. Gipp served a total of 18 years in the Iowa House – including four as majority leader – before deciding not to seek reelection in 2008. Composed of 100 members, the Iowa House – the “lower house” of the Iowa General Assembly, which also includes the 50-member Iowa Senate – debates and votes on legislation introduced by its members or submitted by the governor, and builds the state’s budget. Members also serve on several standing committees. (Gipp’s top choice of committee assignment when he was first elected? Environmental protection.) “You must stay connected to your constituents,” he says of his recipe for success. “And part of that is explaining your decisionmaking process to the people you represent – they still may not always agree with your decisions, but, in my experience, they almost always respect that you thought through the possible choices.” Continued on next page

128 W Water St, Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-9829 • M, Tues, W, F, Sat: 9-5 Thurs: 9-8

What’s so good about The Good Foot? The shoes! The staff! The service!

And it’s fun here to boot! (Get it?) COMFORTABLE SHOES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!


115 Winnebago Street . Decorah, Iowa 563.382.6139




110 East Water St 563-382-4297

More than 60 years of great food! \ Fall 2016


It was a KOEL radio report about potentially carcinogenic industrial waste being shipped to a Northeast Iowa landfill that set his political career in motion back in 1980. “The landfill turned out to be the (then privately owned) Winneshiek County landfill, which was just a mile from our farm,” recalls Gipp, who, at that time, was a young farmer raising two small kids, Barrett and Alison, with his wife, Ranae. “Both Ranae and I became very concerned when we heard that news, and we realized that if we didn’t get involved, probably no one else would.” While leading his neighbors in a successful fight to better monitor the landfill, Gipp assumed chairmanship of the county’s solid waste agency. Soon state lawmakers were urging him to run for office. “If you think “If you think you can do you can do the job, and do the job, and do it well, then it well, then you owe it to yourself and your community you owe it to yourself and to step up,” he says of your community to step up.” answering that call again and again over the next 18 years. –Chuck Gipp In 2008, Gipp answered the call (literally) once again when Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, phoned to see if he might be interested in directing the state’s Division of Soil Conservation. He held that position for three years before Governor Terry Branstad appointed him deputy director of the Iowa DNR (in 2011) and then director of the 1,100-employee agency the following year. The agency oversees the state’s treasured natural resources –­ including its eight fish hatcheries and 87 state parks – and is charged with the sometimes difficult work of enforcing environmental regulations created by lawmakers. “If you inform people what the rules are ahead of time, you can often avoid environmental damage,” says Gipp. “We work hard to let people know what their responsibilities are and proactively work with them to meet them.” With his 69th birthday on the horizon, this dedicated public servant has no plans to discontinue that work anytime soon. “I truly enjoy the people I work with and the work I do,” says Gipp, who continues to live in Decorah and commute weekly between his hometown and Des Moines. “The DNR touches more people’s lives than almost any other state agency, and it’s rewarding to be a part of that.”

John Beard If anyone can attest to the power of a single vote, it’s Decorah-based welder John Beard. Four years ago, Beard, who currently sits on the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors, lost a hotly contested race for the District 28 Seat in the Iowa State Senate by a razor-thin margin – just 17 votes out of more than 29,000 cast separated him from the eventual victor, Michael Breitbach of Strawberry Point. “Every vote counts, absolutely,” he says, reflecting on that outcome. “We can never forget the importance of a single vote and the power of public opinion.” Beard, a Decorah native who spent much of his childhood in New Jersey, grew up discussing politics over the family dinner table. But it wasn’t until 2002 – when Decorah was embroiled in a heated debate over whether to renovate or tear down its historic East Side School­ – that he mounted his first political campaign. While he lost his bid for a seat on the local school board that year, he emerged from the experience convinced that he had contributed positively to the public discourse. “I really tried to help people think and act more respectfully, and I was given recognition for that from both sides,” says Beard. “That, coupled with a great experience serving as president of Winneshiek Pheasants Forever, made me believe that I could have a positive effect in public office if given a chance.” Area voters gave him that chance in 2008, when they elected him to serve a two-year term in the Iowa House of Representatives. Beard worked hard to cultivate positive relationships with peers in both parties but nonetheless lost his bid for reelection two years later. “I was definitely hoping to build on those relationships to do more,” he says. “We have a great democratic

electing for


Continued on next page

grocery bulk produce café meat cheese bakery wine/beer supplements body care

We get a little excited about GoOD Food. ONEOTA COMMUNITY

FOOD COOPErative decorah, iowa

Water Street Caf é f r e s h .


o r g a n i c .

l o c a l .

312 West Water Street • Decorah 563.382.4666 • Monday-Saturday 8:00 am-8:30 pm • Sunday 10-7

everyone can shop

Fall 2016 /

everyone welcome

no membership required

50 Years of Folk Art On view Sept. 3, 2016 – April 23, 2017

Presented by Aalborg and Linie Aquavits On view Aug. 12, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016

Learn how to skål! This exciting traveling exhibition curated by the Museum of Danish America shares the history and traditions of drinking culture in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

Join us as we celebrate this major milestone of the groundbreaking Vesterheim Folk Art School! Learn about the history of Norwegian folk art, how Vesterheim has helped preserve and promote folk arts in America, and what the future holds for Norwegian-American folk arts.

Opening Reception: Sept. 10, 2016 with Christer Andre Olsen, from the Norwegian company Arcus, distributer of Aalborg and Linie Aquavits.

Shop for Scandinavian Spirits in the

Museum Store

A Class is a Blast Sign up today! at Vesterheim’s Folk Art School Ambar Stave Container with Owen Christianson September 12-16

Beer mugs aquavit glasses ale bowls . . . and more


The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center Decorah, Iowa • • 563-382-9681

For over two millennia Scandinavians have used these beautiful containers to carry rømmegrøt to community celebrations. Enjoy creating your own ambar stave container to carry rømmegrøt to your celebrations!

Check for a class schedule. Classes half price on stand-by for Winneshiek County residents.

Call 382-9681 to register.



Come visit our new showroom!

1813 Trout Run Road Decorah, IA . 563-382-9360

building foundations BRUENING ROCK PRODUCTS


“Every vote counts, absolutely. We can never forget the importance of a single vote and the power of public opinion.” – John Beard process, but that process does require cooperation, compromise, and respect for one another in order to function at its best.” In 2014, Beard threw his hat into the ring yet again, this time landing a four-year seat on the five-person Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors, the county’s policy-making body. “We have a function in all aspects of county government and entities that work with county government,” he says, likening the work to running a big business. “We oversee the budget for things like secondary roads and public health, respond to our constituents’ concerns, and plan proactively to ensure that our transportation and utilities are adequate, that our green areas are protected.” It’s work he thoroughly enjoys. “What I find so refreshing about working with this group is that there is not even a whiff of partisanship in the board room, “says Beard, the District One representative to the board, which meets Monday mornings year-round. “We have spirited disagreements about things, but they are not along political or ideological lines, and in the end we always get something done, and almost always with a unanimous vote.” Ask Beard what he loves most about Winneshiek County, and he’s unable to cite just one thing. It’s spending time with his family, including his wife, RoJene; his son, Chance; and his siblings, Daniel and Barbara. It’s exploring the area’s bountiful natural beauty, including the Upper Iowa River and the surrounding bluffs. And it’s learning from the area’s residents –­ in other words, his constituents. “I have traveled throughout the United States, and I have found that some of the best read and most cosmopolitan people live here,” he says. “There’s an open-mindedness, a healthy intellectual curiosity, and I am very much drawn to that.”

Serving communities in Iowa, Minnesota, & Missouri

900 Montgomery St, Decorah, IA 563-382-2933 . 24

Fall 2016 /

Sara Friedl-Putnam wishes to thank all the good people in the Driftless Region whose desire to make their communities better places to live, work, and play has inspired them to run for elected office.

electing for

CHaNgE Change your world, friends! A note from Aryn Henning Nichols

There are many boards, committees, and political offices that rely on local volunteers. And these positions do so much to guide how your community moves forward. There is a great variety in these opportunties, and surely one that could line up with your interests. Do you have opinions about things happening in your town? The answer is, very likely, yes. Why not get involved so you can make those opinions better known? Not up for that? It’s cool! You know what’s super easy? Voting. Seriously – you can even get your ballot mailed to you (absentee ballots). And then – if you’re like me and aren’t sure about the lesser-publicized election contests – you can research each candidate and their platforms as you vote. Because it’s those contests down the ballot that often impact your lives and communities even more. Then, you can pop that baby in the mail - postage is already paid. Bonus: You’re supporting the US Postal Service too. Or, head to your polling place. You can talk with folks who are already involved and see if it’s something up your alley. We are so lucky we live in a society where we get to vote – we Americans get a say in how our lives are run (even if it doesn’t always seem like it)! It’s pretty cool. Looking for a quick and easy reference? Check out ballotpedia. org. Enter your address and it will show you a sample ballot for 2016. Then you can click on the people running and learn what they’re all about. Then click on through to candidates own websites to learn even more. It feels great to make educated decisions, and it feels great to know more about topics that are important to local and state-level constituents. You are one of those constituents! Let your voices be heard, friends. And not just every four years! Pay attention, share your ideas, and together we can all make this community, region, state, country…world…a better place!

Deck the Tables November 4 & 5, 2016 at the Hotel Winneshiek Spark your decorating ideas with inspiring table settings. Three fantastic events, each with its own unique focus and each featuring the wonderful tables!

Blue Jeans & Bling Sneak Preview Party Fri., Nov. 4, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Vintage-themed Luncheon Sat. Nov. 5,12:00 - 2:00 p.m. (Reservations required.)

Grand Finale Dinner Sat., Nov. 5, Begins at 5:00 p.m. (Reservations required.)

Visit for details. Like our Facebook Page—Deck the Tables. DirectTV • Dish Network • US Cellular

Local Service by Local People • Computer repair and sales • TV and electronics service • Dish and Direct TV • Satellite Internet service and more!

2 CONVENIENT SIMS LOCATIONS 112 Winnebago St, Decorah • 121 N Vine St, West Union 563-382-CELL (2355) •

XOXO - Aryn

Mon - Fri 8 am - 6 pm • Thurs ‘til 8 pm • Sat 9 am - 5 pm \ Fall 2016


Driftless ‘pickers’ hit up area barn sales for some 26

Fall 2016 /

vintage fun! \ Fall 2016


PUMPKIN PATCH! Saturday 9-5:30 • Sunday 10-4

Fall Fun for the Whole Family!

Concessions all day plus homemade fudge, cupcakes, & seasonal treats!

By Aryn Henning Nichols • Photos courtesy Ashley Dull Lindeman

DECORAH, IOWA 2475 St Hwy 9 • 563.382.0010 28

Fall 2016 /

The Big Barn Vintage Market is held twice a year in rural postville, iowa

When you hear the word barn, you don’t usually think, “shopping!” Or fun, for that matter. In this farm-rich Driftless community, barns usually equal livestock, tractors, equipment… work! But for Donna and Dave Dull, of the rural Postville area, barns hold secrets of the past and new projects for the future.

Peace Brunch Buffet

Sunday September

Fall 2016 Schedule

October November

11th • 18th • 25th 2nd • 9th • 23rd • 30th 6th • 13th • 20th

Be our guest as you enjoy rotating crepe and made to order omelet bars, rotating waffle, pancake, french toast bars, eggs benedict, a meat carving station, house-made pastries & desserts, and much more.

Serving 10am - 1pm 14.50 Adults • $12 Luther Students • $6.75 Children 5-10 Peace Dining Room • Dahl Centennial Union (2nd Level) $

Reservations are encouraged for all brunches. Call 563-387-1514 to make your reservations.

“We have always enjoyed collecting, some of our buildings on the farm are pretty full,” says Donna. She and Dave started the popular bed and breakfast Little House on the Farm and Guest Barn back in 2009, so they’re no strangers to repurposing stuff, including the barns on their once hog and dairy now hobby-farm. “A couple years ago we cleaned and repaired our 100-year-old dairy barn for our daughter’s wedding reception. Afterwards we thought, ‘Now, what?’” Donna says. “This beautiful barn needed a new life.”

Complimentary facials & makeovers + Les Wigs Renee 111 E. Water St. Decorah, Iowa. 563.382.6212 .

Continued on next page \ Fall 2016


“We feel all things should be given a chance to have new life,” she continues. “We were able to use and salvage some of our items for our bed and breakfast...turning old into new, and we’re both quite frugal…we hate to throw anything out! This, together with our love of barns, equals barn sale!” Barn what? Yep, barn sale. Barn sales are becoming popular throughout the region and beyond. Folks interested in “picking” – i.e. finding treasures amongst piles and piles of stuff stored in old barns, sheds, basements, houses, etc., much like those Le Claire, Iowa, guys on the show American Pickers – are crazy about this sort of thing. And why not? It’s fun! But actual barn sales are quite a bit more organized. Vendors come together with their farm finds, antiques, vintage, junk, upcycled or recycled treasures, pallet and barn-board furniture, and more. “Think chippy paint and rust...all waiting to be salvaged and given new life. If you’re a vintage lover, a junker, or a fixer upper...we’ve gotcha covered,” Donna says of their sale, The Big Barn Vintage Market. “And if you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, don’t worry! There are items that have been ‘cleaned up a bit’ – and ready to use.” The first Big Barn Vintage Market was held May of 2016 – the Dulls hosted seven vendors on site, and roughly 400 people came from near and as far away as Chicago and Des Moines. The upcoming Big Barn Vintage Market in October will be a “touch of fall and a hint of winter”. Nine vendors will be selling “barn-style” finds this time around, and there will be an all-new “General Store” in the Big Barn. There, a few more vendors will have items for sale like pure maple syrup, hand woven rugs, photos and prints of old barns, and more. On top of all that, there’s music, food, and tours of the Little House and Guest Barn Bed and Breakfast! Most barn sales are only open once or twice a year, so make sure to mark your calendars if you’re hoping to venture out to a farm this year for some hard work shopping fun!

Aryn Henning Nichols loves finding treasures hiding away in barns and sheds and even closets. She hopes to hit some barn sales this fall, or at the very least the Big Barn Vintage Market!

Check it all out at one of these AREA fall 2016 barn sales: The Barn on 128 Garnavillo, Iowa – September 10 Country Boy Salvage Barn Sale Nashua, Iowa – September 10 The Barn Wellman, Iowa – September 16-17 The Market at White Barn Sale Hawkeye, Iowa – September 16-17 Kathy’s Barn Marshalltown, Iowa – September 24-25 Farmhouse Market Barn Sale Tipton, Iowa – October 15 Big Barn Vintage Market Rural Postville – October 29 The Barn at Bugle Plain Elgin, Minn – October 27-29 & November 3-5 Find each barn sale on Facebook for details for future upcoming sales! For more of a permanent-style barn sale, check out Lanesboro Barn Sale – Junkmarket and Designs (details on Facebook). Do you know of another sale near you? Let us know at!


Martha Hall is a junior studying art and business at Luther College. From Cedar Falls, Iowa, Martha enjoys creating and learning in the Driftless Region. In her free time, she loves to draw, hike, hunt mushrooms, and pet dogs.

Local food fun for the whole family!

sip · sample · shop SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2016 lo


Fall 2016 /



d M ca o AR l fo AC KETPL

Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, MN

Gift Shopping, Chef Demos, Kids’ Activities, Workshops + MORE

$5 Adults, $2Children, +$20Wine/Beer /localfeastnetwork


Bring a little color to your desk this fall!


Grab your paper, markers, and glue, and get crafting!

step-by-step instructions at


Paper Project! Project designed by Martha Hall 31





Be an













REsiliance Foster care, the longevity of trauma, and opportunities for community response By Kristine Jepsen


revor Rupright Harris is your typical Midwestern 20-something: thoughtful, considerate, enamored of baggy t-shirts and pants. He’s a ‘boomerang,’ having moved back in with his parents, Maryanne and Jeff Harris, just blocks from the Mississippi River in Lansing, Iowa. A gleam of happy mischief still flits into his eyes when he describes burrowing into his extra-darkened subterranean bedroom to listen to music or escape younger siblings. “He’s one of my Gremlins,” Maryanne says, “temporarily.” She won’t allow him to freeload, nor does Trevor want to. He graduated from Kee High School in Lansing and is one semester short of an education degree from Northeast Iowa Community College, despite student debt and self-doubt about being ‘good enough’ to be in charge of a classroom of young minds. And while he’s struggled to stay in college full-time, he holds a job he takes seriously and is looking for a place of his own, continuing to put one productive foot in front of the other.

Continued on next page

Right: Trevor, Maryanne, and Jeff Harris. Photos by Kristine Jepsen. Maryanne Harris, Trevor’s mom, says jointly managing a stable, safe home life for a child can be tricky for foster parents. “Sometimes it’s fun to share how these kids are thriving, and sometimes it’s a lot of work, reaching out to the families,” she says. Most of the children she and Jeff have fostered have come up for adoption when reunification became impossible and parents’ rights were formally terminated by the state.


Fall 2016 /



Let us create an



for your business.

CORBIN GROUP \ Fall 2016


“Thank You!” from Project Care! On behalf of First Lutheran Church of Decorah & the Project Care Committee, we would like to extend our heart-felt thanks to all of the individuals, businesses, & families who made Project Care 2016 possible! The goal & mission of Project Care is to recognize area students who are not only graduating from high school, but also “aging out” of the foster care system. This dedicated effort raised money to help equip 6 area young people in the next phase of life. They have endured much, persevered, & we wish them all the best! We also hope this project brings to light the needs of children in the foster care system! This INSPIRING endeavor would not have been possible without the kindness & generosity of members of our community! Rich & Linda Svenson Dorothy Gray Larry & Diane Grimstad Andy & Brenda Rix, Owen & Danielle Dennis and Carol Tack Davis Family Foundation/ Steve & Patti Davis Jim & Sandy Hoeg Joan Rulon Rita Tejada Jeff & Marilyn Roverud Cory & Ann Landstrom & Sydney Bob & Sharon Lillie Grace Peterson Dennis & Paula Olejniczak Jill Phillips Dennis & Tiphanie Keefe Jud & Connie Barclay Gregory & Diann Marten Adrienne Storm Jim & Sue Haemker John & Joan Zidlicky Harland & Corrine Nelson Luann Smith Troy & Michelle Whitehill Linda Bakken Jim & Karen Martin- Schramm Irene Lovstuen David & Kirsten Heine, Zach, Andrew Steve & Peg Matter Randall Duvall Patricia McClure Andrew Whitfield & Spencer Martin Dave & Brenda Carlson JoAn Stevenson Elliot & Bev Christen Roger & Vicky Jaeger Jackie Wilkie Dawn Deines- Christensen Otis & Jane Tollefson Darrin Walter Pastor Harris Hostager John & Joan Lubke Jim & Karen Woodward Ranell Bolson Deborah Bishop Tom & Kathy Skold Jane Jakoubek John & Linda Hess Pastor Matt Larson Brenda Headington & David Becker Helen Meehan Laurie Christen Shannon Winkle Jon & Mary Hart

Ruth & Phil Reitan Jenny Werner Ranae & Chuck Gipp Cheryl Miller Joann Voltmer Bruce & Melinda Hanson Lois & Tom Kuennen Pete & Linda Becker Marilyn Wahlberg John & Ann Glesne Heather Armstrong Joseph Callaghan, M.D. Paul & Norma Dirks Douglas & Kendra Van Sloten Owen & Linda Christianson John & Arlene Nelson Dan & Carol Edmondson Roger & Jane Kolarich Gloria Carpenter Will & Ruth Bunge Kari & Andrew Sassaman Myrv & Anne Christopherson Uwe Rudolf & Ruth Caldwell Elwin & Helen Farwell Heidi & John Snell-Anderson Doug & Georgiann Eckheart Jim & Marge Iversen Chad & Cheryl Huebner, & Cole & Caleb Don & Susan Nelson Thomas & Janice Kraabel Coleen Orwell Jim & Rita Friest Laurie Worcester Edward & Arlene Wenthe Carol Bolson Pastor Melissa Bills Monica Koth Adrian Walter Kevin Barth Carol Birkland Francis & Marilyn Peterson Jackie Wilkie Margie DeBower Emily Kuhn Vernon & Donna Bahr Bob & Judy Alford Sandy Frana Otter Dreaming Dorothy Moburg Wayne & Phyllis Wasta Jenine Jordahl Denise Gjere West Side Study Group Wanda Haas

Trevor Harris in his home in Lansing, Iowa. Photo by Kristine Jepsen

None of those steps have come easily. Trevor is an adopted son of the Harris clan, a family that has taken in 30 children of the foster-care system – most of them teenage men – since 2006. Trevor landed here at age 16 with three of his ‘bios’ – biological sisters – after one of his siblings was narrowly rescued from overdosing on sleeping pills. They were removed from their mother’s home on grounds of neglect, then passed unsuccessfully between aunts, family friends, and a shelter where bedroom and bathroom were under lock and key. They were ultimately placed in foster care as a lastditch effort to keep the sibling group together. Then, in 2013, Trevor’s birth mother, whom they had visited several times in hopes of reestablishing their family unit, died in her sleep with chronic pain. Trevor is used to telling this story. Most of it comes out matter-of-factly, and he is, by Iowa Department of Human Services measures, a success in a system tasked with creating stability and security for – as of 2014 – 5,978 children. But behind his retro-rimmed glasses, Trevor’s gray-blue eyes cloud with emotional distance when the details still hurt. The hardest part of his messed-up childhood? “Not being closer to my mom,” he says with a sigh. “She...had a lot of pain, and I ran out of time to be there for her.” His experience of longing to belong is almost universal among foster youth, and everrelevant: Iowa’s foster-care system needs host families, and a greater diversity of them – especially for older children – that support the goal of reuniting biological families or giving kids a solid start if that isn’t possible. On a larger scale, communities need greater awareness of the long-term effects of childhood trauma, as is often experienced in the foster system. This isn’t charity. It’s about understanding the costs to any affected kid’s health, and weaving a safety net of public support.

“Be not Forgetful to Entertain Strangers: For Thereby some have Entertained Angles Unawares” Hebrews 13:2

Of the now 19,000 adult Iowans who have responded to ACEs survey questions, 56 percent experienced one trauma, and more than 14 percent experienced four or more – that’s higher than the national average, and also the threshold triggering exponentially higher risk of poor health and disease.

----------------------------------Foster care, as defined by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, is temporary care provided by each state for children who cannot live with their families. Often, these children are removed from the care of their parent(s) after trauma – neglect, abuse, or other unsafe conditions – has been reported by caregivers in contact with the child(ren), then investigated and confirmed. As recently as 2013, Iowa ranked among the worst in the nation for the proportion of kids in foster care – six of every 1,000 – catalyzing the legislation of a two-prong approach to investigating child endangerment. Under the new law, suspected child abuse – physical, emotional or sexual – triggers an investigation of the home and, often, the removal of children. But in the interest of keeping families together, concerns for neglect – such as lack of supervision or inadequate clothing – calls for a “family assessment” by social workers, followed by efforts to connect families with education and resources that may improve living conditions and allow the children to stay. At the same time this law took effect, Iowa began conducting an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) survey, developed by preventative medicine specialist Dr. Vincent Felitti and epidemiologist Dr. Robert Anda. The survey maps 10 types of trauma – ranging from parental divorce to abuse and neglect – against later incidence of alcoholism, lung, heart or liver disease, depression, drug use, smoking, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, and more. The greater the number of types of trauma and longer the stressduration, the greater the chance it will impact brain and other organ development, especially when experienced by a child under the age of three. When repeatedly threatened, the body loses the ability to normalize its levels of adrenaline, blood pressure, and other responses to trauma, and the effects can last a lifetime, reducing life expectancy by as many as 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Children in foster care, in particular, typically register a higher number of ACE markers. Of the now 19,000 adult Iowans who have responded to ACEs survey questions, 56 percent experienced one trauma, and more than 14 percent experienced four or more – that’s higher than the national average, and also the threshold triggering exponentially higher risk of poor health and disease. People experiencing trauma on this level are six times more likely to develop depression and nearly three times more likely to get ischemic heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Continued on next page





Portable Sawmill Service

2945 Pleasant View Road . Decorah, Iowa 563-382-9272 . 563-419-2430 DINNER: WED-SAT – OPEN AT 5 SUNDAY BRUNCH: 9-1 RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED & GREATLY APPRECIATED

bar menu available + DON’T MISS OUR WINE SHOP!

117 WEST WATER STREET, DECORAH . 563.382.WINE Rubaiyat gift certificates are always a great idea!

Open 7 days Memorial Day-Labor Day | Winter: Wed-Sat 10-5 / Sun 12-4

90 S. Front St. Lansing, Iowa. 319.594.6795 \ Fall 2016


Becoming a foster or adoptive parent Iowa’s foster children need qualified homes for temporary or long-term placement. You could be that one person who makes a difference in the life of a child. • You may be married or single • You may rent or own your home • You don’t have to live in a house • You’re welcome to apply as long as you are age 21+ and physically and mentally stable. • You don’t need parenting experience (training is provided) • Training and licensing are free for prospective foster families. Please visit Iowa KidsNet ( for more information.

Wondering where to bring your kids for their first dental appointment? At West Side Dental, going to the dentist is fun! DR. JOHN E. WILMES • DR. LANA W. MCDERMOTT • DR. PETER J. BLODGETT

Photography by Brittany Todd

563-382-3657 . 108 Fifth Avenue, Decorah, Iowa . 38

Fall 2016 /

“When you look at adverse childhood experiences, they’re actually a stronger predictor of health risk...than traditional risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking,” writes Dr. Nadine Burke Harris of the Center for Youth Wellness. The takeaway is that the body remembers trauma, long after stress ACE Traumas surveyed in Iowa subsides, and it takes that affect child development, a community response health and behavior – across education, If you have experienced trauma and healthcare, businesses, seek support, please dial 211 to reach neighborhoods, local resources. friendships – to break the ABUSE cycle. • Physical But how does a • Emotional community start this • Sexual process? Opportunities include learning more HOUSEHOLD DYSFUNCTION about childhood trauma • Substance abuse in home and how trauma-induced • Family member with mental illness problems show up • Incarcerated family member later in an adult’s life, • Separation/divorce participating in foster care • Domestic violence or respite care for foster NEGLECT families, and donating • Emotional goods and services to • Physical children and families in need – see the sidebar at the end of this story to get started. In Iowa, the Department of Human Services does the fieldwork of assessing homes and, when necessary, placing children with relatives or known caregivers, or failing that, in foster homes. Meanwhile an interagency organization, Iowa KidsNet, handles the recruitment, training, and support of foster and adoptive parents and families. “Being a foster parent is a willingness to quietly show up in the life of a child – someone that child deserves to know is standing by them,” says Kai McGee, a recruitment and retention manager for Iowa KidsNet and a foster mother to teenagers herself. “Every foster family finds their niche, based on the hard limits of their availability to the kids due to jobs, their age, the ages of their biological kids, marital status, etc,” she explains. The time and effort are paid forward, says Maryanne Harris, the foster mom in the beginning of this story. “Personally, I do it because I can,” she explains, adding that with her own biological children grown and gone, she felt she had some parenting chops left. “I want a chance to teach my [foster] kids how to survive as an adult – to value what it takes to live on your own, get an education, hold a job, treat others well, love yourself. And when you see those things happen, it’s just....” she trails off and looks away, letting a brief swell of emotion wash over her no-nonsense demeanor. She and Jeff have seen at least one of their ‘kids’ graduate from Kee High nearly every year in the past decade. Establishing caring, supportive relationships with adults is the key to a child’s resilience in handling trauma, according to ACEs 360 Iowa, the state’s data bank for its ACE findings and resources. Over time, learning new, healthy social responses to stress can rewire the brain and restore healthy biological response, too. This is collectively called ‘trauma-informed care.’ Continued on next page

Free Events Sept. 3


Tomato Tasting

Oct. 15 • 12-4pm

Harvest Festival

3074 North Winn Rd • Decorah, IA 563-382-5990 •

Employee Owned ®

702 Montgomery St. Decorah, IA 563-382-8765 1-866-382-8765 Store Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 5:30pm Sat: 8:30am - 1:30pm • Sun: Closed

Welcome Anne Feldman! Stop in and meet our new Pharmacist!

10 0 % E mp l oyee O w n ed • w w w. t h r i f t y w h i te. c o m





Purl Up & Knit for a Spell Yarn, Knitting & Fiber Art Supplies, Classes, & More! Tues – Wed & Fri: 11 am – 5 pm Sat: 10 am – 4 pm Thurs: 11 am – 8 pm Sun: 12 – 4 pm

563-517-1059 •


563-382-2700 • 510 MONTGOMERY ST, DECORAH, IA or find us on Facebook


Above: Kirsten Heine founded Project Care to help youth who are aging out of foster care. Right: A Project Care graduation at First Lutheran.


ALL-LEVELS GREAT VARIETY OF CLASSES 6 DAYS PER WEEK YOGA TEACHER TRAININGS YOGA FOR KIDS Get started today! 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $25 Live Music . Gourmet Dinners . Art Classes . Midwest Artists

Non-profit gallery & community art studio

All proceeds from gallery & events benefit after school art programs.

214 S. RIVER PARK DR. GUTTENBERG, IOWA 563.252.2787 .


Fall 2016 /

Right now the foster care system especially needs three types of caring adults, Kai says: • Families who can take older kids or sibling groups of three or more • Families of ethnic, geographic or socioeconomic diversity, that speak other languages, or have understanding of the culture kids come from • And families truly accepting of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender or queer (LBGTQ) youth. Of equal ethical importance is a desire to work to safely reunite children with their parents whenever possible. In fact, 60 percent of Iowa children who are removed from their homes are ultimately able to return, once parents demonstrate that concerns for kids’ safety and security have been addressed. Working with birth families is an opportunity to create common ground and actually hear from individuals under stress, rather than assuming what is ‘right’ from the outside, says Kirsten Heine, founder of Project Care in Decorah and the adoptive parent of two foster brothers, now in their teens. Project Care, sponsored by First Lutheran Church in Decorah, organizes household essentials, supplies for college, and other resources for teens who are ‘aging out’ of foster care when they graduate high school or turn 18. Both Trevor Rupright Harris and Jessica Edgar, who appears later in this story, received living supplies like flatware, sheets, towels, and tools for their college careers, including a laptop computer.

In addition to working with Project Care or learning more about trauma-informed care, another hands-on option is to get certified as a respite care provider for a foster parent or family. This is a 12hour state training program, and upon completion, volunteers provide respite by staying with foster children in their established home for a day, overnight, or a weekend, while foster parents take some time to themselves. This keeps experienced foster families from burning out and gives volunteer caregivers a first-hand feel for the needs of foster children. Foster parents are allotted 24 days of respite care per year, but most use fewer than six and many use none at all, due a lack of trusted respite volunteers in their area, according to Britt Rhodes, a professor of social work at Luther College in Decorah. Working with her department’s college students, she initiated a screening process for prospective respite providers, shifting some of the burden from state resources and paving the way for more volunteers to get involved. For more information, see ----------------------------------Iowa’s ACE findings and the needs of its foster-care system converge around these two things: Recognizing parents and families in need, and finding the courage to extend meaningful support. “All it takes is one person to believe in you, and your outlook can change,” says Jessica Edgar, a former foster youth. Jessica completed nationally competitive leadership training through FosterClub and graduated with a degree in social work from Luther College in Decorah in 2016. By the time she applied to college, Jessica had skidded through seven foster homes with her younger brother (an older brother had been separated and placed elsewhere), finally landing in a family that went on to abuse her

situation, inflicting mental and emotional abuse and forcing her to cook, clean, and care for other foster children in the home. She ‘essentially lived at school’ until she could move out at age 18, and found out shortly thereafter that prior to formally adopting her, the family had denied proceedings five times in order to continue collecting state payments for her foster care. “But in the middle of being part of a giant stereotype, I started hearing my cousin,” she says. “She was older and had kids, and she started telling me my life didn’t have to repeat everything my parents had done. I could make it different.” That cousin invited Jessica out of her foster home under the guise of having her babysit and remained on speed-dial throughout Jessica’s college years. Jessica also found support as part of Luther’s track and field “family.” Today, Jessica teaches other foster youth how to tell their stories as trained advocates for Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP), empowering them to find their voice, rather than propagate any shame or guilt about the childhood they’ve been dealt. It’s sometimes hard to revisit injustices for the sake of others’ awareness, she says, but just naming the pain is the heart of the most redemptive social strategy to date, according to the national Trauma Informed Care Project ( Continued on next page \ Fall 2016


All it takes is one person to believe in you, and your outlook can change. – Jessica Edgar


Fall 2016 /

By recognizing that a child or adult’s health or behavioral issues may be rooted in the biology of trauma, an informed friend, neighbor, school nurse, teacher, pastor, or mentor knows to ask, “What happened to you?” rather than, “What’s wrong with you?” Britt Rhodes adds that this paradigm starts at street level. “We need to think about trauma-informed care the way we’ve integrated awareness of Americans with disabilities,” she says. “Being aware and respectful of these needs improves quality of life for all of us. Isn’t it kind of handy to bump the button on an ADA-compliant automatic door when your hands are full and you yourself need assistance?” Implementing trauma-informed strategies – from public policy to the local PTO – makes anyone who has experienced trauma feel more understood and accepted. “It comes down to finding a space where you belong,” Jessica Edgar says. “Foster kids can’t find themselves. With every move between homes, between care providers, all we hear is who we are not and who we should be: less trouble, less of a burden. You just want to be your own person and feel wanted… to feel love and affection.” Kristine Jepsen is a freelance writer and editor based in Decorah. She writes about being a farm/ food business owner, her experience parenting an only child (born weighing 1lb 13oz) and mind-body wellbeing. Her stories and freelance work appear in print magazines and journals, and on the web. Read more at

Learning More & Getting Involved • Learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences findings in Iowa at • Integrate Trauma-Informed Care practices into daily life. Learn strategies at • Become a certified respite care provider for foster families – see Respite Care Options of Northeast Iowa at • Become a mentor for youth in need – see Mentor Iowa ( or Helping Services for Northeast Iowa ( • Donate goods or services to FosterClub (, Achieve Maximum Potential (, and Project Care Iowa (

A Memory of Muskets Chloe Ellefson Mystery #7

From bestselling author Kathleen Ernst comes a new Chloe book of love, lies, and regret in the 1860s — and murder in the 1980s. The award-winning Chloe series stars a reluctant sleuth, museum curator Chloe Ellefson, and her cop boyfriend Roelke McKenna. The new mystery introduces his maternal great-grandmother. Facing the prospect of an oppressive life in her native Germany, 16-year-old Rosina agrees to marry, sight unseen, an immigrant German farmer living in a far off place called Wisconsin. The American Civil War begins as Rosina sails across the ocean. The war’s impact, and the secrets she carries into her marriage, lie at the heart of the book — and send mystery and peril echoing through time into the modern lives of Chloe and Roelke. Chloe books are available as trade paperback and ebooks from independent bookstores, BAM, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

From Midnight Ink and Kathleen Ernst \ Fall 2016



Q&A with



For events & ticket information visit 207 N. Main, Elkader, IA

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride



Fall 2016 /



Get Inspired for Fall Fashion!

introducing ...

Inspire(d)’s Aryn Henning Nichols had a great time talking on the phone with Rosanne Cash early this fall – check out some of that conversation on the next page, then head over to to get your tickets to Cash’s Center Stage Series show at Luther College in Decorah November 12, 2016! Continued on next page

211 W. WATER ST. | DECORAH M.T.W. FR.SAT 9-5 THURS 9-8 563-382-8940 \ Fall 2016



river view inn

Lansing, Iowa

60 SOUTH FRONT STREET, LANSING, IOWA 563-537-0072 • 563-538-4231 (DAYTIME)





563.382.5511 •


restoration & weatherization

Residential & light commercial construction David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 •

drop-ins welcome!

Molly Gallagher, instructor

beginning, continuing, & gentle yoga 110 Washingon Street. Decorah, Iowa . 319.270.4592 46

Fall 2016 /

Q&A with

ROSANNE CASH By Aryn Henning Nichols

Music and family. These are the threads that tie Rosanne Cash’s life together. Not just because her father was the iconic music legend Johnny Cash, or because she works closely with fellow musician, songwriter – and husband of 21 years – John Leventhal, or even because some of her five kids have dabbled in music here and there. Music lights her soul on fire. She chats about her 35 years of music-writing and performing from her kitchen in her family’s 1855 brownstone in Chelsea in New York City. The windows look out over a “tiny little postage stamp yard” with a garden filled with hydrangas and hostas. Cash is currently touring her three-time Grammy Award-winning latest release, The River and the Thread – a collaboration with her husband, John. The album is about traveling Hwy 61, the “main drag” of the South, and visiting places like the Tallahatchie Bridge, then to the spot where 14-year-old Emmett Till was lynched in 1955, along with trips to the Historic Dyess Colony during Arkansas State University’s restoration of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home. “We were having all these really soulful experiences – it was hard to not write songs,” Cash says. “After we got a couple of songs in, John said, ‘There’s something here, we could write an album with this.’ So we got to work.” The song, A Feathers Not a Bird, is written about Cash’s friend, Natalie Chanin, who taught Cash how to sew on one of those trips south. Chanin runs a company called Alabama Chanin ( They produce hand-sewn heirloom pieces made from 100 percent organic cotton. “I loved Natalie’s clothes and I loved Natalie,” Cash says of her desire to learn how to sew at this point in her life. “A couple of my friends were [starting to sew] and I wanted to do something without words, and with women – I’m with men all the time with my work. I was ready for something else.” The first thing Cash made was a skirt. Now, she’s got her own sewing circle. Alabama Chanin sells “kits” – materials and threads are all ready for groups to hand-sew. “It’s me and five other women – we get together regularly,” she says. “It’s been really enriching.” It’s likely something Cash’s grandmother might have done back in her day. Cash remembers her fondly. “She was the best Southern cook in my life. She and my father were very close,” she says. “She worked so hard, and her work ethic was passed down to all of us.” With the amazing scope of work under Rosanne Cash’s belt, that much is certainly clear.

Inspire(d) had a great time talking on the phone with Cash early this fall – check out some of that conversation here, then head over to to get your tickets to Cash’s Center Stage Series show at Luther College in Decorah November 12! You’re not only a talented and prolific singer and songwriter, but an author of books and essays and columns – has writing always been a part of your life? Oh yes, always. Since pre-teen, at least. Is the creative process totally different when you’re writing words for readers vs. writing songs for listeners? I mean your toolkit’s a little different and the form is a little different – but it all comes from one source. I write a lot of essays… for Oxford American, the New York Times, Rolling Stone…I enjoy it. It’s kind of refreshing – to free myself up from a rhyme scheme. I like the interplay of written song and prose. I’ll write both out sometimes – from prose to song and back – as I try to work it all out. You’re the mother of five kids – how did your work change after children? After you have a baby, there’s basically two years where all you do is raise a baby. There were times where I thought, “am I ever going to write again?” But for me, it made sense to carve out time for a baby. I was lucky it worked out that I could do it.

It made me able to write in short spurts, you know, being interrupted every five minutes. And that was actually really useful – not having the luxury to sit down for eight hours to write was good for me. I’ve learned to write from pretty much anywhere. Johnny Cash, aka dad… I can’t not mention him, of course. People always say that. Like they can’t ask about my dad, but you can! Do you ever get sick of talking about Johnny Cash? Well, no. I love my dad, and I don’t get sick of talking about him. I do start to wonder whether other people my age still get asked about their parents. Really! Do other people have to talk about their parents all the time?! (laughs) Over the past several years, you’ve worked with Arkansas State University on the restoration of the Johnny Cash Boyhood home in Historic Dyess Colony ( Did this open up some new (or renewed) memories for you? It was a moving project – to go back to a place where your father was raised. And the things I learned about my grandmother…how tough her life was. I’m a modern woman in New York City; I have every amenity available to me, but then you go two generations back to a family of cotton farmers. They didn’t have electricity – my grandmother worked taking care of seven kids all day and still managed to go out and pick cotton. Continued on next page

Winneshiek County RELAX. PLAY. STAY. \ Fall 2016


And I thought, ‘I couldn’t do that.’ The things she went through – there’s really gotta be some tenacity there. I just hope I inherited some of it. I adored my grandmother. When I was pregnant with my first baby – I heard horror stories of how labor could go and I asked my grandma, ‘So, Grandma, how do you get through it?’ And she said, ‘Honey, you just endure it.’ And that really stuck with me. There were so many things she just endured. What do you miss most about having your dad around? I miss both my parents. You know, they were my parents, and you miss both your parents. I miss the things all people miss about their parents. I wish I’d taken their advice. I wish had asked for advice. I wish I had asked things about their early lives. You just don’t think about it when you’re young and raising your own kids. You work with your husband, fellow musician John Leventhal, all the time. What’s the best and worst thing about working with your spouse on projects? The best thing, I think, is the depth of the conversation you can get to about what you’re doing. The lack of self-consciousness with things that you might not show to anyone else. The honest feedback… And those are also the worst things. You feel free to criticize. It can turn personal, although I think we’ve learned to avoid that over the years. We still get into arguments over the some things, but generally in service to the song. It’s always for the song.

Do you have a favorite show in memory? Yeah, well, there are many. It happens unexpectedly. You’ll be in some town in the Midwest in some renovated theatre and you never expect the audience to be so there with you and connected to what you’re doing. And then there are the shows that you expect to be great, and they live up to those expectations and more. For me, that was Carnegie Hall in February (2016). It felt like a culmination of almost 40 years of work – that I had earned this moment. I felt like our souls were on fire the whole show. You’re definitely one to stand up for yourself and other artists, even in the political arena – you testified for the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property in 2014. With everything that’s going on right now in our country, we here at Inspire(d) feel it’s important to stay positive. From your most optimistic side, what is an exciting thing you see coming up for America? I feel like congress is listening. Sometimes artists have to give up, sometimes because they can’t make enough money at it, and that’s heartbreaking to me. That’s why I advocate for artists rights and intellectual copyrights. We need to protect artists – care for them – and it feels like congress is on board. And even though there is so much tension and conflict and bad behaviors in this election – that’s the negative part – the good part is that people really care. They are involved in the democratic process – and I hope the voting poll numbers swell this November.

Offering over 40,000 plants!

Iowa's #1


Garden Center Just 30 miles south of Decorah

Decorah K&K Gardens


108 E. Wilbur St, Hawkeye, Iowa • 563.427.5373 Open daily through September. Oct: By appt/weekends Fall 2016 /

See Rosanne Cash live in Decorah, Iowa November 12, 2016 at Luther College as part of the Center Stage Series

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

Design for a lifetime . Trusted Appliances & Service

802 Short Street . Decorah . 563.382.5592 402 Rossville Road . Waukon . 563.568.3130 . \ Fall 2016



Photo by Justin Scardina • 563.382.9309 • 309 W. Broadway, Decorah

Join us for Qigong! Classes Wed: 5:30 pm . Tues & Thurs: 8:15 am


HOMES Sustainably Beautifully Efficiently

David J. Wadsworth • 563.419.0390 •

Beautiful Decorah Bed & Bath



Fall 2016 /

Going to a LUther College Center Stage Show? TRY the Dinner Series! If you’re heading to Center Stage for a show, be sure to check out the Center Stage Dinner Series as well. The creative and talented chefs – Caleb Timp, Justin Scardina, and Ryan Pederson, to name a few – put together different multi-course menus to complement each evening’s performance, and local ingredients are highlighted when possible. All meals begin at 5:30 pm in Peace Dining Room on the second floor of Dahl Centennial Union, just a stone’s throw away from the Center for Faith and Life, where the performances are held. Dinner tickets are $18 per person, and wine and beer are available for purchase. Menu items are subject to change based on availability, but here’s the tentative run-down for the Dinner Series this fall. Find details at

JudgEment at Nuremberg

Thursday, November 3 Building on German tradition and savory flavors. Yellow split pea soup with fresh dill, sour cream, and sweet peas. Rye bread and whipped butter. Seared cod loin and mashed potatoes or beetroot roti with chive oil and fresh herbs (V) over Brussels sprouts with mushrooms, caramelized parsnips, and turnips. Apple strudel with toasted almonds and raisin-


Rosanne Cash

Saturday, November 12 Sincere, whole-family-pleasing southern fare Sweet tea with lemon. Johnnycakes with corn grits, crab salad, and seared country ham. Biscuits and whipped sorghum butter. Southern fried chicken with Rosanne Cash’s Potato Salad or southern fried portabella mushrooms with roasted sweet potato (V), smoked tomato coulis, and sautéed green beans. Carrie Cash’s Coconut Cake. (Reduced Shakespeare Company’s dinner on September 10 is by invitation only for Series subscribers.)

207 College Drive, Decorah 563-380-3610 Open 7 Days A Week

open 7 days • fresh & organic produce • grocery • in-house bakery • full-service meat & seafood • made-from-scratch deli soups &


Friday, October 7 Fall flavors with bright “voices” and a soda shoppe dessert. Roasted butternut squash salad with spinach, chili-spiced candied pecans, dried cramberries, chèvre, and Dijon vinaigrette. Parmesan bread knots and roasted garlic-whipped butter. Chicken Sorrento fettuccine with crisp prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, spinach, and artichoke or roasted ratatouille and chickpea fettuccine (V) with grilled tomato. Root beer float cupcake topped with a cherry.

Versa-Style Dance Company

Friday, October 21 A twist on the diverse cultures of south L.A. Cobb salad taco with local bacon, chili-spiced egg, avocado, tomato, black beans, roasted corn, and queso fresco, with creamy cilantro dressing. Fresh fried tortilla chips and pico de gallo. BBQ short ribs or BBQ tofu (V) with thrice-fried potatoes, jerk-spiced grilled vegetables, and coleslaw. Friedplantain trifle with cognac syrup.

sandwiches • vegetarian & glutenfree options • specialty cheeses • coffee & tea bar • cosmetics • body care • vitamins • local food & favorites

La Crosse 315 5th Avenue South 608-784-5798 Rochester 519 1st Avenue SW 507-289-9061

Good. Honest. Local. \ Fall 2016


The lovely site for Allamakee Wood-Fired Pottery / Photo by Benji Nichols

217 West Water Street . Decorah, Iowa



Lunch & dinner Monday - Saturday • 563-382-3067 52

Fall 2016 /



Open Monday-Saturday





Here for all your biking needs!


Tune-ups on any brand, on the spot flat fixes, detailing, & estimates

Trek, Electra, Specialized, Surly, & Custom Bike Builds


Mountain, road, trail, child trailers/tag-alongs – rent for a few hours or up to a month!

(tons of bikes!)



Check out our trip ideas on the next page! • 101 College Dr. Decorah, Iowa • 563-382-8209 \ Fall 2016






Compiled by Inspire(d)


n our humble opinions, if the roads are good to go, it’s a perfect time for us to go… on a road trip! And fall in the Driftless Region is an especially nice time to hit the road – the leaves are techno-coloring out, the air is crisp, and there always seems to be some sort of fun event or new place to check out – and lots of great arts and cultural events. To this we say: Yes! Score! We love supporting the arts, and there are tons of amazing artists to support here. Participating in events like these is a perfect way to support the arts and artists directly (and can also be a great time to purchase some meaningful holiday gifts)! In the following pages, we put together a fun little arts and culture road trip list for fall. So get some ideas on your calendars and get exploring during the loveliest season!

Pictured on previous page: husband and wife team Nate and Hallie Evans run their company, Allamakee Wood-Fired Pottery, at the end of a beautiful road in rural, you guess it – Allamakee county! Their pottery (pictured above) – tableware, vases, pots, and more – is lovely with gorgeous designs and cool, earthy colors – we especially love their line of kids’ cups – and the setting of their home and studio is equally lovely. When we ventured out there last fall during the Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour, Roxie got to play out in the yard with the Evans boys while we checked out the studio space and giant kiln…and there was even tasty soup on for tour-goers! ( / Photos by Benji Nichols

Find your

Adventure in Southeast Minnesota! Photos / Bob Smock . 507-765-2100

60+ Miles of Paved Bike Trails! 54

Fall 2016 /

Vesterheim “Skål! Scandinavian Sprits” exhibit / Free Thursdays Opening reception September 10, 2016 Exhibit runs through December 31, 2016 Free admission first Thursdays of the month


ho said museums and alcohol don’t mix? Maybe no one, eh?! Alcohol has long inspired art and arguments – hopefully it inspires you to check out the new exhibit, Skål, at Vesterheim Museum in Decorah (save the drinking for a non-driving time, though). Curated by the Museum of Danish America and presented by Aalborg and Linie Aquavits, this traveling exhibition shares the history and traditions of drinking culture in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and how those traditions carried into the U.S. with immigrants. Continued on next page

Northeast Iowa’s premier wedding destination venue! Spend your special day in an elegant yet casual setting overlooking the Oneota Valley and the Upper Iowa River. Enjoy the Amish-built post and beam barn and restored one room school house – along with spacious outdoor patios and beautiful gardens.

Decorah, Iowa . . 563-419-8902


don’t miss our


Pictured above: Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, invites you to raise your glass in a skål to these traditions by visiting the exciting exhibition, “Skål! Scandinavian Sprits,” on view from August 12December 31, 2016. Photos of Matt Spencer by Randi Berg

thursdays, fridays, & saturdays new menu every week!

Make a reservation online at 104 E. Water St. Decorah, Iowa • 1.800.998.4164

The exhibition focuses on beer and aquavit – the traditional flavored spirit of Scandinavia that means “the water of life.” Drinking traditions offer one way for Scandinavian Americans to connect to their heritage. Scandinavians have brewed beer for over 1,500 years. In pre-Christian times, the Norse god Odin was credited with teaching humans how to brew beer, and drinking beer was often involved in worship and as offering to the deities. Beer was part of battle victory celebrations and sometimes drinking challenges. In the 1500s, distilled liquor became known through Scandinavia as a medical cure-all. Early distilling efforts often produced awful flavors, so herbs and other plants were used to improve the taste – creating what is now known as aquavit. Cool! The exhibit name, Skål, is a traditional Scandinavian drinking “cheers” proclamation. Mark your calendars for September 10: there’s an exhibition opening reception from 5-7 pm. It includes a free public aquavit tasting with Claus Toftkjær, from the Norwegian company Arcus, distributor of Aalborg and Linie Aquavits, and gallery talks by Tova Brandt, curator at the Museum of Danish America, who created this special exhibition. Must be 21 to attend this event. Watch for classes as well – Lexi from the Old Ballard Liquor Company in Seattle, Washington, will teach two workshops about aquavit in October. Skål! Added bonus: We just love that every first Thursday of the month at Vesterheim includes free admission to the museum! DId you know? Through 33,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center in Decorah, Iowa, shares the most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world.

303 W. Water St • Decorah, Iowa •563.382.4941

Luxury salon & day spa Hair salon + Manicures & Pedicures Facials •Massages • Makeup

SALES SERVICE PARTS We service all brands.

302 College Drive, Decorah, IA 563-382-4856 • M-F 8-5 • Sat 8-3

NOW is always the right time to tune up or upgrade your mower or blower! TOP-OF-THE-LINE BRANDS – TORO • CUB CADET

Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws, & More! Algerian & American Appetizers & Entreés

Photo courtesy Driftless Area Art Festival

Vegetarian Options Sandwiches & Salads

Driftless Area Art Festival

Beauford T. Anderson Park, Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin September 17-18, 2016


hile art tours are often the big thing in our area – we drive around to artists’ studios to see their art and get fun tours of their spaces – every year there’s a time where artists gather in one place for us: the Driftless Area Art Festival. Don’t worry, though: you still get a gorgeous setting at the foot of the bluffs in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, and you still get tons of great art exposure. Get to the festival early and grab a Kickapoo Coffee and a crepe from one of the festival food vendors and meander through the tents and booths that host nearly 100 visual artists, not to mention the hundreds – yes, hundreds – of young artists featured in the KidsArt Tent and the Teen Art Gallery. Now in its twelfth year, this event features artists of all varieties – from painters and potters to musicians and brewmasters. Throughout the festival, there will also be live music and performance art too – watch for Decorah-based Maritza Sunday afternoon! So grab another tasty something to eat – cheese curds, catfish, street tacos, or, mmm, pie – and stick around. There’s art to enjoy! Continued on next page

Delicious Desserts Signature Cocktails Connoisseur Beer Selection

Elkader, Iowa • 563-245-1992 •

Artistry in Cabinetry since 1983

Kitchens Home offices Bars Entertainment centers Fireplace mantles Cabinets & shelving Remodeling Finished carpentry

Visit my new website! 563-382-4750 \ Fall 2016



406 W. Water St. • Decorah, Iowa


Healthy Trees are Happy Trees


Protect your trees from emerald ash borer and diseases by calling Drew Stevenson. He'll assess the health of your trees and develop a plan to keep them beautiful and healthy for years to come! 60


Fall 2016 /

See the Decorah sights in style! Ask about our trolley tours!

Photos, starting at top left: Jennifer Fisher Jones; Laurie Thompson; Nate and Hallie Evans; and Pam Kester. Courtesy NEIAST.

Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour

“Holly & Molly” are vintage cable car–style trolleys. You can book a trolley for weddings, special events, & custom tours.

For tour and ticket information call 563.419.8902 or visit

October 7-9, 2016 Decorah, Iowa, and 40-mile surrounding region

mentioned, we think studio tours are a pretty cool thing, AsArtists welcome you into their workspaces for fun, behind-the-

scenes tours. If you’re at all interested in art, road trips, or even just people in general, it’s something you really should experience. The Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio tour – in its 19th year – features 52 artists at 40 locations all within a 40-mile radius of smalltown Decorah. “There were so many artists doing high-caliber shows throughout the country, but people in and around Decorah didn’t know that they were here,” artist Darla Ellickson has said of the main reason she and Margaret Davis of the Decorah Regional Arts Council (now Driftless Art Collective) decided to launch the first Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour in 1998. “We honestly didn’t know how that first tour was going to turn out, but it was well enough attended that we decided to keep on going.” Indeed. The Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour is Iowa’s first and longest running tour of artists’ studios in the state. Cool! Sculptors? Yep. Oil painters? They’re on the tour too. So are jewelry-makers, ceramicists, potters, fiber artists, wood-workers, basket-makers, silk painters, photographers, quilters, and, yes, even kaleidoscope-makers. Tour participants can set their own pace while driving from studio to studio. The full-color brochure features a map with GPS and lodging and dining along the route. Workspaces are open from 10 am to 5 pm all three days and the tour is free of charge. Pick up your brochure at the Decorah Visitor’s Center, around town, or online at \ Fall 2016


When you head to the Driftless Film Festival or Driftless Area Art Festival, you might get to cross the lovely Lansing Bridge! Photo by Benji Nichols





ENHANCE YOUR NATURAL BEAUTY We celebrate the natural beauty of each individual but at times unwanted hair becomes a source of discomfort or embarrassment. Our lasers remove hair from all parts of the body including face, legs, arms, underarms, back, chest and bikini line. Bring this ad in for 25% off your first laser hair removal treatment at the Gundersen Decorah Clinic.

Call (563) 382-3140 for an appointment 1830 State Hwy 9 No other discounts apply. To receive your savings please present ad at appointment. One per customer. Hurry offer good thru Jan 31, 2017.


Fall 2016 /

Driftless Area Art Festival

Driftless Film Festival November 3-6, 2016 Mineral Point, Wisconsin

Celebrating the Visual, Performing, and Culinary Arts of the Driftless Area


ow entering its seventh year, the Driftless Film Festival will return to the Mineral Point Opera House in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, this November for four days of independent cinema, live entertainment, workshops, filmmaker discussions, and networking opportunities. The festival is known for hosting a healthy lineup of both regionallyproduced cinema and popular independent productions not typically found on small-town movie screens. “We’re really proud of our program this year,” says festival director Eve Studnicka. “We are screening more features shot in Wisconsin than we have in the last few seasons.” These include opening night film American Fable which features a surreal scene shot in local attraction House on the Rock, and The Seeker, a feature-length narrative set to the music of regional band Cloud Cult – members of which will be in attendance for a Q&A. The crowd-pleasing Wisconsin Shorts Showcase will also return in 2016, featuring short films produced in-state. Studnicka notes that once again 50 percent of the features and shorts in the festival lineup are directed by women, and there is no shortage of heavy-hitting documentaries in the 2016 program. Expanding its educational outreach, Driftless Film Festival will partner this year with the Madison Media Institute and Frozen Stage Films to bring attendees two unique workshops on DIY cinema lighting and writing & directing with a focus on story arc. The popular Student Shorts Showcase will also return to the festival, featuring student-produced short films from across the world competing for a cash prize. New to the festival this year is a late-night program entitled Temptations, showcasing short films with central themes of indulgence, decadence, and the pursuit of pleasure. “It’s a little risque,” says Studnicka, “but not distasteful. The stories are meant to make us think about how we treat ourselves and really enjoy what life has to offer.” The Festival will take place at the historic Mineral Point Opera House with after-parties at local nightlife establishments.

Sat. Sept. 17, 10-5 Sun. Sept. 18, 10-4 Soldiers Grove, WI 80 Visual Artists Live Music—Local Foods Free Admission and Parking

Decorative, wearable & functional art

Open Friday Saturday & Sunday 1 - 5 pm

gallery 110 Coffee Street Lanesboro, Minnesota . 563-419-0727

Continued on next page \ Fall 2016


Burgers • Sandwiches • Salads • Appetizers • Breakfast • In-House Catering Locally Sourced Menu Options • Come watch your favorite games! • 22 Beers on Tap! Two event spaces for small or large groups – up to 200 people. Contact our Event Coordinator at for details.

206 W. Water St. •563-382-5970 •

Movement for Health & Well-Being Change your life today! Contact Diane Sondrol for more information. 563.419.5420 or Small group and private lessons available, all are welcome!

Teamwork from the team that works best! DECORAH, IOWA 563-382-8406

Thoughtfully designed, handcrafted, timberframe buildings.

LANESBORO ARTS Lanesboro Arts Center

Swingsation November 5, 2016 Lanesboro, Minnesota


ou know what drive is lovely? Any way you head into Lanesboro, Minnesota. Lucky for us, the arts scene is rich in this tiny (pop. roughly 750) community, so if you’re looking for a little cultural exploration, plan to stay all day – or even the weekend! Make sure to check out events going on at the Commonweal Theatre, St. Mane Theatre, and, of course, Lanesboro Arts Center. The Lanesboro Arts Council was formed in the early 1980s – it helped create the Cornucopia Art Center, giving artists a beautiful space to exhibit and providing community arts activities. In 2010, the Council and Cornucopia merged to create Lanesboro Arts. Programming includes free youth education classes, fine arts galleries, internship programs, performance art, opportunities to participate in public art, and more. Lanesboro Arts has brought innovative arts experiences to audiences for over 30 years, becoming a national model for empowering communities through the arts. A great way to support this darn cool arts center is at their annual benefit gala, Swingsation, November 5, 2016. The event always features a live and silent auction, and this year there’s a New Orleansinspired theme, with food by Johnny Mango’s Catering, and New Orleans swing jazz. Find details at . 563 382 6245 . Decorah, Iowa 62

Fall 2016 /

We’ve honed our fall art trip essentials list and wanted to share it with you! Turn the page to check it out!





Feeling like you’re digging the art fun? Add these art-y Driftless places to your list too:



The Pump House

Guttenberg Creativity Center

Rochester Art Center

Guttenberg, Iowa

Rochester, Minnesota

McGregor/Marquette Center for the Arts

Minnesota Marine Art Museum

Decorah, Iowa

McGregor, Iowa

La Crosse, Wisconsin

Winona, Minnesota

Find Harmony in Your Life



Getting ready to head out? Make sure you’ve got all the fall art trip essentials! MONeY


Snacks & beverages!






Fall 2016 /

don’t forget a friend!

time to pack the car! Maps!


Have your route plugged into your phone or gps, but just to be sure (service can be spotty out in the country!) bring along a paper map. Tip: You could take screenshots of your directions while you still have a WiFi connection!


Especially cash. Most likely the artists you’re visiting will have options for you to pay with credit card or check, but it’s always nice to make sure you’re covered (and it’s polite to pay for things under $10 with cash).

Est. 1961

People you can trust. Quality you can depend on.

Life essentials!

Food (trail mix is a fave) and water (fizzy water’s always in our cooler bag)...Need we say more?


While you shouldn’t take photographs of artists’ work without first asking permission, you should definitely take time to pull over and get that great photo of a beautiful valley or leafy bluff.


Like cell service, you never know when radio channels will get spotty! A fun playlist helps make sure you have great jams to keep the trip light and happy.


Bring your phone, of course, and maybe a backup battery or charger – your phone might spend a lot of time searching for towers, leaving you high and dry when you need it most.


Make sure your car has a full tank of gas, is up to inspection, and that you have a spare tire (and it’s in good shape). And bring your AAA card along if you’ve got one!

1+1 =FUN

A buddy!

It’s always more fun to hit the road with a good friend. You can talk about the art, encourage each other to “just do it” on an on-the-fence purchase, and enjoy a new adventure together.

Monday: 9am - 8pm Tues - Fri: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 3pm 3 goldsmiths 1 graduate gemologist 1 watchmaker 2 diamond setters

31 West Main Street Waukon, Iowa 800.932-7028 • 563.568-3661 \ Fall 2016



Phyllis Green

Interviewed by daughter Pat Beck

People around Decorah know Phyllis Green as a bridge player, club member, cookie baker, reliable volunteer, teacher and loyal friend. These qualities, plus a cheerful outlook, and a pragmatic can-do attitude have had a positive effect on people who have known her over eight decades. Phyllis was born August 16, 1928, and grew up on the Erickson family farm near Burr Oak. Though it was during the Great Depression, her life was rich with farm activities, 4-H, church, a sister, cousins, chores, and her pets. She learned the rewards of hard work, of challenging herself, of true love, and of giving. Phyllis lived in Decorah during her high school years because there were no school buses. She made this big transition shortly after she turned 13; she shared a room with people she didn’t know, cooked for herself, and was introduced to running water and electricity. Decorah High School offered High School Normal Training to prepare teachers for country schools. Phyllis’s long teaching career led to recognition as Scott County Teacher Award, North Scott Community Arts Patron, Iowa Social Studies Teacher of the Year, University of Iowa Distinguished Teacher Award, and The 51st Point of Light given by President Bush. What is the best advice anyone ever gave you? I am rather averse to advice. I learn by example. My mother taught me to try new things because that’s how you learn if you can do them or not. What is the worst advice anyone ever gave you? Since this is not a part of my thinking, I usually count on my own ideas – sometimes good and sometimes questionable. Isn’t that how you learn? What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was in second grade, my teacher showed me the love and understanding that touched and impressed me. It was in second grade that I set my goal to become a teacher. When I finished high school, I taught two years in a country school. Then I married K. Ted Green, my life partner. We have five beautiful children. When they were all in school, I started college and completed my degree at Upper Iowa University. Because of Ted’s job with Oscar Mayer, we moved to the Quad Cities. I taught at North Scott Schools for 25 years. Living just 50 miles from The University of Iowa was incentive to continue my education. I completed my MA in two areas and was accepted in the doctoral program. Ted knew I wanted to further my education and he made this dream a reality by his complete support, encouragement, and understanding. These were the building blocks that made my dreams come true. I’ve always been curious about people and places. Ted and I enjoyed foreign travel so this was a part of our yearly plan. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you? I’d want lots of pictures of our family – children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, a good book, paper and a pencil, and a Hershey Bar. I know that is more than three things, but I usually get what I want. Try to describe yourself in one sentence. I am a hard worker, an honored wife, a loved mom, grandma, and great-grandma. If you could eat anything everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be? A Hershey chocolate bar.

Email if you have someone you’d love to interview for this page!

Name one thing you could not live without. I need a pencil and paper to record my feelings, my wishes, my poetry, my dreams, my stories, my ideas, and to communicate with family and friends – but if I can really have only ONE thing, it would be my family. Tell us about your favorite memory I will never forget meeting Ted. I was at the county fair when a friend introduced us. He was the county boys’ 4-H president and I was the county girls’ 4-H president but we had never met. I finished high school, taught two years and Ted went to Madison to start his career. Our wedding day started 63 years of “favorite memories.” We were married at Upper Lutheran Church and had our wedding reception at the Winneshiek Hotel. We were blessed with four sons and one daughter. Each birth, baptism, confirmation, graduation, wedding have added to our favorite memories. Our 60th wedding party, planned by our children, was also held at the Hotel Winneshiek. I have so much to be grateful for!

Enjoy a life of freedom, financial security and convenience! You’ll be glad you did! 66

Fall 2016 /

Decorah’s Active 55+ Community 1102 Nordic Drive, Decorah IA 563-382-6521

There’s nothing “ruff” about picking out glasses! We’ve got something for everyone – from kiddos to adults (but, okay, not dogs…)


7:30-5:30 M, W, F 7:30-7:00 TUES & THURS 7:30-12:00 SATURDAY

Your health is your top priority... you deserve one of the country’s top hospitals! Choose Winneshiek Medical Center, recognized as a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital in the nation!

Your lifelong health care partner for more than 100 years!

Rating is based on iVantage Health Analytics’ ratings for nine indicators of strength: inpatient & outpatient market share, population risk, cost, charge, quality, outcomes, patient perspectives, and financial stability.

Congratulations, WMC team! 901 Montgomery, Decorah ·

Milkhouse Candles & Gifts is now

Don’t worry! We still accept Milkhouse Candles & Gifts Coupons, Bag Tags, Gift Certificates & Addict Cards, &, of course, we’ll continue to carry your favorite candles, gifts, & so much more!

200 W Water St Decorah, Iowa 563.382.5742

UPPER IOWA UNIVERSITY The faculty and staff are amazing! They always knew when we needed encouragement and were always there to help. I say ‘we’ because this was not just an incredible experience for me, but a wonderful experience for my peers as well. Thank you UIU! Rachel Pugh ’16 Conservation Management

Follow us online:





800-553-4150 | UIU.EDU/INSPIRED