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CONTENTS january/february 2021
publisher Amy S. Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
editorial director Amy S. Johnson email@example.com
arts Alison L. Bailey...............................38
senior copy editor & lead staff writer
Allowing Yourself to Grieve...........42
Heather DuBois Bourenane...........34
copy editor & staff writer
Taliesin—The Future of Food.........26
Krystle Engh Naab
sales & marketing director Amy S. Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
designers Crea Stellmacher, Linda Walker, Barbara Wilson
Cadre Restaurant............................6 Louisianne’s Etc.............................14
food & beverage Vitruvian.........................................10
administration Debora Knutson
contributing writers Marissa DeGroot, Sandy Eichel, Jeanne Engle, Caroline Hamblen, Lauri Lee, Aron Meudt-Thering, Allison Stephen, CVT
nonprofit Dane County Humane Society Centennial Celebration: Changing the Lives
additional photographs A & L Kutil Enterprises, LLC/Laurie Kutil, Alison L. Bailey, Amandalynn Jones Photography, Joe Brusky, Dane County Humane Society, Just Bakery, Taliesin Preservation, Peter Wadsack, Barbara Wilson
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JustDane Just Bakery....................22
pets A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Technician................36
shopping Bekah Kate’s..................................18
including From the Publisher...........................4 Contest Information......................46 Contest Winners............................46
from the publisher
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As I begin to write, there are 18 days, 3 hours, 44 minutes, and 8 seconds remaining in the year. 12:00 a.m., January 1, 2021, may elicit the single greatest sigh of relief ever across every time zone worldwide. While the chiming in of a new year doesn’t immediately lift us past the impediments of 2020, it does feel like a beacon of light after what was a dark, weighty 365 days that felt more like 365,000 days.
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Bleak moments might have brought our spirits down, but we were simultaneously lifted by examples of hope, kindness, and generosity—frontline workers receiving applause as they left their shifts; balcony and rooftop serenades; and simple acts, like a young man purchasing flowers from an elderly female street vendor only to then give them back to her as a gift. They help carry us through day after day. And even though 2021 will continue with some of the 2020 obstacles, a new year feels like the potential for a new chapter where obstacles may progressively be reduced in number and impact.
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One of the hardest-hit business segments has been hospitality, so the timing of our leadoff Epicurean issue serves as a reminder of how much local food is integral to our way of life. Fortunately, community members have come through by purchasing carryout, delivery, and gift cards and also partaking in outdoor dining when weather permits.
Watch for the next issue March/April 2021.
The public has also shown their support by stepping up for local restaurant fundraising efforts. One way we at Madison Essentials are pleased to show our support is by sponsoring the weekly soup sale Soup’s On! (danebuylocal.com /soups-on). Up to 20 local restaurants each make up to 40 quarts of soup, which are presold and then available for drive-through pickup or delivery. If you haven’t yet participated, give yourself a treat and visit the website each week for available soups.
Cover photograph—Water Lily No.2 taken at Cadre Restaurant by Eric Tadsen Photographs on page 3: top—Taken at Bekah Kate’s by Barbara Wilson middle—Taken at Vitruvian by Eric Tadsen bottom—Sautéed Shrimp taken at Louisianne’s Etc. by Eric Tadsen
We hope this issue encourages you to continue your efforts in supporting all members of our food community, from restaurants to farmers and the charitable organizations that exist on their behalf. It’s the best way to ensure our community is able to return to the iconic foodie haven, shopping mecca, and socially engaged platform it’s fostered throughout the decades. Here’s to a new and improved year!
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Photograph at Vitruvian by Eric Tadsen
s au k p r a i r i e
c a p i t o l e as t
ngs i d d e W& s t e u q n a B NEW Brunch Menu! S AT & S U N 10am-3pm
600 WATER ST. SAUK CITY, WI
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674 S. WHITNEY WAY MADISON, WI
Oaxacan-style Mushroom Pozole: giant white hominy, roasted oyster mushrooms from Vitruvian Farms, cocoa, dried chilis
CADRE R E STAU R A N T
A Food Future Reimagined by Marissa DeGroot
“It wasn’t easy before, and it’s harder now, but I don’t have quit in me. I’m going to do this until I drop.” – Chef Evan Dannells Even with nearly 25 years of restaurant experience, opening Cadre Restaurant on University Avenue was certainly not easy for owner Chef Evan Dannells in late 2019. Temporarily closing only four months later due to the pandemic was harder. Up until that point, Cadre had seen success serving up French-inspired cuisine and heavily utilizing local and seasonal Wisconsin ingredients. Classics, like his tender beef bourguignon, were featured alongside chèvre cheese curds in this French6 | madison essentials
Wisco restaurant. These dishes were complemented by a menu of classic, yet never dull, cocktails. There are few kitchen roles Chef Evan has not filled in his lifetime, from dishwashing in a college cafeteria to sous chef at L’Etoile to executive chef of both Merchant and Lucille. When referring to his years in the food industry, Chef Evan says, “I just love it … food to me has always been the centerpiece of all of the important moments of your life.” Being in the restaurant industry allows Chef Evan to be a part of the
celebrations in our lives. From holidays to anniversaries, we celebrate with food, and often we celebrate with food at a restaurant. This love of food and the celebration around it is what inspires Chef Evan and his team at Cadre to keep pushing forward despite the global health crisis, which has left restaurants like Cadre nearly devastated. Though they continue to safely serve delicious meals to their small, yet dedicated, group of customers, Cadre is thinking more innovatively as they look at a future with a changing
food landscape. While change can be difficult, Chef Evan recognizes that the strength of local restaurants compared to corporate chains is their ability to be flexible and adapt at a moment’s notice. One such opportunity happened in early March 2020, when Tommy Stauffer, co-owner of organic vegetable farm Vitruvian, came into the restaurant for one of the last brunches before the temporary shutdown. “It just started because Tommy said, ‘I have a crap ton of mushrooms. Can you help me salvage this?’” says Chef Evan. Vitruvian, whose business model had centered on wholesale of vegetables and mushrooms to Madison-area restaurants and grocery stores, now found themselves with a surplus of produce as restaurant business essentially slowed to a halt. On that day in early March, the McFarland farm had hundreds of pounds of oyster and shiitake mushrooms with no home. What started as a brunch-time conversation between chef and farmer grew into a partnership with Chef Evan using Vitruvian and other locally grown produce to create one-of-a-
Water Lily No.2: Almond milk clarified punch of Wollersheim Garden Gate Gin, tequila blanco, creme de violette, blueberry, and lemon madisonessentials.com
kind products, now available through Vitruvian’s new online store. Chef Evan was impressed by Vitruvian co-owners Tommy Stauffer and Shawn Kuhn and their ability to pivot their business model so quickly. They had been one of the first amongst farms and farmers’ markets in the Madison area to start an online farm store with home delivery and contact-free pickup. Early success of the Vitruvian online store led to Tommy and Shawn reaching out to other local farms, business owners, and restaurants like Cadre. Their goal was to expand the variety of goods available through the online store as well as support local businesses growing and creating some of the area’s highestquality products.
Seared duck breast, wild leek and cauliflower puree, hen of the woods mushroom, black walnut aillade, fried sage, brandied cherry goût
Early on, most of the Cadre products sold through the online farm store featured Vitruvian mushrooms. Mushroom stocks, soups, and dips were an immediate hit with customers, and it was soon clear they had an appetite for more. Every few weeks from then on, you could find new featured products from Cadre which could be delivered straight to your doorstep. Highlights include tangy sweet pepper vinaigrette, creamy slabs of roasted garlic and parsley compound butter, a refreshing cucumber gazpacho inspired by Chef Evan’s mother, and rich red pesto made with dried Vitruvian heirloom tomatoes. One of the hottest items is a bit of a surprise for Vitruvian and Chef Evan—a bold tzatziki sauce. However, what sells best is whatever new items come out of the Cadre kitchen. Loyal Vitruvian customers will consistently fill their online carts with multiples of whatever Chef Evan is dishing up. “It’s what kept the lights on for three or four months, and it’s still, on a good week, 25 percent of our revenue,” says Chef Evan. Chef Evan sees partnerships like these as part of the future of restaurants and food, a “closing of the circle” when it comes to local food. Where before it was a straight line of food, from farmer to chef to consumer, now, consumers enjoy local food in a variety of ways. They can dine at a farm-to-table restaurant, 8 | madison essentials
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purchase directly from a local farm, or enjoy products created by a chef using local ingredients sold through the farm. What Chef Evan and the farmers of Vitruvian are undertaking in closing the food circle has certainly not been easy, yet they’re experiencing so much joy in working together to create new, delicious products. While there may not be the large celebratory meals happening at Cadre at the moment, Chef Evan is still helping us celebrate with food, though it may be around our own dinner tables. “Because of what we did, I see it,” says Chef Evan. “I see a silver lining, and I see a future that I don’t know that I saw before. And I like it, and I want to grow with it. And I think it will probably end up with Cadre turning into something that I hadn’t intended before but might be very good.” Cadre is now back open with morelimited service and take-out hours and the same high-quality, farm-to-table offerings as before. They also continue to develop new products for Vitruvian and their customers.
KEEPING YOU CONNECTED
For more information on Vitruvian, read their article in this issue. Marissa DeGroot is a freelance writer and always down for yummy food, good company, and a great story. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.
Cadre Restaurant 2540 University Avenue Madison, WI 53705 (608) 819-8555 cadrerestaurant.com
Verrine of carrot crema, whipped mascarpone, carrot gelée, spiced cake, ginger streusel, brandied raisins, garnished with lemon balm and edible violet flower madisonessentials.com
essential food & beverage
by Marissa DeGroot
Growing in an Unexpected Way
Rita pulls up to the red farm building and hands Vitruvian co-founder Tommy Stauffer a five-dollar bill after he places grocery bags into the trunk of her car. She tells him the tip is beer money as she smiles, sporting her Vitruvian t-shirt. Sheâ€™s 1 of nearly 100 customers coming by that Friday to grab their orders of vegetables, mushrooms, bread, meat, and more at Vitruvian, the organic vegetable farm Tommy co-founded along with Shawn Kuhn. The former UWâ€“Madison college roommates turned organic farmers celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the farm in 2020 and the rollercoaster journey that comes with being a small business owner. The duo had spent the past 10 years growing strong relationships with those in the Madison-area restaurant and grocery store community. Over 80 percent of their business had been wholesale of certified organic produce to local farm-to-table establishments, like Salvatoreâ€™s Tomato Pies and the Willy Street Co-ops. While their business model also includes a small Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program
10 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
and selling at the Monona Farmers’ Market, they had built Vitruvian on their close ties with local chefs. Suddenly, a decade of relying on these partnerships came to a screeching halt when the pandemic essentially shut many restaurants down. With their wholesale accounts slowing to a trickle and the growing season in full swing, the Vitruvian farmers knew they needed to find a new way to get their vegetables to eager consumers. Before most other farms and farmers’ markets could even begin to imagine what selling in a pandemic could look like, Tommy and Shawn had evaluated their options and opened an online store with home delivery and contact-free farm pickup by mid-March 2020. Their goal was to create a safe and convenient way to buy local food that could become a long-term habit for community members, as opposed to a band-aid solution to get them through the season. “I think the Vitruvian pickup and home delivery has been successful because we have married the accessibility of highquality products with convenience,” says Shawn. “People buy from local farms because they support the growing practices, they believe in the health of the food, and they support farmers and
their families. People buy from Amazon because it’s really fast and easy.” The Vitruvian home delivery became a popular option, with over 75 deliveries a week for just those reasons.
Their initial success has remained steady far past when the worry of food shortages ended. They realized the system they had created had the potential to grow, which led Tommy to reach out to other local farmers and business owners. They have been able to provide fellow producers with a muchneeded outlet for their products while giving customers a growing range of options online. “I did a combination of picking things that, one, were what I felt to be some of the highest-quality local goods but, two, were honestly things I really like to eat,” says Tommy. Now, you can find everything from certified organic vegetables and mushrooms; pasture-raised eggs; and local meat from producers, like Willow Creek Farms, to Madison Sourdough bread, organic milk and dairy products, beans from Ledger Coffee Roasters, and a revolving spread of artisan products from Chef Evan Dannells of Cadre on University Avenue in Madison. Chef Evan and the Cadre team started by creating products for the Vitruvian madisonessentials.com
online store using the hundreds of pounds of surplus mushrooms the farm still had growing, intended for normally busy restaurants in the spring. Mushroom stock and soups, mushroom chorizo dip, and mushroom and ramp
pesto came pouring out of the otherwise quiet Cadre kitchen.
purchased weekly through Vitruvian. They moved beyond mushrooms to products like a zesty tzatziki sauce, the perfect complement to the local lamb sausages; rich Bloody Mary mix that made you long for Sunday brunch; and a heirloom tomato soup that elevates any grilled cheese sandwich.
What started as a few mushroomcentric items sold in a week quickly turned into over 50 Cadre creations
The Vitruvian online store has a dedicated section for Chef Evan’s ever-changing selection of goods, which
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rounds out a product list of pantry staples and rare local food finds. “What sells the best is sometimes the stuff that I’m most excited about because I have a better ability to tell people about it,” says Tommy. So what’s Tommy excited about? Fresh spring turnips, brightly colored bell peppers, Dreamfarm’s fresh goat cheese, Forage Kitchen’s kombucha, Bandit’s handmade corn tortillas, mini jugs of chocolate milk, and mushroom jerky—the newest Cadre/Vitruvian creation. The vegan mushroom jerky and other value-added farm products are what Tommy and Shawn see as a future for Vitruvian and other small farms. As Tommy puts it, “Getting a bit out of the field and into the kitchen is an opportunity for farms to take it to a more sustainable and more consistent [business] model.” Even with the success of the online farm store, Shawn and Tommy understand the importance of staying flexible and innovative as they face a changing food landscape and natural environment. The pandemic and early failures of the industrial food system highlights not only how essential local farms are to our society, but also their need to be nimble. “I’m hopeful that the value local farms have demonstrated in being able to adapt to unexpected worldwide events sticks in people’s minds as the pandemic subsides and as we move further into what many scientists are predicting to be an unpredictable 21st century,” says Shawn.
As these young farmers look to the future, one thing is certain. They will continue to rely on their strong relationships with Madison-area chefs and customers as the food landscape continues to change and good food remains essential. Whether it’s fresh vegetables, value-added products, or whatever the future of food may hold, Tommy and Shawn know their deep roots in the Madison food scene and the trust they built with the community will be their foundation as they forge ahead.
LUNCH + HAPPY HOUR + DINNER
For more information on Cadre, read their article in this issue. Marissa DeGroot is a freelance writer and always down for yummy food, good company, and a great story. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.
Vitruvian 2727 US Highway 51 McFarland, WI 53558 vitruvianfarms.com
Spacious dining room, curbside pick-up & delivery available Lunch special with homemade SOUPS & PASTAS HAPPY HOUR from HAP 3:30 - 5:30 1/2 price appetizers $2 oﬀ draft beers & $1 oﬀ wine
Louisianne'sEtc. by Lauri Lee
Sweet Pepper Bouillabaisse
One of the lesser-known elements of customer experience is the unexpected. At Louisianne’s Etc., diners arrive through an ordinary front door on Hubbard Street in Middleton, but as they descend the stairs, they feel like they’re slipping down into the French Quarter of New Orleans. It starts with the aroma of Cajun cuisine and the sound of hot jazz piano filling the air. At the bottom of the stairs, a quaint and charming atmosphere carries through rustic stone walls, curved arches, chandeliers, and the low light of flickering candles on ivory tablecloths atop dark wood tables. The destiny of Louisianne’s Etc. itself began to unfold unexpectedly in 1992, when Gwen Bryan, co-owner, was 22. “I was working my way through college as a waitress at Da’ Cajun Way, a country Cajun restaurant with simple food on Tasso and Shrimp Fettuccine
Monroe Street in Madison. John Hosking was the manager, and Kevin Ostrand the chef. The owner had a penchant for partying and getting himself in trouble.” Because the owner was seldom there, the staff held everything together, and the restaurant did well. However, when the owner went to prison, everything changed. “We thought about our options, and decided that since we had been operating the place on our own anyway, why not open our own restaurant? Maybe it would last only three years, but we were determined to give it a try. “We chose to operate an upscale Cajun restaurant. John joined me as a business partner, and Kevin brought his cooking expertise and creativity for new recipes
14 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
as the chef. He’d been cooking since age 13 under the tutelage of his father, who was the fish boil master at White Gull Inn in Door County, Wisconsin. … As we searched for a restaurant name, Gwendolyn’s was suggested. The name didn’t appeal to me, although we did like the sophistication of using a woman’s name. Since the menu was the Cajun food of Louisiana, we changed the state’s name into a woman’s name, and it became Louisianne’s Etc. “We added an upstairs party room in 2006, and made Etc. the name for this part of the business. It was the addition of the party room that got us through the 2008–2010 recession. We wouldn’t have made it except for the Etc. party room for business events, wedding rehearsals, holiday parties, and showers.” Louisianne’s embraces what customers describe as a French and European feel that is elegant with a romantic atmosphere. They come to enjoy their favorite food and listen to live artists every Tuesday through Saturday. Johnny Chimes has played here every week since 1993, and Jim Erickson, who has played twice at Carnegie Hall, can be found tickling the ivories every Thursday. For diners, the music doesn’t drown out conversation, rather adding to the ambiance whether seated in the restaurant (55 person capacity) or at the bar (35 person capacity). The bar features an extensive wine list, port and cognac, draft and bottled beer, single malt scotch, and premium tequila.
Tadsen Photography Drone/Aerial Imagery
But no matter how in tune the vibe, the star of the show is the food. Gwen says, “The upscale Cajun menu we loved and had in mind for the restaurant had the New Orleans’ French influence of decadent butter and cream sauces. It needed to be modern instead of the old-school French influence of the fine New Orleans traditional Cajun food, like Vichyssoise and Coquilles St. Jacques offered at Galatoire’s Restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter.” Louisianne’s menu features New New Orleans food, popularized by Emeril Lagasse in his cookbook Emeril’s New New Orleans Cooking, published
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Pulled Pork Crepes
New New Orleans food is infused with new cultural influences, fresh ingredients, and a willingness to experiment with flavor combinations. in 1993. New New Orleans food is infused with new cultural influences, fresh ingredients, and a willingness to experiment with flavor combinations. It adds a vibrant new palette of tastes, ingredients, and styles. Examples from Louisianne’s menu are the lemon pesto shrimp and scallops on angel hair pasta, and tasso and shrimp fettuccine. Pulled pork crepes started as a sandwich from Monroe Street days, when they had a second location for 18 months called Louisianne’s Kitchen. Since Louisianne’s doesn’t serve sandwiches, it was updated to be an appetizer with chipotle pecan
Jambalaya 16 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
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vinaigrette dressing served on mixed greens. Gwen’s favorite is the tenderloin cordon bleu, with smoked ham set on bordelaise bay leaf reduction that takes all day to make. Chef Kevin has created an incredible menu. Not only do his entrées receive rave reviews, but his sauces also have a great reputation with those who appreciate fine cooking. The soups are included in the price of the entrées, so everyone gets to enjoy them. Customers also love the creative appetizers that extend beyond the ordinary. There are gluten-free options on the menu, and the spice is adjusted to customer satisfaction. People who love Cajun and Creole food often come back again and again; in fact, many have been since the restaurant opened. The staff treats everyone like family, so diners of all ages, whether in their 20s or 80s, support Louisianne’s through the good times as well as challenging times. It’s popular for travelers during the World Dairy Expo and for local businesses,
like Epic Systems, looking for a little bit of Louisiana on the streets of Middleton. Seems the verdict has long been in that Kevin’s cooking does Louisiana proud.
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7464 Hubbard Avenue Middleton, WI 53562 (608) 831-1929 louisiannes.com
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Downtown Baraboo’s Distinct Kitchen & Home Store by krystle engh naab “We have something for everybody at Bekah Kate’s,” says owner Rebekah Stelling. “Madison day-trippers are a huge part of our business, especially in the summer and fall. And Madison people come for the cooking classes too. Maybe because the classes are not expensive and offer a more intimate feel.” Rebekah had the idea of opening her own kitchen and home store after working at Madison’s Douglas China as a buyer for over three years when she was out of college. Rebekah and 18 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
her husband, Mark, wanted to move to Rebekah’s hometown of Baraboo and start a business. Along with the help of family and friends, they purchased and renovated a historic 1886 building on Third Street in downtown Baraboo in 2004 and named it Bekah Kate’s after the nickname her mother gave her. Bekah remembers everything falling into place. “The store took off immediately. After our first weekend, I thought food was not going to be the focus of the store, but it was decimated. Customers bought everything, so we quickly
expanded the categories that did really well. By year two or three, we moved over to the additional space to use as the kids’ clothing area.” For those not familiar with Bekah Kate’s, I would invite you to take the drive, walk, bike, whatever, to her store not only to shop, but to take in the experience of retail therapy in a historic setting. “I love the looks on people’s faces when they come into the store for the first time,” says Bekah. “It’s so unexpected to think you are going to a kitchen store and discover a 4,000-square-foot building. I
love to experience this with the newbies, and they are so delighted, especially for people who love cooking stores.” Bekah and her dedicated staff have done an excellent job presenting people with a feast for the eyes—high ceilings with original metal ceiling tiles, and brightly lit and warm interiors with sprawling space to feature the latest and greatest in kitchen and home wares. There’s also a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes. At the time of this writing, they are not doing in-person due to COVID-19, however Bekah hopes to do some Zoom classes into spring for people to learn recipes. The cooking classes are theme based, like pizza, focaccia, soups, Thai and Italian cuisine, or suggestions from customers. “Appetizers and wine
pairings are popular classes because we sell a lot of wine. It’s mostly demonstration-style classes, not hands on. But we do kids’ cooking classes, and that is hands-on cooking. We tailor the kids’ classes so they each have a work space.” Lambs & Thyme, a wholesale food company specializing in dips, is run out of Bekah Kate’s. Bekah was selling their products in her store 10 years before buying the company, and has now owned Lambs & Thyme for about 5 years. They also make their own fudge and offer a variety of delectable options. “We come up with little ways to expand the business,” says Bekah. “We have to keep evolving. People don’t understand with small business ownership, it’s the
OPEN DAILY! 3330 atwood ave. madison, wi 53704 olbrich.org
constant evolving and learning that you have to do. I happen to love that, but if you don’t, it will be a hard industry to survive in,” says Bekah. Always an advocate for independent businesses, Bekah believes more people want that independent-business shopping experience and getting away from the big-box stores. “We try to stay competitive with pricing, but most people are willing to pay a dollar more to get expert information and exceptional services.” Sure, there are the generalized recommendations. Bekah believes every cook should have a good set of knives and a zester or micro-plane, but she also likes recommending items for personal touches and tastes, like an assortment of flour-sack towels, teas, and olive oils. During COVID-19, Bekah saw a run on baking items, like loaf pans, and thinks this will continue while people are at home. Bekah shares on her blog some comfort food recipes. One of her all20 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
time favorite recipes involves making Dutch baby pancakes in her Le Creuset braiser. “You throw the ingredients in the blender, blend it all, and put it in the oven. Total comfort food.”
innovation and bringing comfort to our homes through Bekah Kate’s products.
The store also uses different displays throughout the seasons to encourage customers to make their homes either more festive or more inspirational. For example, “We always do a salad display in January,” says Bekah. It’s their way of motivating customers trying, perhaps yet again, to satisfy their New Year’s resolution to eat healthier.
Photographs by Barbara Wilson.
Krystle Engh Naab
Photograph by Barbara Wilson
Making resolutions and goals are worthy of the ambitious, and Bekah fits the mold. “I handle all the IT, social media content, and marketing for Bekah Kate’s. If it doesn’t get done, it’s my fault!” She’s active in the community, in numerous organizations, and in finding ways to better herself and the business. “Part of the key with having a small business and family is that I’m able to step away a lot because I have the world’s best staff. We work as a team, as a family, and we are really close, so it makes it easier to step away when I need to.”
Krystle Engh Naab is a freelance writer and copy editor for Madison Essentials.
BEKAH KATE’S 117 3rd Street Baraboo, WI 53913 (608) 356-3133 bekahkates.com
As a fellow Baraboo resident, I look forward to many more years of
Just Bakery by Kyle Jacobson Founded as Madison-area Urban Ministry in 1971, JustDane is a Madison nonprofit championing social justice and services concerning homelessness, incarceration rates, mental health, and other oft-relegated factions of society. This year’s nonprofit series will focus on the programs and initiatives operating under the JustDane umbrella. We hope you find inspiration in their approach to making our community one where everyone has an opportunity to succeed. Society wasn’t built on second chances. It was built on third chances, fourth chances, fifth chances, and beyond. Yet when it comes to individuals, it seems the fool-me-once mentality finds sure footing. But what if we changed from a position of vulnerability coated in skepticism to empathy holding the ladder of opportunity—from feeling like we’re being taken advantage of to helping someone take on a struggle that we can’t completely comprehend. Just Bakery provides marginalized individuals access to the tools and knowledge needed to start becoming their best selves, all while making award-winning baked goods. The Just Bakery story starts in 2013, when JustDane applied for a grant from the city of Madison. “Our organization really tries not to go after existing funds if we get a new idea because it just makes the pie smaller for everyone,” says 22 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
In addition to free culinary training, students can earn 12 credits at Madison College because the curriculum is from the National Restaurant Association. Carmella Glenn, program coordinator. “So we applied for $50,000, got $17,000, and bought some ServSafe books.” The first course took place at an office table in one of JustDane’s conference rooms. Carmella didn’t take over until 2014, when Lakeview Lutheran Church was providing rooms for the program. “When I took over, I took the program first because that’s how you find out what needs to be done. I quickly realized that this had good bones. I have a criminal justice degree and a culinary degree, so this was literally in my sweet spot. I realized we needed to get out of the church and have our own space. We had a three- to five-year plan to do that; I had a one- to two-year plan to do that. We did it in two.” With their new space, adjacent to Porchlight Products on Theirer Road, Just Bakery could now teach the course in one large classroom. They also had everything they needed to build their own commercial kitchen. Reaching this milestone allowed the program to really start helping its students. As for the course, “it’s a 12-week employment training program for those
with barriers to employment, and there’s a big subcategory there,” says Carmella. “The 12 weeks is really just the training. We’re one of the longest short-term trainings here in Madison. I’d like it to be six months, but people can’t work six months without being paid.” In addition to free culinary training, students can earn 12 credits at Madison College because the curriculum is from the National Restaurant Association. If students so choose, they also have automatic acceptance into the Madison College culinary program. For someone without any roadblocks to realizing their chef dreams, this seems like a no-brainer. But many individuals in this program are struggling with more than employability. “In order to support people, I wanted to make sure all of their needs were met. So not only do they come in for 12 weeks and get this education, but they also get a certified peer specialist that works alongside them that is someone who identifies with lived experience in substance-use disorder or mental health or was formally incarcerated. We also work with Anesis Family Services—they come in and do a trauma group for them. We do intensive resource specialist work.
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All of these resources and opportunities come at the cost of Carmella’s high expectations “I am a hard ass. ... Because I know what you’re going through, I’m not going to allow you to settle. I have had to let people go at times due to them not being ready, but every single one of them knows they can come back two, three, four, five more times. It’s just once we start, I can’t allow you to make somebody else’s experience worse, and I’m not going to allow you to think that’s the best you got to give.” Each consequential visit isn’t a sign of weakness, but of inner strength. It shows the desire to break through psychological barriers of selfworth many of these students have had hammered into them. Those who stick with the program have a lot to be proud of. They’re not just taking steps to a better future for
themselves, but they’re creating awardwinning baked goods. Just Bakery’s turtle brownies, thrice winners of Taste of Madison, spare no expense. “They’re a pretzel and butter crust. Then it’s brownie layer, and we use a 93 percent cocoa powder. So it’s a real rich heavy dark chocolate. And then it’s topped with pecan and caramel and chocolate ganache after it’s baked. When you bite it, it’s really fun to bite because that umami thing happens because the salt hits and then the sweet hits and then you get the salt and the sweet again on the top. It’s just this delicious morsel of numminess.”
or mental health. And thank goodness for paid time off to allow them to heal and be better and come back to work— not fire.”
Those brownies are actually used in some Sassy Cow flavors of ice cream, and choice Just Bakery cookies feature Sassy Cow ice cream in their filling. These connections with other businesses prove key time and time again in helping graduates of the program find employment.
and programs like it, we have ample opportunity to ensure the position is always staffed.
Just Bakery even hires its own students on occasion. “We have five people that we employ, and the only way we support them is by selling our product. ... Most of the students that I hire nontraditionally fit in other places.” Simply put, they’d have a tough time finding a job elsewhere, but keeping them employed at Just Bakery works. Due to the unique circumstances surrounding those she employs, Carmella can take a thoughtful approach to employee workplace hardships. “I don’t fire people. I find out what’s wrong and then throw a whole bunch of resources at them so they can go get better if they’re struggling with alcohol or drugs 24 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
When you buy an item from Just Bakery, you’re not giving a donation. It’s actually not legal. What you are doing is supporting someone’s employment. All Just Bakery employees, part-time and full-time, earn a minimum wage of $15 per hour and accumulate paid time off and vacation. This is someone who’s been given at least a second chance. We might not always be in a position to help others, but thanks to Just Bakery
Kyle Jacobson is a writer and copy editor for Madison Essentials. Photographs provided by Just Bakery.
Just Bakery 1708 Thierer Road Madison, WI 53704 (608) 598-0042 justdane.org/just-bakery
Photograph by Barbara Wilson
“We want to make sure that every piece of [a student’s] life is looked at. When was the last time you filed taxes? When was the last time you checked your credit report—you can’t even get a place to live in Madison without a 600 credit score. So what does that look like? Do you have a driver’s license, because if I get you a job on the west side of Madison and you live on the east side and you have to drop your child off at school at 8:30 in the morning and I get you one that starts at 9:00 in the morning, did I really set you up for success if you don’t have a driver’s license?”
more in store
Located in downtown Stoughton and online at abelcontemporary.com. Works from artists across the country. Featured artist George Shipperley. Abel Contemporary Gallery 524 East Main St., Stoughton Open for curb-side pickup, shipping, and in-Madison delivery. Order truffles or treats on gailambrosius.com or at (608) 249-3500. Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier 2083 Atwood Ave., Madison
Indoor plants psychologically link us to nature and create a relaxing space. We have a wonderful selection of indoor plants, hangers, and pots. Avid Gardener 136 West Main St., Cambridge Self-care is essential to maintaining good health. We provide an array of products to soothe and lift your spirits. Community Pharmacy 341 State St., Madison Community Wellness Shop 6333 University Ave., Middleton
Stay cool, stay nasty, and for what you believe in. for your laptop or water bottle. Anthology 230 State St., Stop 1, Madison
If youâ€™re looking for a special gift or a new game or puzzle this winter, we offer a curated collection of gifts online at littleluxuriesmadison.com/gifts. Little Luxuries 230 State St. Stop 2, Madison
e ssential community
The Future of Food Taliesin is the 800-acre home, studio, and estate of Frank Lloyd Wright. Education has a long history here, and today it continues to serve lifelong learners in a variety of ways. Wright created a learning laboratory in the 1930s with the creation of the Fellowship, his apprenticeship program. Taliesin Preservation takes that model of apprenticeship and brings it forward to something that is essential to all of us: food. 2020 marked our third year of the Food Artisan Immersion Program (FAIP). In the past three years, we’ve served 18 students in a seven-monthlong program. FAIP is an introductory culinary course exploring cultivation, craft, and community in regionally reliant foodways of Wisconsin’s greater 26 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
sustainable agriculture community: the Driftless hills and valleys. During the program, students live on the Taliesin estate and become stewards of this unique UNESCO world heritage site.
by Caroline Hamblen and Aron Meudt-Thering Their work consists of creating and sharing community meals, creating and maintaining the kitchen garden, and paid part-time employment in our Riverview Terrace Cafe. Their coursework is comprised of rigorous curriculum, hands-on learning labs, and immersive field trips to local artisanal food producers. There are a few founding experiencedesign principals that are essential to the course. • Well-Being through mindfulness and physical (unplugged) activity and healthy eating practices. • Environmental Stewardship through land stewardship and education as students participate as guides of the
“While life at Taliesin is always beautiful, it has been such a unique experience this year, given the chaotic and ever-changing times we are in. Connecting with our regional alliances has really shown me how powerful a community can be in the best and worst of times.” — Delaney, 2020 FAIP Student Driftless Tour at Taliesin, sharing the legacy and practices of the land with our visiting community. • Healthy Community through local community advocacy around food, hospitality best practices, community gatherings, empathy, and storytelling. • Integrated Learning with realtime learning at the Riverview
Terrace Cafe, serving our guests and local community. • Regenerative Foodways with instruction designed to build skills and confidence in the basics of sustainable food service, gardening, and regenerative agriculture practices. Looking to the future of food and FAIP, we know that if we can undertake this paramount obligation to engage students in a discussion around foodways during a global pandemic, anything is possible. This season, we were still able to implement our experience-design principles during the course despite having to shut down the food service at the Riverview Terrace Cafe in August. The students connected to the natural world and best land stewardship practices as they visited artisan farms and producers in the region in a variety of field trips and through volunteer opportunities. They broadened their understanding of the food system through a variety of guest speakers with a range of
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“Coming from living in the city all my life (London suburb, UK), it’s now apparent how much of a disconnect there is between food sources and the food that ends up on our plates. Supporting the journey a plant makes before we eat it has been a rollercoaster of learning, joy, and hard work.” — Emily, 2020 FAIP Student backgrounds, from soil experts, plant breeders, and farmers to agricultural education, land conservancy chefs, and community advocates.
Living on the Taliesin estate allowed the students to be fully immersed in the sheer beauty of Taliesin and experience the integrated principles of organic
design firsthand. They had experimental kitchen labs, and individual sessions with founding program Chef Odessa Piper allowed for a safe space for learning as students tested and prototyped their own new ideas, asked questions, and received excellent virtual instruction. In addition, their involvement with local farms and great contributions of homegrown food to the local food pantries also made this program visible in the local community. This year, the students grew over 600 pounds of fresh organic produce for our local food pantries and provided recipes based on the harvested food of the week. Moving forward, our goal is to increase the awareness of the FAIP program by adding opportunities for the public to participate along with us during course. When it’s safe again, we’ll invite you to join us in discussion and in asking relevant questions for our guest speaker sessions and community discussions. Together with our teaching and learning laboratory at Taliesin and through experimentation, we will seek creative solutions reframing how we might craft a better way of life for future generations. Through gathering a diverse and global community of mentors and learners, we will continue in-person as well as distance learning programs by asking shared questions, addressing challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
28 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
Caroline Hamblen is the director of programs at Taliesin Preservation and has a master’s in education from the Berlin University of the Arts, Germany. Caroline has lived at Taliesin for over 20 years with her husband, Floyd, who is a Taliesin Fellowship member and practicing architect. Aron Meudt-Thering is the communication manager at Taliesin Preservation and a Spring Green native who was drawn back to this place after college. She has a BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, where she studied photography and graphic design.
“Through my time in the Food Artisan Immersion Program, I’ve come to learn that anyone can be an active member in the food system. You don’t need to own land; you don’t need 20 years of restaurant experience; you don’t need to shop at farmers’ markets or Willy Street Co-op. What you need is a respect for food—an acknowledgement that eating is a sacred act.” — Dylan, 2020 FAIP Student
Photograph by J. Anderson Photography
Photograph by J. Anderson Photography
Photographs provided by Taliesin Preservation. landscape architects garden designers site planners 831.5098 zdainc.com
OUTDOOR CREATIV VE
Are you our next FAIP student? We’re now accepting 2021 applications at taliesinpreservation.org. It’s truly designed for life-long learners and folks who don’t mind doing the hard work of exploring how we can make foodways better for all of our communities. madisonessentials.com
DANE COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY Centennial Celebration by Jeanne Engle Staff and volunteers at Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) have been positively affecting change in the lives of animals for more than a century. DCHS will mark the 100th anniversary of its incorporation in 2021 by commemorating the impact it has made locally, regionally, and nationally. “Our centennial plans will likely be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as in-person celebration events for 2021 are questionable,” says Amy Good, DCHS director of marketing and development. “However, DCHS will be acknowledging milestones, such as the 100th adoption or the 100th wildlife release, throughout the entire year. Photographs and stories from DCHS’ history will be shared on our website, Facebook, and Instagram.” Pam McCloud Smith, DCHS executive director since 2002, came to DCHS as a volunteer in 1988 and was hired as an employee in 1991. She says, “There have been many highs and lows during my 30 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
time here, but I’d have to say the greatest challenge was enduring and surviving animal welfare in the 90s when there weren’t the resources or collaborations that there are today. DCHS made many transitions during the first decade of 2000, making us stronger and strengthening the foundation that allowed us to create the organization we are today.” As DCHS looks back through its history, many accomplishments can be pointed to, including being seen as a state leader and a valuable resource for shelters nationwide. Pam and her team have guided DCHS to lead the charge to create a better world for animals by displaying and encouraging a humane ethic of empathy, care, and appreciation for all living things. DCHS frequently consults with shelters and hosts site visits so staff from other shelters can learn about DCHS’ industry-leading operations, which include daily animal care, medical treatment, wildlife
operations, fundraising practices, and animal transfers. DCHS staff have recorded many webinars, presented at national and state conferences, and written articles and whitepapers. There’s even a certificate program in lifesaving animal shelter management at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, that includes material developed by DCHS. Through partnerships and coalitions with local and national groups, DCHS shares lifesaving initiatives that can be implemented by other animal welfare organizations throughout the country. At the forefront of many of its animalsheltering innovations, DCHS’ save rate as an open-admission shelter (all animals regardless of age, health, or temperament are accepted) is in the top tier nationwide. In 2019, DCHS had its highest save rate (adoptions + redemptions + transfers / intake) of 92 percent. DCHS took in a record
number of companion animals from overcrowded local and national shelters.
Photograph by Amandalynn Jones Photography
DCHS’ concept of managed intake has proven quite successful. Admission is scheduled based on the shelter’s capacity. While it might be assumed that scheduling intake could lead to animals being abandoned or suffering harm, in practice these fears have not come to fruition. Instead, scheduled admissions have been linked to decreased intake, crowding, and costs and, in many cases, provided owners help to find ways to keep their pets or rehome animals directly to another owner without going to the shelter. Fast tracking, which is utilized by DCHS staff, identifies highly adoptable animals and increases the speed of their movement through the system by quickly addressing issues that could delay a quick adoption. A shorter stay results in a lower chance of picking up a transmissible disease and suffering from stress that could bring upon behavior deterioration, which would reduce adoption chances.
Photograph provided by Dane County Humane Society
A lengthy stay takes a toll on the shelter and its other animals; reduces cage availability; and increases the time of staff involvement and money to fund the animal’s food, housing, and other needs. These days, DCHS is seldom overcrowded—usually just a few times a year during kitten season. DCHS also runs adoption promotions to raise community awareness when the shelter is near capacity. Time and time again, the community shows up to adopt.
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Painkillers ✦ Cactus Blossoms ✦ Dan Tyminski Band ✦ Lera Lynn ✦ Gibson Brothers ✦ Matt Wilson Orchestra with special guest Ken Stringfellow ✦ Junior Brown ✦ Harp Twins ✦ Dailey & Vincent
✦ Nick Lowe’s Quality
Rock & Roll Revue ✦ Joan Shelley ✦ Harmonious Wail ✦ The Steel Wheels ✦ Albert Cummings ✦ Riders in the Sky ✦ Crystal Bowersox ✦ Del McCoury Band ✦ Steve Earle—Solo ✦ Mad Fiddle & Hwy 151 ✦ Leo Kottke ✦ Rhonda Vincent and the Rage ✦ Bob Mould ✦ Marty Stuart ✦ Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra
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DCHS has partnered with the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine in its Shelter Medicine Program with students being hosted in the 2016-17 academic year. Up to 90 students come to DCHS each year, with 1 to 3 in place at a time for a twoweek rotation. The Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV) program is a partnership with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS). It was launched in 2001 so that pets of domestic abuse victims
could be confidentially fostered up to 90 days while abuse victims receive DAIS services. About 25 to 30 animals go through SAAV annually, where pets initially receive free routine veterinary care and then the owners receive petcare packages when they’re reunited. Recipients are grateful and relieved that they don’t have to worry about the safety and well-being of their pets while they themselves seek safety. DCHS has been a 100 percent adoption guarantee shelter since April 2012. All madisonessentials.com
DCHS also helps wild animals in its Wildlife Center, handling injured, ill, and orphaned wildlife from 20-plus nearby counties. Nearly 100 different species of animals, native birds, reptiles, and amphibians are seen. Many animals end up at the Wildlife Center because of some sort of negative human interaction, from being hit by a car to lead poisoning in the environment. Best practices in animal sheltering continue to advance. Though the current main shelter building on Voges Road is only 20 years old, remodeling would reduce physical barriers, foster stronger, more meaningful connections between visitors and animals while
providing more peaceful and humane stays for companion animals, pushing DCHS' ability to save lives even further. DCHS always has a need for additional enclosures for its Wildlife Center and to replace vulnerable outdoor structures. A goal of DCHS this centennial year is to increase its number of Legacy Society members—people who include DCHS in their estate plans—by 100. “Legacy gifts provide the resources that create new opportunities to help more animals in our community and ensure a bright future for DCHS for the next 100 years,” says Amy. “These gifts are truly a transformational form of giving.” “I’ve really enjoyed being involved in animal welfare,” says Pam. “Seeing our community be so animal friendly and sharing more resources to help reduce the number of homeless pets and better
support people and their pets has been very rewarding. The long-term relationships with staff members and the partnerships and collaborations with volunteers and businesses have really been a special gift. DCHS has been a community institution that remains innovative and ready to adapt to our community’s needs.” Jeanne Engle is a freelance writer.
Photograph by MOD Media Productions
The world’s first feline dermatophyte (ringworm) treatment center was developed at DCHS in 2010. About 120 cats go through the center annually, with approximately half being from other organizations. The facility provides the cats with a peaceful home while undergoing treatment. Large litters, as well as females with kittens, can be treated in the space. In 2019, DCHS veterinarians took over reading and monitoring the cats’ treatment cultures. Since the cultures are no longer transported to the Vet School, they’re started the day the cat is tested for an infection, and treatment is monitored in real time. The result is that the average length of stay has been reduced to 25 days.
Photograph provided by Dane County Humane Society
healthy companion animals and those with treatable or manageable medical and behavioral conditions will find new homes. These animals stay at DCHS as long as it takes to find a new family.
Review past issues of
Madison Essentials for the full story on DCHS, including “The Introduction” in the March/April issue, “The Beginning” in the May/June issue, “The Shelter” in the July/August issue, “Give Shelter” in the September/October issue, and “Helping People Help Animals” in the November/ December issue. This final article in the series coincides with the kick-off of DCHS’ centennial year. Please join them in celebrating by checking out giveshelter.org for upcoming events. 32 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
together we make a difference
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e ssential community
Photograph by Joe Brusky
by Kyle Jacobson We’re often led to believe that our voices in matters concerning the world at large are infinitesimal, accepting dismissive questions concerning our impact as gospel. Well, what are you going to do? I mean, who am I? Heather DuBois Bourenane, executive director of Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN), never really bought it. “I think folks should feel empowered to be actively engaged in the civic process because those voices are the ones that are needed the most. And they are also ones that are excluded from the decision-making conversation.” She’s not just talking about the people who’ve lost or never had faith in the system, but all of a community’s voices. 34 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
When boards, councils, and associations are run by like-minded individuals who are not representative of those they claim to represent, disenfranchisement of a majority can take place, as well as the empowerment of a sometimescontroversial minority. A community’s ideological minorities certainly deserve to be part of the conversation, but they shouldn’t be the only ones heard. Heather grew up in several worlds of differing values and moralities, each ultimately shaping her into someone who reacts strongly to the silencing of others. “I was educated in private schools, but I came from a workingclass family. I was the first person in my family to go to college. To graduate from
college. ... I’ve worked in all different kinds of sectors, from gas station and factory to academic institutions and even a stint in the corporate world. ... I feel like I have a unique insider-outsider experience and was always looking for ways to bridge some of those disconnects that I observed in my own childhood between have and have-nots. I wanted to get to the bottom of why is it that we’re okay as a society with this when it seems out of line with what a lot of people around me were professing to be their values about being good neighbors and living in strong communities. “After learning more about the concerns facing Wisconsin’s public schools through outreach positions at UW– Madison and as a parent and educator at Madison College, I was looking for an opportunity to really put civic engagement into action and to find ways to make sure that all of the inequities in our society, our communities, our systems, and our institutions that we seek to disrupt or improve are addressed collectively.” But how do you get the single parent working three jobs and 80-hour weeks to show up where they need to be heard? How do you get the farmer during
harvest season to believe that his work hours would be better spent at town hall? The truth is, you probably don’t. Heather is an election official and sides with many progressive agendas, but without credence given to everyone’s reality, she wonders who we’re really trying to take care of. “I’ve always been very turned off by partisanship,” says Heather. “By usversus-them thinking or these crazy suggestions that there are two sides to every story, and both sides are equally valid, and we have to give each one equal time, and so on. In our regular lives, that’s not really how people think, and there’s always so much grey area. There’s almost always more we agree about than disagree about. This binary way of thinking has led to some pretty perplexing political realities such that there are party-line votes on everything. Even the coronavirus has become a partisan issue.” Where Heather is extremely passionate concerning the amplifying of all voices in a community, she is doubly so on matters involving our youth. One of the most impactful experiences in Heather’s life takes place when she worked for Great World Texts, a UW–Madison outreach program connecting scholars with teachers and students all over the state. “One trip, I planned two school visits in Milwaukee at the same time—schools just down the road from each other. At
one, you couldn’t drink from any of the drinking fountains; they were unsafe to drink. Class sizes were very large. The resources in the school were very shoddy. The kids were great. The kids were very well behaved and wonderful and eager, and the educators were amazing. The same was true of the kids and teachers of the school just up the road that was in a glistening building with all of the resources and all of the bells and all of the whistles. I just thought, ‘How did Wisconsin let this happen? How are these two taxpayer-funded schools that are so close in proximity so far apart in being well resourced?’ “This is not okay. It’s totally inexcusable. It’s totally preventable. This is a manufactured crisis that we make worse every single time we pass a state budget that doesn’t fix it, and I’m sick of it. I think a lot of other parents are sick of it too. It’s frankly unsustainable and unacceptable. So I’ll get off my soapbox
there, but I get there really fast. I live in a perpetual state of being super mad about that.” Heather stresses, however, that anger isn’t necessary to make a difference. Showing up, sharing ideas, and modeling civic engagement is really all it takes to make a difference. It’s something she does a lot of to show people that many of these committees and boards are made up of only a handful of people. Getting involved could mean you suddenly have 10 percent or more of the group’s shared voice. Heather embodies the spirit of hopedriven commitment in creating communities we’re all excited to take part in, regardless of politics. “The truth is, all is not lost. Every kid gets one childhood. That’s how many you get. So we still have the opportunity while the kids who are young right now are still young to do better, to be better, and to not let them down. I’m not going to let my kids grow up seeing that I didn’t try my best to make sure they had that shot.” More resolutely, “Those systems aren’t going to change themselves.”
Photograph by Barbara Wilson
Photograph by Joe Brusky
Kyle Jacobson is a writer and copy editor for Madison Essentials.
A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Technician by Allison Stephen, CVT At Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic, we’re off and running the minute we open with clients waiting outside to drop off their pets, a cacophony of ringing phones echoing from every corner, and, without fail, the first dog of the day singing us the song of its people the moment we close the cage door. Explaining the scope and extent of my job is difficult. Sometimes it helps to liken it to a human’s trip to the emergency room. You’re greeted by a receptionist, who connects you to a triage nurse. Then a different nurse escorts you to a bed or room to take vitals. Next, a phlebotomist draws your blood and a radiology technician takes x-rays. A physical therapist will place any bandages and a respiratory therapist will give you any needed breathing treatment. If surgery is in order, a nurse anesthetist will give you good medications to relax and remain pain-free before, during, and after surgery, while a scrub/OR nurse helps during the procedure. In a human hospital, there’s a maintenance crew to clean and do laundry, someone to change the surgery light bulbs, and another person to sterilize instruments. There are technicians to run blood work and take other samples, and maybe even a completely different person to clean and 36 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
maintain the lab equipment. Hospitals also have PR teams to promote the hospital, social workers to help patients and their families, and a board of directors to determine and uphold the hospital’s mission and operations. When Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic first opened, I was all these people. I did and still do much of these things every day, although now there’s a support staff so I don’t have to, say, answer the phone very often anymore. All that said, I can’t say that I’m your average vet tech because not every vet tech is responsible for changing light bulbs or maintaining the centrifuge and autoclave, ordering supplies, and keeping the inventory in the clinic. But I like the variety and that every day brings new challenges and things to fix, which could be a pet or a shelf. An average Monday. 7:00 a.m. Make coffee, clock in, and start responding to 5,000 emails. 7:30 a.m. We open. Answer the first phone call with approximately 400,683 more to come. 7:45 a.m. Wish that I had time to run to Monona Bakery for a cheese Danish.
8:00 a.m. Review medical records. Discuss patient history and clinical signs with clients and veterinarians. Grab a dog from a car and help with its exam, vaccines, and treatments. 8:30 a.m. Draw blood from a cat who isn’t happy to be here. 8:45 a.m. Respond to emails. 9:00 a.m. Refill the carbon dioxide absorbent and leak-check the anesthesia machines while answering questions from colleagues about everything from vaccine protocols to where we keep the WD-40. 9:15 a.m. Premedicate, place an IV catheter, induce and monitor anesthesia, take dental x-rays, and clean the teeth of a 12-year-old Chihuahua who has never had a cleaning before. She’ll need at least half of her 42 teeth extracted, but it will exponentially increase her quality of life. Trim her toenails (for free) while she’s under anesthesia. 9: 45 a.m. Dispose of the three-pound lipoma (fatty tumor) removed from a dog that I left to gross out the receptionists. 10:15 a.m. Offer cute cats treats and catnip.
11:00 a.m. M ake jokes about my glamorous job and all the bodily fluids we come in contact with on a daily basis. 11:15 a.m. Turn the coffee maker back on (I forgot all about it). 11:20 a.m. Obtain a sterile urine sample from a tiny kitten via cystocentesis (a needle directly into the bladder). 11:25 a.m. Respond to emails. 11:30 a.m. Express anal glands, which shoot six feet across the room onto the wall, on a huge rottweiler. Eat lunch anytime between 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 11:45 a.m. Explain to yet another owner that we don’t know why male dogs have nipples. 12:00 p.m. Talk with a sales rep or three. 12:30 p.m. Take a blood pressure reading and check the eye pressures on an elderly cat. 1:00 p.m. Poke a frightened cat in the butt with a sedative so that they’re no longer scared and don’t remember anything, and to allow us to get a full physical exam done. 1:30 p.m. Check the tear production on an older shih tzu. 2:00 p.m. Help a client assess the quality of life of their 14-yearold rat terrier with congestive heart failure. 2:30 p.m. Make a joke about the kitten who climbed up my back and then was diagnosed with the
highly contagious fungus called ringworm. 3:00 p.m. Hold a black lab for an abdominal or cardiac ultrasound. 3:30 p.m. Run a 25-pound bag of food out to a car in the pouring rain/99-degree heat/blizzard. 3:45 p.m. Run my inventory reorder report and probably get a chance to look at it next Thursday. 4:00 p.m. Troubleshoot our practice management software. Text the IT guy who, without fail, responds, “Did you turn the computer off and back on again?” 4:15 p.m. Turn the computer off and back on again, which fixes the problem. 4:30 p.m. Finish my emotional medical records for appointments I helped with last Monday. These records indicate how a pet did at the clinic, what
treats they like best, and what made the visit easier/ harder on them so that we can make it as smooth as possible the next time. 5:00 p.m. Collect garbage and recycling for the dumpsters. 5:30 p.m. Count the cash and reconcile end-of-day receipts. 5:45 p.m. One last check of emails. 6:00 p.m. Turn off lights, set the alarm system, and head to Dexter’s Pub for dinner with friends. What most people don’t know about their average vet clinic: there’s not a puppy or kitten, no smiling pit bull or head-butting cat, no white-faced older black lab or wise elder feline who escapes the loving pets, baby talk, and cuddles of our staff. We love your pets and earned a Fear Free certification to make their visits less stressful and, hopefully, fun. It’s the best, sometimes grossest, often saddest, but ultimately most interesting job in the world, and I’m so lucky to call it mine! Allison Stephen is a certified veterinary technician/nurse at Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic.
BAILEY ANXIETY QUILT
ALTERED SPOON #24
by Kyle Jacobson Humankind has a penchant for creating social molds and insisting everyone fits somewhere. In the art world, particularly the academic art world, the expectations are heavily tied to the conceptual; pieces and exhibitions are meant to reflect or impose on audiences some higher insight into the human condition. But I would argue that many artists donâ€™t fit that mold, hesitating to consider themselves artists under such conditions. Audiences typically canâ€™t look at a byproduct of concentrated effort without more heavily weighing the byproduct over the hours upon hours spent in its creation. So what mold fits the visual artist who prefers process and material over making an obvious statement? 38 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
Alison L. Bailey struggled with transitioning from the time-consuming conceptual art of academia to engrossing herself in process while balancing a fulltime day job. She had to change her idea of what it means for art to hold value. “[Now,] I don’t agree with the art-school idea kind of elitist version of what counts as art. ... I struggled with that, feeling like, ‘I shouldn’t participate in the Willy Street Fair—I have a masters in metalsmithing. I should be applying to be in big-name national art shows and galleries.’ But that kind of attitude needs to be knocked down, and we need to foster any kind of creative anything that anybody has right now. Let’s just call it all art. That’s fine with me.” Tradition and nostalgia very much define Alison as an artist, making her journey to becoming the artist she is today all the more expected—the very things she attaches herself to are the focus of her work. It goes back to when Alison’s grandmother died. “My grandmother was a quilter and crafter of all kinds of things. Most of it was made from fibers, so knitted or crocheted or stitched. She
died when I was young, and I got a lot of those fibers. I got a lot of her stash.” The comfort and connection fabric and pattern provide Alison really started developing in undergrad and grew throughout grad school. One of the quilts her grandmother made was even hung up at her thesis exhibition. “I still have it, and I’ve had it since I was in first grade. Textile artists would cringe at this quilt because the top of it, the patchwork part, is all polyester. Real bad 70s polyester.” This is what distinguishes her as an artist. Concept being represented to fruition then back to concept isn’t as important as the unspoken layers of nostalgia along with the comfort it brings. Still, there was a time when she focused on concept and being the artist who had something to say. Alison grew her metalworking skills with work focused on the women’s rights movement in the United States. She also has a series of spoons fashioned through the eye of a jeweler, sawing out intricate designs into them until they were functionally
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QUILTED STRIPES AND CALICO BROOCH useless, yet delicately striking. To Alison, they’re about family tradition and comforts associated with food and fond memories. I find they punctuate her Anxiety collection, a series completed earlier in her education. Where the spoons show something meant to be adored, each piece in Anxiety presents inner turmoil concerning the presentation at the expense of self. SPOON FRAGMENT NECKLACE
A stabbing fork-tined corset sends the point home, but it’s a metal quilt that
serves to connect her past to her life in academia. “It’s like a crazy quilt kind of thing. I just cut brass, nickel, silver, and copper and would just draw patterns on them and then cut out the patterns. Then drill holes around the sides and stitch them together. Then it got too heavy, so I had to do barbwire-type reinforcements. And it’s hanging on my mom’s wall in the living room. From a distance, it’s like a comforting and nostalgic nod to handmade quilts, but if you get too close or accidentally brush against it, it’s actually quite treacherous.” When Alison thinks back on that quilt, she not only considers the cultural significance and work she put into concept, but her world when she was putting in the hours to make it while Grey’s Anatomy played in the background. “They’re stitching people up after surgery, and I’m stitching my metal quilt together. Forever, whenever I look at this quilt, I remember what person I was living in, what house I was living in at Whitewater, how much I loved that house, the weird quirks of that house. “Process is what drives me. I don’t want to just have finished pieces; I want to have that eight-hour experience in the studio of trying to frantically finish something for a show and trying this and trying that and something falling apart at the last second because I procrastinated and waited until that last second. And then problem-solving. This has to be photographed in the next 10 hours then taken here or shipped off there. It sucks when you’re going through it, and it’s ridiculous that you’re excited to get into it. Then that piece in the end, it’s having
40 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
something to show for all that emotion and turbulence and wonderfulness that you just went through. All the ups and downs. It becomes its own nostalgic piece of that moment I had in the studio making it.”
that still speak to ‘Seeking Comfort.’” Her intimate pieces feel like looking through grandma’s jewelry box after she passes, providing connection to something that once existed as perspective shifts to an uncertain future.
The academic art world spends a lot of time insisting artists tap in, whether it be to some deeper universal truth or some unexplored facet of the zeitgeist. When Alison’s father died in 2017 and then her brother married the next year, Alison decided it was time to tap out. “I just deleted Facebook. I had an Instagram at the time, and I erased that too. ... I’ve never made a better decision in my life.”
To see her recent pieces, visit Abel Contemporary Gallery in Stoughton, or go to Unapologetic Jewelry on Instagram and check out alisonlbailey.com.
Photographs by Alison L. Bailey.
Photograph by Barbara Wilson
It’s been roughly a year and a half since Alison reentered the world of social media, and she’s currently embracing process-focused art with her production jewelry line, Unapologetic Jewelry. “Making this simple jewelry lets me just warm up and play and has become a fun way to get back into the groove of making new and more-detailed pieces
Kyle Jacobson is a writer and copy editor for Madison Essentials.
e ssential community
Allowing Yourself to
GRIEVE by Sandy Eichel
Thanks for joining us for part three of Living in Uncertain Times. So far, we’ve talked about dealing with uncertainty and the importance of connection, and now we’ll talk about everyone’s favorite topic, grieving. Something most of us avoid. When the pandemic arrived in Wisconsin, I thought it’d be six weeks to three months of quarantining. I can do that, I thought; it will be hard, but doable. Now, we have no idea what return to “normal” will look like—likely not exactly the way it was. A lot of us have rolled up our sleeves to move forward. We’ve made the best of the situation and kept going like we’ve had to. But while doing so, we can’t escape the reality that there’s been a lot of loss. At the time of this writing, there have been almost 220,000 deaths in the United States among almost 8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. If the 2003 SARS pandemic is any indication, the health of some will be compromised for the rest of their lives. These are horrible, tangible losses, and my heart goes out to everyone that’s been affected. Truly, no one has been immune from loss, which extends beyond being confirmed positive with COVID-19. We’ve lost our sense of security, way of life, and independence. Some have also lost their livelihoods and income, and others have had to postpone or cancel plans, such as weddings, graduation ceremonies, and vacations. So many losses without much 42 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
talk about the importance of grieving them. Why should we grieve? I thought we were supposed to just keep going? We have to figure out the way through and make changes that allow our lives to still be filled with joy. Our lives matter every single day; we can’t sit in a holding pattern forever. We must allow ourselves to grieve, feel the pain, and start healing so we don’t forever carry the weight. We must first acknowledge loss in order to grieve and then fully move on. It’s not an American thing to do—our society teaches us to push through pain and not feel it. To keep going, stay busy, remain productive, and not to whine. The result of not grieving can be feeling stuck in anger, numbness, and despair without being able to identify the source. When we fail to deal with loss, we prevent ourselves from being completely present in our lives, which can affect our relationships and not allow us to fully feel joy. The pain will resurface,
and when it does, it will be even more difficult to work through it. Psychologist Dr. Tian Dayton from HuffPost says, “When loss is not accompanied with some sort of process that allows us to both feel and express our feelings of despair, vulnerability, disorientation, and perhaps even relief, those emotions can go underground. But out of sight is not out of mind; they will come back to haunt us if we do not somehow find a way to accommodate and accept the loss that has taken place.” Grieving loss is important to mental well-being, and can take a long time to work through. During the process, stay engaged in life and carve out time for reflection, feeling pain, and thinking about what you’ve lost. If you aren’t sure how to start the healing process, professionals like William Frey, a researcher at the Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis, encourage us to allow ourselves to cry, which can
release hormones that help relieve stress. They also remind us to not judge ourselves while we grieve because everyone grieves differently; there is no one right way. Allow yourself to feel however you feel and ask for help. This may mean reaching out to a friend or family member to talk, asking for help with errands or tasks you aren’t up to doing, and reaching out to a therapist or counselor. Staying connected and taking care of yourself are important. Self-care shouldn’t be placed on the back burner. We’re allowed to distract from grief by doing things that are fun. We’re allowed to experience joy, especially while grieving. Psychology Today professionals warn that the famous five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—are not the process for everyone. We shouldn’t expect to experience the stages in any specific order, or even at all. Whatever comes up for you, don’t fight it. Allow it in. Let it be there with you and spend time with it. It may not sound like fun and, for the most part, it isn’t, but you will start to feel things loosen a bit and gain perspective on the loss you never saw coming. You’ll learn about yourself from the process and about what’s important and a lot of other things around you that you may have missed. Pull up a chair for your pain and welcome it into your life. It’s there anyway, so you may as well be friendly. Sandy Eichel is a happy ex-should-er.
Check out our video podcast series with Sandy, Living in Uncertain Times, at madisonessentials.com. madisonessentials.com
e ssential landmark
by Jeanne Engle Designated a Madison Landmark in 1980 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Jackman Building, at 111 S. Hamilton Street in Madison, is a bold, early 20th century commercial building. Designed by architects Louis Claude and Edward Starck and built by Findorff, the building housed the offices of the Richmond, Jackman, and Swanson law firm as well as rental spaces. The cream-brick building is basically a right triangle rounded at one point of its base on Carroll Street, pointing toward the Capitol and squared on the Hamilton Street side. The design stands out with a spatial effect conveyed by many large windows. At least one window is in every room, as well as in the stairwells and current owner Peter Wadsack’s small office, which looks out to the alley on the third side of the building. Today, Canteen, a taqueria and tequila bar, is located on the first floor of the Jackman Building. The remaining three floors are occupied by businesses. Peter and his wife, Anne, have owned the 44 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
building since 1976. They purchased it from Wilmarth Jackman (W. Jackman), son of Ralph Jackman, the longest occupant of the law firm. Peter was looking for something on Madison’s Capitol Square. “When I walked into the building and saw the entrance, I thought ‘this is it!’” says Peter. “If the sun is shining through the windows, this atrium lobby, that rises 50 feet over all three floors, is such a beautiful space. “The building is structurally much the same as when it was constructed more than 100 years ago,” says Peter. “All the original gum wood woodwork is there as well as the grey marble wainscoting on the first floor. The inlaid tile floors are still the same. The interior configuration has changed, of course, depending on the particular tenant.” The first offices of Anchor Savings and Loan Association were located on the ground floor. The vault became a walk-in cooler. A basement squash court and shower, with
the building’s only hot water installed by Jackman’s firm, no longer exists. “Much has changed mechanically, but the basic feel of the building has not. We want to maintain the building’s aura, but also want to make it useful. Otherwise, it’s a museum.” Claude and Starck were known primarily for their Prairie School designs and practiced together from 1896 to 1929. Claude was born in Devil’s Lake, Starck in Milwaukee, and both attended Madison public schools. Claude graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a degree in civil engineering and was employed for a time alongside Frank Lloyd Wright at the Chicago firm of Louis Sullivan prior to the turn of the 20th century. Although Starck’s schooling beyond the secondary level is unknown, he presumably gained skills working at architectural firms in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Madison. The Prairie School influence can be seen in the Jackman Building
Ralph Jackman was born in Janesville in 1876. He received an undergraduate degree from UW–Madison and a law degree from Harvard. Jackman practiced in Madison for 35 years until his death in 1935, arguing both civil and criminal cases at every level of court: county circuit court, state Supreme Court, federal district court, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Jackman even once argued to get his one-dollar parking ticket overturned.
Over the years, there were various partners at the Jackman firm. Eventually, W. Jackson, a lawyer and subsequent Dane County Circuit Court judge from 1968 to 1974, was part of the firm. The firm, in various incarnations, occupied the second and most of the third floors of the Jackman Building from 1914 to 1978. Other tenants over the years have included accountants, unions, private detectives, service organizations, insurance agents, and the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.
A much more important case regarded UW–Madison students’ right to vote. Jackman was opposed, and in 1916 argued that if a student was in Madison only to attend college, was not willing to make Madison his home, and was dependent on his parents for financial support, he shouldn’t be allowed to vote in Madison. The state Supreme Court agreed, and students were barred from voting unless they could prove they intended to stay in the community and were emancipated from their parents.
The Jackman firm’s law library, the largest private law library in the state, was on the third floor, complete with a large reading room and gas fireplace. When W. Jackman sold the building to Peter, two semi truckloads of law books were donated and transported to various schools. A perhaps infamous third-floor tenant was Take Over, a Madison underground newspaper published from 1971 to 1979. Some of the interviews featured in the 1979 documentary The War at Home, which chronicled the resistance
Third Floor View to the Vietnam War in Madison, were filmed in the Take Over office. And the second floor was to be used in case of rain during the filming of the Madison outdoor scene in the 1994 movie I Love Trouble, starring Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte. No rain fell on filming day, so the Jackman Building set wasn’t used. Peter frequently receives calls from prospective tenants hoping there are apartments for rent in his building. However, there are no apartments in this solidly executed commercial structure that has survived for more than a century, adding to the distinction of downtown Madison. Jeanne Engle is a freelance writer.
Photograph by MOD Media Productions
Jackman also represented the Wisconsin Brewers Association for many years. In the early days of Prohibition, he argued the constitutionality of the National Prohibition Act, which was enacted in 1919 to provide enforcement of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Photograph by Peter Wadsack
Today, students who are 18 years of age or older can vote either in their home state or in Wisconsin if properly registered and present the appropriate ID. Of course, they can only vote in one place or the other.
Second and Third Floor Stairwell
Photograph by Peter Wadsack
Photograph by A & L Kutil Enterprises, LLC/Laurie Kutil
interior—wood alternates with painted plaster in the hallways, stairwells, and offices, suggesting horizontality and proportions. “The building reveals its special regional identity and kinship with other works by its architects,” according to the National Register nomination.
HAPPY PLACE DEVIL’S HEAD RESORT • www.townofmerrimac.net madisonessentials.com
advertiser index association
Our Lives Magazine........................................ 23
Dane Buy Local............................................... 40
Simply Creative Productions......................... 43
Dane County Humane Society.................... 48
Stoughton Opera House................................ 31
Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of
UMOJA Magazine........................................... 17
CONTEST Win a $50
Town of Merrimac............................................ 45
home & landscaping dining, food & beverage
ZDA, Inc............................................................. 29
Bavaria Sausage Kitchen, Inc....................... 27 Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream..................... 16
Firefly Coffee House & Artisan Cheese......... 5
American Family Insurance DreamBank...... 2
Bergamot Massage & Bodywork.................... 5
Specialties & Delicatessen......................... 23
Five Star Senior Living..................................... 12
Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic.......................... 37
The Nitty Gritty................................................. 27
Monroe Street Framing................................... 41
The Old Feed Mill Restaurant........................ 24
Tadsen Photography...................................... 15
Old Sugar Distillery.......................................... 19
UW Credit Union.............................................. 47
Otto’s Restaurant & Bar.................................. 35
Paisan’s............................................................. 20 Quivey’s Grove................................................ 29
Soup’s On!........................................................ 21
Abel Contemporary Gallery................... 25, 39
Sugar River Pizza Company........................... 13
Tempest Oyster Bar......................................... 39
Avid Gardener................................................. 25
Tornado Steak House..................................... 39
Community Pharmacy................................... 25
Vintage Brewing Co. ........................................ 5
Community Wellness Shop............................ 25 Deconstruction Inc........................................... 7
entertainment & media
Fontana Sports................................................... 8
Back of the House Online Video Series....... 46
Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier.......................... 25
Living in Uncertain Times Video Podcast.... 43
Little Luxuries.................................................... 25
Olbrich Botanical Gardens........................... 19
National Mustard Museum............................ 17
Gift Card! Question: “Which local restaurant’s chef was previously a sous chef at L’Etoile and an executive chef at both Merchant and Lucille?” Enter by submitting your answer to the above question online at madisonessentials.com or by mail with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email to: Madison Essentials c/o Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 All entries with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 gift cards. Contest deadline is February 1, 2021.
Winners Thank you to everyone who entered our previous contest. The answer to the question “Which local Madison restaurant owner started out with a catering business from a trailer in Sun Prairie Woodman’s parking lot?” is Beef Butter BBQ. A $50 Nitty Gritty gift card was sent to each of our winners, Beth Campbell of Belleville and Christine Shan of Fitchburg.
CONGRATULATIONS! 46 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s
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Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....
Published on Dec 15, 2020
Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....