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SUMMER MUSIC CONCERT SERIES Complement Madison’s beautiful summer evenings with the dream-inspiring sounds of local musicians (and free snacks!).







FREE EVENTS | IN THE HEART OF MADISON | OPEN TO ALL | RSVP BY VISITING: Mon – Thur: 9 am – 8 pm | Fri: 9 am – 6 pm | Sat: 9 am – 4 pm | Sun: 11 am – 3 pm One North Pinckney Street | Madison, WI 53703 | 608.286.3150 | American Family Mutual Insurance Company S.I., American Family Insurance Company, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 014885 – 04/18 ©2018


publisher Towns & Associates, Inc. 126 Water Street Baraboo, WI 53913-2445 P (608) 356-8757 • F (608) 356-8875

july/august 2018

vol. 56


editor-in-chief Amy S. Johnson

arts Fine Arts in Fitchburg: Agora Art Fair................................32 Kay Myers.......................................42

publication designer Barbara Wilson

senior copy editor


Kyle Jacobson

Self-Improv-ment: Level Two.........52 Shame............................................54

copy editor Krystle Engh Naab


sales & marketing director Amy S. Johnson

sales & marketing manager Kelly Hopkins

graphic designers


finance Passive Income..............................50

food & beverage The Art of Café: Breweries and the Prolific.............38

Jennifer Denman, Crea Stellmacher, Linda Walker




Jennifer Baird, Lori Czajka, Debora Knutson

Cambridge Historic School Museum..............................20

contributing writers


Deb Biechler, Sandy Eichel, Jeanne Engle, Dave Fidlin, Josh Heath, Andrea Hughes, Kyle Jacobson, Elissa Koppel, Karen Larson, Darren LeCount, LCSW, Lauri Lee, Derek Notman, Lori Scarlett, DVM, Liz Wessel, Elizabeth H. Winston, PhD, Joan W. Ziegler

Water Wise Landscapes.................60

Madison Reading Project...............6 WWBIC...........................................16

pets Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome...24

travel The Impact of Travel.....................56


photographer Eric Tadsen

additional photographs Agora Art Fair, Cambridge Historic School Museum, DAIS, Green Concierge Travel, I’m Board Games and Family Fun, Kyle Jacobson, Bill Lemke, Madison Reading Project, Pegasus Games, Playthings, WWBIC, ZDA, Inc.

Board and Mind Games................12 Children and Trauma....................46 Tips for Preserving Cognition........10

including From the Editor................................4 Contest Information......................62 Contest Winners............................62


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all rights reserved. ©2018

No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission by the publisher, Towns & Associates, Inc.

Watch for the next issue September/October 2018. Cover photograph—artwork of Toni Anspach. Provided by Agora Art Fair. Photographs on page 3: top—taken at Fuegos by Eric Tadsen. middle—Provided by Green

Concierge Travel.

bottom—Provided by WWBIC.

from the editor The Feed the Brain issue came about in our discussions concerning how being open to learning is integral at every turn of our lives. In infancy, we learn to walk and talk. In middle school, we begin to learn about relationships and problemsolving. In high school and college, we delve further into more complicated relationships and learn the life skills we’ll need to equip us for careers and adulthood. As adults, the learning possibilities are endless, whether in evolving job markets, growing a family, or strengthening interpersonal relationships. Then in midlife, we begin to think about our later years, especially if we find ourselves in the position of caretaking for our parents or other loved ones. We want to make sure that once we reach our later-life stages, we’ll not only be comfortable from a financial perspective, but also in our mental capacity. And how can we discuss feeding the brain without bringing up reading? Whether for pleasure or work, reading affects every stage of life—from the time we learn to read, through the education process, to keeping a healthy mind in later years. Madison Reading Project provides books and literacy programming to the underserved children in south central Wisconsin, and exposes them to the sheer joy of reading. They open doors for these kids in a way that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) provides business and financial education opportunities to women, lower-income individuals, and people of color. They’ve provided business loans, classes, coaching, and money management tools to entrepreneurs, business owners, and individuals. Their efforts go to improve economic well-being within our community. As I mentioned above, everything we do that affects us on a cognitive level influences our entire lives. This not only includes educational efforts, both formal and informal, but also what we do in our everyday lives. The phrase “use it or lose it” comes into play here. So we talk about recreation, including board and mind games at all ages and travel, and we get more specific about what to consider when preserving your cognition. All this and more. We’re happy to encourage you to visit the Agora Art Fair for its 10th Anniversary and also to dine at Fuegos. And check out the next chapters for DAIS, Sandy Eichel, finances, landmarks, landscaping, beer, improv classes, and pets, and we introduce you to artist Kay Myers. We hope this issue will encourage and inspire you to feed your brain!

amy johnson

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e ss ential nonprofit


Reading Project

NEW GOALS TO SUPPORT LITERACY IN SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN by Deb Biechler If there’s barely enough money for a family to pay for the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, there’s not going to be much left over to purchase books. It’s a catch 22 since reading and other related literacies are linked to academic success and subsequent success in the work place—stepping stones out of poverty. According to the Fall 2014 Race for Results report published by the Wisconsin Council on Children & Families, “30 percent of Wisconsin’s white children live in households below 200 percent of the poverty level. While nearly 80 percent of African-American children experience that level of economic insecurity.” About two-thirds of Wisconsin’s Latino and American Indian kids also live in households below 200 percent of the poverty line. An additional report shows that African-American students 6 | madison essentials

fall significantly behind in reading by the 4th grade. When Rowan Childs read these statistics, she didn’t just think someone should do something. Instead, Rowan founded the Madison Reading Project (MRP). The

project began with a pilot program at the Salvation Army. Volunteers worked with children after school and during the summer, offering tutoring and story times. Rowan says, “We learned that the children who were participating in the program did not own books.”

Research strongly proves that book ownership and literacy experiences correlate to success in school, the workplace, and beyond. Book ownership enhances a child’s interest and pride in reading and leads to improved literacy skills overall.1

We don’t get those donated as much. We have to purchase books with ethnically diverse characters and experiences.” In addition to grants and individual donations, MRP raises funds through events, like late winter’s READ(y) to Wear, the annual paper-inspired benefit

That and other research related to literacy development and book ownership encourages the staff and volunteers of MRP to remain committed to increasing the scope and quality of how they reach children and families. The MRP reach now extends beyond Madison to other areas in south central Wisconsin. Although MRP no longer provides reading tutoring at the Salvation Army, they have established partnerships with over 60 agencies to provide books and literacy experiences to the area’s underserved children. In 2016, MRP gave away 10,134 books. In 2017, that number rose to 26,188. This year, MRP set a goal of distributing 30,000 books. The goal isn’t just about numbers, though. In addition to the quantity of books, MRP is striving for diversity in the books. MRP relies heavily on book drives by other agencies or area businesses. “We’re grateful for every new and gently used book that we’re given,” says Rowan. “But children resonate the most with books that reflect their race and experiences.

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fashion show where teams compete for “best-in-show” recognition. READ(y) to Wear brings together lovers of reading, fashion, and fun to see the paper creations of participating teams and, ultimately, to benefit MRP’s mission to provide books and literacy experiences for the children who need them the most.

positive reading experiences, which, combined with take-home books, enhance literacy for entire families. This two-pronged approach allows MRP to have a unique community reach. Through book giveaway events and excellent literacy programs, they inspire a wide range of children to master the reading process.

Book giveaways are just one prong of what MRP offers. It also provides literacy experiences. In 2017, MRP conducted over 70 literacy programs. The 2018 goal is 100. The story times give children

MRP has been recognized by area educators, librarians, social workers, and community leaders as providing valuable, necessary, and high-quality opportunities for literacy promotion to

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children and families. Kayla BarnesPatrick, a school social worker at Northside Elementary in Sun Prairie, speaks volumes in her praise for the organization. “Madison Reading Project

has given our school an avenue to ensure our at-risk students have access to books they are excited about. Students are talking about their birthday book, and there is nothing better than sharing a high five when they’re finished. We are thankful for this gift that bridges reading between school and home.�

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Because of their success, MRP continues to receive requests for programming and books. Carrie Cashtree, outreach and programs director, is the main point of contact for programming and book giveaways. Carrie started as a mentor in 2014 and joined the staff in 2015. She works to ensure that what type of books and services are needed are delivered. Carrie also helps oversee the book donation center. Individuals can help the MRP reach more underserved children and families in a variety of ways. Monetary donations can be sent and information about book drives is available on the website. 1

Science X.

Deb Biechler is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to the Middleton Times Tribune. In addition, she teaches meditation and mindfulness practices to educators. She lives in Waterloo with her partner, Randy Hestekin, and dog, Jessie. Photographs provided by Madison Reading Project.

Deb Biechler

Madison Reading Project 8030 EXCELSIOR DRIVE MADISON, WI 53717 (608) 347-7970 MADISONREADINGPROJECT.COM

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e ssential well-being

Tips for PRESERVING COGNITION by Elizabeth H. Winston, PhD

“Leonardo da Vinci’s _________ L i s a .” Can you fill in the blank? Of course you can. But don’t get too excited. It turns out that crossword-puzzle prowess and practice are not necessarily going to help preserve your cognition. According to University of Wisconsin– Madison neuropsychologist and assistant professor Carey Gleason, PhD, you should do crossword puzzles if you enjoy them, but there are other important ways to protect your mind.

Dr. Gleason, depression is a risk factor for dementia; getting treatment for depression may decrease this risk.

Current cognitive science suggests that we should take a mind/body/ spirit approach to slowing age-related cognitive changes.

Using pleasure-inducing substances, such as nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, may provide some relief in the short term, but are detrimental to the mind in the long term. Stopping smoking and limiting alcohol and caffeine can help prevent sleep problems, accidents, and physiological changes that all contribute to poor brain health. Chronic stress can have a long-term effect on brain function, impacting areas of the brain that control memory and mood.



There is some evidence that building cognitive reserves early in life helps to stave off cognitive problems later on. Cognitive reserves means strengthening your mind early on through learning. Formal education, such as college, as well as informal learning, such as hobbies and apprenticeships, may help to build these reserves. Preserving the mind is another good reason to treat depression. According to

10 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

It may not surprise you that what is good for the body is good for the mind. Cardiovascular health, keeping your heart and blood vessels pumping and clear, helps your brain. Heart health equals brain health. We know that cardiovascular disease leads to cognitive problems. Doing the crossword may be easier than walking, swimming, or running a few miles, but exercise is a key ingredient for feeding the mind. Or, as Dr. Gleason recommends, do both!

Work the crossword while walking on a treadmill. Feeding the mind also means a heartand brain-healthy diet. The same lowersodium diet with lots of vegetables and legumes, fruits, and healthy fats, such as olive oil and lean proteins, helps your brain stay fit. Maintaining a healthy weight and regular fitness round out the recipe. Psychologist Lisa Mosconi, PhD, has conducted research finding observable differences in brain images between a Mediterranean diet and a western diet. The brains of those who consistently ate primarily vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts showed robustness in comparison to those who ate more meat, fat, and sugar. The traditional western-diet brains showed atrophy and greater loss of neurons. Other foods, such as turmeric—a spice used in Indian and other southeast Asian cuisines, are showing promise of protecting against physiological changes in the brain and improving memory and mood. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity—the same old culprits—

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Creating and sustaining meaning in your life is essential for brain resilience. Those who are involved in their communities, maintain consistent and close social connections, and who feel they are contributing are more resilient to cognitive problems. Practicing spirituality, whether it is attending a place of worship or engaging in meditation or yoga, can contribute to having a positive and peaceful outlook and a more general sense of well-being.


A recent study published by Jesse R. Fann, PhD, from the University of Washington found that a

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history of traumatic brain injury significantly increases the likelihood of developing dementia. Multiple incidents of brain injury increase this likelihood dramatically. Protecting your brain should take a multimodal approach. Protect yourself from falls by staying fit, working on your balance by practicing yoga or Tai Chi, and keep trip hazards out of the way. Always place a ladder on an even surface. Wear your seatbelt. And wear a helmet when you are riding a bike

or a horse, skiing, and snowboarding. Parents should make sure that they teach their children to do the same. It’s never too early or too late to invest in your brain health. There are no guarantees, but attending to mind, body, and spirit has the potential to pay off in myriad ways. Elizabeth H. Winston, PhD, is a Madison psychologist who provides psychotherapy, psychological assessment, and consultation to businesses and organizations. Find her at and Photograph by Maison Meredith Photography

contribute to higher risk of cognitive decline as we age. A good night’s sleep is essential for good functioning. Poor sleep and daytime sleepiness have been linked to cognitive decline.

Elizabeth H. Winston, PhD

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Photograph provided by I’m Board Games and Family Fun

essential well-being

Board and

Mind Games by Dave Fidlin

One study after another seems to reach the same conclusion—board and mind games have a rich bounty of benefits, whether you are 5 or 105 years old. Research has shown the cognitive benefits games have on children, adults, and senior citizens. This time-honored form of entertainment also has the rare ability to bring together people from different generations.

visual perception and color recognition, and an opportunity to develop hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity., the website linked to the venerable publisher of children’s educational literature, has laid out a litany of benefits for age-appropriate games geared toward the youngest members of society. The list includes giving children the opportunity to recognize, group, and count shapes.

Madison-based Playthings offers fun and educational activities for enthusiasts of all ages, including youngsters. Kelly Nigel, manager of the 32-year-old store, says she has witnessed a rise in youthoriented games, particularly from a German-rooted company known as Haba, which has been credited with creating the games under the moniker of My Very First. “They’ve been bringing out games for two-, three-, and fouryear-olds, as well as beginners. They have a really great line of kids’ games that have been doing very well. There’s definitely been a demand for them.”

Additionally, children’s games oftentimes give participants the ability to recognize letters and begin their foray into reading. Other benefits include

Traditional board and mind games—the tried-and-true format that was popular decades ago—has withstood the forces of technology, though Kelly says there

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are a number of game options available that expand on the traditional method and incorporate interactive elements with the help of technology. Lory Aitken, co-owner of Pegasus Games in Madison for 37 years, says mind and board games have long been a great way of giving children an opportunity to learn without the “eat your vegetables” type of stigma that sometimes is attached to the practice. Dungeons and Dragons, according to Lory, is a longtime staple that slips in such principles as problem solving, calculations, and statistics. “The lessons sort of just sneak right in. [Children] don’t even realize they’re learning.” Beyond the good old-fashioned educational benefits, Lory says she frequently encourages children to partake in playing board and mind

A weekend in Green Lake is the perfect way for us to disconnect from life’s chaos and reconnect with each other. The natural beauty of the lake is breathtaking and calming, and there’s lots to do off the water— biking, golfing, hiking, shopping and dining. There is something special about this place that everyone should experience!

Photograph provided by Pegasus Games

games because they instill important life lessons, including socialization and practicing the act of being a gracious loser when someone else finishes ahead.

begin losing cognitive skills as soon as their 20s. “Games keep the brain flexible, and they help keep you challenged. It’s a great way to practice critical-thinking skills, and, for that matter, social niceties,” says Lory. For adults thinking board and mind games are only for children, Bryan Winter, owner of I’m Board, has a message: think again. Bryan’s Middleton-based store literally has thousands of games available under its roof, and he says with confidence there is something to suit every taste imaginable.

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“There really is a game out there for everybody,” Bryan says. “There are many, many options out there, and it just keeps growing. Some are silly and social, while others are thinky and strategic.” While the mainstays—Life, Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, Candy Land, and others—remain in-demand classics,

Photograph provided by Pegasus Games

For adults, board and mind games can help with cognition and mitigating the ravaging affects of cognitive loss. While memory-related issues oftentimes are associated with the senior-most members of society, organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) ardently point out board and mind games can help all adults maintain mental sharpness. According to the APA, studies have revealed people can

—Jo Ellen, Evanston, IL

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“It’s a chance to reduce the amount of screen time,” referring to all things electronic—laptops, smart devices, and all other items in between.

Photograph provided by Playthings

While mind and board games are frequently associated with shared experiences between family and friends, many of the area shops offer activity nights within their brick-and-mortar stores. At I’m Board, for instance, enthusiasts can meet with peers to play a particular game or try their hand at something new. Either way, Bryan says the shop’s library of games provides a robust number of options. “We have leagues, we have tournaments, and we have open gaming nights. This is a chance to experience a whole new type of social activity. Better yet, it’s something you can do again and again and again, and it never gets old.”

Lory says board and mind games have evolved over time, which becomes vividly apparent within her shop. “Games now are so much more challenging and interesting—and pretty,” Lory says. “They’re works of art, and they have a layered strategy.” The local shopkeepers interviewed for this Madison Essentials’ article unanimously agree there has been resurgence in board and mind games, particularly in the past decade. This trend happens to coincide with the skyrocketing rise in technology via smartphones, social media, and other modern trends that were unheard of a generation ago.

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“I think family game night has become popular again,” Kelly says. “Part of it, I guess, might be because of all the games that are out there. There have especially been some really good ones the past few years.” Bryan, who launched I’m Board in 2010 in response to the rising interest in mind and board games, agrees the trend has become more widespread and branched off beyond the hobbyist niche that has long held the pastime in high reverence. In a true demonstration of how intergenerational mind and board games can be, Lory says she has heard stories in her shop of grandparents playing games with their grandchildren.

Whether it entails roll playing, Pokemon, or an occasional tournament, Lory says Pegasus has activities that run the full spectrum. “We tend to be a very busy shop. There’s something going on pretty much every day.” As she sees it, Lory says she is more than happy to open up her shop to enthusiasts looking to share their experience with others. “I think the whole world would be a better place if children played games. Game playing is an example of what a blast you really can have with other people.”

Dave Fidlin is a freelance writer who has a special affinity for Madison. Dave’s career spans nearly 20 years, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to learn something new each day through his professional pursuits.

Dave Fidlin

I’m Board! Games and Family Fun 6917 University Avenue Middleton, WI 53562 (608) 831-6631

Pegasus Games 6640 Odana Road Madison, WI 53719 (608) 833-4263


Photograph provided by Playthings

733 Hilldale Way (Hilldale Shopping Center) Madison, WI 53705 (608) 233-2124

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essential nonprofit

WWBIC Making an Impact! by Andrea Hughes Anyone will tell you that starting a business is risky. Even the definition of an entrepreneur incorporates risk— entrepreneur: a person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risks of a business. Starting a new small business requires a strong tolerance for risk. Entrepreneurs invest their savings, time, and reputation into their passions and ideas. While it’s not possible to eliminate all the risks, you can improve your chances of success with good planning and preparation. Wisconsin is rich in resources that assist with planning, funding, and acquiring the skills and knowledge needed to operate a successful business for entrepreneurs. There is a robust ecosystem of support designed for businesses at many levels. One such supportive organization is the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC). WWBIC is a leading, innovative, statewide economic development 16 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

corporation. WWBIC “Puts Dreams to Work” by supporting individuals who may face barriers in accessing traditional financing and resources. It provides individuals interested in starting, strengthening, or expanding businesses with access to vital resources and tools, such as business education classes, one-on-one technical assistance, and access to fair and responsible capital. And those who work at WWBIC find it inspiring. Assisting someone with a dream of business ownership is very rewarding, and while WWBIC is here for everyone, they focus their efforts on women, low-income individuals, and people of color. The first step an aspiring entrepreneur should take is to set up a meeting to discuss their idea with a counselor at WWBIC. That discussion will help you, the entrepreneur, understand where you are on the path toward business ownership. There are many steps along the way to opening a business, and the more you plan, the better your chances of success will be. Through research,

knowledge, and skill development, you mitigate the risk inherent in smallbusiness ownership. One major key to success and risk mitigation is the development of a business plan which is invaluable in helping you to evaluate your idea. It will help lay out the milestones, determine the costs, and evaluate the opportunity. One of the key elements of a business plan is the financials. This information not only helps you determine the risk involved,

but also shows the expenses and the potential revenue. Educating yourself in all aspects of business ownership is critical for success. WWBIC offers classes in all areas of business ownerships, including business plan development, employee management, financial record keeping, financial projections, marketing, taxes, and accounting. Some of the classes focus on certain industries, like restaurants, food carts, e-commerce, and rental property ownership.

WWBIC has offices in south central Wisconsin, Madison; in southeastern Wisconsin, with offices in both Racine and Kenosha; a Greater Milwaukee office, supporting West Allis and Waukesha; and WWBIC’s newest offices will be in northeastern Wisconsin, opening in June in Appleton. It also has representatives and virtual offices located throughout the state.

business classes, WWBIC also offers programs to assist people with personal financial growth. WWBIC offers a variety of delivery methods, including online classes, live webinars, and classroom sessions. WWBIC offers assistance in Spanish too. In Madison, the Comienzos

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1987, WWBIC has been assisting individuals for over 30 years. In addition to the

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program, which is a partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), provides one-on-one mentoring, training, and funding to the Latino community. The WWBIC team consists of 50 staff members and over 200 volunteers who

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work to ensure that business owners have what they need to be successful. The partnerships that WWBIC fosters create a deep web of connection and support for business owners. WWBIC works with local chambers, like the Madison Black Chamber and the Latino Chamber, to design workshops

and networking events for smallbusiness owners. WWBIC is also part of the MarketReady program. Funded by the City of Madison and administered by the Northside Planning Council, FEED Kitchens, WWBIC, and Dane County UW Extension, the MarketReady program prepares new entrepreneurs who have dreamed of starting a food-based or craft-based business for success in the new Madison Public Market through business training, mentorship, and start-up capital. A high priority of the Madison Public Market is to spur the launch of new businesses to support the continued growth of our local food economy. The MarketReady program prioritizes populations facing historic barriers to entrepreneurship, including women, people of color, immigrants, low-income populations, veterans, displaced workers, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Promoting highly diverse

merchants is just one way the Public Market Development team is working to make the Madison Public Market a welcoming, appealing place for all. Since its inception, WWBIC has:

• encouraging and supporting self-employment as a means to self-sufficiency. • creating, expanding, and diversifying business initiatives through technical assistance and access to capital.

• Loaned over $60 million. • Helped 4,770 entrepreneurs create and retain 10,725 jobs. • Assisted 60,145 clients. • Coached 187 individuals and families in purchasing their own homes through its IDA program.

In her role with WWBIC, Andrea Hughes is responsible for overall coordination and expansion of WWBIC’s business education, outreach, and economic development programs in Wisconsin’s south central region. Photographs provided by WWBIC.

The team works to ensure that business owners have what they need to be successful by:


• training, counseling, advising, and mentoring small and microbusinesses throughout Wisconsin. • promoting economic development through personal and financial growth.

Andrea Hughes

2300 S. Park Street, Suite 103 Madison, WI 53713 (608) 257-5450

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Photograph provided by Cambridge Historic School Museum

essential landmark

CAMBRIDGE Historic School Museum by Jeanne Engle In Cambridge, on the eastern edge of Dane County, the Cambridge Historic School Museum stands as evidence to the importance of public education in Wisconsin. Free public schools for all children between the ages of 4 and 20 were provided for in Wisconsin’s Constitution, adopted in 1848. However, the first school in Wisconsin was opened in Southport (now Kenosha) in 1845, prior to Wisconsin becoming a state. Michael Frank, a member of the territorial legislature, was instrumental in that endeavor. The Southport School became the model for public school 20 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

education in the state. Because many of the early settlers in Cambridge were from New York and New England and firmly believed in public education, they built their first school in 1848. It was a one-story frame structure most likely moved to the site where the current Cambridge Historic School Museum now stands. The 1848 school was replaced by a twostory frame structure in 1869. That building was enlarged several times over the years. In May of 1905, the school burned to the ground. The school board wasted no time putting plans into place

for a replacement. The architectural firm of W. R. Parsons of Des Moines, Iowa, was selected to design a new school. Construction began in August of 1905 and was completed the following January. The Georgian Revival school with Romanesque Revival accents, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, was typical for the architect, who was very active in school and courthouse design in the Midwest at the turn of the 20th century. “Yet our school is unique,” says Nancy Amacher, president of the Cambridge Historic School Foundation. “The

builders didn’t just erect a brick building in a short period of time. They put some real thought into it. There’s detail work on the outside, a cupula on top with a bell that still works, eyebrow windows on the front, and big windows throughout that let in lots of light.” According to the local newspaper, the new two-story school was lauded as “a modern building with all the very latest equipment,” including a forcedair furnace and ventilation system. Classrooms were bright and airy. The arrangement and intended use of the rooms represented state-of-the-art design for the times and reflected the evolution of educational theory and practice in Wisconsin in the early 20th century. The first floor of the Cambridge School was occupied by elementary school students, while the second floor was for the high school students. Combining separate high school and elementary school classrooms in a single building was a new approach to education in the state’s smaller cities. Enrollment in the high school rose from 37 students at the time of opening to more than 100 in the 1920s. No doubt this prompted the addition of a gymnasium and auditorium to the existing school building. The original gymnasium in the school occupied half of the basement. Even though it was used for basketball practice for a brief time by teams from all over the area, the ceiling height was somewhat low. Because public programs needed more space than what was available in the

second floor assembly hall, school plays, graduation ceremonies, along with basketball practice and games were held at the Park Opera House. Residents of the district voted to build a combination gymnasium and auditorium as an addition to the existing school in 1938. Alfred H. Siewert, a Milwaukee architect, was engaged to design the new structure. His plans

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enacted a law in the 1920s requiring public schools to provide at least two and a half hours of physical education instruction weekly, exclusive of recess. Schools were encouraged to play a larger role in the community by providing lectures for the public at its school. This would promote the Americanization of immigrants and the development of better-educated citizens. The Department of Public Instruction encouraged specialized classrooms with built-in equipment and facilities for the sciences, home economics, and industrial arts. Remodeled classrooms in the original school, as part of the 1938 project, reflected these ideas.

featured glued, laminated timber arches, a technique that was viewed as experimental in the United States at that time. The arches were produced by Unit Structures in Peshtigo and had to be proven safe by the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison. The

arches passed a variety of load tests with flying colors. Again, new theories about modern schools were reflected in the addition of the gymnasium and auditorium. The Wisconsin State Legislature had

Some classrooms were operational in the Cambridge Historic School until the 1970s. Twenty years later, in 1996, the school was on the chopping block, but a referendum to raze the school failed. It was through the efforts of 10 Cambridge residents who formed SOS, Save Our School, that the community had the opportunity to rethink what should happen to the historic school. The Cambridge Historic School Foundation was formed a year later. The Foundation currently operates the historic school as a museum and signed a 99-year lease with the Cambridge School District in 2016. According to Nancy, “This lease shows the long-term commitment the district has to our foundation, so we can go ahead with major capital projects and develop a business plan for fundraising. Accessibility is important, so an elevator is definitely a goal.� The lease does not include the historic gymnasium and auditorium, which is now used by the Community Activity Program and the Cambridge School District for some physical education classes, indoor recess, and extra-curricular activities. The Cambridge-Deerfield Players, a local theatre group, leases space in the historic school basement and performs on a stage in the gymnasium. What can a visitor find at the Cambridge Historic School? A permanent exhibit is the Old School Room, highlighting an early to mid-20th century classroom with old wooden desks, an antique

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globe, and yearbooks and pictures of graduating classes from the past. “Fourth graders love the school room. They come in and immediately sit in the desks,” says Nancy. Veterans have their own room in the historic school. Agricultural equipment and implements used by local farmers are showcased in another room. Visitors can also stroll down the streets of Cambridge and nearby Rockdale, London, and Lake Ripley from days gone by. A new exhibit, Wrenches, Wheels & a Propeller, will highlight wagon and carriage maker David Scobie from the past and Matt Kenseth, NASCAR driver, from the present; Ole Evinrude, Cambridge native and inventor of the outboard motor (14 motors will be on display); and Arthur Davidson, friend of Evinrude and one of the founders of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. “When Matt closed his local museum, we obtained many of his artifacts,” says Nancy. “The Foundation is an all-volunteer organization with a small community to draw on. We invite folks in our own community as well as in the area to come visit us,” says Nancy. The museum is open from mid-May through midOctober on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Special group tours can also be arranged.

Photograph by M.O.D. Media Productions

Jeanne Engle is a freelance writer.

Jeanne Engle

Cambridge Historic School Museum

211 South Street « Cambridge, WI 53523 (920) 563-9095

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essential pets

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome by Lori Scarlett, DVM Let me tell you a story about Molly, one of the sweetest old golden retrievers you could hope to meet. Molly was my patient for the past 10 years, since she was about 5 years old. She had very attentive owners, who did obedience and agility work with her and four other dogs in the family. She was a healthy dog, apart from some arthritis and kidney disease in her teens. Around age 15, which is old for a largebreed dog, she started barking randomly at nothing that the owners could see. She wasn’t interacting as much with family members and would sometimes just stare into space. This was all very gradual, but definitely a change for Molly. She became restless at night, not settling down and sleeping like the rest of the dogs and humans. She started barking at night and wasn’t responding

to her name or other verbal commands. What was going on? There are a number of conditions and diseases in older dogs that can lead to behavior changes. Many dogs have gradual hearing loss as they age and can become completely deaf. While deaf dogs don’t respond when you call them, they will look to you for hand signals and other signs to figure out what they should be doing. Older dogs can also develop cataracts and become blind. Rather than just staring into space, they usually continue moving around, using their other senses to figure out where they are. Arthritis is very common in older animals, and can impact their mobility. They won’t necessarily complain about their aches and pains, but they may

not jump up when they see you and may have a harder time getting comfortable when resting. Chronic problems, like arthritis and dental disease, can lead to increased irritability or fear of being touched. Molly was being treated with pain and anti-inflammatory medications for her arthritis. She was getting chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture from certified veterinarians. She’d had dental work done, and her teeth were in good shape. She was on a prescription diet for her kidney disease, as well as a few medications to decrease protein loss through her kidneys, but none of those things should have caused such behavior changes. Her blood pressure was normal, and she didn’t have heart disease. Because other diseases were ruled out, I determined that Molly was

with love and perseverance, hopefully your pet can live a long and happy life 24 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

suffering from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS), which is similar to dementia in humans. The signs of CDS have been described using the acronym DISHA.

They may need constant contact with their owner and follow them around the house. Other dogs with CDS stop greeting their owner at the door.

D is for Disorientation. For Molly, this

Prior to CDS, Molly would lie down by 10:00 p.m. and stay asleep until the owners got up the next morning. But as her CDS progressed, it could take hours to calm her down and get her to sleep, and then she’d wake up at 4:00 a.m. panting, barking, and wanting to go outside, at which time she would just stand and stare. She was also sleeping a lot during the day.

was wandering aimlessly outside and in the house. A dog (or cat—CDS can affect old cats too) will appear confused by their surroundings. Some dogs will go to the hinge side of the door when they need to go outside. Others will stare blankly at a wall or get stuck in a corner. Appetite can seem to decrease if the pet forgets where the food bowl is located.

I is for Interaction changes with family members. Molly started barking and being aggressive with other dogs in the family for no obvious reason. Some dogs become very anxious and clingy.

S is for Sleep-wake cycle changes.

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H is for House-training breaks. For a long time, Molly didn’t have any urine or stool accidents in the house, probably because the dogs in the household were let out frequently during the day. Some dogs with CDS will go outside, forget

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what they needed to do, then go back inside the house and urinate. Old cats may start urinating or defecating around the house.

A is for Activity level changes. Molly wandered aimlessly around the house. If another dog was lying in her path, she became agitated and couldn’t figure out how to walk around him. She would just stand and bark until the other dog moved. Many dogs will also have less interest in playing and cats will spend less time grooming. Mental stimulation is very important for all pets, but particularly for those with CDS. Molly’s owners worked hard at keeping up her quality of life. They gave her several different supplements made for dogs with CDS. Daily walks and balance exercises on a disc kept her in shape. She played hide and seek games and was rewarded with treats when she found the owners. They also hid food or toys and told her to go find it. Feeding puzzles, where the dog has to paw at something to get the treat, were also useful. 26 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

To keep her occupied during the day and less likely to randomly bark, she got Kong toys filled with frozen peanut butter and plain yogurt. Stairs were blocked off to prevent her tumbling down them, and ramps outside were marked with essential oils to help her find them. Bedtime was a source of anxiety for both the owners and Molly. I prescribed various antianxiety medications for her, some of which helped provide sedation. Her owners also used Adaptil, a pheromone spray with calming effects, and essential oils to help calm her. One owner would lie next to her at bedtime and use long stroking motions to relax her. Acupuncture was also helpful for the anxiety, and she was calmer after those sessions. Molly’s CDS was managed for many months, and she celebrated her 16th birthday in style. But then she developed fecal incontinence and pooped randomly in the house. At that point her quality of life was compromised, and I euthanized her. With dogs and cats living to very old age, CDS is becoming more common. There isn’t a cure, but it can be managed, improving everyone’s quality of life. If you think your pet is showing signs of senility, please talk with your veterinarian about treatments and medications. This is trial and error, but with love and perseverance, hopefully your pet can live a long and happy life, just like Molly.

Photograph by Brenda Eckhardt

Lori Scarlett, DVM, is the owner and veterinarian at Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic. For more information, visit

Join today for as little as $4. Everyone Welcome!

Lori Scarlett, DVM & Charlie

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essential dining


Uniting Carnivores, Vegans, and Vegetarians BY LAURI LEE The creative concept behind Fuegos is separate menus and plentiful selections for carnivores, vegans, and vegetarians, so those with disparate dietary preferences can enjoy eating together at one venue. An upscale, Spanish-style steakhouse restaurant with a Latin flair, Fuegos serves steak that is a cut above the ordinary, tapas for both menus, and vegan menus for brunch, lunch,

and dinner. When diners are seated at Fuegos, they’re offered a vegan or carnivore menu, and they can choose to order off one or both of the menus. Fuegos is known for its artistic food presentation, which makes the food effectively taste better too. Chef Oscar Villarreal grew up on a farm, and his heritage is Tejano, Aztec, Chile Relleno

28 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

and Mayan; his great-grandfather was from Spain. As a result, the restaurant’s eclectic menu draws from the cuisines of South America, Central America, Spain, and Mexico. To provide diners with an authentic dining experience, Fuegos hires staff with this heritage and includes those who are vegan and vegetarian. Steak restaurants typically are the worst of the worst for what they have to offer vegans and vegetarians. In most cases, the list of vegan food is mixed in with the rest of the menu with a code indicating if the item is vegetarian or vegan. At Fuegos, vegans immediately recognize that things are different. The vegan menu is brimming with a large selection and is strictly filled with good plant-based food. Fuegos doesn’t include protein substitutes, such as tofu, or false protein, like soy. The vegetable is the star of every vegan brunch, lunch, and dinner served. The restaurant’s desserts


are made in house and are about 80 percent vegan. From Spanish, fuegos can be translated to mean fire or flames. To be selected as the name of the restaurant conveys the role and significance of the woodfire grill in the preparation of Fuegos’ signature cuts of meat. The open view of the grill from the dining room and the chef’s table means you can watch your steak being cooked right before your eyes. The wood-fire grill is the finishing touch in the farm-to-plate approach that produces a truly world-class steak reminiscent of those served in Spain.

according to my heritage. I see it as a sign of quality that is important at Fuegos.” The beef is processed in Cottage Grove according to his specifications. Then the steak loin cuts and strip loins are taken to the restaurant to be aged in


above the ordinary

Langosta Rellena

Buying directly from local farmers and vendors allows Chef Oscar to customize the order to meet his specifications. He has a direct relationship with a farmer in Stoughton, so he can see firsthand that the animal has been raised without the use of growth hormones, antibiotics, or feed additives that affect the meat’s flavor. To adhere to Fuegos’ standards, the pasture-raised, grass-fed beef is finished with organic barley to give marbling to the meat, which provides great flavor. ​ Chef Oscar purchases the entire animal, from tongue to tail, to eliminate waste and maintain the restaurant’s reputation for good quality meat. “I seldom find a restaurant that uses tongue in the menu

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28 oz. Chuleton de Buey house. Cutting the meat himself allows for nontraditional sizes, such as his signature 28- and 50-ounce bone-in ribeye steaks. The Mexican cheeses are custom made by a cheesemaker in Sheboygan, which allows Chef Oscar to choose the flavorings and buy an entire wheel. Fresh vegetables are sourced from local farmers, but in season, tomatoes and herbs are grown on the restaurant’s outdoor patio. Fresh seafood is a big part of the menu, and his award-winning salmon is not to be missed. A full-service bar complements the restaurant’s Latin cuisine. The specialty cocktails are made in house, and the margaritas, aguas, mojitos, orange juice, and lemonade are freshly juiced. The Vegan Bar features made-to-order vegetable juice. There are two Fiesta Hours offered Tuesday through Friday, with special prices on specialty drinks Chorizo de Largarto

for patrons seated at the bar. The afternoon Fiesta Hour is held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and the late night Fiesta Hour is from 9:00 p.m. to closing. Fuegos location, 904 Williamson Street, is appealing for several reasons: it’s a short walk from Madison’s downtown, the neighborhood embraces veganism, and it’s near other locally owned Williamson Street establishments. The 4,400-square-foot restaurant opened in 2017, and is configured to provide seating in either an intimate setting in the main dining area or in separate rooms available for large groups to reserve. The El Sol room is bright and sunny due to the window-lined

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walls and accommodates 60 guests. The La Luna room is more shaded and accommodates 16 people. The main restaurant seating area holds 120. And the Fiesta Garden outdoor patio seats 16. Emilio’s Lounge is perfect for a couple to enjoy romantic, intimate dining for a date, anniversary, or birthday. For special events, the entire restaurant can be reserved for 170-plus guests. Fuegos is a family venture that is owned by Chef Oscar’s daughter, Cassandra Villarreal, and his partner, Jordan Wegner. Cassandra is also the restaurant manager and Jordan is the IT marketing manager. Jordan’s mother, Sandra Wegner, handles the vegan side of the endeavor.

Opening the restaurant has been a labor of love for this extended family. Operating the restaurant together is helping them heal from the tragic loss of Oscar’s 18-year-old son, Emilio, in 2013, and his 24-year-old son, Pablo, in 2014. Two areas of the restaurant are dedicated to their memory and will provide financially for the young men’s five children. A restaurant that unites mixed-diet couples and groups in one venue fills a niche in Madison. The Latin menus for vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores are not only a way for each person to enjoy their favorite food, it’s also an opportunity to try something new. Lauri Lee is a culinary herb guru and food writer living in Madison. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

Mariner’s Famous for Steaks & Seafood

Since 1966 246-3120

Nau-Ti-Gal Casual Food & Fun

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Captain Bill’s Seafood & More

Since 1993 831-7327

Betty Lou Cruises Private & Public Cruises

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Lauri Lee


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es s ential arts




Agora Art Fair Celebrates 10 Years The word “local” gets used a lot these days. Eat local food, buy local goods, support local businesses. But it’s not a marketing gimmick, it’s a celebration of culture. From author and co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons Gary Gygax to indie folk band Bon Iver, Wisconsin has given breath to the inspired, the innovative, and the influential. The Agora Art Fair

in Fitchburg seeks to capture the spirit of local by giving artists a creatively fueled platform in which they can showcase their pieces.

to provide an uninhibited view of the landscape. This beautiful structure serves as the epicenter of the block-long art fair.

To get a picture of the Agora Art Fair experience, it’s necessary to know what the Fitchburg Center looks like. A long building split into three wings. Each building is supported by brick columns framing large sections of windows that look out to the street on one side and a tall-grass prairie with paved trails on the other. Connecting each wing is a windowed skywalk—a stone tower with a raised octagonal roof on either end. Balconies jut out incrementally

The fair really starts with the artists— over 100 of them in various mediums. “These are all true artists,” says Steven Leverentz, Agora Art Fair’s event coordinator. “It’s not just necessarily a hobby for them, it’s a passion. It’s a living for them.” These Wisconsin artists have dedicated themselves to their mediums. “We have everything from painting to sculpture to clothing to jewelry, pottery, ceramics, photography. There’s 2-D and 3-D mixed media, there’s wood, glass.

art for the senses MUSIC, VISUAL ART, KITES, AND LOCAL FOOD 32 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


It’s a real nice mix of things.” And no two artists are alike. Spectators and patrons should expect an eclectic blend of subject matters across this array of talent. But this isn’t just an event for the art savvy. To set the atmosphere and let everyone know what the Agora Art Fair is all about, efforts have been made to ensure there’s something for the whole family. There’s live music playing on two stages from local groups and bands. A beer and wine garden featuring local brews and wines. And art activities for kids and adults. Past kids’ activities


JULIE SNYDER include kits to fly and create kites as well as everything needed to make jewelry boxes. For adults, there have been artists guiding people through painting a small picture, and last year, people had the opportunity to paint a wine glass or beer stein. Steven and Niki Russos, the Artistic Coordinator, put a lot of effort into keeping the event fresh. “In the interest


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JEAN LANGE of constant improvement of our art fair, I’d like to add something to it that, as people are walking into the art fair, sets the mood in a different and interesting way.” This year, there will be several renowned kite flyers performing Art in the Sky, and they bring more than just big pretty kites. “Some of them are horses that gallop. There are others that are geometric in design.” It’s going to be something that gets people from miles away to ask themselves “I wonder what’s going on over there?” Now let’s say you find that one-of-akind piece you need to take home. It’s a somewhat heavy sculpture, and with all the people and tents set up, getting your car across the fair just doesn’t seem possible. The Fitchburg Lions Club has a solution: chauffeured golf carts. The Lions Club takes donations as payment

34 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

to help people get to either end of the fair. It can be a leg-saver for some, and a convenient way to support a group dedicated to improving the community for others. It all comes down to the spirit Steven and others have injected into this fine arts fair. “[It’s] art for the senses because you have music, you have visual art, you have kites up in the sky, you have local food creating their epicurean delights.” It’s our culture through the interpretations of the considerate. Take a day to engage in something profoundly universal concentrated into something uniquely Wisconsin. The Agora Art Fair is at 5500 E. Cheryl Parkway in Fitchburg. It’s a one-day event taking place on Saturday, August 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visit for more information. Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Photographs provided by Agora Art Fair.

Kyle Jacobson

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Anthology + Catison

Just one of many original designs available as t-shirts, stickers, and note cards, along with works by over 100 local and indie artists. 218 State St. • (608) 204-2644

Your Seven-Days-A-Week Farmers’ Market!

Locally Designed Brain Food

We carry a wide assortment of games designed by Wisconsin geniuses, and we keep them all super easy for you to find in our store. Ask our helpful staff to match your brain with the perfect game. That’s what we are here for! 6640 Odana Rd. • (608) 833-4263

36 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Shop for organic produce from local Wisconsin farmers every day of the week at any of our three Co-op locations: East, West, or North. We have parking and everything you need for healthy meals and healthy living. North: 2817 N. Sherman Ave. Madison • (608) 471-4422 West: 6825 University Ave. Middleton • (608) 284-7800 East: 1221 Williamson St. Madison • (608) 251-6776

Folk Art to Crow About

Find original art and unique gifts for all your animal-loving friends at CLUCK in beautiful Paoli, just 10 minutes south of Madison. Current show features Madison artist Laura Meddaugh. 6904 Paoli Rd. • (608) 848-1200

The Good Taste of Wisconsin…Since 1981 Our chefs use only the freshest locally sourced ingredients to create unique flavor profiles and artful presentations. Come enjoy USDA Prime Wisconsin steaks, grass-fed Angus tavern burgers, authentic Neopolitan brick oven pizza, and hearty farm-fresh breakfast delights. 200 Phillips Blvd., Sauk City (608) 643-2004 •

Devoted to the Classics...but newly renovated!

Located on 110 acres of beautiful woods and rolling meadows, American Players Theatre continues to offer a variety of Shakespeare favorites as well as lesser-known, but equally classic plays in a bucolic setting. Reserve YOUR experience now...before it sells out! 5950 Golf Course Rd. Spring Green, WI • (608) 588-2361 for the 2018 Season Lineup

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essential food & beverage

The Art

of Café:


1866, Paris, France. Tall layered buildings with rooftops like rows of tightly packed mountains line narrow boulevards sprouting as spokes from Place de Clichy. It’s late, and the darkening sky forms a conduit that carries sound from one corner of the city to the next. Tonight, the sounds of Édouard Manet arguing with a young Claud Monet at the Café Guerbois drive onlookers to pull their chairs a little closer. Camille Pissarro tries to get a word in edgewise, and though he’s one of the most respected members in this group of prominent French artists, the conversation is too good to drop. This almost sounds like the remnant of a foreign past. Some argue that the internet makes such interactions fairly commonplace, and those people might not see a benefit to having heated, 38 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

face-to-face discussions about current philosophies, cultural trends, and sciences. They can get it in the click of link from experts in their respective fields. A shame, really. Too often we fortify cages by deciding who is worth building our foundations of knowledge based on media prowess, and neglect the viewpoints of those challenging the status quo from a spotlight in the shadows. And this is where I see an opportunity for breweries. Brewmaster of The Fermentorium, Kris Volkman, likens his tasting room to “a beer café because I did want conversation. I don’t want blasting you in the head with music. ... I don’t want the tvs. I want people to come here in a group and have a conversation or come here as an individual and talk to the bartender.”

And through various design choices— sometimes peculiar, sometimes pointed, but always provocative—breweries can create spaces where it’s more uncomfortable to not be engaged in conversation. A long German drinking table is the centerpiece of Kris’ tasting room, and he wants more. He’s fighting against something he’s noticed. “I think American culture has allowed people that don’t like meeting new people to continue not meeting new people.” Once those people start talking to each other, connections are made. Connections that potentially lead to groups of thoughtful and driven persons frequenting an establishment for what it adds to their conversations. Alongside Kris, I also spoke with artist and co-founder of Create Space MKE Jeff Zimpel. Jeff has dedicated his life

to putting himself in environments that challenge his beliefs and foster his creativity. He sees a lot of connections between what he does as an artist and what Kris does as the owner/brewmaster of The Fermentorium. “I get a sense that what comes with the territory of getting to discover your own beer and setting that atmosphere for something to happen is a sense of risk taking. ... I’m curious what that looks like in the beermaking process.” Kris’ response. “Did I open a brewery to make a yellow beer for people that are Miller Lite drinkers that want a place to drink locally. No. It pays the bills. There’s a certain amount of billpaying beer that needs to be produced. When I wanted to open a brewery, this, gesturing toward the barrels, this is what I had in mind. You like the annotation? Doing some of these crazy hibiscus beers, putting in red-wine barrels and sours and mushroom beers and sage beers. Is that going to be the next world seller? Well, no, but it’s fun, and the people that come in and are expecting to see something new and adventurous, they’re gonna try that. ... The beer is my art, and that’s where I get to express myself.”

The creative spirit in Kris is evident in how he chooses to breathe life into his beer café. Thought-provoking art spans the walls, tuft furniture surrounds a common table, then there are long spaces where patrons are forced to sit next to one another. Breweries all over Wisconsin are attracting a range of clientele through these types of decisions. In many ways, that’s what the art of café is all about: getting people from different backgrounds together to have a discussion. Nowhere is it written that all things creative must come from the ivory tower of institutionalized education. In fact, it’s more intriguing to me when it doesn’t. Breweries often serve as a beacon for the daring and the experienced to congregate, and it’s through those that have taken life by the horns that everyone else can gain an invigorated sense of spirit. I want to hear what the carpenter has to say just as much as I want to hear from the art historian. There’s something about beer that implores these two worlds to collide. And in the halls of malt and hops, everyone starts from square one. When a person can admit

“I don’t want the tvs. I want people to come here in a group and have a conversation or come here as an individual and talk to the bartender.”

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and humanity influence one another in positive ways. Maybe that’s really what we need. To get uncomfortable on purpose and pop the bubbles we call personality to recognize cohesion. It’s okay to talk about difficult issues, and it’s okay to demand more from one another. It’s also okay to buy the person next to you a beer and strike up a conversation. To the indifferent, may they always inspire a better tomorrow.

CHEERS! Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Photographs by Kyle Jacobson.

Kyle Jacobson

that their experiences only ring true to themselves, they can start to understand the importance of establishing merit to his or her neighbor when discussing the world at large. And I yearn for the days when I walk into a beer café and hear the voices of people attacking complex issues, truths, and realities them from all perspectives. There’s something about Wisconsin that makes me think such a reality can be more commonplace. I’ve been a carpenter, a teacher, a brewer, an arborist, and now a writer. If that has done anything for me, it’s made me believe that the art of café demands consideration of the uncomfortable to create a world where the environment 40 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Be sure to check out THE FERMENTORIUM for one of the best Hefeweizens I’ve ever had.

KRIS’ RECOMMENDATIONS The Brewing Project Eau Claire for truly innovative beers

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e ss ential arts

“I love the process of creation. It can be really meticulous. It can be really simple. Sometimes accidents occur, and that’s really exciting. Sometimes accidents make the work better. Sometimes the experiment completely bombs. You just have to keep moving forward and allow yourself to fail, which can be really difficult when there’s a deadline. I am continually building my visual vocabulary within my medium. Each time I create, I learn something. It’s what keeps me coming back.” Kay Myers is a clear embodiment of natural tendency. Her artistic practice 42 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

and life’s path have moved along in this sort of way: responsive, open minded, sensitive. It’s her willingness to follow her instincts coupled with a nonnegotiable moral system that has shaped her artistic method and her life’s path into mechanisms for selfsustainment, environmentalism, family legacy, and humility. Leaving her hometown of Appleton after high school, Kay began a stint of academic transfers that would ultimately leave her a transformed creator. Embarking for Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kay was initially a theatre

major. She cultivated a multivarious creative life from a young age, and by her senior year of high school was acting, directing, and working in costuming and scene painting. Given the all-encompassing stage training she received in high school, she was able to qualify for a more prestigious theatre program going into college. Having been accepted to the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point’s selective theatre program after her freshman year in Iowa, she transferred. However, soon Kay found herself moving yet again and making a foundational shift in medium. She set about pursuing a Bachelor of

Kay’s shift to visual art was the fulfillment of an interest and talent long brewing. From a young age, she had worked with handicraft. “I took a papermaking class when I was 11 or 12 at the Appleton Art Center (now the Trout Museum of Art). My mom had to beg to let me take the class because it was for adults only, saying ‘No, you don’t understand—my daughter, she is really interested.’” In addition to picking up sewing, crossstitch, and design from her mother and grandmother, Kay learned costume creation and pattern work through her technical training in theatre arts. It was these experiences during her younger and adolescent years that created the perfect mix for a skillful, powerful artist, one who would become infinitely inspired by textiles, printmaking, and the possibility of multimedia.

“The work I’m creating now is about my direct experience with nature. It is about collecting and preserving. It is about the evolving landscape and our place in that landscape.”

The inspiration came in Italy. Once Kay had taken her first printmaking course through Syracuse’s program in Florence, she was indelibly infatuated with the printmaking process as a vessel for visual expression. “It was the first time I really thought ‘this is my medium.’ It was the first time that the vision in my head became literally real on paper in front of me.” Kay embraced printmaking as her principal focus for the duration of her college career, and continues to dabble in it to this day. “My studio space was small after graduation—the size of my lap. I had taken a bookmaking class in undergrad and began making layered figurative pieces about our relationship with the environment. I didn’t have access to printmaking on a larger scale, so I worked with archival scrapbooking papers and hand-printed and dyed papers. I really love print work and pattern play—to a fault sometimes. Someday I’ll have a home set-up for silk screening again, but now I’m happy to print with potatoes on tea towels and stencil my walls to look like wallpaper.” Printmaking and surface work are the foundations of Kay’s creative mechanism. However, shortly after the start of her employment with Abel Contemporary Gallery, she was offered an exhibition slot in “the Cooler” space. In that moment, her utilization of textileinspired pattern work transmuted. Taking advantage of the opportunity to create larger pieces, she began using ready-made styrofoam taxidermy forms to build animals, notably those native to Wisconsin, including a fawn, doe, and a cottontail rabbit.



Fine Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she would finish her degree and concurrently study abroad through Syracuse University to practice studio art in Florence, Italy.




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Subverting the forms traditionally used to celebrate a hunter’s glory and an animal’s death, Kay covered the taxidermy models with the archival paper she had long worked with. Combining textures reminiscent of human legacy with literal environmental schema, she established a visual ideology that both challenges and vilifies man’s current dynamic with nature. The values that Kay holds salient are as intrinsic to her creative identity as the media she uses. It’s immediately clear when speaking with Kay that she believes society has moved past a point of production and consumption that is healthy. Through her work, specifically through her use of overtly human textures to comprise natural forms, she advocates for a societal return to agrarianism, a historical moment wherein humans were farming the land on a smaller scale and at a lesser cost to the environment. “The work I’m creating now is about my direct experience with nature. It is about collecting and preserving. It is about the evolving landscape and our place in that landscape. The pattern play and textural elements relate to the way man is constantly trying to form the environment and make it his own. I want it to look realistic, but it’s clearly manmade.” The evolving landscape is a phenomenon that undeniably pervades

44 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Kay’s oeuvre thus far. While she continues navigating visual vocabulary relating to environmental change, she has also started examining the contemporary interpersonal landscape. Kay is interested and moved by the effect of personal devices on our

communication and relationships with one another. She has recently worked to curate a show in “the Cooler” exhibition space at Abel Contemporary Gallery in this vein. Fitting for the space that prioritizes “evocative shows in all media,” Kay’s curated group show was

Photograph by Olivia Loomis

response and responsibility within both will be crucial and challenging. Kay will continue to model how we can navigate both. To see Kay’s curated life, you can follow her on instagram @kaymyerscreates. She exclusively shows her work at the Abel Contemporary Gallery in Paoli. Elissa Koppel is a freelance writer and a local artist. called Masquerade, and referenced the self-curated vision of life that most of us are compelled to maintain in this era of online identity. “I invited artists from across the country to show masks. Though we are not typically wearing masks in America on a daily basis, we’re definitely only revealing a specifically curated image of ourselves online. This, to me, is similar to wearing a mask or putting on a masquerade.” Kay’s work is certainly worthy of attentive investigation. It isn’t often one finds a creator able to so seamlessly weave together such disparate themes. As technological and environmental shifts heighten, meditating on our

Elissa Koppel

Photographs by Bill Lemke.

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e ssential well-being

by Karen Larson with Darren LeCount, LCSW Children’s exposure to violence in their homes, schools, and communities is all too common. In the United States, children are exposed to a higher rate of violence and crime than are adults.1 While we know children react in different ways, for many children, exposure to violence leads to trauma.

violence are more likely to use the specific regions of the brain involved in survival. Those regions then become stronger and more efficient, which leads to survival as a primary focus in the lives of traumatized children.

Over the years, focus has increased on the effects of trauma on children, including witnessing domestic violence. Exposure to trauma erodes children’s sense of safety and can be harmful to their physical, behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and social development. It can also have a negative impact on children’s brain development and functioning due to the high stress levels children experience in these situations.

Some specific effects of trauma on children’s brain development and functioning include IQ suppression, delays in neural cognitive development, and delays in intellectual development. These effects often lead to longerterm problems, such as academic difficulties, adjustment difficulties, increased risk for anxiety and other mental health disorders, premature aging, and heightened neural activity or hypervigilance toward potential threats.2

Like all humans, children are biologically driven toward survival. Therefore, children who experience

However, with proper prevention and intervention strategies, there is good reason to hope that children will

46 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

heal from trauma. The most effective treatment services must be trauma informed, culturally competent, evidence based, and involve caregivers. Strengths-based and resiliency-oriented interventions can also help reduce the negative impact of trauma on children. DAIS provides crisis-based children’s services to families that are utilizing residential (shelter) or communitybased services (legal advocacy, community response, and support group). Services include parenting support and advocacy around child and family-related issues identified by clients and through family-safety planning. Group activities that are based on specific themes, such as selfesteem, feelings, safety, and nonviolent conflict resolution, are provided, as well as recreational activities that encourage bonding between children and the protective parent.

Dane County has many competent resources that help those who have experienced trauma regain a sense of safety as they recover. The Children of Violent Homes Project is an ongoing collaborative initiative involving DAIS and three other Dane County humanservices organizations dedicated to lessening the effects of family violence on children.

Tadsen Photography Drone/Aerial Imagery

• The Rainbow Project • Family Service Madison • Briarpatch Youth Services

Founded in 1988, the project’s main goal is to provide comprehensive services to all family members affected by violence in the household. Services include crisis intervention, family counseling, trauma treatment, violence-prevention education, support and education groups for victims and perpetrators,

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and advocacy for family members from homes in which domestic violence is present. Here is one family’s story highlighting how treatment services can work. Jase and his mother, Katherine, were referred to The Rainbow Project after

at least two years of ongoing domestic violence between Jase’s father and Katherine. At the time of referral, Jase, 6, was suspended from school for physically attacking his gym teacher after being given a time-out for back talk. Katherine reported similar physical behavior from Jase at home and noted he would use similar language to his father when doing so. Initially, the therapist developed a safety plan with the mother, which involved a coordinated effort with advocates at DAIS. Jase’s therapist at The Rainbow Project used TraumaFocused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with him. This began with skills building and psychoeducation about trauma (specifically domestic violence) and its effects. After that, the therapist worked with Jase to write a trauma narrative, which helped Jase become desensitized to his traumatic experiences in incremental segments. Once the narrative was completed, the therapist helped Katherine prepare to listen to Jase, sharing his narrative, so it could be done

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in an appropriate and supportive manner. After completing the narrative, the therapist helped Katherine with handson skills building around parenting, which was customized around Jase’s unique needs. After approximately 10 months, Jase was doing much better in school, and Katherine reported feeling increased confidence in her parenting of him. Shortly thereafter, the family was discharged after achieving their treatment goals.

With the support from the community and trauma-informed practices, it’s possible to strengthen children’s inherent resiliency and help them recover from trauma. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.” —Fred Rogers

Finkelhor, D., Turner, H. A., Ormrod, R., Hamby, S., & Kracke, K. (2009). Children’s exposure to violence: A comprehensive national survey. U.S. Department of Justice. 1

Baker, L., & Campbell, M. (2012). Exposure to domestic violence and its effect on children’s brain development and functioning. Learning Network Brief (2). London, Ontario: Learning Network, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. 2

Darren LeCount, LCSW, is the Clinical Manager at The Rainbow Project, Inc. Karen Larson is the Children’s Services Manager at DAIS. Darren and Karen are members of the Children of Violent Homes/ Youth Issues subcommittee of the Dane County Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence Task Force. Photographs provided by DAIS.

Karen Larson

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essential finance

Passive Income by Derek Notman

It can be argued that money is our most powerful tool. I want to share tips on how you can earn passive income and leverage your time and money. Money can be simply explained as a tool of value used in exchange for time, goods, services, and experiences. People who understand this and the value of leverage can do more with the time they have and the money they’re already spending. As a business owner who specializes in working with entrepreneurs, I’ve learned how to maximize the financial resources we have at our disposal.

the old adage “anything worthwhile in the end takes some hard work in the beginning.”

Passive income can be earned while you sleep. It can be free or discounted travel for vacations or business, and it can even help you save for your kids’ education.

To quote Pat Flynn, a very successful passive income expert, “We don’t have to trade our time for money on a oneto-one basis. Instead, we invest our time up front, creating valuable products and experiences for people, and we reap the benefits of that time invested in creating these products and experiences later. It’s not easy. I just want to make sure that is clear.” Nicely summed up—work now, reap the benefits later. Implementing this strategy correctly means you can actually start to work less but earn exponentially more. EQUATION: smart work + time now × risk = you on a beach.

Sounds perfect, right? After reading books, like E-Myth (twice in a month); the Rich Dad Poor Dad series (multiple times); and, most recently, The 4-Hour Workweek (read it on the beach), it became clear that the wealthy earn their money differently, and I wanted to know how they did it! What I learned is that passive income can be generated in a variety of ways, most taking a lot of up-front time and effort. So while having passive income is great, it takes a lot of work to get started, which proves 50 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

The traditional way people generate income is to trade time for money. The very nature means the potential is limited because we can only work so many hours in a week and receive only so much an hour. Passive income puts this concept on its head. Instead of being limited by time, leverage it. Use your time to create something that will not be limited in earning potential by time.

The list of ways to generate passive income is almost endless.

Invest in real estate. Own a portfolio of dividendproducing investments. Earn royalties from creative works (books, music, screenplays). Earn revenue from your website, blog, or social media. Create an app.

Patent royalties and licensing fees. Invest in businesses.

There is a common theme throughout all the ways the wealthy generate passive income. All require you, in the beginning, to trade your time for money while building your passive-income machine. Eventually, you’ll be able to leverage that time into exponential passive income while being able to work less and less. The necessary attitude is a willingness to take some risk, work hard, and create something of value. If you put good in, you’ll get good out. Creating something of value that improves people’s lives and then marketing it to an audience that has critical mass and wants what you’re

Saving for your children’s college education has become even more important as tuition rates continue to rise. A college savings plan called UPromise can help. UPromise, sponsored by Sallie Mae, allows you to earn cash back on money you’re already spending on a wide variety of things—from buying groceries to travel. It’s a free program that credits money to a savings account dedicated to education when you register credit cards with their program. Monies earned can be deposited into a 529 college savings plan or other savings account (possibly eligible for up to a 10 percent annual match), sent to pay down existing student loans, or mailed to you as a lump sum check. I recently went to dinner with my family and used one of my UPromise-registered credit cards. A few days later, I received an email stating that money had been credited to my college savings account from that dinner bill. I saved for my kid’s education by eating! Credit scores are important, and you may wonder how leveraging credit card

expenditures can affect your credit score. Over the last five years, my wife and I have taken out and then canceled approximately 50 credit cards. Our credit scores have routinely gone up. Paying off your credit cards in full and then canceling them actually helps your overall credit score. You can track your credit scores for free using CreditKarma or WalletHub. Both track all of your credit-related information in one place. CreditKarma updates weekly, while WalletHub updates daily. Using one of these services will alert you to any changes, and sometimes you will receive special credit card bonus offers because you are using the service.

part of your overall financial planning. Know what you’re spending and where you’re spending it. Money is a tool and can be used to have more fun and to get more out of life now and in the future—for you, your business, and your family. Make your money work just as hard for you. You worked for it. You earned it. Now leverage it! Derek Notman is a Certified Financial Planner® and Founder of Intrepid Wealth Partners LLC.

One trick to managing your overall credit score is to keep ONE credit card open indefinitely. The length of your credit history brings the overall average up. You don’t have to actually use the card, but keeping it open is important. Knowing your cash flow patterns, whether from traditional income or passive income, is instrumental in being able to use the strategies outlined here. Cash flow is an extremely important

Photograph by Eric Tadsen

providing seems to be the secret to creating passive income.

Derek Notman

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es s ential community

Self - Improv - ment

Level Two

by Josh Heath

Atlas Improv Co.’s level one improv class during the summer of 2017 was so great that it left me hungry for more. Level two picks up where level one left off with our improvisational comedy education, letting another batch of creative hopefuls practice the craft of making scenes, stories, and characters from nothing. The new focus on more advanced storytelling techniques, stronger character work, and full-fledged game creation finishes the foundation needed to have performers truly commit to their scenes.

on. In level one, we learned the basics of “yes, and...”-ing our scene partners; ways to combat that stage fright and fear of the unknown; and some simple, short genre games. Level two gets more into the minutia of creation in different (even nonverbal) forms, gift giving, and more complex creativity in our storytelling tactics. While that may sound intimidating, Atlas certainly knows how to imbue us students with a solid structure that makes us nigh impervious to improv pratfalls.

“What, do you need me to hit you one more time, baby?” I squeak out in an awful attempt at a wiseguy detective interrogating a hapless criminal. “Is my toxic behavior disrupting you?” The name of the game, fittingly, is Interrogation, wherein a criminal is brought in and interrogated. For what? Only the detectives and audience know. Using puns, the detectives slowly reveal the crime, location, accomplices, and motivation (CLAM, for those in the know) to the criminal, who must figure out exactly what they did. If it wasn’t obvious from my line, this criminal had accomplished his crime with the help of none other than Mrs. Kevin Federline, aka Britney Spears.

Puns play an integral part of level two of Atlas Improv Co.’s improv classes. Luckily, most of my awful stand-up

It’s this kind of focused, objective-driven interplay that level two really hones in 52 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

and send them off with a zesty oneliner based off of a profession. Like, for doctors, we could slice them up with a pantomime scalpel and deadpan say “Time of death: now!” or “I’ve got a PhD; you’ve got a PhDead.” Imagine that in a knockoff Austrian accent, and you’re basically there in the theatre with us. We added a handful of tools to our improv toolbox this time around. One of the more interesting ones was the introduction of pantomime. Pantomime is basically exaggerated miming sometimes combined with gibberish. For my first try, I had to portray whittling to my partner. To establish we were working with wood,

“We’re so dedicated that we’ve started gathering in our free time to practice short-form game with each other and a few new friends. These last few months have kept me laughing, that’s for sure.” from back in the day focused squarely on puns, so I had a modestly confident swagger when games pertaining to these delicious vocal treats came into play. In fact, after a wonderful introduction from our co-teachers Steve and Mike, the very first game we played in level two was called Last Action Hero, named after the early 90s Arnold Schwarzenegger box office bomb. The objective of the game is to creatively dispatch your opponent

I mimed chopping down a tree; chopping the log into a smaller, workable chunk; then I slowly tried to sharpen my slat of stick with a little pocketknife while sputtering gibberish. Eventually, after a half dozen guesses, like woodworking, spear crafting, and wood crafting, my partner did get whittling. We also tried to promote adding to the scene in wholesome, organic ways by

level one class was kind and polite and game, there was just such a disconnect between everybody due to the totally unintentional clique nature of having an entire family thrown in with a pool of strangers. Every game would inadvertently become about that family and their dynamics and interplay. It wasn’t anybody’s fault; it’s just kind of how it shook out.

We also learned how to make our own improv game in a matter of minutes. After learning what game elements we had to work with—genre, guessing, audience, reenactment, puns, etc.— the hardest part of making your own game was just making sure it wasn’t a game that already existed. The main one I remember from class was one another team created called Climate Control, which is where the host would sporadically yell warmer or colder, and the players in the scene would have to adjust to this new environment, eventually deteriorating into gibberish upon getting too cold. I think the most important change in level two was the bond I felt with the class as a whole. While everyone in my

With a shift toward covering 15-to 20-minute, long-form narrative games, I am terrified to start level three, but with many of my classmates, now friends, coming along for the ride, perhaps my self-improv-ment journey will end on the highest note yet.

Josh Heath is a Madison-born-and-raised writer. He loves comedy, but “can be a bit much” according to strangers at parties and ex-girlfriends. Read his work in Isthmus or online at Photograph by Kelly Kittle

putting out all sorts of offers or gifts, such as hinting at a relationship, throwing that hook out there that your partner can latch on to. Or someone offstage can come in and accept the gift. For example, say a character mentioned their spouse earlier in a scene; another performer can come in as the aforementioned spouse, using that suggestion. At one point, we had a duo commenting on how big some pyramids were, at which point myself and another classmate came in from offstage to form two human pyramids, painting the scene.

Plus, out of all the strangers from the last round, I only Facebook friended two of them, compared to almost every single one of us being friends now in level two. This enhanced degree of involvement made the experience better. Steve explains it best when he says level one has people from all walks of life who may want to take the skills and go back to their own lives bettered, whereas people in level two want to keep the skills close and develop them specifically for improv. Everyone’s in it this time around for similar reasons, and ours is a dedication to the craft. We’re so dedicated that we’ve started gathering in our free time to practice short-form game with each other and a few new friends. These last few months have kept me laughing, that’s for sure.

Josh Heath

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e ssential community

SHAME by Sandy Eichel Welcome back! For those of you just tuning in, this series is about leaving a life of should. You know—I should be this, I should do that—we’ve all been there. So far, I’ve talked about doing what you should to impress or please that one person in your life you will never please. For me, it was my dad. The last segment was heavy, where I talked about the impact of being raped as a young teen and how I saw myself in the world and the decisions I made because of it. This segment is about shame. I know, fun, right? Stay with me though. I promise you won’t feel shamed by reading this, but quite the opposite. It may even help you let go of some of your shame. Let’s first clarify the difference between shame and guilt. Guilt is “I did a bad 54 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

thing,” shame is “I am a bad person.” I was trapped by shame most of my life, and it kept me in a cage. I didn’t tell anyone about being raped at age 14 or any of the other bad things that happened to me because I thought they were my fault. I buried the trauma deep inside until I would no longer think about it. I put it in a box and then wrapped it in layers of pleasing other people and doing what was expected of me. Because of this shame, I thought, unconsciously, that I had to prove my worth to everyone, so I sought to please everyone around me. Exhausting. I was masterful about hiding my shame and putting on a happy face to the world, and all of my opera training made me a fantastic and believable actor, especially

to myself. I was really convincing—that everything was great except when I was by myself, which, trust me, I avoided. As long as I was surrounded by people, as long as I had an audience, I could put on a show for the world and myself. But left alone, the misery seeped up to the surface, and I would cry unendingly without knowing why. The sadness and shame that dwelled deep inside me could not stay buried forever. In my mid-30s, I was a pastor’s wife living in rural Illinois in the parsonage across the parking lot from the white clapboard church, and my life was intolerable. I was thoroughly depressed, but still putting on a show: the perfect voice teacher/opera singer and pastor’s wife. Driving back and forth an hour to Dubuque every day to

teach voice lessons, I was alone with my thoughts, and they weren’t good. If it weren’t for my responsibilities and my affectionate kitties at home, I probably would’ve driven off one of the bluffs of the Mississippi. Instead, I decided to do something about it. In 2007, I started therapy in Madison. At first, just showing up to the sessions was a big deal, and initially I was still trying to pretend that everything was fine. The added benefit was coming to Madison. Here I found I could breathe deeper and, for the first time in my life, I felt as though I were home—even though I had never lived here before. I felt like Madison was a place where I could be myself, whatever that was. After more than a year of intense therapy and coming to Madison every other week, I finally admitted out loud that I had been a victim of rape and violence as a young person. This was huge for me. I had never talked about it to anyone. In fact, if you had asked me if I had ever been a victim of anything, I would have said no. I didn’t ever want to be a victim—I wanted to show the world that I was strong and happy so people would like me. At first, I wrote about what happened to me, and then, eventually, I was able to say it out loud to my therapist. That admission would change the course of my life. The shame of what had happened to me held me in vice grips that wouldn’t let go. Stuck in the darkness of my shame, I thought it was my fault. Once I admitted it to myself, I felt a weight lift off of me. Over time, I realized that I didn’t do anything to deserve what happened. I saw the same truth with other things that had happened to me, and that is when I learned that shame only exists in the darkness. Once I talk about what happened to me, I can free myself from shame. My journey of finding my true self and freeing myself from a life of should was far from done at this point, but I can say with certainty that if I had not acknowledged my past to myself, I would have never found my true self and my true life.

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What things don’t you talk about that happened to you? What life experiences do you avoid even thinking about or think are your fault? Is there any event that has a grip on you from the past? If so, as is true for most of us, talk about it, even if it’s just to the blank page in front of you. Shame is a jail cell we create for ourselves, and each of us have the key to unlock it. Tell your story! Fly! Be free! For me, this was the first and most important step of letting go of who I should be and finding the true me.

Sandy Eichel is a happy ex-should-er.

Sandy Eichel

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e ssential travel

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” —Hilaire Belloc There are many reasons people travel besides work. And even though it may not be obvious, much of our travel has purpose. Not surprisingly, the impact of travel on the brain and the human psyche have been found to have a connection to creativity, problem solving, personal resilience, and happiness. Researcher

Adam Galinsky made the distinction. “Someone who lives abroad and doesn’t engage with the local culture will likely get less of a creative boost than someone who travels abroad and really engages in the local environment.” Whether we’re going to a local museum, exploring art like the recent aboriginal exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art: Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection, or taking a summer drive to explore some new part of Wisconsin, every time we try new things, explore, or immerse ourselves in local culture or new experiences, we expand our way of thinking and improve our mental and emotional health. Look into the past, check out technology, and explore science to challenge yourself with new activities. Small towns are a natural draw in exploring Wisconsin. Mineral Point is a top 20 small town to visit as ranked in the 2017 Smithsonian list. Having embraced its history and historic buildings, the community transformed

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itself into a haven for creativity. Mineral Point artists express themselves in all sorts of media, from paint, sculpture, and the stage to hops and local food ingredients. The town has numerous artist studios and a good selection of eateries. The annual Cornish Fest (September 28–30) celebrates the origins of some of its first settlers from the Cornwall area of England. Visiting Prairie du Chien takes you to the Mississippi River and a hub of fur trading and French settlement in Wisconsin. The position of the town on the river made it a gathering point for fur traders. Visit in July for the historic buildings and fireworks over the Mississippi (July 14), a War of 1812 reenactment (July 21–22), and the Prairie Dog Blues Festival (July 27–28). The town celebrates a variety of historic times and culture emanating from its Mississippi River roots. Eleven sovereign tribal nations exist in Wisconsin today, each with a unique culture and identity. At the invitation of a host nation like the Oneida, participants

from a variety of nations gather for the purpose of dancing, singing, honoring their traditions, and cultural renewal at a powwow. Attending the 2018 Oneida Pow Wow (June 29–July 1), which is open to the nontribal community, provides a gateway to learn more about the Oneida and their culture. In preparation, review Wisconsin Public Television’s The New Dawn of Tradition, narrated by Patty Loew, to go in the spirit of the fundamental values of honor, respect, tradition, and generosity. While there, pay a visit to the museum, the veterans wall, Buffalo Overlook, and the Oneida market. Science and environment converge at Discovery World in Milwaukee. The curious will find engaging exhibits and activities focused on the freshwater environment and technology. One of the unique experiences here is an outing on their historic sailing vessel, Dennis Sullivan. Summer family and day/ evening sails embark from the Discovery World pier. Aboard this recreated Great

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Lakes cargo schooner, you may be called on to set the sails or steer the boat while you learn about Milwaukee’s maritime history. Discovery World includes an aquarium and multiple special exhibits, like a virtual explorer, the electricguitar house of sound according to Les Paul, and a simple-machine shipyard that presents the most basic machines and the physics behind them. Take a trip to the Smithsonianlinked Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. From May 12 to October 8, you will be able to immerse yourself in Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliant mind and creativity. This exhibit weaves together art, science, engineering, and da Vinci’s visionary world. Did you know da Vinci designed a submarine prototype? Each of the inventions in the exhibition has been transformed from paper drawings to full-scale models. And the exhibit dissects some of his most famous paintings and drawings, like the Mona Lisa and Vitruvian Man. This exhibit is worth the short adventure to Dubuque! Finally, perhaps you would like a challenging experience close to home. Try an evening out at an escape room or mystery dinner. Both offer the chance to sharpen your problem-solving skills. It’s why we love reading a good mystery or watching Masterpiece Mystery! Hone your skills in real time at an escape room. This new adventure challenge started with video games which require the player to find their way out of a 58 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

locked room using the clues provided. At a local escape room, you select the themed experience or mission you want (mad scientist, maze, pirate ship, etc.) and the level of difficulty. You have a specified amount of time to solve the puzzle or mission. Go as a small group and join others or rent the whole space. Group sizes are limited and depend on the experience. Madison already has at least three companies offering different challenges. As you consider something new, remember the crew’s mission aboard the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.” Liz Wessel is the owner of Green Concierge Travel, which has information for honeymoons and other ecotravel at Photographs provided by Green Concierge Travel.

Liz Wessel


Highlights 2018/19 Season • Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore • Garnet Rogers • Taj Mahal • Sean Rowe • Billy Strings • Peter Mulvey Bike Tour • Julian Lange • Charlie Hunter • Sammy Miller &

The meticulously restored Stoughton Opera House is one of Wisconsin’s premier music theaters featuring legendary performers and cutting-edge contemporary musicians in the intimate atmosphere of an era gone by.

The Congregation • Choir! Choir! Choir! • Bettye LaVette • Shawn Colvin • Hawktail • Louden Wainwright • Scott Mulvahill • Hal Ketchum • Suzy Bogguss • The Lone Bellow

Your seat is waiting. . .

• Steely Dane • Sierra Hull • The Gibson Brothers • Eilen Jewel • Michael Perry • Rodney Crowell • The Subdudes • Tim O’Brien Bluegrass Band • Robyn Hitchcock • Harp Twins • Chris Smither • Rhonda Vincent • Asleep at the Wheel • Crystal Bowersox • The Quebe Sisters • Le tover Salmon Living Room Acoustic Tour • Riders in the Sky • Del McCoury . . . and Much, Much More!

Tickets go on sale to Donors on August 6th at 9AM.


JOIN TODAY and get first choice on shows you don’t want to miss! Tickets on sale to the General Public on August 20th. ACT NOW to be the first to get tickets to your favorite shows!


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es s en tial home

Water Wise Being water wise means making lifestyle choices in addition to the way we carve out our home environments. Whether you’re building a new home or landscape, renovating an existing one, or making simple changes to how you use water, it’s possible to conserve and protect our precious water resources. Through thoughtful site planning, architecture, landscape architecture, and garden design, we can reduce runoff, pollution, and water use.

Protect The increase of impervious surfaces from building-related development has caused stormwater runoff to become a major problem that threatens the quality of our lakes and waterways and

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increases flooding risk to our homes and businesses. Can we realistically stem this tide? From simple homemade solutions all the way to engineered systems, we can capture, harvest, and infiltrate rainwater. Common methods include rain gardens, rain barrels and cisterns, permeable pavement, and green roofs. In its broadest sense, a rain garden is the use of living plant material in a specific area in order to collect and absorb surface water runoff. Rain gardens can be as simple as slight depressions in the lawn to collect water or gardens planted near downspouts and as complex as bioretention basins that are designed to cleanse and infiltrate larger quantities of water.

by Joan W. Ziegler

Landscapes Permeable and semipermeable paved surfaces, such as turf stone, gravel, and pavers, can be both aesthetic and functional for driveways, parking areas, walks, and patios. Permeable paving has greater water infiltration capacity and more surface friction—which slows runoff—than traditional asphalt or concrete. In addition to assisting in overall stormwater management, permeable paving is available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and styles that add interest and beauty to the landscape. Green roofs can be used to control runoff at its source and may vary from simple groundcover carpets of sedum or grass to complex, layered gardens. Other benefits of green

of your landscape and caring for them during establishment can cut the need for irrigation and pesticides.


OUTDOOR CREATIV VE roofs often include longer roof life, decreased building energy costs, and sound insulation. A simple green roof can consist of a waterproofing and drainage mat, three to five inches of growing media, and, because they are not grounded in the earth, plants that are able to withstand extreme climate change. More elaborate rooftop gardens can offer additional outdoor living space if they are designed to hold live loads, heavier plant materials, and soil and water.

Conserve You can decrease your water usage by harvesting rainwater and reusing gray water. Rain barrels and cisterns have been used to harvest rainwater for thousands of years and were standard features in many older homes. Today, there are a wide variety of storage tanks and pumping systems designed to collect rainwater from rooftops and temporarily store the rainwater for reuse in nonconsumable ways. Cisterns vary in size from rain barrels that hold under a hundred of gallons of water to storage cisterns with the capacity to hold thousands of gallons. Rain

barrels, the simplest form of cisterns, are readily available and easy for individuals to install.

Plant Your landscapes can be designed to thrive without the use of irrigation by choosing plants appropriate for your site conditions. Xerophytic landscapes are those designed for little or no irrigation. They usually do not include lawns, but decreasing your total lawn area, replacing lawn with ground covers, and letting your lawn go dormant in times of heat and drought will reduce your water use. If you do irrigate, make sure that the water is going where it’s intended, only when needed, and avoid overirrigating to reduce waste and runoff. Plants that get a good start in life are better able to adapt to changes and weather extremes. Watering thoroughly during garden establishment encourages deeper rooting for better drought tolerance, and adding organic matter helps to reduce soil compaction to allow for better infiltration and root growth. Consciously selecting plants suited to the environmental conditions

Joan W. Ziegler is a horticulturist and garden designer and winner of the 2015 Perennial Plant Association Merit Award for Residential Landscape at ZDA, Inc. Landscape Architecture, 4797 Capitol View Road, Middleton. Call (608) 831-5098 or visit Photographs provided by ZDA, Inc. Photograph by Betsy Haynes Photography

landscape architects garden designers site planners

We can all incorporate individual techniques that decrease the amount of runoff in our own landscapes and improve the water quality of our lakes, rivers, and groundwater. We can design beautiful rain gardens and green roofs that slow, infiltrate, and cleanse runoff, and water storage systems that can collect, store, and make available for other use the water that falls onto our rooftops and paved surfaces. We can choose plantings that limit the need for supplemental irrigation. By combining these techniques when possible, we can create complex, enjoyable, and interesting outdoor spaces that add value to our daily lives and benefit our communities and the natural resources we depend upon.

Joan W. Ziegler

Life is better on the water. The Midwest’s largest selection of kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, outdoor gear, and much, much more.

220 w broadway madison, 53716

2018-04 Sixth Horizontal Rutabaga.indd 1

3/20/18 10:09 AM

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advertiser index association

entertainment & media

Dane Arts.......................................................... 15

American Players Theatre............................. 37

Dane Buy Local................................................. 8

Back of the House Online Video Series....... 27

Dane County Humane Society.................... 25

Betty Lou Cruises............................................. 31

Green Lake Area Chamber

Catfish River Music Festival........................... 45

Dane Dances!.................................................. 35

of Commerce............................................. 13

dining, food & beverage

Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison......................... 64 Home Elements & Concepts......................... 22

Bavaria Sausage Kitchen, Inc....................... 51

Journey of Aging............................................. 51

Blue Agave Restaurant and Lounge........... 23

Madison Opera............................................... 41

Bunky’s Catering............................................... 7

Olbrich Botanical Gardens........................... 21

Captain Bill’s.................................................... 31

Our Lives Magazine........................................ 41

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream....................... 7

Red Arrow Production.................................... 11

The Conscious Carnivore............................... 17

Stoughton Opera House................................ 59

Dorf Haus.......................................................... 23

WORT-FM........................................................... 49

Fitchburg Center Farmers Market................. 63

home & landscaping

Fraboni’s Italian Specialties &

ZDA, Inc............................................................. 61

Delicatessen............................................... 55 Fuegos............................................................... 29


Imperial Garden.............................................. 34

American Family Insurance DreamBank...... 2

Mariner’s........................................................... 31

The Buckingham Inn....................................... 33

Mid Town Pub................................................... 14

Capital Fitness................................................. 11

Nau-Ti-Gal........................................................ 31

Elevation Salon & Spa.................................... 41

The Nitty Gritty................................................. 21

Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic.......................... 25

The Old Feed Mill Restaurant........................ 40

Hotel Ruby Marie............................................. 53

Oliver’s Public House........................................ 5

The Livingston Inn............................................ 33

Otto’s Restaurant & Bar.................................. 57

Monroe Street Framing................................... 19

Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Café................. 55

Stoughton Hospital......................................... 49

Pizza Brutta....................................................... 53

Tadsen Photography...................................... 47

Porta Bella........................................................ 14

Tosh Washington Shoe Shine......................... 48

Quivey’s Grove................................................ 26 Riley’s Wines of the World.............................. 39


Samba Brazilian Grill......................................... 9

Abel Contemporary Gallery......................... 43

Sauk Prairie Grill............................................... 37

Anthology......................................................... 36

The Side Door Grill and Tap........................... 39

CLUCK the Chicken Store.............................. 37

State Line Distillery.......................................... 17

Deconstruction Inc......................................... 31

Sugar River Pizza Company........................... 45

Karen & Co......................................................... 5

Tempest Oyster Bar......................................... 58

Kessenich’s Ltd................................................. 11

Tipsy Cow............................................................ 9

Lidtke Motors.................................................... 26

Tornado Steak House..................................... 58

Little Luxuries.................................................... 27

The University Club.......................................... 15

Luceo Boutique & Styling Co........................ 44

Vintage Brewing Co. ........................................ 5

Pegasus Games.............................................. 36

von Rutenberg Ventures................................ 31

Playthings......................................................... 13

Willy Street Co-op......................................27, 36

Rutabaga Paddlesports.......................... 55, 61 Wantoot............................................................ 43

Madison Essentials continues to grow! We are seeking sales professionals who enjoy supporting local businesses, meeting all kinds of new people, and contributing to the success of a quality lifestyle magazine about the Greater Madison area. Please contact Kelly Hopkins for more information:

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Win a $50

Fitchburg Center—Agora Art Fair................. 63

Athens Grill....................................................... 57

Drumlin Ridge Winery..................................... 19


Gift Card! Question: “Which local chef’s heritage is Aztec, Mayan, and Tejano?” Enter by submitting your answer to the above question online at, or by mail with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email to: Madison Essentials c/o Towns & Associates, Inc. 126 Water Street Baraboo, WI 53913 All entries with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 gift cards. Contest deadline is July 16, 2018. Gift cards will be honored at all Food Fight® Restaurant Group restaurants (see— subject to change).

Good Luck!

Winners Thank you to everyone who entered our previous contest. The answer to the question “What current business was first located at a gas station on the corner of Fish Hatchery and Park Streets in Madison?” is Rutabaga Paddlesports. A $50 Food Fight Gift Card was sent to each of our winners, Jonathan Beers of Madison and Sandy Johnson of Middleton.





t e B t s Be



Madison Essentials July/August 2018  

Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....

Madison Essentials July/August 2018  

Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....