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CONTENTS march/april 2021

vol. 72

publisher Amy S. Johnson ajohnson@madisonessentials.com

essential

editorial director Amy S. Johnson ajohnson@madisonessentials.com

lead designer

arts The Clay Collective Spring Pottery Tour.....................36

Jennifer Denman

senior copy editor & lead staff writer

Clay, Glaze & Firing: Minnesota...20

Kyle Jacobson

community

copy editor & staff writer

Kate Sample: An Honest Look......30

Krystle Engh Naab

Playing Your Part Being An Ally....42

sales & marketing director Amy S. Johnson ajohnson@madisonessentials.com

designers Crea Stellmacher, Linda Walker, Barbara Wilson

administration

dining Himal Chuli.......................................6

environment Adaptive Restoration: Going Back to Go Forward........10

Debora Knutson

food & beverage

contributing writers Sandy Eichel, Jeanne Engle, Lauri Lee, Lori Scarlett, DVM, Elizabeth H. Winston, PhD

photographer

N/A Beer: 0.0 in Wisconsin.............44

landmark

Eric Tadsen

John R. Commons House..............32

additional photographs

nonprofit

Adaptive Restoration LLC, The Clay Collective Spring Pottery Tour, Dick Dubielzig, Doris Dubielzig, Janel Jacobson, Kyle Jacobson, Carl Jorgenson— Jorgenson Photo Studios, JustDane, Ani Kasten, Mike Gorski Photography, Liz Pechacek, Louisa Podlich, Tessa Tsarong-Blomker

subscriptions Madison Essentials is available free at

over 200 locations. To purchase an annual subscription (six issues), send mailing information and $24 to Madison Essentials, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., PO Box 174, Baraboo, WI 53913-0174. Or sign up for a FREE online subscription at madisonessentials.com.

JustDane: Healing House..............14

pets Is It Time?........................................40

well-being Fighting Racism: A Vital Component of Wellness.............18

including From the Publisher...........................4 Contest Information......................46 Contest Winners............................46

(continued) madisonessentials.com

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comments

We welcome your questions and comments. Please submit to Madison Essentials, c/o Towns & Associates, Inc., PO Box 174, Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 or email ajohnson@madisonessentials.com.

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To place an advertisement, please call (608) 215-5240 or email ajohnson@madisonessentials.com.

from the publisher For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it. —Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate

all rights reserved. ©2021

These words spoken at the 2021 inauguration have been repeated numerous times in voice and print because of their universal insight and application. It’s my hope that we not only remember them, but that we live them.

Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 P (608) 356-8757 • F (608) 356-8875

I look forward to the day when the pandemic no longer looms over us. While there has been progress in vaccinations, we still have a long way to go. The heart of our magazine is in our communities and with the restaurants, retail businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in the places we live. We feel their pain not only in empathy, but in congruity as we work together to make it through the difficulties presented by the pandemic. We’re stronger together when we support one another.

No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission by Madison Essentials.

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Watch for the next issue May/June 2021. Cover photograph—Yellow Bowl with Crumbling Porcelain Trellis by Ani Kasten Photographs on page 3: top—Covered Jar with Malcolm Davis Shino glaze by Janel Jacobson middle— Provided by JustDane bottom—Hepatica, one of Wisconsin’s earliest blooming native spring ephemeral wildflowers, provided by Adaptive Restoration LLC

Perhaps you’ve seen that we’ve organized a GoFundMe campaign. For months, we’ve been contributing to other campaigns, grateful we’ve been in a position to do so. At the same time, we’ve been very proactive in implementing actions to sustain our business. But even with those efforts, the length of the pandemic and its effects have been detrimental. Our campaign addresses not only the needs of our company, but the need to support our communities when they need us most. Organizing a GoFundMe campaign was a difficult decision because we didn’t want to take away from the campaigns of others in our communities. But we realized that not taking care of ourselves would not serve them well. It’s like flight attendants directing you to put on your own mask before helping someone else. So we started the campaign and made the commitment to not only continue our regular local business support, but to also pay forward the support we receive by way of donating an equivalent amount of advertising space. If we receive $25,000 in contributions, we will donate $25,000 in advertising. If we receive $50,000 in contributions, we will donate $50,000 in advertising. We’re determined to get through this and to ensure as many as possible come out the other end with us. As always, this Madison Essentials issue is a light on many great stories, including the start of a new arts series. Artists support one another across state borders, so it makes sense that we do the same by highlighting some artists in nearby states. See the light and be the light. We look forward to being there with you. Go to gofundme.com and search Madison Essentials to learn more about; share; and, if you so feel inclined, contribute to our campaign.

amy johnson

4 | madison essentials


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essential dining

Himal ChuLi In 1972, when Krishna Pradhan, owner of Himal Chuli, came from Nepal to Wisconsin, owning and operating a restaurant in Madison was not a part of his plan. “I was 33 years old with my Master of Arts degree and working as a professor in Nepal teaching English as a foreign language. I came to the University of Wisconsin–Madison to be a lecturer, work on my PhD, earn tons of money, and return to my wife and family waiting for me in my home country.” Instead, he found the journey to wealth to be as challenging as climbing Mt. Everest of the Nepal Himalayas. The reality was that his position with the University didn't pay well enough for Krishna to become wealthy in a couple of years. He finished his PhD in 1982 but didn’t retire from the University until 2001. His wife, Bishnu, and their children joined him in Madison at the end of 1973. 6 | madison essentials

Chicken Sikar | Organic pieces of dark and white chicken simmered in a blend of cumin, fresh ginger, garlic, and onions. Served with rice or roti (homemade flatbread), tarkari, and a choice of dal or salad.

University housing became the first place the family called home. Krishna was in the Southeast Asian Studies department at UW–Madison, where he taught Nepali language during the academic year and an intensive Nepali course for the abroad program in summer. The couple enjoyed entertaining, so for those first seven years in Madison, Bishnu cooked for Krishna’s students and colleagues, former students who served in the Peace Corp in Nepal, and their neighbors. Everyone loved her delicious cooking and Nepali food, which prompted them to encourage the couple to pursue opening a restaurant. The couple liked the idea of being business owners and got to work. “I looked at three potential restaurant locations and found the rent to be too expensive for us. When the banker asked if I had any experience or capital, I truthfully answered no. Then I decided

by Lauri Lee it would be easier to do a food cart, which came together in 1981.” Choosing the name for the food cart was easy enough. “As a linguist, I had several reasons why I named the business Himal Chuli. The Nepalese call the Himalayas just Himal. Chuli means any peak of a mountain. There is also a specific Himalayan mountain called Hiu Chuli directly north of my hometown of Bandipur. In Nepali, the kitchen is called chula or chulo or, more significantly, the kitchen of the Himalayas.” The Himal Chuli food cart was approved to set up on the University Library Mall to sell the food of Nepal at a time when there were very few food carts. For the first time, Madisonians were able to enjoy the authentic cuisine enjoyed by Nepali families for centuries. Customers embraced the food cart’s simple, yet


delicious, menu. Dal bhat tarkari is a foundational rice dish served with dal, a dry-bean soup, and tarkari, a curried vegetable dish of green beans and cauliflower. The dishes are not spicy, although the heat can be adjusted and hot salsa is available.

Momocha | Steamed handmade dumplings filled with a special peanut paste blended with herbs and spices. Served with a tomato coriander sauce.

The opportunity to move from the food cart to operating a restaurant presented itself in 1985. “A friend found a business that was closing at 318 State Street whose owner was willing to negotiate the lease and allow us to take over occupancy. I refinanced my high-interest home loan and put the financials together to open Himal Chuli in a brick-and-mortar restaurant in March 1986. As time went on, we appreciated the location more and more. As shopping trends shifted and business on the Square started to die, being in the 300 block of State Street between Johnson and Gorham Streets kept us in business due to better foot traffic.” In 1996, Bishnu’s sister Jamuna came to help her cook and manage the

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restaurant. Himal Chuli features homestyle cooking and a locally sourced menu primarily featuring vegetarian and gluten-free selections. Chicken, beef, and lamb dishes are also on the menu, but since the family and many customers are strict vegetarians, the utensils used in cooking the vegetable and meat dishes are carefully separated. The menu is created to infuse harmony through yin and yang foods. Some foods are considered primarily yin, or cooling, while others are primarily yang, or warming, while still others are composed of a harmonious balance of yin and yang. It’s thought that food shouldn’t just taste good, it should be good for you. Mustard, sesame, and olive oils are used for their heart-healthy attributes. Jimbu, imported from Nepal, has a distinct flavor similar to garlic and shallots. Fresh garlic and ginger and a variety of other herbs and spices not only contribute to good flavor in the food, they’re renowned for specific medicinal benefits. “I’m proud, but humble, that Himal Chuli was the first Nepali restaurant in

Tarkari (vegetables change daily) Fresh vegetables stewed with turmeric, coriander, cumin, fresh garlic, and ginger. Served with rice or roti (dal is optional).

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Samosa | Two vegetable pasties stuffed with onions, potatoes, and peas combined in a blend of Nepali herbs. Served with a sweet yogurt and cranberry sauce and dal. this country. There were not very many people from Nepal living in the U.S. in the 1980s. Currently, I think that there are roughly 1,000 immigrants from Nepal living in and around Madison.”

seating capacity is 24, which expands when outdoor seating is added in the summer. Takeout is popular, and diners also utilize curbside pickup and thirdparty delivery to enjoy this cuisine.

Most of the restaurant’s customers are a mix of people living all over Madison as well as tourists. It’s particularly a popular destination for European and Japanese tourists who are in town for University conferences. Sporting events also draw increased dinner traffic.

Lauri Lee is a culinary herb guru and food writer living in Madison.

You know you’re in a Nepali restaurant when you smell the traditional and distinctive aroma of the fenugreek herb when walking through the door. The restaurant is decorated with Nepali pots and pans; trinkets, such as bells and statues of Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses; and photos of the Dalai Lama. People feel comfortable in the small restaurant with a view into the kitchen, returning again and again. Krishna and Bishnu have been retired for many years, so Jamuna and employees now operate the restaurant. The indoor

Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

Lauri Lee

Himal Chuli 318 State Street Madison, WI 53703 (608) 251-9225

OPEN DAILY! 3330 atwood ave. madison, wi 53704 olbrich.org

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e ssential environment

Removing weeds in a restored prairie at Pope Farm Conservancy in Middleton, Wisconsin.

ADAPTIVE RESTORATION Going Back to Go Forward BY KYLE JACOBSON

Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccafolium) emerging from a recently burned prairie. Prescribed fire creates conditions favoring native prairie plants. 10 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Centuries of land development have made life easier for some select megafauna, namely humans. We needed food and other resources, so, according to data from the Wisconsin DATCP, we turned 14.3 million acres of Wisconsin’s almost 35 million acres into farmland. Then there’s questions concerning where we’re going to live and how we’re going to get around, so residential areas and roads were developed. It’s progress, they say, and I guess that’s okay, but what if we want to adjust? That’s where land management and restoration come in. Land development has been great for us, but it’s been detrimental for a lot of native species. This might be an extreme example, but only a couple hundred years ago moose were fairly common throughout the northern half of Wisconsin; now there’s only 20 to less than 50 at any given time

in the northernmost regions. Adaptive Restoration in Dane County isn’t aiming to bring moose to Madison, but they’re playing a big role in restoring land and in the locating and management of existing natural areas. “There was an opportunity and a need for high-quality, science-based land stewardship and restoration here in southern Wisconsin,” says Adaptive Restoration co-founder Mike Healy. “In this region, you have an intersection of areas with high restoration potential, like remnant prairies and savannas, which are both globally rare, and people who want to do restoration.” Doing things right when it comes to land management and restoration is almost more important than doing them in the first place because it’s fairly easy to unintentionally cause more harm. “Some


of it is just due to lack of awareness,” says Mike. “Oh, it’s green; it must be good.” This is why it’s so important Adaptive Restoration keeps highly qualified staff on hand, including two foresters, one with a master’s in forestry; at least two restoration ecologists with, at minimum, a master’s degree in either restoration, lake, field, or relevant ecology research; and a field crew, some professionally trained in restoration, most with degrees from University of Wisconsin– Stevens Point or UW–Madison, and some with experience fighting wildfires or operating heavy machinery. “It’s a nice breadth of experience of being able to do the thinking and writing aspect of restoration planning, where you need to communicate ideas and do public outreach and stakeholder meetings, and then the actual on-theground know-how of conducting a timber harvest or doing a prescribed burn safely and having that experience of being able to put a fire out if you need to or knowing how to run and maintain machinery needed for planting a prairie.” Other services include ecological consulting and land stewardship, restorative forestry, developing seed mixes, invasive species management, botanical survey, and outreach and education. Mike says, “Basically, if you

had an open field that was maybe in corn for years and years and you wanted to add the diversity and to have a little more wildlife benefit—go from maybe 1 species of plant to 100—we’d be the people you call.”

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy.

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Aside from running their business efficiently, to achieve as large an impact as possible and some degree of ecological coherency, Adaptive Restoration has worked with private individuals, nonprofit organizations, for-profit groups, and state and local governments. “We’ve done quite a bit of work in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy in the City of Middleton. We did a fairly large savanna restoration at Monona Woodland Park near Aldo Leopold Nature Center. And those are really rewarding projects because we’re working with volunteers and community groups to get the restoration done. We might come in to do some of the heavy lifting in terms of harvesting non-savanna species with our team of draft horses or bringing in machinery to do prairie planting.”

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy.

30th Anniversary FEATURE:

Black & White Ball:

100 Years of Empowering Communities and Changing Lives

FEATURE:

Mamie Elizabeth Till Mobley: Rightful “Mother” of the Civil Rights Movement

FEATURE:

FEATURE:

How Martin Luther King Jr Day Became A Holiday — The Timeline

COMMUNITY EVENTS:

Madison’s 30th Annual Juneteenth Festival: A Celebration of Legacy, Awareness, Respect and Education

FEATURE:

Meet the Artist Behind ‘Legacies’: One of the Most Photographed Murals in Madison

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Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison Inspires a New Generation of Trailblazers

From the Barbershops of London to Art Galleries in Harlem and Beyond

More Trailblazing Coverage of Black Culture and Communities in 2021. 2020 COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

YOUTH VOICES PROJECT ISSUE

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy. MAY/JUNE 2020 $4

Education is Liberation:

Honoring Class of 2020

FEATURE:

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UMOJA Teams Up with MMSD’s Black Excellence Project to Give Voice to Voiceless

In loving memory of Milele Chikasa Anana, UMOJA Magazine’s iconic publisher and beloved griot to Madison’s village. “My intent was to make this a more just and righteous world.”

Black Lives Matter: Youth Advocates Leading the Way

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy. SPECIAL BL ACK LIVES MATTER ISSUE

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There’s been a lot of focus on prairie restoration in Mike’s line of work. According to the Wisconsin DNR, we’re down to less than 0.1 percent of the original 10 million acres of prairie and savanna native to Wisconsin. Part of helping prairies make any sort of

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Adaptive Restoration crew removing brush in a savanna restoration near Ridgeway, Wisconsin.

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Why We Must Vote

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It’s OK to Ask for Help: Finding Peace in Anxious Times

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Racial Health Disparities Since 1619

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Rev. Joseph Baring: From Soldier of War to Soldier for Christ

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Once More, Hope is Reborn: An Insightful Message from Living Civil Rights Legend Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.

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Kamala Harris Solidifies Monumental Moment in Black History

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FEATURE:

Marc Morial Plugs “Main Street Marshall Plan”

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Restoration ecologist Stacey Marion (center, front) igniting a prescribed burn of a wet prairie southwest of Madison. Also pictured: Brad Kolhoff (right), Brian Zweifel (center, rear) comeback involves not just planting new prairies, but improving the remaining few. “Those are called remnants. That’s one thing where when we’re helping someone with a property search, we’re just doing a consult to share with them what they have. We have an eye for finding these little pockets of prairie that may seem like just a little patch of grass

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

when really it’s this highly biodiverse remnant of the 10 million acres we used to have.” Another area of environmental concern that’s been making headlines is managing and restoring our waterways. Over the last year or so, Adaptive Restoration has been working with

an engineering firm to do stream restoration and dam removal in the Driftless Area west of Madison. “Our role there is designing the seed mixes and then actually doing the plantings and working with engineers to do the grading and draw down the water levels in the impoundment that was created by the dam.”


Mike founded Adaptive Restoration with his wife, Anna, a certified arborist and forester for the City of Fitchburg. Since 2006, they’ve worked together to restore, improve, and manage thousands of acres of Wisconsin woodland, prairie, and wetlands. COVID-19 has shown us that we seem to have a deficit in these spaces due to how crowded state and county

parks and trails have become. “I want to have increased connectivity between those spaces either via trails or corridors of protected land, public or private.” When things function as a whole, the importance of maintaining the entire structure becomes less abstract, inspiring more people to do their part in keeping Wisconsin’s distinct ecosystems around for generations to come. Kyle Jacobson is a writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials. Photographs provided by Adaptive Restoration LLC.

Kyle Jacobson

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In essence, these restoration efforts are undoing what we did to “improve” what Mother Nature had done. What we’re learning is that Mother Nature is far better at restorations than we are. Mike says, “You see examples of that where people are building in wetlands, and then there’s a flood. And they’re surprised their building got flooded out.” He recalls when Costco in Middleton, once nicknamed Peatsville, flooded in August 2018. This is where the planning aspect of Adaptive Restoration’s work becomes vital. “Taking the watershed approach and looking at where your project is within that watershed and where the water’s going and where it makes sense to build is important.”

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Intern crew sharpening plant identification skills in a restored prairie at Pheasant Branch Conservancy, Middleton, Wisconsin. From left: Ben Winesett, Brad Kolhoff, Chris Barry, Abby Rogerson.

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essential nonprofit

What does homelessness mean to you? Is it someone begging for food? Someone sleeping outside? Is it someone whose name isn’t on a lease or rental agreement? Does your definition include people who can occasionally scrounge up enough money to sleep in a hotel room but are otherwise sleeping in their cars? Truth is, even in government there isn’t an agreed upon definition between departments. So the next question is how we do collectively take on an issue while aiming to address several hazy targets orbiting 14 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

the pendulum of social consciousness? The answer: as best as we can. Madison is fortunate to have several groups approaching the issue from different angles to minimize overlap, ensuring as many people as possible are receiving the resources to dig upwards. One such effort is Healing House, a JustDane initiative. Healing House is a recuperative shelter for homeless families with a member recovering from a medical procedure, and as Linda Ketcham, executive director for JustDane, explains, “It requires that

Photograph provided by JustDane

JustDane HEALING HOUSE

by Kyle Jacobson


Photograph provided by JustDane Photograph by Tessa Tsarong-Blomker

there are minor children. We know there needs to be a facility for single adults and couples that don’t have kids, but the house isn’t big enough to adequately do both. “Of the hundred or so individuals, close to 40 families, who have come through Healing House in the last year, 26 of them are newborn infants. Newborns need to be someplace safe. They need to not be out in a shelter with 200 other people while their immune systems are getting up to speed and all that.” Healing House also provides a safe place for mothers who underwent a c-section to recover.

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Recognizing the need for these recuperative shelters goes back to 2012, when, Linda says, “in response to the Occupy Madison movement that had an encampment that popped up on the old Don Miller car lot on East Washington, the County Board, knowing our history and that we like to form task forces and study an issue and make recommendations, came to us and asked if we would form a task force and look at why that site had become a de facto encampment for folks experiencing homelessness. And we said we would do that, but we’re not just going to do that so we can tell you where we should shuffle homeless people around our city. We’re going to do that with an eye toward why are people there and what are the gaps in our current services and what are the conditions leading people into homelessness.” The Beacon, Dane County’s comprehensive day resource center, came as a direct result along with an madisonessentials.com

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Photograph provided by JustDane Photograph provided by JustDane

increased awareness toward recognizing opportunities to aid families and individuals experiencing homelessness. When a man with a cane and aphasia came to a County Board budget hearing after just being released from the hospital from having a stroke, JustDane saw another need to address. When no one wanted to take it on, JustDane waited for monies to become available for them to pursue Healing House, which meant the idea wouldn’t come to fruition until July 2019. Part of that process was finding the space. “People still don’t want stuff in their backyard, but families are less objectionable. The church that owns the building that Healing House is in said they wanted to continue to use it for mission work—it had previously been a daycare. Over the years, it’s been Hospice’s first office, it was the AIDS Network’s first office, it was a home for single moms who were attending the UW in the 1980s. So it’s been a lot of things and had been sitting empty, so the church came to us and said they wanted it to continue to be used for something.

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

They thought Healing House with a focus on families was a good fit.” If you’ve ever walked through Madison at night on virtually any evening, odds are you’ve encountered a handful of people experiencing homelessness. But I don’t think I’ve personally ever seen a family I immediately recognized as homeless. Linda tells me homeless families often fly under the radar to avoid being visible. They’re genuinely afraid human services will remove their children from their custody. I’m sure there are some who might think it’s in a homeless child’s best interest to go to a family with a home or be put up for adoption. The reality is this mentality doesn’t provide a workable solution, instead laying down what can easily be interpreted as a threat, leading to further exacerbation of the issue. To avoid this, JustDane takes the Housing First approach, which follows Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: when people have their basic needs met, they can pursue employment with a mindset that isn’t clouded with desperation.


In terms of providing housing for everyone, even with all the organizations in Madison, that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. There are a growing number of reasons anyone might be experiencing homelessness. But thanks to Healing House and similar organizations, some of those experiencing homelessness are finding an opportunity they didn’t think they’d ever have to get out of a situation they never wanted in the first place.

The next step is making certain that the family doesn’t then go back to homelessness when they leave the shelter, which is where Linda’s relationships with other services come in handy. “We have a great partnership with the Road Home, who does the housing case management. We had a family last week and we have a family this week both moving into their own apartments. They’re leaving Healing House into permanent housing and not back onto the street. That’s always the goal.”

Kyle Jacobson is a writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials.

Photograph provided by JustDane

Kyle Jacobson

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Of course, it’s tough for a child to do schoolwork in the back seat of a car with no wifi. The increase in academic success for a homeless child at Healing House when, say, their mother is going through chemotherapy is immediate. Linda says, “We heard from a number of teachers last school year that there was just such a difference in the kids. ... Now they had their own bed and were on a schedule and routine, and they were just doing so much better in school.”

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Part of a mural by Sapphina Roller

e ssential well-being

Fighting Racism A Vital Component of Wellness by Elizabeth H. Winston, PhD “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” — Lilla Watson, Aboriginal Elder, Queensland, Australia Fostering a healthy community involves taking care of ourselves and one another. During the past year, this has meant changing our lives in major ways in order to prevent transmission of the coronavirus while staying healthy. At the same time, we have faced the urgency of acknowledging and working to undo the long history of racism and white supremacy still very much alive and present in the United States. According to Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, racism is a system of advantage based on race, and white supremacy refers to the centrality and assumed superiority of white people and practices based on these assumptions. In Madison, we have had multiple wellpublicized wake-up calls, such as the Race to Equity report, highlighting the racial disparities in educational access and achievement; the fatal shooting of Tony Robinson by a Madison police officer; and calls for justice and equity by Black Lives Matter leaders and 18 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

demonstrations. As a community, our liberation is bound together; when we work together to dismantle racism, we co-create a community that is healthier for us, for our children, and for their children. This connectedness reaches back to our ancestors and forward to our descendants in order to build an enduring anti-racist culture.

What Does Being Anti-Racist Mean? In short, being anti-racist means actively working against the racism that is endemic in our society. Refraining from engaging in obvious acts of racism is necessary, but not sufficient for change. Many of us do not use racial epithets; we do not tell racist jokes; we do not (consciously) behave aggressively or violently towards Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC). We may also feel that we are actively fighting racism when we tell our children to treat everyone equally and

are ourselves friendly to BIPOC. While all of these things are important, they do not actively dismantle racism and white supremacy. If we are truly committed to improving our well-being, we do more. We need to acknowledge the vestiges of our nation’s history of slavery. Many Black Americans can trace back just a few generations to great, great grandparents who were born into slavery; Jim Crow laws, which legalized segregation until the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and policies that have enduring detrimental impacts today, such as redlining. Redlining was a series of Federal Housing Administration policies during the 20th century which prevented Black Americans from buying homes in middle-class cities and then suburbs, thereby establishing segregated neighborhoods which exist today. This systemized government-sponsored policy has contributed to the enduring discrepancy in wealth between Black and white Americans.


Many of us grew up learning that racism is an explicit act. Heroes from the civil rights movement, such as Rosa Parks, were fighting explicitly racist laws. Thanks to the brave and hard work of civil rights activists, many blatantly racist laws were overturned. This vital change in the laws of our land did not erase the endemic systematized advantages afforded white people based on this history. In order to continue to fulfill the ideals that our country purports to be founded on, we are tasked with acknowledging and understanding the ways in which the systems in our country are rigged to perpetuate these advantages. The work now is to fight against insidious, systemic racism that continues in our institutions, including schools, courtrooms, and corporations. If we are not actively working to make these structural changes, racism will continue to harm individual BIPOC and our collective well-being.

What Feelings Come Up When We Examine Our Own Racism? Many of us try to combat racism on an intellectual level, but racism exists on emotional and visceral levels too. On an emotional level, it can be really hard and painful to be called out on benefiting from being white. How does it feel as white Americans being invited to examine how growing up in a racist society has impacted our own development and identity? It can make us feel defensive. It can make us feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Being called out can make us want to avoid dealing with racism. There’s an inherent privilege being white in America in having the option to ignore racism altogether. White people benefit from racism in America because, by definition, we receive unearned advantages. By acknowledging that racism exists while not actively fighting against it, we are complicit. And thinking about being racist or supporting white supremacy feels so bad, we likely anxiously avoid thinking about it and feel ashamed when we do. This can make us feel powerless, confused, and isolated,

which helps to explain the frustrating lack of progress in racial justice despite our best intentions. Anyone who grew up in this country unwittingly learned how to be racist and perpetuate white supremacy. Perhaps we can soften the pain of our individual shame by also having a collective focus on our nation’s failure to work honestly and authentically towards being a nation where everyone has equal opportunity. This may involve a focus on equity—making up for significant gaps in opportunities, wealth, and health. This is not preferential treatment; it is equitable treatment, and unless we keep the conversation going, those gaps in equity will continue to be bridged inadequately rather than filled conscientiously.

What Can We Do? We can support our public schools by voting for pro-education leaders, supporting school referendums, electing BIPOC to school boards, hiring BIPOC teachers and principals, and sending our children to the neighborhood school. We can support local businesses, making a deliberate effort to shop at BIPOC-owned restaurants, bars, boutiques, bookstores, bakeries, and confectionaries. We can intentionally seek BIPOC healthcare providers and professional service providers, such as doctors, dentists, insurance agents, and bankers. We can de-center ourselves by standing back and being quiet in order for our BIPOC friends and neighbors to be consistently seen and heard. We can do a much better job of communicating privileged information more widely

so that BIPOC hear about good job openings, homes that are for sale or rent, and academic and extracurricular opportunities for children. We can intentionally dismantle racism day by day with our awareness and thoughtfulness. Welcoming multiple perspectives in our workplaces, schools, businesses, and community leads to more interesting and creative ways of seeing things, solving problems, and just being in the world. When there is less to be justifiably angry about, there is more peace. Let us work together continuously to harness our minds, our hearts, and our bodies to make sustainable change in our community so we and all who come after us can thrive. Elizabeth H. Winston, PhD, is a licensed Madison psychologist who provides individual psychotherapy and psychological assessment as well as consultation to businesses and organizations. Find her at shorewoodpsychology.com and consultingcollaborative.org. Photograph by Eric Tadsen.

Elizabeth H. Winston, PhD

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Large Oval Boat Form with Loop Handles

essential arts

Clay, Glaze & Firing MINNESOTA Photograph by Ani Kasten

by Kyle Jacobson

Yellow Bowl with Crumbling Porcelain Trellis 20 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Whether we’re talking sculptors, painters, authors, musicians, or any other creative, decade after decade, the Midwest produces some of the most profound artists in the world. In recognition, this year we’re zooming out from Wisconsin to celebrate ceramicists in our neighboring states. First stop: Minnesota.

ANI KASTEN Challenging expectations in art is an art all itself. Some markets might be really receptive to the obscure, but tunneling out a niche risks giving outsiders a reason to neglect what’s going on when presentation doesn’t fit preconceived notions of art. Ani Kasten doesn’t have a formal background in art. As a result,

she can challenge even the artist’s comprehension of pottery by doing something quite outlandish: focusing on the traditions of pottery and clay beyond conventional avenues of academia. “I came to ceramics through a really on-the-ground, hands-on learning


Photograph by Ani Kasten

Photograph by Ani Kasten

environment,” says Ani. “It was a lot about working with whatever materials were available to me wherever I happened to be. In Nepal, there’s no ceramic supply store where you can go and buy material, so I would have to look around and dig up some clay and process it.” Backing up, this isn’t to say Ani didn’t have any formal training in ceramics and functional pottery. She was in an apprenticeship in England before going to Nepal. This is where she gained the vocabulary used in her discipline, which she later reencoded to describe her work in ceramics. “My work, there’s a lot of brokenness involved in it. I use a lot of vocabulary that in other realms of ceramic art would be considered undesirable side effects of working with clay: cracking, warping. My process is always about letting the natural proclivities of the materials express what they want to express and also the impact of my craftsmanship on how those qualities develop.”

Blue Kurinuki Box with Honeycomb and Kiln Coil

Each of Ani’s works feels like its own experiment. The choices she makes when creating her pieces are inspired by the moment—an investigation of what-ifs as they come up. She says, “I have a really spontaneous way of working, especially with incorporating other things. “I’m very interested in the relationships between the clay and other materials and how things can be incorporated and melded together harmoniously, whether it’s things fired in with the clay or afterwards using hardware to attach pieces of wood. ... I’ll add in rocks or gravel that I just find outside and sometimes metal wire or pieces of driftwood. ... I try not to have too much of a plan.” Some of my favorite pieces of Ani’s have an almost barnacle quality to them. Her kurinuki boxes are a dissonant mix of glazes coming together through material and sharp edges with the jaggedness of chipped shale. I’d expect most initial reactions to her work would be confusion because they’re so out of most madisonessentials.com

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Bowl with Lip Piercings and Porcelain Feet

Still, when Ani’s moment has a mind for it, she can come up with pieces that weave traditional notions of attractive pottery and function with her explorative nature. Her elegant On the Rocks yunomi cups (tall Japanese teacups) look like they’ve been excavated from the ocean.

For the patron who appreciates Ani’s work, there’s a wealth of insight to be taken from her large sculptures concerning place and function. For the artist who studies Ani’s work, there’s a widening peripheral into understanding just what the world of clay and ceramics can give. Universality in purpose has been unwrapped from accessibility in material, and maybe it’s worth investigating why. To view more of Ani’s work, visit Abel Contemporary Gallery in Stoughton.

Spirit Ship

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

Photograph by Ani Kasten

people’s preconceptions of ceramics. In fact, it’s fair to say there’s such a high degree of play in her work that Ani’s thoughtfulness can be misinterpreted as carelessness, bringing up questions of how value is defined in art.

Photograph by Ani Kasten

Ani can come up with pieces that weave traditional notions of attractive pottery and function with her explorative nature.


JANEL JACOBSON Cup with Malcolm Davis Shino glaze

Most endearing in her work is the supple movement in shape. It comes from her interpretation of something she was told by one of her teachers. Janel recalls, “Learn from what you’re learning here and move on. She encouraged looking at the nuances: how to make a lip more comfortable in your mouth, a handle more comfortable to hold, a way for something to function well for the intended purpose.”

the palm. Much of her work captures the more serene aspect of nature as she’s experienced it, such as “Tree Frog in the Grape Vines. Then there were katydids

Photograph by Janel Jacobson

Though the sentiment is easily applied to her pottery, Janel’s carved porcelain and netsuke woodcarvings take those lessons and give her pieces a sense of how they might feel before being handled. Soft on the eyes, smooth in

Photograph by Janel Jacobson

Finding yourself as an artist is a lifelong journey, and Janel has taken to it like a red maple through the seasons, at her most brilliant just before changing her leaves. From functional pottery to carved porcelain to woodcarving then back to pottery, each of her endeavors has shown growth and evolution as she whet her eye for detail.

Bowls - textured porcelain with celadon glaze madisonessentials.com

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“There are people, I believe, that every now and then they just need something that’s quiet that they can just go ‘ah’ with—like a quiet celadon cup that feels smooth and warm with a little bit of shape to it in their hands.”

Photograph by Janel Jacobson

and other things. Rather than make them edgy and that stick-out-of-clay kind of sculpture in porcelain, I needed to work within the positive aspects of the materials, like the porcelain itself and the glaze.” Her understanding in how depth and shadow interact informs her on how to breathe life into a piece. In Tree Frog in the Grape Vines, the frog is perched on a branch. In order to really give the impression of a branch, even though the branch is in front of the frog’s body, Janel carved it deeper than the rest of the image so it would be darker than the frog and leaves.

Tree Frog In The Grape Vine

Janel loved her life as a woodcarver, but when the collector’s market shifted, Photograph by Janel Jacobson

porcelain cup, celadon glaze

Janel’s porcelain carving grew into a deep affair with woodcarving, which defined her life as an artist for the next 20 years. As noted, she gravitated toward netsuke, miniature sculptures originating in 17th century Japan. Many of her carvings are no more than two and a half inches in any direction, making their degree of detail all the more wondrous.

Mixing Bowl with carbon trap glaze 24 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


In a present that spends so much of its time going full bore, where even our attempts to relax can feel like a sprint, Janel’s mediative works of art have potential to become powerful centerpieces for those looking to center themselves. “There are people, I believe, that every now and then they just need something that’s quiet that they can just go ‘ah’ with—like a quiet celadon cup that feels smooth and warm with a little bit of shape to it in their hands. It’s just calming in this crazy, intense world.”

Photograph by Janel Jacobson

“The final three major shows with zero sales in 2015 cost me $10,000 to find out that I couldn’t do them anymore. ... It broke my heart because I thought this was the work I’d do in wood for the rest of my life.” She was, however, quick to adapt, and invested in essential equipment to augment her decision to resume pottery making. With a smaller gas kiln, pug mill dedicated to porcelain clay, and replacement electric wheel for her 48-year-old workhorse, Janel’s been making pieces that share in all her past lives brought to new form—learning from what she learned.

Cruet with Malcolm Davis Shino glaze

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LIZ PECHACEK

That doesn’t mean she escaped some worse fate. Welding would’ve blossomed into a fantastic and challenging career for her. She even gained a deeper understanding into what constitutes the life of an artist beyond conceptuality. “There’s a lot of labor in ceramics that isn’t really that different from the labor at the job site,” says Liz. “A lot of problem-

Photograph by Louisa Podlich

Society hammers in hard-lined mantras concerning what career paths are acceptable and which should be categorized as a waste of time. Without questioning it, art falls into the latter almost by default. In honor of that tradition, Liz Pechacek exited art school trying to figure out how she’d find time for her artwork while fitting into a real job. Luckily for fans of her vessels and sculptures, her welding apprenticeship as a union ironworker was short lived.

Large Porcelain Inlaid Bowl with Bronze Interior solving, organization, ordering, the same mechanical stuff.” The only difference is now she does those things

toward an end more fitting with how she wants to define her life.

Photograph by Liz Pechacek

It all comes together in the larger scale of her pottery—an opening up of a piece’s potential with a lot of effort put into considering function. Industrial utilitarianism. “There’s some really interesting stuff to play with with function. For instance, I love bowls. I love them just as a form. You really change the functionality of a bowl just by pushing the scale. Some of the bowls that I’ve made are so huge, it’s really humorous to ever think about them being used for food. It’s like a bowl is a bowl until it’s a serving bowl, and then when it’s too big to be a serving bowl, you’re kind of into a sculptural realm.” Whether a sculptural piece or work of pottery, Liz’s work often explores a contemporary take on modernism and art deco. At least upon first glance. Looking closer, you then start to see how she uses the surface texture to invoke this timeless element of touch. One of her bowls has a golden copper inside reminiscent of a steel drum, complete with thousands of ballpeen hammer dings. But these are her pinches. The way Liz makes a vessel involves adding layer upon layer of clay coils that 26 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


“There’s a lot of little touch, and that little touch adds this density of graphic quality.”

Small Striped Moon Vase

she then pinches together, what she calls intuitive groping. “There’s a lot of little touch, and that little touch adds this density of graphic quality. But also, in my kind of metaphysical hope, is that I’m imbuing the form with an energy, like a vibration, by having all of this visible labor that I’m using to produce the piece.”

Photograph by Liz Pechacek

Looking through her collection of vases, there’s almost a toolbelt quality to them in purpose. Like they’re meant to be used regularly and to make things accessible. Not that they couldn’t hold flowers or act as a showpiece, but they

Photograph by Liz Pechacek

Tall Ellipses Vase

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Striped Porcelain Diner Mug

Photograph by Liz Pechacek

Photograph by Liz Pechacek

Tectonic Plates Utensil Holder

Time spent thinking about scale then becomes time spent thinking about the person who will buy the piece before they’ve even met. “If I’m making cups, then I need to think about what people will drink out of this. If something’s too weird of a size or it has an awkward feel in the hand, they’re not going to use it.” Like many potters, Liz wants her pieces to be a part of her patrons’ daily lives; however, working larger in scale creates a dialogue between the energy used to create the piece and the energy taken to ultimately decide function. To view more of Liz’s work, visit Abel Contemporary Gallery in Stoughton.

ST. CROIX VALLEY POTTERY TOUR (MAY 7–9)

Ani, Janel, and Liz will be featured alongside 62 other potters in the 29th annual St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour. Their varied approaches to pottery and ceramics show a sampling of the range of pottery to be discovered. Noted on the website, the tour’s organizers want participants and patrons to know, “Beginning with our 2021 tour, we intend to amplify the voices of artists of color and also commit a portion of our philanthropy to initiatives devoted to racial justice in youth education for ceramics. We hope to help build a solid and equitable future for anyone

Kyle Jacobson is a writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials.

Kyle Jacobson

find Your

Ani Kasten anikasten.com

# mytown

Janel Jacobson sunrisemnpottery.com

HAPPY PLACE MERRIMAC, WI TOWNOFMERRIMAC.NET

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

wanting the opportunity to pursue a life in clay.”

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

seem more readily suited for holding oversized kitchen utensils or umbrellas by the door.

Liz Pechacek lizpechacek.com St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour minnesotapotters.com


together we make a difference

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e ssential community

Kate Sample An Honest Look

really just been unfair and inadequate to leave people with just that piece of advice.”

by Kyle Jacobson “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This is a rephrasing of a quote from author Ian Maclaren. Read it again. And again. How many of us can say we truly approach life with such generosity? I know I can’t. At least not in most aspects of my life. It seems borderline science fiction to imagine a world where kindness and empathy always come before criticism. Kate Sample recently left her job as an OB-GYN to start her own independent obesity medicine clinic: Kind Circle Weight Loss, opening this spring. The stigma surrounding obesity is so prevalent in this country that the platforms to demonize those suffering from it include the ones we turn to for morning entertainment and news. As 30 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

the extension of a long line of counter campaigns, Kate’s professional mission is to help the public at large better understand the disease. “There’s so much discrimination against people who are obese,” says Kate. “Obesity is so poorly understood that a lot of times in medicine, we stick to the incorrect understanding of it from decades ago, which is really a sort of blaming and shaming approach where we assume negative things about people who are obese which are not really founded at all by the data. Kind of the old adage in medicine was calories in, calories out. You need to eat better and exercise more to lose weight. And really, there are so many determinates of obesity that go beyond that, that it’s

To scratch the surface, life has become more sedentary for a lot of people. Then there are those with genetic predispositions to obesity. One societal element that’s become more and more prevalent is the availably and affordability of healthy foods. My neighbors get assistance with food, and I’ve seen what’s in those boxes; if it’s not canned or frozen, it’s usually in pretty bad shape. Then there are foods designed on a chemical level to make you crave another bite without actually filling you up. The environmental, psychological, and physiological aspects of the disease are so easily ignored because, unlike alcoholism and other similar diseases, there is no disguising obesity. Kate points out that “there’s research now about physicians discriminating against patients who are obese. Of course, the same things that are a part of our systemic biases filter into our medical system.” Because Kate sees it as her job to put understanding ahead of judgement, she sees there’s a larger degree of victim blaming going on than a lot of us acknowledge. “Patients have often tried to do everything


right; the treatment has failed—not the individual.” Kind Circle Weight Loss focuses on the behavioral therapy side of obesity treatment. It’s something that even with medications or surgery still needs to be addressed. In fact, Kate says, “Surgery may require the most behavioral change, not the least.” It’s not a quick fix.

There really isn’t an issue in society that doesn’t affect everyone, but sometimes it takes a keen eye or pointed conversation to uncover a need that’s been swept under the rug. Kate believes “[wellbeing] is something we have to choose to keep moving toward both individually and as a community. What I try to do, how I try to find purpose, is to match what I know and what I have to offer to what need there is in my community.”

What’s really incredible is the domino effect created when improving the lives of one group of people in need. In some cases, another professional might be inspired to offer their services in a way that immediately benefits those around them. In others, those who’ve been helped find themselves more able to contribute to issues that are important to them or engage in the local job market and economy thanks to being able to live their best lives. Kate has shared in the benefits of a neighborhood that recognizes the importance of fostering connection. Her extended family is very geographically separated, but her neighbors readily take on the role. “My neighborhood has taught me a ton about what it means to be a family,” says Kate. “We are interconnected in the same way I strive to be professionally. My kids get to be

little brothers to bigger kids, and older siblings to younger kids. They think of their former babysitter on our block as a big sister. We help our elderly neighbors in ways we can, and they act as almostgrandparents to our kids. “Being an OB/Gyn is such a privilege. You are gifted with these opportunities to realize how many joys and sorrows we all share and how truly worthy of compassion everyone you meet is, how deserving of kindness. My involvement in both Share the Health and Kind Circle Weight Loss is born out of that recognition. Every kindness matters. Helping people matters. Addressing discrimination matters.” The world is already hard enough for each and every one of us. I think Kate’s perspective accepts that fact and then challenges us to work beyond it. Our actions aren’t performed in a vacuum, and if we spend our lives helping others fight their battles, perhaps we’ll find allies fighting our own. Kyle Jacobson is a writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials. Photographs by Mike Gorski Photography.

Kyle Jacobson

madisonessentials.com

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Essentially, a lot of misinformation packaged in very consumable ways ends up creating gaps in healthcare. Kate’s career has focused on addressing those gaps. For instance, she’s the vice president of Share the Health, a gynecology clinic offering free care. “It really addresses this gap in healthcare for women who don’t have insurance in [the Madison area]. If you are able to get a screening test at a community center, like Planned Parenthood or Access, and that screening test requires a follow-up, there is sometimes nowhere affordable to get that follow-up.”

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e ssential landmark

JOHN R. COMMONS House

In the early 1900s, the only recourse a worker who got hurt on the job had was to sue the employer and prove the injury was due to an unsafe work environment. Since many employees injured at work could not afford to go to court, they usually were forced to deal with lost wages, find another job, or live with a permanent disability. That is not the case today. Wisconsin workers can thank John R. Commons, a University of Wisconsin– Madison economics professor, for drafting legislation establishing Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation program, which contributes to workers’ financial well-being. The law, passed in 1911, was the first of its kind in the nation. With a sense of social justice that had been instilled by his father, Commons arrived at UW–Madison in 1904 and stayed until his retirement, in 1933. At that time, the UW had a close relationship with then Governor Robert M. La Follette’s Progressive Party. To support the governor’s reform programs, Commons didn’t just theorize; he went into the real world and talked to working people. To implement worker’s compensation, he presented his policy ideas to sympathetic employers. Once his ideas proved workable, he 32 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Photograph by Doris Dubielzig

BY JEANNE ENGLE

campaigned for wider application of the policy and state support for the employers who would apply the policy.

bungalow] and Prairie School influences with its low projecting roof and wide eaves with exposed rafter ends.”

In 1913, at the height of his personal prosperity, John and his wife, Nell Commons, built a spacious twostory raised bungalow on a hilltop in Madison’s Spring Harbor neighborhood. The John R. Commons house, also known as “Hocheera,” a Ho-Chunk Nation term meaning “welcome,” is a Madison Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Five-sided window openings on a 40-foot-long enclosed sleeping porch, characteristic of the bungalow style, provide a view toward Lake Mendota. French doors connect the porch to the living-dining room that spans the length of the house. The first floor includes a kitchen, two entry hallways, and a coat and powder room. The study, where Commons wrote his major works by longhand, has the original floor-toceiling oak shelves and cabinets, oak floor, and brick fireplace.

The wooden frame of the house is sheathed in stucco on the first floor and in wooden shingles on the second. On two walls, a decorative board parallels the roof line. Dormer windows are on opposite sides of the second floor, and a chalet-style balcony connects to the master bedroom on that floor. According to its National Register nomination, “[The John R. Commons House] exhibits Craftsman [alternatively California

The second floor includes four bedrooms. Another bedroom in the basement was originally a garage. Subsequent homeowners have rented the upstairs and basement bedrooms over the years. Commons frequently entertained graduate students, his “Friday Niters,” in his home. This


tradition of welcoming scholars has continued with the current owners, Doris and Richard (Dick) Dubielzig. The Dubielzigs have owned the John R. Commons House since 1983. Having taken a position at the new UW School of Veterinary Medicine that year, Dick preceded Doris to Madison and started looking for a house. Doris had been researching the history of their home in Springfield, Pennsylvania, and was reluctant to leave. But Dick, a Madison native, found the Commons House about a mile from his childhood home and learned that his father had actually been inside the house while Commons lived there. “I thought Doris would be intrigued by the history of the man who built the house too,” says Dick. The private residence is located on a one-way street lined with a small community of tree-laden properties—a country feel for Dick, and a city location for Doris. Because the Dubielzig’s daughter suffered from asthma at the time, the fact that the house had radiator heating was a plus along with its historic associations. Doris found abundant resources to achieve city landmark status for the John R. Commons House and to get it listed on the National Register. “John Commons’ secretary was still alive.

Harry Miller, now-retired reference archivist at the Wisconsin Historical Society, was working on letters between Commons and his mentor, Richard T. Ely. He put me in contact with Commons’

Photograph by Carl Jorgenson, Jorgenson Photo Studio; provided by Doris and Dick Dubielzig

The study during the Burkhardt ownership (1938-1948).

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Photograph by Doris Dubielzig

Photograph by Doris Dubielzig

daughter, who was living in Ithaca, New York. I also learned about Cora Tuttle, the home’s architect, from recollections provided to Robert Shockley by Tuttle’s son, Ray,” Doris says.

Connecting you to Madison’s LGBTQ community since 2007

composition from her mother, and mechanical drawing in college, according to Shockley’s writing in The Journal of Historic Madison, Inc. of Wisconsin in 1978. Tuttle designed her own home in the Vilas neighborhood as well as several others nearby, often collaborating with others of differing talents to let them improvise on her basic designs. The Dubielzigs have made changes to the interior of the John R. Commons House, including a major kitchen remodel in 2005. “That remodel made the space so much better to work in,” says Doris. “We also put a deck on the garage that had been attached to the house in the 1930s. Our designer, Jill Kessenich, took the pattern of the railing on the balcony off the master bedroom and replicated it for the required garage deck railing. She also designed a pergola that replaced the one that had been removed from the front entrance after Commons sold the house in 1937. But the biggest change was insulating the house. What a difference that made—no longer drafty and uncomfortably cold in the winter nor hot in the summer.” Finding artisans to do the maintenance and restoration work on the house has

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

been a challenge for the Dubielzigs, but they have not regretted owning a historic home. Dick and Doris say, “It’s been a great house to live in, so flexible. The John R. Commons House has been very welcoming and accommodating.” Dick’s advice for anyone wanting to purchase a historic house: “Fall in love with history. You’ll need that for motivation to maintain the house.” Of course, one doesn’t have to own a historic house to appreciate what it represents. From the architect to its first owner, the John R. Commons House can be the jumping-off point for examining Madison’s architecture, the Wisconsin Idea (that education should influence people’s lives beyond the classroom), and much more. Jeanne Engle is a freelance writer.

Jeanne Engle

Photograph by MOD Media Productions

Cora Tuttle, the first woman architect practicing in Madison, brought the California bungalow style here. As an amateur architect, Tuttle learned carpentry from her father, artistic


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Located in downtown Stoughton and online at abelcontemporary.com. Works by artists from across the country. Featured artist: Matt Repsher. Abel Contemporary Gallery 524 East Main St., Stoughton Open for curb-side pickup, shipping, and in-Madison delivery. Order truffles or treats on gailambrosius.com or at (608) 249-3500. Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier 2083 Atwood Ave., Madison

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If you’re looking for a special gift or a new game or puzzle, we offer a curated collection of gifts online at littleluxuriesmadison.com/gifts. Little Luxuries 230 State St. Stop 2, Madison Keep it cute while you stay hydrated. Choose from hundreds of vinyl stickers for your water bottle. Anthology 230 State St., Stop 1, Madison

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essential arts

HIRONOBU “NISHI” NISHITATENO

Does art feel foreign to you? Do you think Salvador Dali sells cold cuts? That Frida Kahlo is a corn chip? Can you tell your Picasso from your pi— Never mind.

MICHAEL SCHAEL

MICHAEL SCHAEL’S LOCATION 36 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

The point is visual art can come off as exclusive. If we’re not in the know, then it’s hard to find the door. I think one compelling role of art tours is to dispel that myth. From the highly educated critic to the curious browser, everyone’s interpretation of a piece begins as an intimate experience. At The Clay Collective Spring Pottery Tour, the experience can become something you share with the people around you and with the artists themselves. The first weekend of May, Michael Schael, Mark Skudlarek, Ric Lamore, Ed and Laura Klein, Glen Cutcher, Bruce Johnson, Mary Pratt, and Rick Hintze invite you to enjoy the pinnacle of spring weather at their artist studios. “It’s at the same seven locations,” says Michael. “There are four studios in the Cambridge area. There is one in Lake Mills. There’s one in Milford. And there’s one in Johnson Creek.”


Whether you visit one studio or all seven, there’s always a mix of pieces because each artist also features guest potters on their grounds. Michael says, “The guests are always changing, so you’re not always seeing the same artists over and over.” Last year would’ve marked a milestone for the Collective with 28 artists on the tour if COVID-19 hadn’t become an issue. At the time of this writing, 15 guest artists are confirmed for 2021.

fair and an art tour. Where an art fair is a great way for people to see a lot of art from a lot of artists in one place, an art tour is a way to interact with an artist in the environments that inspire them. It’s a place meant for conversations to take place between patrons and artists. “It’s a lot more relaxed than an art fair,” says Michael. The goal is for everyone to come away with an experience—a memory of time and place solidified during their walk through an artist’s garden.

Perhaps you feel you can’t attend because you have small children. Not to worry. “While it’s about the arts, six of the artists actually live out in the country, so [on normal years] kids can run around in the yard while their parents are looking at art. We like to keep it open to everyone.” If you ever enjoyed playing with dirt or clay, whether you were 6 or 60, the event has something for you.

To capitalize on those moments, food is often offered at each venue, though not for 2021, due to the pandemic. For Michael’s part, “I serve coffee and juice in the morning, and then in the afternoon I have wine and cheese. Other people have cookies and cold cuts [not Dali’s], and sometimes people are serving up brats to have patrons stay around a little bit. Because we also want to show people how to use our work, sometimes we’ll have the hors d’oeuvres or food on the plates we’ve made. Sometimes people need a little encouragement on how to use things.”

Part of the inclusive approach of the event stems from each artist’s drive to make connections and grow as artists. It’s kind of the difference between an art

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studio lighting. If the art being created is one chapter, your using the item is necessary to finish the book. The Collective itself allows for more of these stories to be written. As an individual, the life of an artist involves a lot of marketing that can largely be hit or miss, with a lot more misses than hits. “The Clay Collective is a group of potters who finally got smart. Instead of each of us opening at different times in the spring to have a spring sale, we decided to all just pool our resources and all open the same weekend to create an event that would draw more people in and also give us a consistent date that people could count on and put on their calendars.”

RIC LAMORE’S SHOWROOM Which takes us to why this is really an art tour for everyone. The majority of pieces at the Spring Pottery Tour are “actually meant to be used. Serve your food on it. Drink your coffee or tea out of it first thing in the morning. Have your

adult beverage in the evening. ... Having a mug sit on a shelf kind of defeats the purpose. [As the artist] You want it to be used. You want it to be held. You want it to enrich someone’s life.” It’s art in plain sight, not on display or highlighted with

RICK HINTZE

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

As for the artist side of the Collective, each member sees it as more than an event. “On Saturday night, we have a meal where all the potters get together and share tips, get to know each other. A lot of other situations, like art fairs and other tours, at the end of the day, everyone sort of goes their own way.” Again, art is about connections. You never know how one interaction can lead to your next inspiration or inspire someone else.

GLEN CUTCHER


Many of the patrons come back each year, some with stories. “Having someone come up to you and say, ‘You know, I use you mug every day. I kind of have to start my day with your mug.’ That really, for working artists, is what drives us.” It’s feeding the need to explore and evolve artistically, ensuring this tour will continue to grow in numbers and ideas for years to come. Follow The Clay Collective Facebook page and visit theclaycollective.org for event news, information on this year’s artists, pictures of artwork, and a downloadable map. Kyle Jacobson is a writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials.

Kyle Jacobson

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Photographs provided by The Clay Collective Spring Pottery Tour.

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essential pets

by Lori Scarlett, DVM About the only good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that a lot of dogs and cats have found new homes. Having a new companion has improved the lives of many people and pets. Those in the veterinary profession have rejoiced with all the new owners and enjoyed helping pet parents learn how to keep their new pets healthy and the importance of enriching their lives with walks, toys, attention, and lots of love. But as many questions as I get from new owners about their puppies and kittens, there’s no shortage of questions about older animals. Giving an older animal a loving home benefits both pet and human in much the same way as their younger counterparts; however, time marches on for all of us, and our dogs and cats age much quicker than we do. Where owners of younger animals often ask, “What can I do about the biting?” owners of older pets ask, “How do I know when it’s time to let them go?” No one thinks about humane euthanasia when they adopt a pet. Why would they? But cancer, severe illnesses, and critical accidents can happen at any age. When your dog becomes a teenager or your cat approaches 20, they’ll be showing signs of slowing down, having discomfort getting up, possibly having 40 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

toilet accidents in the house, and maybe even getting lost or wandering the house aimlessly. Unfortunately, we can’t stop disease and aging even in our most beloved pets. So how do you know if it’s time to let your beloved pet go to the Rainbow Bridge? Sometimes the decision is made because your pet’s in a lot of pain that can no longer be controlled with medication. Bone cancer in dogs is very painful, but other conditions that are just as serious might not be. Then there are times when pets are going through something very painful but are still getting around and eating very well. Determining how much your pet is suffering is rarely straightforward. Quality of life is always mentioned, but that means something different to everyone and involves many aspects of a pet’s life. It can be helpful to try and quantitate these behaviors on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is completely normal. Let’s start with pain. Is your pet showing any signs of pain? Are they able to get up quickly from the floor? Are they sensitive when you pet them anywhere? Do they enjoy walks and other normal activities? I decided to euthanize my dog, Chase, when he could no longer go down the steps to get outside to go to

the bathroom. He’d been slowing down, but one day he just couldn’t make it. The next day, I said goodbye to Chase. Being able to breathe well is part of pain, and a criterion on its own. If your pet is in heart failure or has lung disease, they may not be moving much or eating because of their difficulty breathing. It can help to lay by your pet and breathe with them. If you find it difficult to maintain the breathing pattern, then your pet is struggling too. Coughing is part of breathing. A score of 7 might be a dog that wakes up from sleeping to cough once or twice each night. But if the dog can’t sleep because it’s coughing so much, that would score closer to a 0. Grooming and personal hygiene are important to us and our pets. No one wants to lay in urine; have greasy, matted hair; or have a dirty back end. Cats that don’t feel well often stop grooming themselves. Arthritis pain makes it difficult to turn and reach those nether regions. Lack of energy, dehydration, and dental disease can impact grooming behavior too. Personal hygiene includes toileting behavior. Is your cat making it into the litter box to poop and pee? Is your dog urinating or defecating in the house? Are they able to keep themselves clean and dry? Can they tell you when


they need to go out? You can help maintain a pet’s hygiene with brushing, baths, and frequent trips outside, but if they are in too much pain to be brushed, are hating baths, and getting up is too much of a struggle, then their score in this category will be low. Appetite can be difficult to assess to determine quality of life. When a cat doesn’t feel well, it will often slow down or stop eating. An older cat that has gone more than a day without eating needs to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. If it has a chronic disease and nothing gets it eating again, then it’s suffering. But many dogs will eat even when they’re otherwise feeling very poorly. I have euthanized many dogs who eat treats, cheese, and steak even as they are being sedated prior to receiving the euthanasia solution. Scoring this category needs to take into account what your pet’s appetite is normally. Hydration definitely impacts quality of life. Pets in kidney failure may not drink enough water to keep up with

All of the above can be assessed fairly objectively, but another criterion is happiness. This is more subjective and best determined by you. Is your pet still happy to see you? Do you still get a tail wag when you come home? Does the pet still want to be near you? Do their eyes light up when you bring over a favorite treat or toy, even if they don’t take it? Or is your cat hiding in unusual places? I knew it was time to let our clinic cat, Charlie, go when he started lying behind the couch when normally he would have

cups, one labeled “good days” and one “bad days.” Every day, determine if it was a good or bad day and put a penny in the appropriate cup. When the bad days outnumber the good or when your pet has more bad days in a row than good, then it’s time to say goodbye. If you’re coming up with low numbers on your assessment, then your pet is suffering, and humane euthanasia is the most loving thing you can do. Know that your vet is there for you to help with the decision and the gentle passing on of your pet. Some vets will make house calls to euthanize a pet. In Madison, Journeys Home is an option if you’d like a home euthanasia and your family vet is unable to come to your house. While euthanasia is a difficult decision, please know that it is a very loving thing you do for your pet. You have given your pet a wonderful home and, if it was rescued, a better life than it might have had. Our pets know that they are loved and I like to think they appreciate being allowed to die peacefully and with dignity.

jumped up on the couch to be near us. I had another cat in kidney failure that went into the shower one morning and just cried. That was not typical Fluffy behavior, and I euthanized him that day. I actually felt I had waited a day too long and was sorry for that. Keeping track of the number of good days versus bad days can help with your decision too, especially if your pet has a chronic disease. It’s worth having two

Lori Scarlett, DVM & Charlie madisonessentials.com

Photograph by Brenda Eckhardt

the amount lost through the kidneys. Dehydration can lead to constipation, decreased appetite, and lack of energy. Cats in kidney failure are often maintained on subcutaneous fluids, but eventually that isn’t enough. You can tell if your pet is dehydrated by dry or tacky gums, sunken eyes, or excessive skin “tenting”—pick up the loose skin around the upper neck; if the skin doesn’t drop quickly into place, your pet may be dehydrated.

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

| 41


e ssential community

Artist Richie Morales working on a mural.

Playing Your Part Being an Ally by Sandy Eichel If there’s anything we as a society have learned in 2020, it’s how precious human life is. This was brought to the forefront by the pandemic—hundreds of thousands of lives lost and each and every person’s own story. But 2020 brought another discussion into the social spotlight: understanding and defining privilege. The Black Lives Matter movement and protests that erupted over police violence all over the country revealed previously unheard stories of oppression that had 42 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

long ago been swept under the rug and completely disregarded. Now that many people realize how bad it is for some, they want to do better. They want to have a society and country where all marginalized people, Black, brown, Indigenous, people of color (BBIPOC) and LGBTQ+ can flourish and be respected. They want to become allies. The word ally gets thrown around a lot. I hear people say that to me as a queer, nonbinary person all the time. People will say to me, “I’m an ally.” Of

course, I think that’s great, but I do always wonder what that person means compared to what I mean when I say I’m an ally to BBIPOC. Though sometimes I will inevitably fail, I’m committed to it for the rest of my life. Because of the work and speaking engagements I do regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, I speak frequently on what it means to be an ally. If you’re reading this and saying, “I want to be an Ally! I really do!” Great, you’re in the right place. Let’s talk about what I mean


when I say I’m an ally. It’s not for show, and it’s not to make myself feel better. Being an ally means engaging in efforts to truly make changes in this society and support and advocate for people with less privilege than I have. An ally is a person of one social identity group, usually the dominant group, who stands in support of members of another group being discriminated against and treated unfairly. An ally is more than someone who is sympathetic to people experiencing discrimination; they’re more than someone who simply believes in equality. Being an ally means being willing to act with and for others in the pursuit of ending oppression and creating equality. It means making a lifelong commitment to constantly learning, examining yourself and your own thoughts, and using the privilege that you have to make a difference. Still in? Good, because we desperately need you, all of you, to step up and help make this a better world for those screams that, for far too long, have been considerately ignored. For the next year in this new series, I’ll be giving you concepts that will further empower you to be an ally in your sphere of influence every day. I’m excited for us to be on this journey together; let’s make this a better world!

Tadsen Photography Drone/Aerial Imagery

Sandy Eichel is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Speaker and Consultant. Photograph by Eric Tadsen.

Sandy Eichel

Check out our video podcast series with Sandy, The Us in InclUSion, at madisonessentials.com.

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essential food & beverage

N/A BEER 0.0 in Wisconsin

For the most part, N/A beer gets a bad rap, and that’s because it’s pretty terrible. Or at least most of its iterations have been for decades. If the industry took to N/A beer with the same creativity given to turning perfectly good Italian dinners into mediocre beers, well, we’d probably be worse off. Luckily, some unhazed minds have taken the helm, and we’re seeing a culture forming around the sober lifestyle that doesn’t sacrifice luxury for health. Looking back, it’s important to note that N/A beer wasn’t the result of people pursuing an alternative to alcohol. Rather, it was done out of necessity due to the 1919 Prohibition Act. So why try to make good N/A beer? Just make something that people could legally buy at 0.5 percent alcohol, which worked out so well that by the end of 1920, New York had 32,000 speakeasys filled with everything but N/A beers. 44 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

So why do N/A beers taste...off? The answer lies in what it takes to make N/As: heat. Boil out the alcohol after fermentation. What’s lost is virtually every hop character aside from bitterness. Consider the boil in the brewing process before fermentation, where hops are added at different intervals for different reasons. In a 60-minute boil, commonly you start out by adding your bittering hops, which are working to balance out the sweetness of the wort. Next is the flavoring hops, which won’t boil long enough to extract the bitterness (15 to 30 minutes), but will add their brightness to the mix. Lastly, aroma hops—added 5 minutes before the boil is over or even at flameout. You can do other additions, and different hops will impart different characteristics, but to illustrate the point, boiling after fermentation means erasing the work done by flavoring and aroma hops. It’s why N/A styles are typically malt- or yeast-forward beers.

by Kyle Jacobson That’s not to say nobody made a drinkable N/A beer up until now, but investing resources into making a good N/A had poor ROI when compared to brewing a Pilsner or American Adjunct Lager. That is, until the sober curious movement, where people with activedrinking lifestyles seek to work periods of sobriety into their party schedule, including Dry January, Mindful March, Dry July, and Sober October. It was a market looking for good N/A drinks. Today’s N/As are now really pushing themselves to mimic flavor profiles found in their leaded brethren. For some breweries, this involves looking back in history to when beer regularly incorporated flowers and spices in lieu of hops. The right combination can liven up mouthfeel and re-create malt and hop harmonies. One microbrewery even found a way to take out the postfermentation boil altogether.


Jeff Hollander, Hairless Dog CEO and co-founder, having long ago chosen a sober lifestyle, remembers how things used to be before the sober uprising. “You haven’t lived until you’ve brought an old-school N/A beer to a party.” Where the Animal House loyalists might’ve jeered and shunned, Hairless Dog focuses on inclusion. “The whole purpose is to bring more people into the party,” says Jeff. “It’s not about trying to maintain the old trajectory of the N/A beer category; it’s about inventing a new one.” I’m a huge fan of what a world embracing N/A beers would look like. You’d get to enjoy the show all night long even when you have work tomorrow. “As we like to say around the office, it’s cheaper than an Uber ride.” Nuts and bolts talk, how’s it taste? “With us, we can leave behind a lot of the nuances of the grains that craft beer

lovers, craft beer fans, like while never introducing alcohol to our process,” says Jeff. “This gives us a lot of ability to create different styles. For example, right now we have an IPA; a Citra Lager, which is made with citra hops, very refreshing; we have a Black Ale; and then we have a Coffee Stout, and we have three new styles that we’re going to be introducing this year.” Okay, that’s a great variety, but seriously, how’s it taste? After trying each of the four beers, I’d say there’s a line straddled between beer and heavily aromatic hop tea. What’s most impressive is how distinct one beer is from the other. The Coffee Stout is better than at least half of the coffee beers I’ve had, though when I drink it, it’s more of an homage to stout rather than a straight up copy. And I like that. I don’t want a company that’s acting as a pioneer in style to betray what’s inherent in their process. Jeff points out that “most people, when they try our brews, think they contain anywhere between 6 to 8 percent.” Perhaps this is because there’s a lot of thought going into the beer. In trying to mimic yeast, there’s a very esterrich-like aroma and taste that mixes with some other spice and floral elements akin to some Belgian styles. These work with the malt, creating a fuller mouthfeel. It allows the roasted character in their Black Ale and Coffee Stout to come across pretty darn clean, leaving something of an ESB bitterness. I will say that the macro beers have been improving their N/A game as well. During my taste testing, I walked away thinking I could totally do one of these

between my regular beers and not have to worry about my palette being wrecked or feeling like I’m suffering through the next 30 minutes. Before I reintroduced myself to these beers, I didn’t see a future for N/As other than being the annoying goody-goody sidekick of an otherwise badass superhero. Now, I’m genuinely excited to see where things can go as the industry recognizes a lot of the previous roadblocks were just parking cones. To today. May we always embrace it as though it were tomorrow. Kyle Jacobson is a writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials. Photographs by Kyle Jacobson.

Kyle Jacobson

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Hairless Dog Brewing Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, wouldn’t tell me everything about their process, but they forgo fermentation and never introduce yeast to their brew. Because there won’t be yeast to convert the sweet sugars in the wort, Hairless Dog’s mash process, where enzymes break down starches into simple sugars, does a few things different on the front end. No details as to what, but they are working with the same grain as everyone else. The result is a true 0.0 percent beer. In addition, because alcohol was never introduced to the brew, they can ship anywhere in the United States.

Go to drinkhairlessdog.com to order their new 4-pack sampler or to find out where you can get their beers near you. Jeff also recommends Zhuzh handcrafted shrub, based out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. madisonessentials.com

| 45


advertiser index association

Our Lives Magazine........................................ 34

Dane Buy Local............................................... 15

UMOJA Magazine........................................... 11

Dane County Humane Society................ 2, 17

The Us in InclUSion Video Podcast............... 43

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WORT-FM........................................................... 12

CONTEST Win a $50

Commerce.................................................... 8 Town of Merrimac............................................ 28

services Bergamot Massage & Bodywork.................... 5

dining, food & beverage

Elizabeth H. Winston, Ph.D., LLC.................... 17

Bavaria Sausage Kitchen, Inc....................... 33

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Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream....................... 9

Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic.......................... 41

Clasen’s European Bakery............................. 19

Monroe Street Framing................................... 25

Firefly Coffee House & Artisan Cheese......... 5

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Specialties & Delicatessen......................... 37

WESLI................................................................. 15

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shopping

The Old Feed Mill Restaurant........................ 24

Abel Contemporary Gallery................... 21, 35

Old Sugar Distillery.......................................... 23

Anthology......................................................... 35

Paisan’s............................................................. 31

The Clay Collective Pottery Tour.................. 47

Quivey’s Grove................................................ 27

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Community Wellness Shop............................ 35

Tempest Oyster Bar......................................... 13

Deconstruction Inc........................................... 8

Tornado Steak House..................................... 13

Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier.......................... 35

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

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entertainment & media Back of the House Online Video Series....... 46 Olbrich Botanical Gardens............................. 9

Gift Card! Question: “Which featured artist was previously a union ironworker?” Enter by submitting your answer to the above question online at madisonessentials.com or by mail with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email to: Madison Essentials c/o Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 All entries with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 gift cards. Contest deadline is March 26, 2021. Gift card will be honored at Otto’s Restaurant & Bar.

Good Luck!

Winners Thank you to everyone who entered our previous contest. The answer to the question “Which local restaurant’s chef was previously a sous chef at L’Etoile and an executive chef at both Merchant and Lucille?” is Cadre Restaurant. A $50 Quivey’s Grove gift card was sent to each of our winners, Ceci Cohen of Fitchburg and Chris Melgaard of Middleton.

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


9 ANNUAL

P O T T ER Y

CAMBRIDGE • LAKE MILLS • JOHNSON CREEK

E VERYONE

WELCOME

MAY 1 & MAY 2

TOUR

10 AM–5 PM

Join us for the Clay Collective’s 9th Annual Spring Pottery Tour May 1–2, 2021 in South Central Wisconsin. Our studios and galleries will be open with our newest pots on display plus the work of select guest potters that have been invited to show with us this year.

RIC LAMORE

GLEN CUTCHER

RICK HINTZE

MARY PRATT

MICHAEL SCHAEL

BRUCE JOHNSON

ED & LAURA KLEIN

MARK SKUDLAREK

THECLAYCOLLECTIVE.ORG


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Profile for Towns & Associates

Madison Essentials March/April 2021  

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

Madison Essentials March/April 2021  

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

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