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CONTENTS may/june 2021

vol. 73

publisher Amy S. Johnson ajohnson@madisonessentials.com


editorial director Amy S. Johnson ajohnson@madisonessentials.com

lead designer

arts Clay, Glaze and Firing: Iowa........18

Barbara Wilson


senior copy editor & lead staff writer

Julie Wolfgram:

Kyle Jacobson

Roots in the Ground...................28

copy editor & staff writer

Unintentional or

Krystle Engh Naab

Unconscious Bias........................42

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

designers Jennifer Denman, Crea Stellmacher, Linda Walker


dining Food Carts.....................................10

food & beverage All Up In Your Ale: Jalapeño Beers...........................44

Debora Knutson


contributing writers Anna Thomas Bates, Sandy Eichel, Jeanne Engle, Lauri Lee, Lori Scarlett, DVM


Allen Centennial Garden.............34

nonprofit International Crane

Eric Tadsen


additional photographs Banzo, Rich Beilfuss, Susan Carnahan, Billy Cho, El Grito Taqueria, Kolin Goldschmidt, International Crane Foundation, JustDane, George Lowe, MOD Media, Emily Walsh Perkins, Griffin Shanungu, Liz Smith, Ted Thousand, Reiko Uchytil, Ugly Apple Café

More than JustDane.....................38

subscriptions Madison Essentials is available free at

Fontana Sports..............................14

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.

pets Dog Days of Summer....................30


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

(continued) madisonessentials.com

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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.


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

all rights reserved. ©2021

No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission by Madison Essentials. Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 P (608) 356-8757 • F (608) 356-8875


Watch for the next issue July/August 2021. Cover photograph—Sandhill Crane by Ted Thousand Photographs on page 3: top—Julie Wolfgram with Roots in the Ground. Photograph by MOD Media middle— Potato Pancake from Ugly Apple Café. Photograph provided by Ugly Apple Café bottom—Whooping Crane. Photograph by Susan Carnahan

from the publisher It’s a beautiful 74-degree spring day. The sun’s out, the grass is greening and growing, and the birds are chirping and flittering in delight. I love this time of year. While some can’t understand why anyone would be willing to live through Wisconsin winters, I can’t imagine the feeling of a day like today would be as sweet without the invigoration that comes from spring’s rebirth. In contrast to the feelings inspired by the season, I also feel despair as I keep an eye on the George Floyd murder trial. In a way, the rejuvenation of spring and the deep pain of the trial represent the times we live in. Each time I sat to write something this past year it was difficult; what direction should I take my words? There were incredible moments of lightness and heavy moments of darkness, and all took my breath away. It’s a difficult balance to maintain—remaining positive and moving forward while at the same time feeling paralyzed by horrific events. I’m a believer that to create positive change, you need to be willing to see the bad as well as the good so you can determine the best path to take. I’m encouraged by the rate of vaccinations and how we’re well ahead of where I imagined possible at this point. But the rampant disinformation that continues to be spread regarding the virus, vaccines, and science even as we surpassed 550,000 deaths is discouraging. I was encouraged by the number of votes and, consequently, the number of voices heard in the November 2020 presidential election. But the efforts since to make the path to vote more difficult in the future with potential to exclude eligible voters is frustratingly discouraging. The number of people speaking out, coming together, and acting on behalf of diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion efforts is very encouraging and long overdue. But the number of occurrences of hate-filled violence, actions, and spoken words stemming from intolerance, inequity, injustice, and exclusion remains heartbreakingly and numbingly discouraging. While Madison Essentials has and will always present numerous feel-good stories of our community, we also want to make sure we highlight the tougher topics that need to be addressed and may also be sometimes controversial. We always want to be grateful for the good things we hold tight, but we also need to remain alert to understand what needs our attention so we can better enact changes to feed our world. May the good always outweigh the bad in your corner of the world, and may you have the ability and strength to see where you are needed to make a needed difference.

amy johnson

4 | madison essentials

Photograph by MOD Media at Roots in the Ground

s au k p r a i r i e

c a p i t o l e as t


ngs i d d e W& s t e u q n a B NEW Brunch Menu! S AT & S U N 10am-3pm





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e ssential nonprofit

International Crane Foundation: One Health of the Land by Kr ystle Engh Naab

6 | madison essentials

amazing recovery since 30 years ago. It’s unimaginable how much better they have done in this area.” The reemergence of different crane species, most notably the whooping crane in North America, is due to the considerable efforts of many partnerships and organizations working towards the common goal of providing healthy and safe habitats for the cranes to thrive. ICF works to secure the original whooping crane population that winters in Texas, stays there until about March, and then migrates to Canada to breed. Their breeding place in Canada is so remote that outsiders didn’t know about it until the 1950s. The program also produces whooping crane chicks to put back in the wild in the eastern United States to help bring the population back.

Black-necked Crane exhibit, which features a pond and a new mural by Jay Jocham

Photograph by International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation’s (ICF’s) history is one that carries over the years and across different countries. Not many are aware of the work they do for cranes and the impact they have until they are introduced to cranes in some way, and visiting the 15 species of cranes at their headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin, is a good way to understand these large, impressive birds. ​ The mission of ICF is to work worldwide to conserve cranes and their ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways. Rich Beilfuss, president and CEO at ICF headquarters, has been working to save the world’s 15 species of cranes since the 1980s. “When I first started at ICF, I only knew of a few sandhill cranes (one of two crane species in the United States) here in Wisconsin, and now we have tens of thousands of sandhills that live here and move through the state. It’s an

Kafue Flats in Zambia ... conserve cranes and their ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways the soul to heaven. “We take the traditional, cultural love of cranes and use our mutual respect to ensure the protection of the cranes in the wild,” says Rich. Rich feels ICF’s first duty is to protect the cranes in the wild, and then to encourage people to support and spread the word about conservation around the

world. There is no typical day at ICF or at the global offices in Africa, China, and Southeast Asia. The big picture is land management, working with governments, local communities, and other partners or organizations to do conservation in these areas. “The crane world, our mission, takes us way out of what you would really

Sandhill Crane on its nest in a Wisconsin marsh Photograph by Rich Beilfuss

“The last whooping cranes in Wisconsin were lost more than a century ago,” says Rich. “It’s been very exciting to bring them back.” They’ve been reintroducing chicks for more than 20 years. Rich’s motto on his work with the cranes, “save them in the wild first because it’s really expensive and difficult to reintroduce birds once they are lost.

Photograph by Ted Thousand

“Cranes are easier to get to know because they are conspicuous and fun to watch, and they are also a flagship for conservation in that people may not care about every frog or insect, but people care about cranes. And they can help us restore and preserve habitats for many species. Tens of thousands of acres of land in China, for example, conserved for the cranes helps out lots of birds and other wildlife.” Cranes also carry deep cultural significance, especially concerning religions in parts of Asia and Southeast Asia. They symbolize luck and good fortune in China, and they’re a traditional Japanese symbol of carrying madisonessentials.com

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Adult and juvenile Whooping Crane in the wild

saving the cranes Photograph by Liz Smith

getting people to see cranes as part of a healthy landscape. “We try to work towards a relationship that is more in harmony, that is not always perfect but a lot of times there are compatible solutions that don’t need to be the either/ or fights.” think of saving cranes in a narrow way. We help create and improve the management of many national parks and other protected areas, for example. We have a 20-year agreement with the Government of Zambia for the Kafue Flats, which is probably the most important wetland in southern Africa, hugely important for lots of birds and animals, and we have a similar 5-year agreement in the lush green valleys of Mongolia to manage a new nature

reserve. These kinds of partnerships with local governments help to bring the security we need to crane habitats for the long term to help manage them better, and I’m excited for these longterm agreements.” An emphasis on the direct link to the cranes and people all sharing the land, Rich’s involvement working on numerous programs aims to avoid the divide of people versus cranes, instead

Another imperative step in saving the cranes and their land are the affiliations ICF makes with its international partners and organizations. “A big part of what we do is maintain great relationships with local partners. We have strong teams at our worldwide sites that are run by the local people.” Rich lovingly calls those committed to conserving cranes and spreading the word about saving their environments “craniacs.” Those craniacs and others

Photograph by International Crane Foundation


8 | madison essentials

Photograph by Griffin Shanungu

A Wattled Crane dances in its African habitat

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Rich and everyone involved with ICF are eagerly awaiting the reopening on May 1. “We are excited to open and use our remodel to more deeply connect with people to the beauty and challenges of saving the cranes around the world. Hopefully people will see real relevance for cranes that work for healthy waters and lands, working to reduce the effects of climate change and the things we care about.”

Krystle Engh Naab

Photo by Kevin Sink

Krystle Engh Naab is a freelance writer and copy editor for Madison Essentials. Photograph by Barbara Wilson

involved in the 10-million-dollar renovation at ICF, which took two years to unveil due to the pandemic, have once again shown their determination and dedication. Rich says, “We have a beautiful new visitor center with new interpretative exhibits. Our new crane exhibits are open air, a full immersion experience with the birds. The exhibits feature beautifully planted wetlands and grasslands, and many of them have background murals aimed at transporting you to where the birds are native in the wild. Visitors can watch the birds feeding and dancing in this naturalistic setting with dramatic scenes in the background.”

International Crane Foundation E11376 S h a d y L a n e Ro a d B a r a b o o, W I 5 3 913 ( 6 0 8 ) 3 5 6 -94 6 2 s a v i n g c r a n e s .o r g

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e ssential dining


Photograph provided by Banzo

In late winter 2020, restaurants watched their reservation books go from full to empty to legally closed within a few weeks. As capacity rules and mask mandates were tossed about between the legislature and governor, most establishments closed their dining rooms.

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

Even though food carts serve their food outdoors, they still prepare meals in a commercial kitchen. They were hit equally hard as mandates and safety protocols were issued. Some had to create online ordering systems and all had to figure out how to prepare food safely while protecting their staff and customers. Some carts closed the entire season; some got a very late start; all saw difficult times as once-busy locations, like the Capitol Square and campus, became ghost towns.

Food carts have advantages over brickand-mortar restaurants—their overhead is lower and they can change their serving location. However, rain, a cold snap, or a global pandemic have big impacts on business. But summer 2021 brings hope. As the temperature climbs, Wisconsin residents get vaccinated, and some head back to work, all are anxious to get outdoors. Food carts offer an outdoor take-out dining option that eager eaters feel very comfortable patronizing.


Aaron Collins owns Banzo with wife, Netalee Sheinman. They began as a food cart in fall 2011 but opened up for additional service at their brick-andmortar location on Sherman Avenue the following summer.

Photograph provided by Banzo


Just out of college, the couple lived in New York City, and Netalee, who is Israeli, was working at an Israeli restaurant in Manhattan. While Middle Eastern food was prevalent in NYC, they wondered what would happen if they brought flavorful falafel, warm pita, creamy hummus, and chicken shawarma to the Midwest. Aaron says Banzo’s falafel recipe was “learned from a guy in a basement on Park Avenue,” and the only thing that has been updated is the measurements—the original had ingredients added by the handful. They converted to standard cups and tablespoons so any size hand could make it. “Our menu hasn’t really changed since we opened,” says Aaron. “We keep it simple and source locally if we can. It’s basically Middle Eastern street food. Simple, good, hearty food that is affordable and accessible.” They highlight beef from local Vindicator Brand, and most of the menu is gluten free with many vegan options. Aaron never grows tired of eating the Banzo F-Bomb, a combo meal featuring their falafel and chicken. He’s also a huge fan of their grass-fed beef kofta, which

is meat slow simmered in a red pepper and tomato sauce. While falafel is their number-one seller (and hummus a close second), he encourages customers to branch out and try the beef kofta or the batata, a sweet potato falafel. FEATURE:

Looking Back — And Ahead The History of UMOJA Magazine

Takeout and delivery from their brickand-mortar location has been good “with lots of loyal customers and a very supportive neighborhood,” says Aaron. Although they’re drastically rethinking what the 2021 season will look like, Aaron says, “We will be out there!”

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy.

JANUARY 2020 • $4

FEBRUARY 2020 • $4

Madison’s Legacies FEATURE:

In typical years, Banzo’s food cart is out every day—Monday through Friday around the Capitol Square and Library Mall, and at events and festivals all weekend. In 2020, the catering side of Banzo’s business dried up, and they weren’t comfortable opening the food cart until they had completed extra safety precautions and training. They opened in June 2020 instead of their usual April.

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy.

30th Anniversary FEATURE:

Black & White Ball:

100 Years of Empowering Communities and Changing Lives


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



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


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


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

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


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

Education is Liberation:

Honoring Class of 2020




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



“The Talk”: It’s Strict and Necessary JULY 2020 • $4



Five years ago, Matthew Danky launched El Grito Taqueria with a friend, a small taco cart, and a full-sized food truck. The friend has since left the business, but El Grito is still going strong.


Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison Inspires a New Generation of Trailblazers

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy. AUGUST 2020 • $4

1 Minute

2 Minutes

I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! 3 Minutes 4 Minutes

I can’t breathe! 5 Minutes 6 Minutes Momma, Momma 7 Minutes 8 Minutes 46 Seconds

Cover art by Comfort Wasikhongo

Photograph provided by El Grito Taqueria

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy.

AUGUST 2020 • $4



Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy. FALL 2020 $4

Madison’s Milele

Rest in Glory


Dr. Carlton D. Jenkins: First Person of Color to Head Madison Schools


Gittens to Serve as UW-Madison’s Interim Chief Diversity Officer

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy.

Portrait is a gift by Madison Artist Jerry Jordan


Paths to Homeownership for Black Families SEPTEMBER 2020 • $4

Subscribe to UMOJA Magazine now at umojamagazine.com.



Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy.

Our Story. Our Voice. Our Legacy. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 $4

DECEMBER 2020 $4

Hope is Beautiful.

Why We Must Vote


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


Racial Health Disparities Since 1619


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


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


Kamala Harris Solidifies Monumental Moment in Black History



Marc Morial Plugs “Main Street Marshall Plan”

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Photograph provided by El Grito Taqueria

would love to emphasize it’s all about our customers—it starts and ends with that.” Matthew’s looking forward to this summer and getting back to El Grito’s roots.


EL GRITO TAQUERIA El Grito offers a variety of imaginative taco styles, including braised meat, like beef brisket and Yucatan-style pork shoulder. They also have unique veggie tacos with hearty vegetables, like squash and cauliflower. “Everyone serves al pastor and steak tacos,” says Matthew. “I try to bring a little something different, using the tortilla as a vehicle and putting creative things in it.

and near the Regent Street Co-op, and using social media to get attention and let followers know their location. There are advantages to being mobile. Matthew’s not paying brick-and-mortar rent over the slow winter months; his overhead is different; and he’s able to reach diners in a different way, especially over the warmer months. “I

In 2020, when everything was up in the air, Matthew launched weekly meal kits, available for pickup at the Regent Street Co-op and FEED Kitchen. It’s not something he wants to do forever, but it helped keep El Grito’s name out there and generate some income. Matthew is feeling optimistic about 2021, as people are likely to feel most comfortable with outside dining. While they’ve previously relied on lunchtime crowds at the Capitol, with fewer employees likely to be downtown, he’s rethinking their strategy, imagining evening pop-ups in neighborhoods, heading back to spots on Willy Street 12 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Laurel describes her way of cooking as home-style with a vaguely Southern accent. While she’s always focused on incorporating produce-seconds, she says the pandemic has shifted her perspective to preserving more local produce through processing, like jams, applesauce, and her classic fruit leather. Laurel feels like Photograph provided by Ugly Apple Café

“I love the cauliflower taco. It has roasted cauliflower with tahini, cilantro parsley sauce, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, topped with pomegranate molasses and pumpkin seeds. The flavor never gets old.” Customer favorites include brisket tacos and their ceviche specials, but Matthew always encourages customers and catering clients to try the vegetarian options.

Laurel Burleson founded Ugly Apple Café food cart in 2016. Her concept was inspired by the amount of food waste she’d seen, which led to her mantra: an ugly apple may not be brought to market, but it can still make a beautiful fritter. She’s been in and out of professional kitchens since high school and has a degree in hospitality management.



Photograph provided by Ugly Apple Café

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the situation has produced more waste and more hungry people. She’s trying to expand certain products and work with nonprofits to help bridge the gap. The Ugly Apple food cart wasn’t out in 2020. Laurel had twin boys in late 2019, so she extended her maternity leave and focused on private catering and processing more food. Think apple marmalade, black currant jelly, aronia berry applesauce, and more. You can find Ugly Apple’s baked goods and preserves around town through Christine’s Kitchens, Brix Cider, Pasture & Plenty, and Landmark Creamery’s delivery service. Laurel’s sculptural cart, an apple crate with a shiny red apple on top, can be booked for special events. She’s still debating what this summer will look like for her cart. A lot will depend on farmers’ markets (where she has vended in the past), although she’s hoping to be out and about selling her breakfast sandwiches, loaded baked potato bombs, and the perennial customer darlings, apple doughnuts, and fritters. As restrictions lift and the days warm, food cart owners are hopeful they will have a stellar season. For patrons, things may look different as safety protocols remain and locations change, but look for your favorite carts and try some new ones. Each cart is trying to make a strong comeback after a challenging year and every order of tacos, falafel, and fritters is an investment in your full belly and Madison’s outdoor dining scene.


Mon-Fri Bar Opens at 4:30 pm—Dinner at 5:00 pm Weekends Open at 5:00 pm

For Reservations Call: 256-3570 Entrances at


116 S. Hamilton & 115 W. Main Street tornadosteakhouse.com

Anna Thomas Bates moved to Wisconsin 21 years ago, and after shopping at the Dane County Farmers’ Market and wandering through the Driftless Area, she hasn’t looked back. Co-owner of Landmark Creamery in Paoli, if she isn’t tasting/ selling cheese, you’ll find her writing about food, reading a good book, swimming, or hiking with her two boys.

Anna Thomas Bates

BANZO • banzomadison.com EL GRITO TAQUERIA elgritotaqueria.com UGLY APPLE CAFÉ uglyapple.com madisonessentials.com

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essential shopping


NAVIGATING THE CHALLENGES OF SMALL BUSINESS OWNERSHIP BY LAURI LEE Small businesses are recognized annually the first week of May during National Small Business Week for a reason. Life is hard for small businesses. A week of recognition for the significant contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners seems hardly enough to acknowledge their value to our economy. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, which creates nearly two out of every three new jobs in the United States each year. Over the past year, new start-ups and established businesses alike had to think on their feet, prioritizing the urgent while constantly pivoting to adapt to customer needs to stay in business. Elizabeth Ganser, co-owner of the outdoor lifestyle retailer Fontana Sports at 216 N. Henry Street in Madison, has been making plans much of her life 14 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

to be the eventual owner of the threegeneration, family-owned and -operated local business. Of course, she didn’t account for the unexpected life changes, pandemic, and looting of 2020. ​ “I’m still figuring out how to piece my future together to incorporate the recent unexpected twists and turns. I have this incredible family legacy of store ownership that I want to live up to. It all began when Grandpa (Clarence) and Grandma (Beatrice) Hutchinson started the first Fontana Army Navy in 1949 in Fontana, Wisconsin. It was post World War II, and surplus military supplies were popular. “My dad (John) grew up helping in his parent’s store. He went to University of Wisconsin–Madison (consistency with below) and graduated with a degree in marketing. He decided not to take

the marketing job he had accepted in Chicago and instead opened his first Fontana location in 1972 in the 100 block of State Street during the height of the Vietnam War. Business was good, so he moved to a larger space at 251 State Street and, before long, he filled the 10,000 square foot space. To put his own stamp on the store’s historic identity, his merchandising began to incorporate the Eagle Scout background of his youth and his love of outdoor sports, such as climbing and fly fishing. He started offering apparel, footwear, and gear to enjoy these outdoor activities. In 1976, he met my mom (Judith) in the scuba diving class he was instructing. After marrying in 1979, she accepted his offer to retire from teaching and join him to run the family business. My mom has shown me just how much work it takes to be a woman business owner as well as a great mom.” To meet customer needs, the Hutchinson’s added stores at various east and west side Madison locations. E-commerce was added in 2006. FontanaSports.com showcases Fontana’s high-quality apparel, footwear, and gear tailored for outdoor lifestyles and activities, such as camping, hiking, climbing, travel, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. They carry highquality brands, such as Patagonia, Smartwool, The North Face, Merrell, and many more. “My brother Johnny and I grew up spending a lot of time with our parents at the store. We were allowed to play in the tents and loved playing big bad wolf with the employees. We traveled to buying shows, attended ski demos, got scuba certified, and learned about the outdoor industry. We had a wonderful childhood and loved spending time with our parents, especially in the great outdoors. I looked forward to the day madisonessentials.com

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...STARTED OFFERING APPAREL, FOOTWEAR, AND GEAR TO ENJOY THESE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. when I could bring my own children to the store and make those kinds of memories together. “In 2005, I graduated from UW– Madison with a degree in retail and became an assistant manager at our State Street location. In 2007, I took on buyer responsibilities for the footwear department and, in time, all apparel. In 2011, I bought in and became a partial owner. “After marrying my husband, Tom, in 2015, we were excited to start a family and introduce a fourth generation to

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

the joys of owning a family business. After years of enduring challenges with endometriosis and ovarian cysts, doctors told us we had a 2 percent chance of ever getting pregnant. We began to reconcile ourselves to the thought of never being able to have children. “Much to our shock, but great delight, I discovered I was pregnant in July 2018. The lease on our second store location on Junction Road was coming up for renewal in April 2019, the exact time I was due with our baby. To keep things simple as I joined the ranks of being a mompreneur, I chose to keep just our

North Henry downtown location and close the Junction Road store. “Baby Grace was born before COVID-19, so she came to work with me, and it was just as I had imagined. I had one year of carrying Grace around in her carrier and merchandising, playing in tents, writing orders while she

slept in her pack ‘n play, and sitting through line showings with her on my lap. Then it abruptly stopped. The pandemic started in March 2020, and we were required to close due to state mandate. “Unbelievably, it was then that I found out I was pregnant with a second hoped-for, but absolutely unexpected child that would mean having two children under the age of two during a pandemic. The challenges, both good and bad, were stacking up. Two weeks after we had finally reopened after two

months of being closed, social unrest occurred in Madison, and State Street was hit especially hard. Fontana Sports was vandalized and looted three nights in a row. I had to close the store again for another two months while we repaired the hundreds of thousands of dollars of damages. I called my dad out of retirement to help operate the store while I worked from home in order to protect my pregnancy from the pandemic and to take maternity leave once Tessa, our second daughter, arrived in late October 2020.

future generations to play outside so they can see value in protecting the places we love.” Lauri Lee is a marketing communications specialist and small business mentor in Madison. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

“I’m proud to be a local small business owner. Despite all the challenges since 2020, I want to continue the legacy Lauri Lee for my daughters. I love working with my parents and hope my daughters will love working with me to learn about the outdoors, the outdoor industry, running a business, and being part of the downtown business 216 N.x HENRY Madison Essentials Spring 2021 4.75 2.25 $540STREET community. Staying positive through MADISON, WI 53703 all the challenges and changes can be (608) 257-5043 difficult, but it’s important. The fact that our business’ goal is to get people fontanasports.com outdoors makes it worthwhile. I want


• Interactive storybook vignettes • Electronic culture stations • Build-your-journey map wall • Genealogy lab • 68-seat hearing loop enabled auditorium

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“Where immigrant stories come alive”

277 W. Main St. Stoughton, WI

Please check our website or Facebook page for updated information on COVID-19

• livsreise.org • Free Admission • 608.873.7567 • • madisonessentials.com

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essential arts

Clay, Glaze & Firing IOWA

by Kyle Jacobson

Photograph provided by Billy Cho

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. Next stop: Iowa.


Reconstruct Architecture Studying No. 3 18 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Ceramists go all-in when investing into the idea of clay, but their portfolios vary significantly. Where one artist dedicates a lifetime to the spiritual connection humans have with earth, another gets delightfully lost measuring and defining a range of factors occurring at the chemical level. Billy Cho’s time in the market has evolved into providing

the audience an impression of clay as a material. Though he’s very familiar with the look and feel of clay, audiences are most often familiar with clay’s byproducts: sculptures and pottery. On a fundamental level, Billy wants people to break free of what he sees as a limited definition. “Using the ceramics

Photograph provided by Billy Cho

Connection/Disconnect Series No. 1

itself with dishes and things like that, people oversee the material itself,” says Billy. “So a ceramic plate, people see it so often they’ve kind of lost the idea of what ceramics really is.” We have to train ourselves to see our everyday worlds beyond the things into which they culminate.


Photograph provided by Billy Cho

Billy achieves his aims through simple forms of different media, usually wood, metal, and clay. Using concepts of abstract art, primarily those involving line, dimension, and shape, something incongruent culminates into a structure only fully appreciated after examining each part then stepping back to see the work in its entirety. Most intriguing is his decision to have the ceramic components not be overtly ceramic. You have to get close, even touch the piece, to be sure it’s not porcelain, bone, paper, or vinyl. For the viewer, understanding the material means shattering preconceived understandings of what is and isn’t ceramics. One of Billy’s strongest fascinations in using clay to create art is that the end product doesn’t have to be perfect to be appreciated. In fact, it’s when his pieces are all clean lines and uniform structure that people struggle to see the shapes as ceramic, as though their understanding of clay relies on imperfections. This is mirrored in how Americans react to the fact he’s from Hong Kong, expecting him to strive for perfection. Billy says it’s “the idea of how can you deconstruct an item and put it back together in a different idea.” Redefining others’ views is, as Billy sees it, an exercise in taking apart what they know and then reassembling the pieces to create a more accurate representation. Conceptually, I’m pulled in by his aim to give credence to perspective, even those steeped in stereotype or delusion, and acknowledge there’s a validity to what’s happening while pointing out a breakdown in interpretation. We’re all experiencing the same space, but we’re not all having the same experience. A new bridge is built to connect the artist’s and the patron’s perception of material. When it comes to functional pottery, Billy takes a different approach. Audiences will immediately recognize the work madisonessentials.com

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Every pottery piece has 12 layers of glaze to achieve something of a signature look created by abstract shapes carved deep to allow runny glazes to momentarily

pool. “They’re not all stable glazes,” says Billy. “A lot of the surface detail that were purposefully made on the piece become a painting canvas for me where I can contain certain colors and emphasize the line.” No matter the pieces, Billy’s mindful approach to material is evident. It’s more than carrying on the traditions of those who came before him; he’s trying to get everyone on the same page so when we get to the next chapter, more people appreciate how we got there.

Connection/Disconnect Series No. 2

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

Photograph provided by Billy Cho

as ceramic in material, but where some pieces have a clear use, others can be interpreted by the user in several ways. “I’m really just trying to make the object and let the viewer decide what that could mean for them.” There are often connections to Billy’s culture, like the side-handled kyusu teapot, which might not be straightforward to everyone.

Photograph provided by Billy Cho


GEORGE LOWE George Lowe has a relationship with clay fueled by its global and historical ubiquity, his process and creations reflecting more than just his over-45 years as a potter. It’s been through his journey that he’s learned to understand clay beyond its physiology. For George, working with clay has never been a one-sided exchange.

Small Pouring Vessel

Authenticity in process translates to an authenticity in conversation, a transfer of energy between his pieces and patrons. George’s pots, cups, and jars are meant to be approached with intuition, and held with a calming familiarity. A distinct minimalist approach in process keeps things from being too convoluted or lost in translation. In

Photograph provided by George Lowe

“I think of the raw clay as being a living material in a sense,” says George. “It records your energy that you impart on the clay, and so, in the finished cup, somehow my energy is locked into the nature of the cup. I like to think of it that way. That it’s indeed a living material, and that it can last a long, long time. And yet, it’s so fragile.”

fact, he mostly works with a green glaze and a brown glaze, which leads to an improvisation around form more so than meticulously inscribing a concept.

Photograph provided by George Lowe



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“...somehow my energy is locked into the nature of the cup.”


What results are pieces with a really attractive timeless look, often seeming weather worn or unearthed. “I love found objects,” says George. “And I guess I’m inspired by the earth and nature in all its forms. If I can somehow capture just a glimpse of the earth or what fire does or something that’s growing—I tend not to paint little flowers and force that. I just let the surface suggest rain or water or growth.

Photograph provided by George Lowe

“It’s a formula of trying to be able to make it quickly, but show a genuine, kind of mature hand. Like a concert pianist can play the same song over and over again throughout their career, and a few years later, that same song will be fantastic. So I kind of play the same song over and over with these cups and bowls, and once in a while the performance is really good.” When first starting out, George recalls having difficulty making just 10 pieces, but maturing his process hasn’t just led to an efficiency in production. He’s essentially learned a new language rooted entirely in process. “The preparation is a physical workout to prepare clay. And then you put it on the wheel and enter this praying kind of


Photograph provided by George Lowe 22 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

posture of centering it. Being centered is such a powerful metaphor, and then opening, and then pulling it up, and then breathing life into the form.”


Photograph provided by George Lowe

Working as a professor gave George the opportunity to teach abroad and put this language to use. “I got to take students to Nicaragua for the Potters for Peace Brigade tour. I’ve gotten to teach pottery classes three times in the Middle East. With pottery, you can speak through the material and the process and find common ground that way.” Using clay to communicate complex ideas is far more ancient than any language used today, and mastering that language has tapped into a source of guidance for George. Now, George finds himself in perhaps the most unique position he’s ever been in as an artist. “Now that I’m retired, I can make what I want. But I need to make it somehow—there’s pleasure I can still get out of it.” Working with clay was never about making big waves in the arti-sphere for George. Rather, it’s a key that grants him access to creation on a more universal scale.


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Photograph provided by Reiko Uchytil

Rabbit Mug

“The ones that make me happy are the large, overly elaborate, overly detailed pieces. That’s what makes my soul happy.”

Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?

Vincent van Gogh was a painter who suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions. His story is a tragic one. Considered a madman and a failure during his lifetime, his contributions to post-impressionism wouldn’t be recognized until sometime after his suicide by gunshot. His state of mind is oft noted in relation to his desire to eat paint and turpentine to poison himself. Where am I going with this?

Reiko Uchytil might be considered psychologically stable by most measures, but the origins of her work, well... “I started my journey with clay crawling around on the studio floor eating it.” In fairness, she was very young at the time. It still got her into Wonderland, white rabbits and all. She fondly remembers her time growing up in her parents’ studio. “I’m a second-generation potter. ... My parents always encouraged

Photograph provided by Reiko Uchytil

Photograph provided by Reiko Uchytil

Sgraffito Wall Blocks

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us to play in the studio, so I started off making pinch pots and selling those in shows at my parents’ booth.”

Heron Plate

Photograph provided by Reiko Uchytil

What came out of that childhood was a person who sought exploration of the obscure, the absurd, and the non sequitur. Sometimes it results in doll-inspired rabbit sculptures with overstretched legs. Sometimes it’s abstract patterns on the gown of a jackalope. Sometimes it’s texture-heavy sgraffito rabbits on plates. The rabbit seems a strong metaphor in her work, taking her from the real world into a creative realm where rules are often reinterpreted. “I don’t like realistic, and I don’t like super cartoony,” Reiko says of her rabbits, their humanoid depictions influenced by folklore, mythology, and cartoons. Some of her favorite pieces were fired in a giant 80-square-foot soda kiln her and her dad built. With it, she was able to create sculptures three, four, even five feet tall. “I begged and begged my dad [to build that kiln]. We gotta do soda firing. We gotta do soda fire. So


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Photograph provided by Reiko Uchytil

Sgraffito Bowls

When Reiko’s father passed from cancer a few years ago and her mother retired, her mother sold the house along with the studio and the kiln. This meant she’d have to make smaller (not necessarily small) pieces, but losing access to a giant kiln has done nothing to slow down the creative direction of her work. One look through Reiko’s portfolio is all it takes to know she is nothing if not

adaptable. Even her functional pieces demand a second or third look before being picked up. And then people are struck by the tactile experience of holding the piece. She carves her lines deep and puts bumps and slips where people are likely to take hold so she can share her obsession with texture, hoping people find new ways to interact with the mug or plate.

work kept changing so much in size and style.” She’s not just in the middle of function and provocative, she’s redefining what that middle can look like. As was true of her father’s mentor, Dean Schwartz, Reiko violates the edge of what ceramics is. Kyle Jacobson is lead writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials.

The range of Reiko’s work has left me going through her pieces multiple times just to get a handle on which direction she wants to go with her art, but it turns out she’s comfortable letting a moment’s inspiration take the wheel. “I have rebuilt my 10- by 10-foot display every year for six years because my body of Kyle Jacobson

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

we finally built a soda kiln together, and it was just so much fun. That was Christmas every time opening that up. There was so much exploration. ... The ones that make me happy are the large, overly elaborate, overly detailed pieces. That’s what makes my soul happy.”




abelcontemporary.com /george-lowe

REIKO UCHYTIL helloimreiko.com

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together we make a difference

madisonessentials.com | homeelementsandconcepts.com | journeyofaging.com

e ssential community

Julie Wolfgram


We like to think we know how to listen. How to agree, disagree, laugh, help, and empathize. But not every voice is speaking so directly. Our worlds are filled with voices, but so many perpetually screaming go ignored because we don’t know how to hear them. If the squeaky wheel gets the grease, what of the silenced ecosystem once home to humming bumblebees, seeting chickadees, and chattering wood ducks? When Julie Wolfgram chose to follow in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents and become a farmer at her son’s farm, it didn’t take long for her to understand just how much the land was trying to say. “The soil here is not really great soil,” says Julie of her son’s 83 acres. “The first several years felt like a real disaster.” In the beginning, rainy days were some of the worst. “Our soil is very tightly condensed. It’s a clay-based soil, so it’s 28 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

actually smaller particles. And it’s like brick. The water takes a very long time to penetrate. ... If it rained one day, I wouldn’t be able to even walk on the property for three days because of the clay mud.” Living like this wasn’t just an inconvenience for Julie, it was a cry for help from her land. When she first started, there was nothing on her field. No buildings. No power. But her son would build a well and pumphouse and get electricity out there with the brief time he had between Army assignments. She would breathe life back into what had become something of a wasteland. “Now, we’ve been mowing and putting all this organic matter back into the soil,” says Julie. She takes wood chips from tree trimmers and other people’s leaves to put some skin on the bones— organic matter on the compacted soil. “That took about four years. They say you can measure the amount of soil

in the Ground

by Kyle Jacobson

your property has lost by looking at an established fence row. ... We’re looking at about a foot of soil that’s been washed away over the last several decades in the modern farming technique. “This is how we got the Dust Bowl. We’re headed in the same direction. They don’t leave enough organic matter on their land. No farmer around here does what’s called green manure. After you take corn off, you plant oats or you plant rye—some sort of grass or wheat. You don’t grow it to get the kernels. You do it to get the green mass. And then it freezes, and it dies in the fall. You go back in the spring and plant your next crop right in that debris. So it holds the soil, but it also gives organic matter to the soil. Nobody does that here.” Aside from a wide range of produce, Julie also utilizes the pastureland of her son’s farm for her chickens and hogs to roam around in and do what they do. Concerning her pigs, “They actually

are grazing animals. They love to be in the wood to forage for nuts. They dig up roots. They kind of keep the woods clean of all kinds of stuff that would promote forest fires. They’re good for that.”

Listening again becomes central when Julie looks for ways she can improve the lives of others today, not tomorrow. She went to a HUD development to figure out what those residents needed. Not what they stereotypically need, but what this specific group of individuals would benefit from. “We talked about what isn’t that affordable. What kinds of things do you eat? What are your issues? A lot of them don’t cook very much because it’s hard to stand for that long. They like microwaves. Mostly it’s just one person in an apartment. ... We came to a starting point. I’ll bring eggs, and you guys buy the eggs for a dollar a dozen. I’ll bring vegetables, and I’ll lay them out on the table and put an envelope at the end. You know your budget, and you pay accordingly in the envelope. If you need to make change, then you take the change out of the envelope. Nobody’s going to be standing over your shoulder. That’s how we operated, and it was pretty successful.” She’s looking to branch out to the community center this summer, and wants to start taking on food deserts

when the soil improves further and produces a more consistent crop yield. Though the farm has yet to turn a profit, Julie is able to operate because of people who buy her eggs and other items at full price: $3.50 a dozen for some of the healthiest eggs in the Madison area. On future improvements, Julie looks forward to having her son around. “He deployed to Afghanistan; he’s actually been gone three years, and we’ve been here four. He should be around for the whole summer this year unless he gets called.” This year, Julie is hoping to sell starter plants in addition to what she already supplies, so having her son around will be important; she’s otherwise taking on the 83 acres alone. Maybe it’s because Julie went to college to be a teacher that she came to understand the importance of listening. Certainly being the oldest daughter of four children taught her the luxury of being heard, and maintaining a twoacre garden from the age of 11 helped her understand the language of the land. She also remembers how nobody outside of her family was supportive of her when she could’ve really used the help raising her five children as a single parent. She wasn’t going to allow herself to be that person.

Julie told me when it comes to helping others, it’s important to remember “it’s not the same for everyone. It’s just really important to me to not be like everyone else who walks through the door and slaps a sticker on saying ‘I Voted’. ... It’s important to me to make people feel like they’ve been heard and they’ve been helped. ... If you don’t know what to do, do what you know and get started.” Kyle Jacobson is lead writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials. Photographs by MOD Media.

Kyle Jacobson


Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Julie sees her farming as potential for this rich, biodiverse field that bears highquality produce and gives her animals a stress-free life before being butchered. As a result, more of the native wildlife also has a place to call home. Then she takes everything she knows and has learned about connection with the land and translates it to her work with the community.

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essential pets

dog days of


Summer is the busiest time at a veterinary clinic, with increased visits mainly due to summertime maladies and emergencies. We don’t see many allergic reactions to insect stings in the winter, but they greatly increase in late summer, when yellow jackets are most active. Not all dogs react to a hornet sting, but those that do come in with very swollen, painful muzzles. If your dog gets stung, immediately give them Benadryl (diphenhydramine). It should be dosed at one milligram per pound of body weight, so a 25-pound dog would get a single adult Benadryl tablet (25 milligrams) while a 75-pound dog would get three. If the swelling doesn’t improve within a couple hours or your dog is having difficulty swallowing or breathing, get them to a vet quickly. 30 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Some dogs have severe reactions and need steroids to get it under control. Ticks love to sunbathe on the end of weeds and reach out their little legs to “hug” any dog (or person) that comes within reach. They’re small and often avoid detection. Ticks carry many nasty diseases, and each year new species move northward from southern states into Wisconsin. If you find a tick on your dog, use a tweezers to pull it straight out of the skin, then drown the tick in alcohol or flush it down the toilet. A tick bite looks red, a little swollen, feels a bit hard, and the center is often dark in color. People call saying the tick head is still in the skin, but don’t worry about it and don’t dig around for it. Almost always, the tick head comes out if you pull the tick straight out. If it doesn’t, it will die, and your dog’s body will push

it out. The best course of action is to give your dog an effective tick and flea preventative monthly. While you may not see a tick biting, you’ll likely notice another dog latched onto your dog. I love taking my dogs to the dog parks, but am always on the lookout for dogs that aren’t having fun. Most dog parks have a sign describing what to look for when two dogs meet. Unfortunately, some owners of reactive or aggressive dogs still take them to the dog park, putting their dogs into situations where they’ll bite other dogs that come near them or attack dogs they don’t like. Please call 911 for Dane County Animal Services if there’s an emergency in a dog park. If you don’t notice a bite until you get home, get your dog to a vet to clean the

wound, assess if it needs stitches, and start antibiotics and pain medication. If you can’t get to a vet immediately, gently wash the wound with warm water. If the wound’s bleeding, apply pressure using a clean cloth. When I lived in North Carolina, summer meant contending with copperhead snake bites, which could be deadly. Wisconsin has two rattlesnake species, but they’re pretty rare to see. If your pet gets bitten, get them to a vet as soon as possible. You’ve likely seen the hot summer car infographics. If it’s a pleasant 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, within 10 minutes of being parked, a car’s temperature will reach 99 degrees Fahrenheit, and after 30 minutes, it’ll reach a sweltering 114 degrees Fahrenheit. This is even with open windows. Dogs’ sweat glands are on their paws, which isn’t much surface area to regulate heat. Panting also contributes to cooling. Short-nosed breeds, like pugs, Frenchies, and bulldogs, have smooshed noses, long soft palates, and narrow

nostrils, which makes it much harder for them to breathe compared to long-nosed dogs. Heat exhaustion or heat stroke is an emergency; take your dog to a vet as soon as possible. Clinical signs include excessive panting (so don’t let your dog carry anything in its mouth after playing), red gums, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and collapse. Cover your pet with cool, damp towels on the way to the vet—applying rubbing alcohol to their footpads can speed evaporation and provide a little cooling too.




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paws, WHICH


Wisconsin State Law states that if you see a pet in danger in a car, you may enter the vehicle forcibly to remove them. But after first making sure the vehicle is locked, call 911, and use only as much force as needed to reach the dog. Remain with the vehicle until the police arrive. ​ If hot cars are bad, then cool lake waters should be the antidote, right? Retriever dogs, like Labradors, love the water. They’ll jump off docks, swim, chase tennis balls, and play all day. But if they aren’t used to all that activity, they could be very sore the next day. I see a handful

of dogs each summer with swimmer’s tail. These poor dogs won’t wag their tail or want to lay down, and may even yelp when getting up. They’ve sprained the muscles in their tail from overuse. Rest is usually all that is needed, but your vet can prescribe medication to help the pain. Please don’t give any over-thecounter pain medications to your dog without checking with your vet. Blue-green algae blooms are another worry for water-loving dogs. This cyanobacteria is most prevalent in the late summer, when the lake water is

nice and warm. Green algae isn’t toxic and looks like long green hair in the water. Blue-green algae looks more like a layer of paint on the water, usually a deep blue-green color, but can also be red, with a bad odor. A good theory is that if the water looks scummy and you wouldn’t drink from it, then don’t let your dog drink from or play in it. It’s also best to wash your dog with fresh water (and shampoo, if possible) after being in the lake. Watch for signs of toxicity, such as vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, staggering, and collapse. If your dog isn’t feeling well after being in the lake, get them seen by a vet quickly! Dogs are notorious for finding things to eat that shouldn’t be eaten. Dead fish or animals, leftovers from a picnic from five days ago, other dog’s poop, or a rock with a molecule of tastiness on it. If your dog vomits a few times, the best home care is to not feed him for 8 to 12 hours to let their GI system rest. I’m always surprised to hear people say they fed their dog right after vomiting and were surprised the dog threw up again. If you just vomited, do you want to eat right away? If vomiting continues, then see your vet. Dehydration is a concern,

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

and there may be an obstruction in the stomach. Diarrhea is common in dogs after they eat something they shouldn’t. Again, withholding food for half a day is unlikely to harm your dog and allows intestinal inflammation to subside. When you offer food again, feed a small amount of something bland: two parts boiled white rice mixed with one part boiled skinless chicken breasts. This isn’t nutritionally complete, so if the diarrhea isn’t improving in a day or

two, contact your vet. Diarrhea can also be caused by giardia (drinking lake or standing water), intestinal worms, and an intestinal obstruction. There are many dangers for our pets, but fortunately, they aren’t encountered too frequently. Apart from Benadryl for insect stings, there aren’t many situations easily managed at home. Please have your vet’s phone number handy so you can get their advice during a pet emergency.

Lori Scarlett, DVM & Charlie

Photograph by Brenda Eckhardt

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


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e ssential landmark


Allen Centennial Garden BY JEANNE ENGLE

To ensure that the first dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin–Madison would not be lured away by another institution of higher education, the regents built him a house in 1896. Today, that Queen Anne-style house stands at 620 Babcock Drive on the UW campus. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September 1984.

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The Queen Anne-style was popularized by English architects in the 19th century and mixed design elements from medieval times. In the United States, the style was prevalent from 1880 to 1910. Set on a cut-stone foundation, the Agricultural Dean’s Residence is a two-story cream brick structure with a substantial attic. Its gothic details include gables on three sides featuring half-timber style trim and tall, narrow windows with a pointed arch at the top. A three-story conical tower on one corner reinforces the house’s asymmetry. Carved wood trim is predominant on the house. The secondstory balcony over the front entrance shows delicate S-shaped curves and railings with a trefoil (three intersecting circles) pattern. Along with the medieval elements, the Dean’s Residence also includes groupings of two and three classical columns set on sturdy-cut stone bases that support the front-porch roof. Leaded glass is found on the foyer window and inner door. The National Register nomination notes, “Its external appearance has changed very little since it was built.”

The Dean’s Residence was designed by Madison architects Conover & Porter, who also designed the Red Gym and Science Hall (Conover with Koch) at UW as well as several homes in Madison. Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Claude, John Flad, and Alvan Small were among local architects who received training in the Conover & Porter firm. “With its generous proportions and welcoming aspect, [the Dean’s Residence] is a typical house of its time,” according to the National Register nomination. “Its architectural significance lies in the fine details of its wood carving and the repetition of design motifs both inside and outside … an excellent example of the work of Conover & Porter.” Though the UW was founded in 1848, its College of Agriculture (today’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) was not officially established until 1889. The College’s first dean, William Arnon Henry, grew up on a farm in Ohio and was educated at Cornell University. He was recruited by the UW in 1880. Ever the champion for the UW, Henry attended farm meetings around the state. He brought seeds to the farmers

and shared innovations from the experimental farm the UW had begun on Madison’s west side, which he also directed, in 1883. He urged Wisconsin farmers to send their sons to study agriculture at the UW. Because of Henry’s ability to relate to both farmers and legislators, he secured funding for buildings on the campus of the College of Agriculture. Still standing are Hiram Smith Hall, Agriculture Hall, and the Stock Pavilion. In 1885, Henry established a 12-week winter course providing a link between practical farming and research. The program continues today as the Farm and Industry Short Course. Another innovation in 1885 was the Farmers’ Institutes. UW educators traveled throughout the state to hold one- or two-day conferences on agricultural topics for farmers. These Institutes were the precursor of today’s Cooperative Extension and other outreach programs. All of the UW’s agricultural offerings were put together under the umbrella of a new College of Agriculture in 1889, with Henry as its head. As Henry’s reputation grew, job offers from other universities began to come in. In order to retain him, his request for a house costing $10,000 was granted. After he took occupancy, Henry paid all

future expenses for the house until his retirement in 1907. Three more deans after Henry lived in the house: Harry L. Russell from 1907

to 1930, Chris L. Christensen from 1930 to 1943, and Edwin B. Fred from 1943 to 1945. Russell was instrumental in organizing the Department of Bacteriology, the first of its kind in any major American university. Fred was named president of the UW in 1945 and held that position until 1958. Because the agricultural dean who succeeded Fred didn’t want to move onto campus, the Freds were allowed to remain, paying no rent, until Edwin B. Fred died in January 1981. After Fred’s death, the Dean’s Residence became the office for the UW’s Agricultural Research Stations until 2012. Today, plans are for the Dean’s Residence to be transformed into a retreat and smaller conference center and an event and VIP reception venue. Bill Mann, director of Conference Center and Mail Services for UW, reports, “The plans are to bring the [Dean’s] Residence back to the charm and elegance that was originally there. We are excited about this project being designed by Mead & madisonessentials.com

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Allen Garden

Madison’s LGBTQ magazine since 2007

as an opportunity to complement the Garden while providing a unique venue for the campus.” The Allen Centennial Garden comprises 2.5 acres and surrounds the Dean’s Residence. Dedicated in 1989, the opening of the Garden coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Horticulture Department (thus Centennial) and was named after its major donor, Mrs. Ethel Allen, herself a former member of the UW faculty. Josh Steger, horticulture director for the Garden, encourages visitors to the Garden, which is free and open to the public. “It feels like an oasis; you forget you’re in the middle of the city,” says Josh. It’s best to go to our website (allencentennialgarden.wisc.edu) to see hours and regular updates about requirements for visiting.” Some of the oldest plants in the garden are Scots pine, Japanese larch, and ponderosa pine. It’s assumed these were all planted by Henry before 1900. Today, some 1,600 different species of plants grace the Garden throughout a typical year. Plantings are not changed significantly, according to Josh. “We edit and add to what’s already there. Annuals add a pop of color and texture to the perennial beds.

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

“The focus of the Garden has changed in the past decade. It’s more sustainable in terms of plant selection. We look for species that are low maintenance and drought tolerant. The Garden is continuing to evolve in an environmentally sound way that supports the ecosystem.” When the Dean’s Residence was erected in the late 1800s, it was surrounded by open fields. Dean Henry would be pleased to see the beauty that envelopes his home today. To navigate the various gardens within the Garden and to see images of some of the plants, go to allencentennialgarden .wisc.edu/about/plant-finder. Jeanne Engle is a freelance writer. Photographs by Kolin Goldschmidt.

Jeanne Engle

Photograph by MOD Media Productions

Hunt, historic preservation specialists, and hope to have it finished by the fall of 2022, provided we get all the necessary approvals and funding. We see the renovation of the [Dean’s] Residence



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essential nonprofit

More than JustDane by Kyle Jacobson JustDane isn’t telling the Greater Madison area what it’s supposed to look like; it’s providing the tools to allow others to shine.

Local voices are key for nonprofits to make an ongoing impact in any community. Though other regions can inspire efforts in our area, an initiative that works halfway across the country won’t necessarily translate over 1,500 miles. And even in cases where only part of a program works, the rest can’t be forced through. What JustDane is doing for Dane County continues to be effective because of the time they spend seeking out relevant perspectives before filling in the gaps surrounding services for people who need them most, all while empowering other visionaries and volunteers. In the best cases, those empowered individuals grow into their own nonprofits. Better known as Madison-area Urban Ministry (MUM), JustDane has been

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

around for 50 years functioning, among other things, as an incubator and fiscal agent for innovative ideas and projects. Executive Director Linda Ketcham says, “The goal is to support them so that they can build their internal capacity and achieve their goal, which is to become their own nonprofit free and clear of us.” Over the years of working with so many nonprofits, JustDane has instilled itself in the community as a resource for connecting people and businesses to the nonprofits that can help them most. Each successful nonprofit born from JustDane’s model speaks to a broader mission of creating a just and equitable community, something that has been their aim since the beginning. “There was a United Church of Christ congregation called Pilgrim United

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Church of Christ,” says Linda. The church had been working to address issues in its neighborhood surrounding gentrification, racism, and economic injustice. “But, as happens sometimes, congregations get older. It gets harder to keep doors open, so they decided to dissolve as a congregation. But because they felt strongly about social justice, they went to another United Church of Christ congregation in town, First Congregational United Church of Christ, and asked them if they were to hand over their assets to that church, would that church use those assets to build some kind of social justice ministry.” The congregation agreed and formed a committee, Servants on Errands. The new committee got to work immediately to research what was needed in the community, particularly in terms of fair and affordable housing and racism. “One of the things they identified as a need was for a neighborhood center in that Wilmar area,” says Linda. Since the neighborhood association had been meeting in the church, the church turned the building over to the association to madisonessentials.com

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In the best cases, those empowered

create the Wilmar Neighborhood Center, which, along with the old Pilgrim United Church of Christ, is still there today operating after-school programs, a food pantry, and other community activities. In 1971, Servants on Errands officially became founded as MUM, and in 1973, MUM officially became incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Almost immediately, MUM found their executive director: Chuck Pfeifer. Linda recalls when she first met Chuck for lunch, “He told me that when he accepted the job, Alice Schacht, who was really the chair of that Servants on Errands committee, gently took his hand in hers and said, ‘Good, then all we have to do is figure out a way to pay you.’” But that didn’t scare Chuck away. He oversaw several key initiatives during his tenure, including Project Home, the Men’s Homeless Shelter at Grace Episcopal Church, and the community health center. “Chuck’s successor came in 1998, Mary Kay Baum,” says Linda. “And Mary Kay 40 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

individuals grow into their own nonprofits.

was there for eight years. Under Mary Kay’s watch, things like the Allied Wellness Center, Allied Partners, Family Connections, and some of those other groups were brought in.

“Mary Kay had the vision to understand that all the issues we cared about, racism, access to education, racial disparities, fair and affordable housing, homelessness, where all these issues converged is when

you look at the justice system and who gets arrested and sent to prison. And so she and MUM, at the time, started to focus on reentry and prison reform. We were one of the organizations to really coordinate under her leadership the protests against building the supermax prison in Boscobel.”

“We made a conscious decision not to spin off those justice-system-focused programs. We recognized that every time we spin something off, as Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, would say, we lose the proximity to the people most impacted by the issues we’re working on. We need to have that proximity, and we need to have them at the table with us telling us what’s happening and sharing stories and their experiences and working side by side with us to have input on what we’re developing.” What happened next was JustDane taking a moment to look internally and completely revamp their hiring process. In 2007, they evaluated every position and asked themselves if the jobs really needed a college degree or if they needed a skillset. If a job needed a skillset, JustDane then defined the skillset and determined whether or not a college degree guarantees that skillset. The idea behind this was recognizing the barriers to higher education in terms of racial disparities. Eventually, they banned the box on their applications regarding criminal history, which increased the number of staff having lived experiences with the justice system, homelessness, incarceration, and other relevant situations to around 65 percent. As Linda describes it, “It’s always been a two-pronged approach of our direct

support initiatives and our focus on advocacy. As we see it, part of the advocacy work in building a more equitable community is also helping the initiatives and ideas that people in the community have but need the support to develop further.” Helping others take ownership of their community isn’t always noticeable work, but the benefits are ubiquitous. JustDane isn’t telling the Greater Madison area what it’s supposed to look like; it’s providing the tools to allow others to shine.

Kyle Jacobson is lead writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials. Photographs provided by JustDane.

Kyle Jacobson

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Much of Mary Kay’s work, such as the Journey Home, Circles of Support, and a mentoring program for youth with parents involved in the justice system, continues to inform JustDane’s focus concerning justice system reform. It certainly has inspired much of Linda’s work. She came on board March 2006, and during a board and staff retreat that fall, what Linda considers one of the most significant decisions of JustDane took place.


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e ssential community

UNINTENTIONAL OR UNCONSCIOUS Bias by Sandy Eichel Welcome back to the “us” in inclUSion. This series discusses how we’re responsible for the culture we live in and for the changes that need to be made. We are in this together, but we all have to do some work individually too. It’s our responsibility, and it will take all of us contributing to make real change. In our first segment, we talked about that very thing—playing our part and being an ally to people and communities that are experiencing oppression. Part of being a good ally is to challenge the biases we have that were programmed into us by society, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. We can’t do better until we know better, but many of us are unaware of just how many biases we have and how they affect our behavior. Unintentional bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious way. Our biases are a lifetime of experience and cultural history that have shaped us and our perception of others. It leads us to make assumptions about people based on their physical appearance, race, age, gender, or ethnicity. It’s stereotyping that cuts deep and effects people’s ability to live their lives; it restricts their freedom. People who intend to be fair apply biases unintentionally. Everyone has unintentional bias; it doesn’t make you bad. It makes you very normal. One of the worst things we can do, experts tell us, is to pretend we don’t have 42 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

bias—that it doesn’t exist. “I don’t see color.” “I treat everyone the same.” The foremost authorities on unintentional bias in the United States are Dr. Patricia Devine and Dr. William Cox at the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Psychology. Through their extensive research, they’ve created a system clinically proven to help people “break the bias habit.” It’s the only biastraining system in the country that has clinical evidence proving that it actually works. The three step procedure is known as Detect, Reflect, Reject. Step One: detect the influence of stereotypes and biases. Bring them to your awareness, catch yourself, and realize that you have bias. Step Two: reflect on the source of the stereotype and its effects on people. Where did it come from? Who is it serving? How does it harm a diverse community to think that way? Step Three: reject the stereotypical portrayal or thought and make sure it isn’t affecting your actions. Remember, we all have unintentional bias, but it’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t unconsciously act on them. It takes tremendous vulnerability and courage to examine your biases. Try to look at your brain like a scientist would: observe it and analyze it. When you find another bias, instead of feeling

guilty about it, delight in the fact that you have found another brain pattern that you can fix, like a computer programmer would correct an error in the computer code. I catch myself all the time, and you will too once you start to be conscious of it. It’s a practice, not a one and done. Part of challenging yourself to be a better ally is to challenge your idea of what makes you comfortable. To be an ally, it’s important to push yourself into uncomfortable places. You might have noticed that the dominant culture often wants to specify how the groups that are facing oppression go about advocating for themselves. The dominant culture wants the protest to feel comfortable for them. For the gay community, it used to be, and still is a lot of, “I don’t care if you’re gay, but do I have to see you kiss each other or hold hands?” “Whatever you do behind closed doors is your business, but I don’t want my children to see it or know about it.” “Can you take your queerness down a notch? Why do you have to flaunt your ‘lifestyle’ all the time?” We’ve seen the same thing happening with the Black rights movement. In recent years, when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem, a form of peaceful protest, many white Americans reacted strongly. When the NBA players wore t-shirts that said “I Can’t Breathe,” many white Americans again reacted and had strong feelings.

“That’s not how they should protest.” When the protests broke out over George Floyd’s murder, there were so many more comments about the destruction of property compared to comments about the destruction of people’s lives. In a country where Black people used to be considered property, that cuts deep. If what you just read has made you uncomfortable, notice that. You have found something to work on. When you find yourself having a reaction, ask yourself, “Am I unsafe, or am I just uncomfortable?” Your feelings are information, the reaction to some sort of stimulus, but they aren’t necessarily accurate or truthful. I’m not trying to negate your feelings, but rather to encourage you to use them as information. Catch yourself when those unintentional biases come up. If you find yourself criticizing a movement and not the oppression that is being forced on that group, you have again found something to work on. It’s not the responsibility of the groups that have experienced oppression to continue to put things in nice neat packages for the dominant culture that has created the oppression to feel comfortable. If we all work on our own biases and discomfort, we can make the changes necessary to have a vibrant, inclusive society where everyone can feel safe.

Tadsen Photography Drone/Aerial Imagery

Sandy Eichel is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Speaker and Consultant.

Sandy Eichel

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essential food & beverage


JALAPEÑO BEERS BY KYLE JACOBSON Sick and tired of bland cheese dips? Is your nacho party full of no-shows? Do you want to hurt yourself just a little bit on the inside? Then you need jalapeños. That’s right, say goodbye to uneventful bowel movements, and say hello to a new way to compare yourself to people you barely know. Wanna spice up that burger? Add jalapeños. Kick up that cornbread? Peño. Turn a beer into a sinus cleanser? Eh, maybe that’s taking it too far. At least, that’s what good sense would tell you. But consider brewing in historical terms, during times when a beer could only be crafted from, for the most part, local ingredients. Odds are jalapeño beers were being done centuries ago where brewing was commonplace and jalapeños were plentiful. JustBeer suggests South America, particularly in places where people brewed chicha de jora (corn beer). Were the jalapeño iterations any good? I mean, probably...sometimes. More importantly, are jalapeño beers good today. Well...sometimes. Though there’s a lot of subjectivity involved in what constitutes a desirable beer, most beer drinkers can agree on when a brew is undrinkable. Kind of like Da’Bomb, a hot sauce that catches 44 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

everyone off guard in the YouTube web series Hot Ones. In the show, Sean Evans interviews celebrity guests while eating hot wings of varying heat, and nobody enjoys Da’Bomb. It only seeks to be hot—taste be damned, at least, that’s the impression the show leaves. When I first noticed jalapeño beers hitting the mainstream a few years back, I bought a few six packs with no expectations. Most iterations came off as an answer to “can we?” rather than “should we?” The answer to both questions is a yes, but ignoring the second question often results in some unimpressive IPAs centered around heat with barely a nod to the fact that there’s a beer in that bottle. That’s really the risk taken with rushing to be among the first to put out

something—you might come off as a gimmick. Sarah Ferree, assistant brewer at Ooga Brewing Company in Beaver Dam, says “I think there’s something to be said this day and age for just something simple and clean and crisp when everybody is doing something crazy.” With so many more blurred lines on the liquor-store shelf, are we crossing into a craft-brewing reality where brewing novelty beers is no longer a novelty? I don’t think so. There are still some Cream Ales and Amber Ales buried in the avalanche of IPAs, but those novelty beers sure do make a lot of racket. To put Sarah’s point into context, using an ingredient that might be considered crazy doesn’t have to equate to a crazy beer. In fact, Ooga’s jalapeño Cream Ale, Holla!, finds a way to highlight the

jalapeño while staying true to its Cream Ale roots. Jeff Scanlan, head brewer at Ooga, believes step-one was designing and perfecting his Cream Ale recipe before even thinking about introducing jalapeños to it.

Shift that mentality over to the jalapeño IPAs. There are some just plain dumb IPAs out there, again, addressing what can I do with this beer over what should I do. Add jalapeños to the mix, and the party is over before par. But there are also a lot more really well-thought-out IPAs available today compared to a few decades ago. With the minds behind some of those beers still going strong, it’s only a matter of time before we get something that sets a new standard for the jalapeño beers we’ve seen thus far. Heck, some beers out there right now are already upping the ante. I’m looking forward to stretching the range of jalapeño beers. Sure, you can take a juicy pineapple IPA, maybe something with BRU-1 hops; tweak the bittering hops so the alphas are in check; add jalapeños in the secondary; and in a few years, something fantastic might come out the other end. But we may only be months from a jalapeño-popper beer (maybe a jalapeño Cream Ale with

lactose), a jalapeño banana-bread beer (something with a Hefeweizen), or a jalapeño pastry beer (should we?). “My idea of the jalapeño is Americans, or at least people in Wisconsin, perceive the jalapeño as fun,” says Jeff. “And that’s why Mexican restaurants always serve jalapeño poppers. But most people, when they eat jalapeños, they don’t want to be blasted with heat. They want to enjoy a party atmosphere. For beermaking, I think beer should be refreshing. Save the heat for your tacos—save it for your chicken wings. Beer should be refreshing and crisp or refreshing and good.” Novelty beers are great in their own right, but they can feel like throwing darts at the idea board and hoping something sticks, forgoing drinkability tomorrow for today’s wow factor. Still, risky rarely equates to enjoyable. When legitimacy is added to a novelty, I like to think that’s where the real work comes in. What’s going on right now with jalapeño beers are sincere attempts to create beers people want to drink. Much like the beginnings of my personal journeys with pastry beers and, going

way back, sours, I’m convinced there’s reason to do more and go further with this style. There’s potential worth tapping. To those putting out the fire with gasoline. Thanks for trying to blow our minds. Kyle Jacobson is lead writer and senior copy editor for Madison Essentials. Photographs by Emily Walsh Perkins. Photograph by Barbara Wilson

When the time came for Jeff to do a jalapeño beer, “I would try different variations, different hops, but I’d always come back to a very simple recipe.” The recipe was something Jeff received from Victoria Bennet, a fellow homebrewer, in 2009. “It was the perfect thing for the fresh jalapeños to lay over. And that’s the key for us—I chop jalapeños for it.” What happens is a clever transition from the crispness of the Cream Ale to an extended sparkling of heat.

Kyle Jacobson

Make the trip to Ooga for some crowlers of Holla! and other great beers. Jeff didn’t have any


beers in mind from other breweries, but wanted to shoutout:

Working Draft Beer Company One Barrel Brewing Company Delta Beer Lab Nate Warnke of now-closed Rockhound Brewing Company Others who’ve been sharing their knowledge and resources to get Ooga to where it is now.


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advertiser index association

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

Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce..... 47

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

CONTEST Win a $50

Dane Buy Local............................................... 15 Dane County Humane Society.................... 48

entertainment & media

Fitchburg Center............................................... 2

Back of the House Online Video Series....... 46

Green Lake Chamber of Commerce.......... 33

Olbrich Botanical Gardens............................. 9

Livsreise............................................................. 17

Our Lives Magazine........................................ 36

Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of

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

Commerce.................................................... 8

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

Town of Merrimac............................................ 26

WORT-FM........................................................... 25

dining, food & beverage


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

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

Clasen’s European Bakery............................. 29

Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic.......................... 31

Ember Foods.................................................... 33

Monroe Street Framing................................... 23

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

Tadsen Photography...................................... 43

Fraboni’s Italian

WESLI................................................................. 16

Specialties & Delicatessen......................... 39 J. Henry & Sons................................................ 37


Lombardino’s................................................... 35

Abel Contemporary Gallery......................... 19

The Nitty Gritty................................................. 41

Anthology......................................................... 37

The Old Feed Mill Restaurant........................ 22

Avid Gardener................................................. 37

Old Sugar Distillery.......................................... 21

Cheesers Market ............................................ 37

Otto’s Restaurant............................................ 32

Deconstruction Inc......................................... 17

Paoli Schoolhouse American Bistro............. 33

Fontana Sports................................................. 37

Porta Bella........................................................ 41

Jazzman............................................................ 37

Sugar River Pizza Company........................... 20

National Mustard Museum............................ 45

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

Tradition Market............................................... 37 Ulla Eyewear..................................................... 37

Gift Card! Question: “Which locally owned business began on the 100 block of State Street in 1972?” 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 May 28, 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 featured artist was previously a union ironworker?” is Liz Pechacek. A $50 Otto’s Restaurant & Bar gift card was sent to each of our winners, Mallory Kohlhoff of Lake Mills and Behroz Abgoon of Beaver Dam.

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

Profile for Towns & Associates

Madison Essentials May/June 2021  

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