Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

Michel Bayne

History is full of stories in which people are repressed – kept from expressing themselves freely.

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society

It’s Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor our nation’s war dead. We thought it was an appropriate time to begin a new series on Wisconsin soldiers from a long ago war – the American Civil War, the bloodiest conflict fought on American soil. Although the war is typically characterized as battle between the North and the South, the then-Western frontier of Wisconsin played a pivotal role.

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society

It’s Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor our nation’s war dead. We thought it was an appropriate time to begin a new series on Wisconsin soldiers from a long ago war – the American Civil War, the bloodiest conflict fought on American soil. Although the war is typically characterized as battle between the North and the South, the then-Western frontier of Wisconsin played a pivotal role.

Exhibit Turns Women Veterans' Stories Into Art

May 25, 2012
Erin Toner

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, we’re going to hear from women veterans whose military service has inspired artwork. A new exhibit at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison features 20 prints that resulted from private conversations between veterans and local artists. As WUWM’s Erin Toner reports, several women say the project helps validate their service to the country.

Joost Nelissen/Flickr

We don’t often give a lot of thought to our clothes or where they come from.

Aaron's Hammer

May 3, 2012
Gianofer Fields

Technological advances have meant the tools of many trades are transient - evolving from year to year.

image courtesy of the author

Jennifer DuBois's new novel asks the central question, How do you keep going when you know things are going to end badly? The book is A Partial History of Lost Causes (Random House, 2012).  

A Mighty Welder

Apr 19, 2012
William Howard/Pinterest

What does it take to spot the hidden life in an object many of us would view as junk?

Lake Effect

Peter Roller is an assistant professor of music at Alverno College; Matthew Schroeder is finger-style and rock guitar department chair at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. They’ll play a concert tomorrow night at the Conservatory, called A Tribute to Steel-String Guitar Icons.

Sauk County Historical Society

Our It’s a Material World feature spotlights a singular effigy mound in Wisconsin.

Understanding Slavery and the Civil War

Mar 26, 2012

Even as the 150th anniversary of the Civil War moves into its second year, Americans still disagree on what was the fundamental root cause of the war. But one author says it really was all about the moral question of slavery. Pewaukee writer, teacher, and independent Civil War historian Thomas Martin Sobottke is the author of the new book, Across That Dark River: The Civil War Memory. It's published by Moving Train Books LLC, which he also founded. He spoke with Stephanie Lecci. You can hear about the origin for Sobottke's book title as supplemental audio below.

Cathy Lybarger/Etsy

For ages, people have pondered what exactly constitutes art.

There is No Dog

Mar 20, 2012

Meg Rosoff is the author of There Is No Dog, published by Penguin. She spoke with Bonnie North.  Rosoff's other novels include the multiple award winning How I Live Now, the film of which is currently in pre-production, and the Carnegie Medal in Literature winner Just in Case. There is more of their conversation about Dog below. Just click on the supplemental audio file.

A Dachshund's Tale

Mar 1, 2012

We hear about a wiener of a children’s book about a presidentially named Dachshund. Mequon children's book writer Barbara Behm is the author of Mr. Lincoln Goes to Washington, published by Xlibris. It's illustrated by Milwaukeean Ellen Anderson, and it was given an honorable mention in the 2011 Writer's Digest Awards program.

Wikimedia Commons

Contributor Gianofer Fields brings us the story of how material culture meets sense of place.

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