Media Digest February 28, 2018

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Alliant Energy Center will be renovated and upgraded after the selection of a firm to develop a master plan for the facilities. Education

Students and faculty are joining with public officials to ask for a special legislative session to consider gun control changes. A program at Bird Elementary is focusing on mindfulness. When a parent walked into Shorewood Hills Elementary and handed a teacher a cardboard sign that said “gun,” he sparked a debate about whether he exposed security lapses or caused students and staff unwarranted stress. Development

Spectrum Brands combined with a New York holding company that was its largest shareholder. Sprecher’s closed its West Side pub after eight years and is considering relocating to Columbus.

Ice fishing brings loved ones together

Enjoying the great cold outdoors while ice fishing requires preparation. Prepping to ice fish starts with figuring out a good shelter. Tents that are equipped with a heater, food, music and sleeping bag is the warmest option; however, many folks head out to the lake with just a trusty bucket to use as a seat. After deciding on whether to use a shelter, it’s important to wear the right clothing. Layers of jackets and sweaters are a must, along with a good pair of winter boots.

Madison Community Foundation Pledges $75,000 to Reclaim Trees Killed by Emerald Ash Borer

The Madison Community Foundation announced this month a $75,000 grant intended to help local community organizations utilize wood from ash trees felled by the invasive emerald ash borer insect for educational and artistic projects. This grant represents the tenth in a series of twelve major community donations made by the Madison Community Foundation, which pledged an approximate $1 million toward various local causes through the twelve gifts. Titled ‘Phoenix from the Ashes,’ the latest gift aims to help the Madison community find productive benefits from the recent threat of the invasive insect to Madison’s ash trees. The project is a partnership between the Madison Parks Department, Madison Arts Commission and Wisconsin Urban Wood, all local groups which intend to use milled lumber from the felled trees toward their own community projects. “Phoenix from the Ashes is a model of effective collaboration that builds on Madison’s legacy as a green city with forward-thinking leadership,” said Madison Community Foundation President Bob Sorge.

Media Digest February 20, 2018

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The Wisconsin Historical Museum and its partners aim for what could be a $240 million redevelopment project along the Capital Square. Education

All Madison public schools will have at least one all-gender bathroom soon. The gym at East High School will be renovated with a mixture of public and private money. High schools had to respond to students and staff Thursdayafter threats of violence at the schools were made one day after a deadly school shooting in Florida. About 70 culinary students competed at Madison College for a chance to move onto nationals.

Shhh… exhibition speaks volumes about the U.S. political climate

It all started with a single poster. 
Local artist, and now curator, Peter Kursel, was attending a party in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee when he noticed a World War II propaganda poster hanging on the wall—it belonged to his son’s roommate. “A careless word…another cross” framed an image of a white crucifix that indicated a soldier’s grave. The poster led to an entire collection of similar prints and planted a seed for what would become Shhh…, a multimedia art exhibition currently on view at the Arts + Literature Laboratory located at 2021 Winnebago St., in Madison. The show blends the historical poster collection with contemporary pieces by artists from across the nation, and illustrates how art can construct, critique and contribute to our democracy. It is on view from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, until March 3.

Willy Street Co-op to Award $25,000 in Community Reinvestment Fund Grants

The Willy Street Co-op is currently accepting applications for grants from their Community Reinvestment Fund until Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m.
This year, $25,000 in grants will be distributed to a variety of projects focused on improving food access, sustainable agriculture, community well-being, equity and more. Recipients must be 501(c)3 or cooperative organizations working on projects benefiting Dane County that have not previously been funded by the grant. According to Brendon Smith, Communications Director for the Willy Street Co-op, the number of grants given, and the amount of each, varies depending on the projects mentioned in the applications. Last year, 14 organizations received a total of $35,000 in funding from the Community Reinvestment Fund.

Media Digest February 14, 2018

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More than 100 changes to landlord-tenant laws have made a big difference to Madison renters. 


Education is the starting point for the high-demand field of nursing. Madison Teachers Inc. had a request for union voting records denied by the state Supreme Court. The Rape Crisis Center has 16 students to help them map out community steps they can take to stop sexual violence. Development

In hot Madison neighborhoods like Olbrich Park, it’s a sellers’ market where buyers can have 15 minutes to make a decision on a new home. Wisconsin Workforce Development will help employees transition after new company bought two pharmacy locations and a health care supply business.

Imagination Library program will promote literacy, make reading accessible

United Way of Dane County will give free books to every child living in Dane County under the age of five through the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. The Imagination Library program will mail free books directly to the child’s home every month. Imagination Library is an internationally implemented program, but it is new to Dane County due to an anonymous local donor. The program aims to encourage literacy and a love of books for Dane County children. This program, which allows children to build their own libraries before they begin kindergarten, is especially important for children from low-income households that may not be able to afford books otherwise.

Madison Food Policy Council Releases New Food Access Improvement Map

The Madison Food Policy Council approved a new version of the Food Access Improvement Map in January, which shows areas in the City of Madison affected by food insecurity. The map highlights geographic locations with high average distances, or barriers to food outlets. The data was gathered using qualitative assessment since census tracts do not accurately reflect neighborhood-level variations in Dane County. Food Policy Council members charted the map in the summer of 2015 to help the Madison Food Policy Councildistribute grant funds through the Healthy Retail Access Program. “Since that time, the map has been updated to its current form and the MFPC is beginning to use it in other grant funding programs, with expansion of use to the City of Madison SEED Grants,” Food Policy Coordinator George Reistad said.

City of Madison will distribute funds to local artists and non-profits

Artists and non-profit organizations in the Madison area can now apply for Madison Arts Commission (MAC) grants valued up to $3,000. The grants are intended to help local individuals and organizations fund educational programs, fine art exhibitions, performances and events that positively contribute to Madison’s arts and culture. Each person or group is limited to one grant application per year, and the deadline to apply is Thursday, March 15. In 2016-2017, 57 grants were awarded to a  variety of enrichment programs. MAC offers Project Grants, Arts Education Grants, Legacy Grants and Individual Artist Fellowship Awards. Each grant has  specific criteria  to be considered; however, artistic merit, as well as a focus on equity and access, are regarded in all categories, according to Karin Wolf, Arts Program Administrator.