Wisconsin People & Ideas - Spring 2016 | wisconsinacademy.org
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Wisconsin People & Ideas - Spring 2016

In this issue: The state's first art CSA puts down roots in the Fox Cities, Peninsula Filmworks captures the heart and soul of Door County, and seniors learn mariachi in Milwaukee. We meet the eleven (yes, 11) new Academy Fellows, learn about Hmong rice liquor, and discover the origins of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Too, Wisconsin's contributions to bluegrass, gene editing, and the UN's 21st Climate Change conference in Paris. Whew. Did I mention freaky good paintings by Driftless artist Valerie Mangion and weird/wonderful science fiction by Jon Hakes along with reviews of books you won't want to miss? 

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When the Wisconsin Academy was founded in 1870, the American fascination with science was in full bloom. Today, not so much.

Appleton-based CSA artist Ali Fuller (right) chats with a shareholder near a display  of her drawings.

When my friend Fanny Lau told me about it, I was intrigued by the simplicity of the concept. “It’s just like a vegetable CSA, but with art,” she said.

Margarita Sandoval Skare and Alberto Cardenas perform with Grupo Renacer

"Mariachi music means joy and courage to face life, from birth through death,” says master mariachi musician Alberto Cardenas.

“Door County is such an amazingly beautiful place, and, for all the faults, there’s a kindness and a caring in the people scraping out a life there. ... It’s much more than fish boils, cherries, and goats.”

Po Lo tastes a new batch of Yerlo direct from the still. Yeast cakes filled with sweet Thai rice provide the distinctive flavor for Lo’s twist on traditional Hmong spirits.

If you ever grow tired of the typical brandy old-fashioned sweet, you might want to try Po Lo’s exotic twist on Wisconsin’s state cocktail.

Located on the northern tip of Sand Island, the Gothic-style Sand Island Light was constructed in 1881 from sandstone quarried right at the building site.

Wisconsin’s northernmost edge, consisting of the spectacular mainland sea caves at the tip of the Bayfield Peninsula and the matrix of beautiful and historic islands stretching 25 miles into Lake Superior, was forever protected when Congress...

Above (l to r): Ruthie Krause, Rick Krause, a festival volunteer, and Ben Doran lead a group sing along at the 2013 Gandy Dancer Festival in Mazomanie.

Summer is the time when Wisconsin cities, towns, and villages play host to a phenomenon not unlike a religious revival meeting.

Five years ago, the term CRISPR-Cas was familiar to only a handful of microbiologists. Today, thousands of scientists around the world are using this novel gene editing technology. Why?

Valerie Mangion: "Giraffe Deer," 2015. 12 x 16 inches. Oil on panel.

My Night Vision series evolved out of a strong desire to learn more about the wild creatures that share my 58-acre farm.

The e-mail arrived the afternoon before the event: “CISCO system is down at Hotel Le Méridien in Paris. We need to find another telepresence center.”


We went back home for another frustrating visit with our parents.

“You said I should write more love poems / and I said, I’m sorry, but I’ve been thinking about / sloths.” This is the opening gambit for and no spiders were harmed, Madison poet Steve Tomasko’s debut chapbook. 

In 2009, a team of doctors and scientists at the Medical College of Wisconsin shook up the medical community by successfully sequencing a young Wisconsin boy’s DNA in order to identify and treat an unknown, life-threatening disease.

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