The print version of Isthmus remains on hiatus as we reconfigure ourselves as a nonprofit news organization. In lieu of being in one place in print, we hope it’s handy to find the Picks in a single weekly post. Of course, the individual Picks can still be found in the usual places online: collected here, and sprinkled throughout all the events.
Collecting Native Seed, Thursday, Oct. 1, 6:30 pm: Friends of Allen Centennial Garden is sponsoring a fall-themed series Thursdays in October, with classes on garden cleanup and preparation for next spring. The series kicks off with a how-to on the dos and don’ts of gathering your own seeds for next season’s growing. Each class features a recorded lecture by Allen horticulture director Josh Steger and a follow-up Q&A session on Zoom. Find the rest of the schedule and register for each class ($10) here.
Katie Hill, Thursday, Oct. 1, 7 pm: Former California Congresswoman Katie Hill brings her insightful analysis and experience to a Wisconsin Book Festival livestream event. Her book, She Will Rise: Becoming a Warrior in the Battle for True Equality, is a call to action for women to claim their power and run for office. Hill has had a tumultuous career; she resigned from office after her abusive husband leaked photos and evidence of her polyamorous affair with a young staffer. In her book, she tries to put her own trials behind her as she looks to a future where women achieve equality.
Idea Fest, through Oct. 10: This annual forward-thinking event coordinated by the Cap Times has transitioned to the virtual world, with the theme “2020 Changes Everything.” You can check out the prior programs since Sept. 26 for free anytime at captimesideafest.com, with speakers including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and restaurateur/Democratic state Assembly candidate Francesca Hong. Still to come are Marquette University Law School Poll director Charles Franklin, Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Ruth Marcus, Freedom Inc. co-executive director M. Adams, and others.
Mammoth Hike Challenge, Oct. 1-31, Ice Age Trail: More than 10,000 years ago, glaciers covered much of the earth. The Ice Age Trail meanders along about 1,200 miles of Wisconsin landscape, generally marking the southern border of the area covered by ice all those years ago. More recent history includes the trail’s designation as a National Scenic Trail in 1980. Celebrate those 40 years by signing up to hike 40 miles of the Ice Age Trail during October. It’s a perfect way to observe the rapidly advancing fall colors and get in some exercise before we are all stuck inside for a few months.
Swing State Wisconsin: The Major Issues for Voters this November, Friday, Oct. 2, noon: Every two years it seems like the November election is THE BIGGEST FIGHT OF OUR LIFETIME. Well, here in 2020 the wolf is at the door with a Molotov cocktail, folks. The La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison and WisPolitics.com takes a look at the growing list of major issues to be decided by the electorate during this panel discussion, featuring professors Menzie Chinn and Greg Nemet and associate professors Christine Durrance (pictured) and Geoffrey Wallace. RSVP here to receive the livestream link.
Susan Masino, Friday, Oct. 2, Sheraton Madison Hotel, 7 pm: Music historian (and former WJJO-FM radio host) Susan Masino originally released The Story of AC/DC: Let There Be Rock in 2016, the same year the legendary Australian rockers went on hiatus due to a combination of medical issues, retirements and legal troubles. Masino returns for a socially distanced book signing with a newly updated edition at what might prove a prescient time: The band is hinting online that a comeback may be in the works.
Harvest Moon Festival, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 2-4: Traditionally this Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area event is an evening outdoor fete with a bonfire, music, games and more. This year in lieu of an in-person gathering, the full weekend will feature free virtual exhibits, craft projects and fall hiking suggestions at FriendsofCapitalSprings.org; registration is suggested, and donations are appreciated.
David HB Drake, Friday, Oct. 2, 7:30 pm: Madison’s long-running Wild Hog in the Woods Coffeehouse folk music series has proven resilient during the past year. After some months at an alternate location during renovations at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center (the regular home base), the Hog had only recently settled back in when COVID-19 hit the United States. Through it all the concert schedule has continued, and since March has featured a mix of livestreams, newly recorded webcasts and replays of past shows. This week features Milwaukee singer-songwriter David HB Drake live from his home, with a focus on songs from his October Country CD.
Democracy in the Park, Saturday, Oct. 3, 206 Madison parks, 9 am-3 pm: Are you one of the 70,000 who requested an absentee ballot from the Madison city clerk? In response to many voters asking where they can submit completed ballots in person, the clerk’s office is coming to a park near you. Return your completed ballot at 206 city parks — virtually every park in town — this Saturday. Just look for the helpful folks with brightly colored vests next to “VOTE” signs. If needed, these poll workers can also serve as your witness, but note, this is for the return of mailed absentee ballots only; in-person voting will not be available. Social distancing measures will be in effect and materials will be sanitized. Tamia Fowlkes reports that more than 10,000 ballots were collected last Saturday; don’t be left out! The full list of parks is at cityofmadison.com/clerk. If there is bad weather, Democracy in the Park will take place Sunday, Oct. 4.
Fly Kites, Not Jets, Saturday, Oct. 3, any time: The grassroots battle to stop the Air National Guard from basing F-35s at Truax continues. For anyone who has to hold their hands over their ears or experiences their homes rattling when the F-16s fly, the idea of louder, more frequent flights is, well, jarring. The Safe Skies Clean Water coalition is encouraging everyone to fly a kite on Oct. 3 (or, if it’s rainy, Oct. 10), in a space that will be negatively affected by the jets. Get creative, decorate your kite, and email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered into a contest for “best kite.”
A Celebration of Voting, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2 pm: The UW Odyssey Project is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by giving low-income individuals access to education and helping them find their voices. Hear from past and former students on their reasons for voting as part of A Celebration of Voting, which will also feature such public officials as Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Urban League of Greater Madison president and CEO Ruben Anthony. Theater professor Baron Kelly and actors from American Players Theatre will also deliver short passages from Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and John Lewis. The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and Dane County will conclude the program and answer any questions about voting in the upcoming election. Register here and a Zoom link will be sent before the event.
Fermentation Fest and Farm/Art DTour, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 2-4: Normally, classes on fermenting foods are a big component of this annual Sauk County celebration of art and agriculture. Those are out the window, but a 50-mile tour of art in the fields and local food stands comes to the fore this year. Roadside poetry (mounted on billboard-like signs) will especially highlight the work of author Ben Logan and his book The Land Remembers. “Keep One Cow Apart” signs throughout the DTour will remind tour-ists to mind the social distancing norms. Don’t miss the Food Chain stop, a kind of rural food cart pod, at the Witwen Park & Campground in Witwen, outside of Sauk City. It’s a beautiful historic camp meeting site on Honey Creek — worth seeing even without the food. See details at fermentationfest.com.
Madison Bach Musicians, Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 3-4: Madison Bach Musicians were a favorite of Isthmus‘ late classical music critic, John Barker, so we’d hate for folks to miss out on this special livestream performance from Grace Episcopal Church. The program features music by Vienna’s Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Top-shelf talent includes soprano Morgan Balfour (winner of the 2019 Handel Aria Competition), violinist Kangwon Kim, cellist James Waldo, and fortepianist (and MBM director) Trevor Stephenson. As always, Stephenson will provide a pre-show lecture at 7:30 pm, with the concert livestream at 8 pm on Saturday. On Sunday, the lecture and concert will be rebroadcast at 3 pm, followed by a live Q&A with musicians in their homes. Tickets are $15 per household and include a link to view the concert through Oct. 8.
Wisconsin Leadership Summit, Monday-Friday, Oct. 5-9, 9 am-5 pm: Madison365.com hosts this annual symposium bringing together leaders from communities of color for lectures, panel discussions, networking and more. This year’s event will be completely online and also more expansive than ever, featuring a packed schedule of 25 programs with daily themes including allyship, education, government and business, health, and social justice. Find the full schedule, speaker bios and registration info ($79 for the week) at wileadershipsummit.com. The deadline to sign up is noon on Sunday, Oct. 4.
The World We Make, Monday-Friday, Oct. 5-9, 7 pm: We need few reminders of the uncertainty surrounding us, but we could all use some help managing our response to stress, loneliness and fear. The Center for Healthy Minds and Healthy Minds Innovations are offering a free series of virtual events to help us cope. Topics include “The Plasticity of Mind, Brain & Body” (Oct. 5), “The Developing Mind” (Oct. 6), “Well at Work: Strategies From Research to the Real-World” (Oct. 7), “Resilient Minds, Resilient Planet” (Oct. 8), and “Change Your Mind, Change the World” (Oct. 9). The final event features an in-depth conversation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Center for Healthy Minds founder Richard Davidson. Register here.
Hamilton: How a Musical about History is Making History, Tuesday, Oct. 6, noon: Sarah Marty, producing director at Four Seasons Theatre and interim co-director at the Bolz Center in the UW-Madison School of Business, gives an online talk on the record-shattering musical Hamilton. Marty gives a glimpse into the ways that Lin Manuel-Miranda’s take on U.S. history, which blends hip-hop, pop music and storytelling, has changed the face of theater. Find the Badger Talks lecture here.
Mary Lang Sollinger, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 6 pm: Mary Lang Sollinger was one of Barack Obama’s earliest and most enthusiastic supporters when he first ran for president. After hosting a fundraiser for Obama in her lakefront Madison home in the fall of 2007, she organized 12 other fundraisers around the state for the presidential candidate. She went on to serve on his national finance committee in 2008 and 2012. A huge fan of the former president, Sollinger has now written a book about her experience, From Inspiration to Activism: A Personal Journey Through Obama’s Presidential Campaign, and will discuss the book with recently retired radio host Carol Koby via Zoom during this event hosted by A Room of One’s Own. RSVP here for the link.
Whiskey & Words, Thursday, Oct. 8, 6:30 pm: The annual Madison Reading Project fundraiser will provide the words via a virtual event hosted on the 105.5 Triple M radio Facebook page, with readings by 1neofmani, Leslie Coff, Araceli Esparza, James Roberts, Angela Trudell Vasquez (pictured), Barry Wein and Rachel Werner. You’ll have to provide your own whiskey during this year’s event but those who make a donation by Oct. 8 will be entered in a drawing for Old Sugar Distillery gift cards. Keep an eye on MRP’s own Facebook page for more information.
Noël Ash + Emma Pryde, Through Oct. 31, Arts + Literature Laboratory: The new A + L Lab at 111 S. Livingston St. (across East Main Street from The Sylvee and adjacent to the new city parking ramp) has new galleries that are a perfect blank canvas for visual art. Emma Pryde’s Night Births in the Laboratory is a multimedia installation utilizing ceramics and acrylics. Noël Ash’s Things Pile Up features oil paintings from everyday life and especially the junk we manage to accumulate in our living spaces — something we can all relate to after six-plus months sheltered in place. The galleries are open from noon-5 pm Thursdays through Saturdays, or by appointment. Virtual artist talks and other events will be announced on artlitlab.org and its Facebook page.
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