Love Wisconsin? You'll love Wisconsin Life.
It's your place for engaging stories of the people that make Wisconsin feel like home.

Queens of Harmony

Ella Ray and her friends regularly sing to the heavens.  They’re part of a seven-member gospel quartet called the Queens of Harmony, and they’ve been singing around Milwaukee for almost 50 years.  Along with the joy of singing, their music has also taken these women around the world and brought them closer to one another.

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Man with Dog

Many of us see the same people on the bus, in our coffee shop, at the gym, or walking to work each day. They are a part of our lives even if we don’t know their names. Patti See tells us about the regulars in her life. 

Patti See is a writer in Eau Claire. 

Photo: Doug Sharp

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Fire Hooping

Sarah Sparkles and the “Madison Fire Tribe” love, well… fire.   Sarah also passionately loves hula hooping and has found a visually arresting way to combine the two activities. 

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Wisconsin Life # 201

Meet a collection of people who share their Wisconsin life. Stories include: a Vernon County man who lives off the grid, a group that helps kids with Autism build and fly drones, a look at Madison’s Roller Derby team, northern Wisconsin’s Loon Rangers and a Milwaukee blacksmith.

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Wisconsin in Watercolor

German immigrant Paul Seifert lived a varied and creative life in the Driftless region he called home. He painted vibrant watercolor farmscapes in the 19th century that are highly prized by collectors today. Wisconsin Historical Museum curator Joe Kapler tells us about Seifert, the man and his

An exhibit of Paul Seifert’s work is on view at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison through August 30th.

Image: Wisconsin Historical Images

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UW Boxer

UW-Madison sophomore, Chandler Davis, has successfully petitioned the university to bring back boxing as a club sport, following a 54 year absence of the sport on campus. In 1960, a UW-Madison boxer died following a match and boxing was banned. Chandler already has practices ongoing and expects to have the first matches sometime while he’s still a student here. 

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Soaring

As a child, Judy Ruprecht dreamt she could fly like a bird.  As a teenager, she went for a flight in a glider.  When the pilot turned over the controls to her, assuring her that indeed she could fly, Judy was hooked.  She has since flown gliders for over forty years.  The sport is called “Soaring” and it involves much more than being pulled up high in the sky and gliding downward. 

Experienced pilots like Judy read the clouds and landscape to find where warm air is rising and use those updrafts to keep flying for a surprisingly long time. Click here to learn a bit more about the science behind staying aloft on a glider. 

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Flags

Flags fly this week as we celebrate American independence. Writer and farmer Justin Isherwood tells us about the flags he raises above his Wisconsin farm.

Justin Isherwood is a writer and farmer in Central Wisconsin.  

Photo: contemplative imaging

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Planetarium Builder

Frank Kovac loved to take groups outdoors to lead astronomy tours of the northwoods skies– but hated to have those tours thwarted by clouds.  So Frank says he took the next logical step… he built his own planetarium.  Frank now gives tours to more than 3000 people a year.

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School of Bhangra

Harmanjot Singh and his fellow dance troupe members are introducing Wisconsin to the traditional North Indian dance form of Bhangra.  The group performs at events held on the UW-Madison campus and holds workshops for those interested in learning this style of dance. 

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Isolation Bubble

Sight is something most of us take for granted. Kathie Schneider has been blind since birth. But a lack of vision isn’t really the problem she has navigating the world.

Katherine Schneider is a retired psychologist and author in Eau Claire.

Photo: Volume One 

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Family Trees

Lois Lawton records the history of her community… one stitch at a time.  Lois has spent decades hand-working personal needlepoint designs, crafted to reflect the life experiences of her friends and neighbors.  

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Racquetball Champ

Racquetball is a relatively new sport. Combining squash and handball, it was only invented in the 1950s. Milwaukee hosted the sport’s first national tournament in the late 1960s. Seth Jovaag introduces us to one of Wisconsin’s top players.

Photo: Alvin Trusty

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Botanical Artist

Kandis Elliot understands she has an “old-timey” job.  Back in the 1800’s scientists relied on artists to illustrate textbooks and wall charts, but in the digital age, much of that work has been replaced by photos.  Elliot is one of the few biological artists left, and she believes her paintings bring plants alive in a way that could never be achieved digitally.

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Wisconsin Talk

How does Wisconsin talk?  That’s the question that three UW-Madison professors set out to answer.  They poured their passion for the spoken word into an in-depth, statewide study - and discovered that speech patterns in Wisconsin can sometimes be odd and even humorous.  

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