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

Will Allen

As a former professional basketball player, Will Allen never thought he would trade in his jersey and sneakers for some fertilizer and a rake. But his passion for making fresh food widely accessible to people living in Milwaukee’s low-income urban areas has driven him to create Growing Power, a nonprofit organization celebrating 20 years of providing healthy, affordable food for people in all communities. 

Comments
Download

Irish Dance in Milwaukee

Irish dance is booming in Milwaukee, where there are seven dance schools and counting. Irish dancers typically keep their arms straight at their sides while their legs quickly leap, kick and shuffle across the floor. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, WPR’s Maureen McCollum attended a recent Irish dance competition, known as a feis, in Oconomowoc to check out Wisconsin’s dancers and teachers.

Photo: Molly McCollum

Comments

Irish dancing in Milwaukee

Photos: Molly McCollum

Comments
Download

Mariachi Strings

When Dinorah Marquez moved to the U.S., she didn’t speak any English and was quite shy and scared.  She eventually found her voice through playing an instrument.  Decades later, Dinorah hopes to give other young students the same experience through Milwaukee’s Latino Arts Strings Program.

Comments
Download

Woven Together in Art and Life

Wence Martinez grew up in a Mexican town famous for its weaving. When he ran across a drawing by Milwaukee artist Sandra Hackbarth, the two began an artistic collaboration that grew into love. Today, Wence and Sandra Martinez share their art and their lives in Door County.   

Comments
Download

Wisconsin’s Real Life Superheroes

Superheroes are usually the stuff of fantasy. But that fantasy becomes real in the form of real life superheroes. These men and women have normal jobs in the daytime but at night, they wear costumes and take part in special missions. Writer Tea Krulos introduces us to Wisconsin’s superhero culture. 

Tea Krulos is the author of Heroes in the Night.

Photo: Tea Krulos

Comments
Download

Musician Celebrates Yiddish Music Tradition

Music is a cornerstone of Jewish culture, especially during holidays and festivals. Milwaukee musician Lil’ Rev grew up in a musical family, steeped in his family’s Yiddish folk music tradition. He travels the country sharing his love of music, history, and his Yiddish heritage. 

Photo: Lil Rev 

Comments
Download

Wisconsin Inspires Metal Artist’s Work

We generally think of skillets as utilitarian objects, the work horses of the kitchen. But they can also be works of art. Producer Erin Clune brings us the story of a Madison artist making something beautiful out of the functional.

Photo: If It’s Hip It’s Here 

Comments
Download

Musician Peter Mulvey at Home in Wisconsin

Folk singer Peter Mulvey loves Wisconsin. The Milwaukee-born singer still calls the city home even as he makes his living performing on stages around the world. Today, Mulvey shares what Wisconsin and regional identity means to him.  

Photo: Peter Mulvey

Comments
Download

Milwaukee Meets the Beatles

On September 4, 1964, the Beatles played their only show in Wisconsin. Writer Dean Robbins tells us about the madness that greeted them on their first American tour.

Dean Robbins is the editor of Madison’s alternative weekly, Isthmus.

Photo: Beatles.com

Comments
Download

Inspiration Drawn from the Wilderness

With summer drawing to a close, many kids are heading back to school. Writer Liam Callanan’s family spent much of the summer indoors, reading and writing, only to discover that some of the best lessons are found outdoors.

Liam Callanan teaches English at UW-Milwaukee and is the author of the novels The Cloud Atlas and All Saints.

Photo: random letters 

Comments
Download

Wisconsin’s Maestro, Liberace

Liberace is an American – and Wisconsin – original. Even decades after his death, he still attracts attention and was the subject of a recent movie. Dean Robbins shares the story of the flamboyant entertainer.

Dean Robbins is the editor of Madison’s alternative weekly, Isthmus. 

Photo: Allen Warren

Comments
Download

Urban Wilderness:

We often think of wilderness as something “out there” rather than something that exists in pockets all around us – even in cities. Writer Eddee Daniel set out to explore the estuary of the Milwaukee River.

Eddee Daniel is an artist, writer, and the author of several books, including Urban Wilderness: Exploring a Metropolitan Watershed. 

Photo: Eddee Daniel

Comments
Download

Rules of Sheepshead:

Sheepshead is a quintessential Wisconsin game, particularly in Milwaukee. While more Wisconsinites may play euchre, sheepshead has a unique hold on the state and its devoted fans. Dave Cieslewicz shares his love of sheepshead as part of Wisconsin Life’s look at games.

Dave Cieslewicz is the former mayor of Madison and teaches in the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the UW-Madison.

Comments

"Clowning Around"

Another semifinalist in our Flash Fiction Ghost Story Writing Contest!

This story comes to us from Anna Sweet of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"Clowning Around"

A sudden evening breeze rushed at Jason’s neck and he zipped his jacket all the way up. Angry, he sighed behind his clown mask. The neighborhood kids were out trick or treating. Last year he’d been walking door to door too, stocking up on candy. Now he was in high school, and if his best friend Dennis hadn’t gotten grounded, they’d be spending this night scaring the neighborhood kids.

Read More

Comments