Fine Arts in Fitchburg: Agora Art Fair Celebrates 10 Years

Photo by Agora Art Fair

The word “local” gets used a lot these days. Eat local food, buy local goods, support local businesses. But it’s not a marketing gimmick, it’s a celebration of culture. From author and co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons Gary Gygax to indie folk band Bon Iver, Wisconsin has given breath to the inspired, the innovative, and the influential. The Agora Art Fair in Fitchburg seeks to capture the spirit of local by giving artists a creatively fueled platform in which they can showcase their pieces.

Kay Myers

Photo by Bill Lemke

“I love the process of creation. It can be really meticulous. It can be really simple. Sometimes accidents occur, and that’s really exciting. Sometimes accidents make the work better. Sometimes the experiment completely bombs. You just have to keep moving forward and allow yourself to fail, which can be really difficult when there’s a deadline. I am continually building my visual vocabulary within my medium. Each time I create, I learn something. It’s what keeps me coming back.”

Self-Improv-ment: Level Two


Atlas Improv Co.’s level one improv class during the summer of 2017 was so great that it left me hungry for more. Level two picks up where level one left off with our improvisational comedy education, letting another batch of creative hopefuls practice the craft of making scenes, stories, and characters from nothing. The new focus on more advanced storytelling techniques, stronger character work, and full-fledged game creation finishes the foundation needed to have performers truly commit to their scenes.


flowers on ground

For those of you just tuning in, this series is about leaving a life of should. You know—I should be this, I should do that—we’ve all been there. So far, I’ve talked about doing what you should to impress or please that one person in your life you will never please. For me, it was my dad. The last segment was heavy, where I talked about the impact of being raped as a young teen and how I saw myself in the world and the decisions I made because of it. This segment is about shame. I know, fun, right? Stay with me though. I promise you won’t feel shamed by reading this, but quite the opposite. It may even help you let go of some of your shame.

Fuegos Uniting Carnivores, Vegans, and Vegetarians

Chile Relleno
Photo by Eric Tadsen

The creative concept behind Fuegos is separate menus and plentiful selections for carnivores, vegans, and vegetarians, so those with disparate dietary preferences can enjoy eating together at one venue. An upscale, Spanish-style steakhouse restaurant with a Latin flair, Fuegos serves steak that is a cut above the ordinary, tapas for both menus, and vegan menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner. When diners are seated at Fuegos, they’re offered a vegan or carnivore menu, and they can choose to order off one or both of the menus. Fuegos is known for its artistic food presentation, which makes the food effectively taste better too.

From the Editor

Live music
Photo by Provided by Green Concierge Travel

The Feed the Brain issue came about in our discussions concerning how being open to learning is integral at every turn of our lives. In infancy, we learn to walk and talk. In middle school, we begin to learn about relationships and problem-solving. In high school and college, we delve further into more complicated relationships and learn the life skills we’ll need to equip us for careers and adulthood. As adults, the learning possibilities are endless, whether in evolving job markets, growing a family, or strengthening interpersonal relationships.

Passive Income

time and money

It can be argued that money is our most powerful tool. I want to share tips on how you can earn passive income and leverage your time and money. Money can be simply explained as a tool of value used in exchange for time, goods, services, and experiences. People who understand this and the value of leverage can do more with the time they have and the money they’re already spending. As a business owner who specializes in working with entrepreneurs, I’ve learned how to maximize the financial resources we have at our disposal.

The Art of Cafe: Breweries and the Prolific

Photo by Kyle Jacobson

1866, Paris, France. Tall layered buildings with rooftops like rows of tightly packed mountains line narrow boulevards sprouting as spokes from Place de Clichy. It’s late, and the darkening sky forms a conduit that carries sound from one corner of the city to the next. Tonight, the sounds of Édouard Manet arguing with a young Claud Monet at the Café Guerbois drive onlookers to pull their chairs a little closer. Camille Pissarro tries to get a word in edgewise, and though he’s one of the most respected members in this group of prominent French artists, the conversation is too good to drop.

Water Wise Landscapes

plants in driveways
Photo by ZDA, Inc.

Being water wise means making lifestyle choices in addition to the way we carve out our home environments. Whether you’re building a new home or landscape, renovating an existing one, or making simple changes to how you use water, it’s possible to conserve and protect our precious water resources. Through thoughtful site planning, architecture, landscape architecture, and garden design, we can reduce runoff, pollution, and water use.

Cambridge Historic School Museum


In Cambridge, on the eastern edge of Dane County, the Cambridge Historic School Museum stands as evidence to the importance of public education in Wisconsin. Free public schools for all children between the ages of 4 and 20 were provided for in Wisconsin’s Constitution, adopted in 1848.

Madison Reading Project: New Goals to Support Literacy in South Central Wisconsin

kids reading
Photo by Michele Wimmer

If there’s barely enough money for a family to pay for the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, there’s not going to be much left over to purchase books. It’s a catch 22 since reading and other related literacies are linked to academic success and subsequent success in the work place—stepping stones out of poverty.

WWBIC: Making an Impact!

Ugly Apple food truck
Photo by WWBIC

Anyone will tell you that starting a business is risky. Even the definition of an entrepreneur incorporates risk—entrepreneur: a person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risks of a business.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome


Let me tell you a story about Molly, one of the sweetest old golden retrievers you could hope to meet. Molly was my patient for the past 10 years, since she was about 5 years old. She had very attentive owners, who did obedience and agility work with her and four other dogs in the family. She was a healthy dog, apart from some arthritis and kidney disease in her teens.

The Impact of Travel

Photo by Green Concierge Travel

There are many reasons people travel besides work. And even though it may not be obvious, much of our travel has purpose. Not surprisingly, the impact of travel on the brain and the human psyche have been found to have a connection to creativity, problem solving, personal resilience, and happiness. Researcher Adam Galinsky made the distinction. “Someone who lives abroad and doesn’t engage with the local culture will likely get less of a creative boost than someone who travels abroad and really engages in the local environment.”

Board and Mind Games

I'm Board Games and Family Fun store
Photo by I'm Board Games and Family Fun

One study after another seems to reach the same conclusion—board and mind games have a rich bounty of benefits, whether you are 5 or 105 years old. Research has shown the cognitive benefits games have on children, adults, and senior citizens. This time-honored form of entertainment also has the rare ability to bring together people from different generations.

Children and Trauma

Mother and sons
Photo by DAIS

Children’s exposure to violence in their homes, schools, and communities is all too common. In the United States, children are exposed to a higher rate of violence and crime than are adults. While we know children react in different ways, for many children, exposure to violence leads to trauma.

Tips for Preserving Cognition

doing a crossword puzzle

“Leonardo da Vinci’s [blank] Lisa .” Can you fill in the blank? Of course you can. But don’t get too excited. It turns out that crossword-puzzle prowess and practice are not necessarily going to help preserve your cognition. According to University of Wisconsin–Madison neuropsychologist and assistant professor Carey Gleason, PhD, you should do crossword puzzles if you enjoy them, but there are other important ways to protect your mind.

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