Craig Clifford

Photo by Craig Clifford

Altering reality is accomplished through gradual shifts in perspective. Whether it’s changes in subgroups of society or an individual, those intimately observing the changes aren’t thrown off when considering how point A came to point B. Interestingly enough, those removed from the process still recognize the group or individual as the same entity even though they might see some of the changes as drastic.

John/Christine Designs

Photo by Larry Sanders

For John and Christine Strobel, creating fine jewelry is not about making a sale—it’s about telling a story. In chatting with John and Christine, their dogma became obvious as every piece, every question, and every detail came with its own anecdote.

Barbara Boustead

Barbara Boustead
Photo by Barbara Boustead

There are so few we hold in high esteem, and they tend to be universally revered people we’ll never have the opportunity to interact with on an interpersonal level. People like Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Bob Dylan, and other undeniable powerhouses in their respective fields. In very specific ways, they contribute to an enhanced vision humankind can share, sometimes coming at the expense of overlooking their flaws. But day in and day out, our community’s individual assets of personhood are not only overlooked, but completely unknown. And these people were born without a pause button.

Community Shares of Wisconsin Fosters Collaboration and Innovation

Community Shares of Wisconsin Board
Photo by Community Shares of Wisconsin

In 1971, following years of community division and dramatic social change, a group of Madison activists sought new ways to pool community resources around civil rights, fair housing, and building a just economy. Their efforts led to the founding of what would become one of the earliest social action funds in the nation. And thanks to decades of collaborative thinking and innovation, that organization, Community Shares of Wisconsin (CSW), continues to grow and thrive today.

Holiday Food Drives: Feeding the Greater Madison Community

Workers at food drive
Photo by Laura Zastro Photography at Goodman Community Center

Holidays are busy times, and figuring out what to serve at family dinners can be tricky. But for many it’s difficult, if not impossible, without the help of local organizations and community members who serve those in need.

Perfect Fooding

oven mitt

For those of you following my story, welcome back! For those 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.

The Spirit of Giving

Anthology window
Photo by Anthology

The holiday season means different things to different people. For some, it’s wrapped in nostalgia and family; for others, it’s a joyful outward expression of religious beliefs. One of the universal hallmarks of the upcoming holidays, however, is the spirit of giving.

Lombardino's – Italian Cuisine with a Sense of Place

Tomato Bruschetta
Photo by Eric Tadsen

Going out to eat is an experience riddled with much more than the food itself. For example, consider the environment you’re in, providing a tailored charm laced with expectation. Then there’re aspects of comfort, company, and hospitality. On the northwest corner of Highland and University, a square white building, with its name plastered larger than life on the side next to an over-enthusiastic chef wearing a white toque, houses the historic Lombardino’s Restaurant.

From the Editor

Madison Essentials Headquarters
Photo by Barbara Wilson

It’s the last issue of 2018. When we start the production of each year’s final issue, I take time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and the stories we’ve been able to tell throughout the year. It’s also the time to look ahead to see what we can do next with regard to content and presentation. I’m pleased with what I see no matter which direction I look—back or forward.

Charitable Planning: Giving Positively Impacts You Financially and Personally

giving hands

Charity is something we’re all familiar with in one form or another. By definition, it’s something we do to help those in need. It can take many forms, and its impact can spread across the world. But did you know that giving can also positively impact your own financial situation and improve your life? As a Certified Financial Planner and president of a charitable organization, I have some insight and tips on how charitable giving not only benefits the recipients, but also those doing the giving.

Drumlin Ridge Winery: Exerience Boutique-Style Wines

Drumlin Ridge Winery
Photo by Eric Tadsen

Boutique-style wine is like liquid art, and the personality of each is distinct due to the influence of the weather, soil, and fermentation process. And like a fine wine, the vision owners Dave and Brenda Korb had for Drumlin Ridge Winery fermented for years before the winery came to fruition.

Lambic Disorder

beer bottles
Photo by Kyle Jacobson

Through my years drinking, brewing, and writing about beer, I’ve had a lot of my assumptions corrected, opinions changed, and perspectives widened. One thing stressed time and time again is to minimize the wort’s exposure to outside elements. From the boil kettle to the fermentation vessel, the only time even outside air should touch the beer is when the yeast is pitched. Aside from that, keep it sealed. There’s a style, arguably over 5,000 years old, though it would not have a name until the late 1700s, that disregards this oft-repeated truth: Lambic.

The Woman's Building

Samba restaurant outside
Photo by A & L Kutil Enterprises, LLC, Laurie Kutil, Photographer

The Woman’s Building, 240 W. Gilman Street, marks the significance of the advocacy, influence, and philanthropy of Madison’s late 19th and early 20th century women—women who made a difference in the civic life of the community long before being able to exercise their right to vote in 1920.

Days For Girls: A Simple Menstrual Pad Changes Lives For Girls In Impoverished Countries

Ladies sewing
Photo by Diana Greenberg

Universally, every girl gets their period and has a need for sanitary products. It’s a natural part of life. However, a menstrual equity gap exists for girls living in impoverished countries.

Pet Rescue Groups


Did you know that over 120,000 Madison households have at least a dog or cat? A majority of those pets have come through a rescue or humane society, and many are not Wisconsin natives. In this season of giving and sharing, I’d like to highlight some of the local pet rescue groups in the area that depend on your support.

Giving Back: Honor Flights

Badger Honor Flight trip
Photo by Badger Honor Flight

Over the past six months, I have been honoring elders in our family and close friends, and learning about how they served our country. Their generation, dubbed the greatest generation, is passing quite literally before our eyes. Because of these personal relationships and a desire to do more for my generation, I accepted an offer to attend a homecoming for a Badger Honor Flight in May.

Making a Difference at DAIS

holding hands
Photo by DAIS

One in four women and one in seven men will experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. These statistics do not include other forms of abuse, such as emotional or financial, which means even more people endure abuse in their relationships. Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) exists because it has to, and because of this, we work to empower those affected by domestic violence and advocate for social change through support, education, and outreach.