Madison Community Fridges project combines fresh food and mutual aid

Starting with one fridge on East Johnson Street, the project is expanding its network.

Madison’s newest hot spot for fresh foods is also a hub for mutual aid. 

Since late July, a fledgling grassroots group called Madison Community Fridges has been stocking a refrigerator on the lawn at 1005 East Johnson St., near the intersection with Brearly Street. Some of the residents at the address who work at Troy Farm fill the fridge with leftover produce. A small pantry for perishable goods also sits next to the fridge. Madison Community Fridges invites neighbors to add food and community members to help themselves. “Take what you need, leave what you can,” is their motto. Read more at Tone Madison.

The second Black Arts Matter Festival adapts and centers queer artists

Poetry and music combine in this year’s live-streamed event.

This year, with the arts at a near standstill as venues remain closed and artists are unable to tour due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, Irvin re-thought the Black Arts Matter Festival’s mission and presentation. 

“My goal was to safely present artists and to support artists. Believing ‘Black arts matter’ means paying Black artists,” Irvin says. “My goal this year was to definitely give a platform for them. It’s an opportunity to feel community from wherever you are.” Read more at Tone Madison.

Reparations Thrift asks white Madisonians to pay it back in style

The mutual-aid organization makes a case for fashion-based reparations.

Reparations Thrift purposefully connects fashion with reparations. Cultural appropriation is rampant, particularly on Instagram, says Thrift co-head Venus Han. Personalities like the Kardashians get likes—and accumulate social capital—by cherry-picking aspects of style from Black and brown cultures. Read more at Tone Madison.

Willy Street’s giige brings healing tattooing practices to the forefront

The new collective creates a space where queer and Indigenous people can reclaim their bodies.

giige (pronounced “ghee-GHEH”) means “heals up” in Anishinaabemowin, the language of many of Wisconsin’s Indigenous tribes. Healing is the foundation of giige’s mission. The collective’s trauma- and gender-informed tattooing practice is steeped in the act of body reclamation. Read more at Tone Madison.

Free-flowing ideas

Stage-displaced-horizons-10252018“Displaced Horizons” is a multimedia work based on a fascination with water

Robert Lundberg wants to give us the opportunity to think differently about water.

“It’s something I’ve become totally obsessed with over the last eight years or so,” says Lundberg, co-composer and video director for Displaced Horizons, an upcoming multimedia performance and exhibition taking place at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 27, in Gallery 7 of the UW-Madison Humanities Building. Displaced Horizons includes five channels of video; a 90-minute score performed live; and printed materials including maps, the musical score and a program of text and images. Read more at Isthmus.com.

Madison shouldn’t welcome back men like Aziz Ansari so easily

A few weeks ago, I checked my email and got instantly psyched. The Comedy Club on State announced that Aziz Ansari was playing a few shows the next night, August 19. The cute, clever man who gave us Tom Haverford from Parks And Rec, created and starred in Master Of None, and wrote Modern Romance (which I didn’t read because I had it on good advice that it wasn’t worth it)!

Then I remembered the gross news from awhile back that he coerced a woman into some sexual contact that she says she was not 100 percent into. Which was Alanis Morissette ironic, because Ansari actively promotes himself pretty hard as a feminist.

I internally shuddered and deleted the email. Read more at Tone Madison.

Full Circle

Stage-StoweZak-crJeffKlawes-09062018Shunned by his church and college, Zak Stowe finds a home directing “Southern Baptist Sissies”

Five years ago, Zak Stowe was being raked over the coals for trying to stage a play that his conservative Lutheran college considered anti-Christian. Now in Madison, Stowe is making his directorial debut with StageQ’s Southern Baptist Sissies, the story of young gay men finding themselves in Texas. Read more at Isthmus.com.

Women take center stage

Music-LunArt-UgrcicIva-06282018The founder of LunART Festival opens up about her mission

Discrimination and sexism often prevent women from thriving in the arts, but not for much longer, if Iva Ugrćič (OO-gurr-cheech) has anything to say about it. The Serbian-born flutist has launched the inaugural LunART Festival, June 28-30, partly in response to the negative experiences she faced while beginning a music career in Europe. Read more at Isthmus.com.