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.

Latinas making history

Books-Somos-Latinas-Authors-05172018A new book celebrates the women who changed Wisconsin — and the world.

Beginning with an impressive foreword by labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, Somos Latinas: Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists parallels a groundbreaking oral history project. The book serves as a who’s who of change-makers, providing inspiration and context for modern and budding activists.

Authors Andrea-Teresa Arenas and Eloisa Gómez — activists who met in Milwaukee during the 1980s — know the territory well. Read more at 

Mindful resistance

Books-Chapman-Mare-02162017Mare Chapman’s “Unshakeable Confidence” lays out a plan for female empowerment

Madison psychotherapist and meditation instructor Mare Chapman believes mindfulness is an important step toward empowerment.

Chapman has distilled the nine-week course she’s taught for 20 years into a new self-published book, Unshakeable Confidence: The Freedom to Be Our Authentic Selves. Chapman’s class teaches women how to dismantle the damaging thought patterns instilled by a male-dominated society while helping them learn to be at home in their own skin. Read the article at

Incubating artists and writers


Arts + Literature Laboratory has found its niche as a creative hub

At the Arts + Literature Laboratory, last night’s art show swiftly becomes the backdrop for tomorrow night’s reading series and next week’s concert.

For these reasons and more, Rita Mae Reese and Jolynne Roorda founded Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL). The experimental, collaborative space opened in January and has since been packed to the gills with people attending multimedia exhibitions, theater and musical performances.

The nonprofit was recently awarded two local grants to further its mission: $2,885 from the Madison Arts Commission to fund ALL’s Professional Development Series for Writers, which includes monthly craft talks and write-ins, and a $960 grant from Dane Arts to help support a series of exhibitions by emerging Dane County artists and related professional development programs for visual artists.

– See more at:

U.S. News & World Report

Best Place to Live: #24 Madison, Wisconsin
I had the honor of researching, writing about and photographing my favorite city for U.S. News & World report.

Here are a few photos extra photos.

Lake Monona

View of the Madison, Wisconsin, isthmus from across Lake Monona.


The Yahara River, on Madison’s Near East Side, which connects Lakes Monona and Mendota.

James Madison.jpg

James Madison Park on Lake Mendota.

First Unitarian.jpg

The First Unitarian Society, one of several Madison buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.


An early morning kayaker on Lake Monona.


The entrance to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum on Lake Wingra.