ON Newsletter - Winter 2021


Wisconsin Humanities has a brand-new podcast!

Have you ever wondered what happens after a project receives Wisconsin Humanities funding? What do ‘the humanities’ look like when real people get to work with an idea that impacts real communities in our state?

We have a new podcast called Human Powered that shares some of these incredible stories from around the state. Through in-depth storytelling, we are excited to introduce you to people like Marvin Defoe and Edwina Buffalo-Reyes, members of the Red Cliff band of Lake Superior Ojibwe in Bayfield County, and share the story of how their collaboration with archaeologists is transforming the way artifacts are treated and interpreted.

And people like Clinton Bagstad and Ryan McGuire, a farmer and a firefighter who have experienced extreme and destructive floods in the Southeastern part of the state. Their stories are powerful, and historians and conservation biologists believe that they might just hold the key for creating a sustainable future in the Driftless — and beyond!

From navigating the aftermaths of the Driftless Region’s life-altering floods to expanding access communities have to healthy and homegrown foods, each narrative captures the way hope drives us forward. Each of the six episodes is about 30 minutes long, and you can listen on our website where we also have really cool extra photos, videos, and information. Or you can find Human Powered wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe today!

Plug Into More Human-Powered Wisconsin


And so I kind of live in that space where there’s a little sliver of hope...and we have some little slivers

In episode 6 of season 1, you’ll hear from community leader and entrepreneur Tracey Robertson. When she first came to Wisconsin, people assumed Tracey moved for the nearby prison or to escape the ghettos of Chicago. As a way of countering these problematic assumptions, she began having conversations about race with members of the women’s group at her church. These discussions led to the founding of Tracey’s racial literacy nonprofit.

When it comes to Tracey’s work, she says the challenges she and many others face can take everything out of you. It’s the glimpses of hope that keep her going. .

“Those of us who do race work, if there’s a little sliver of hope, then there’s hope,” says Tracey. “And so I kind of live in that space where there’s a little sliver of hope...and we have some little slivers.”

In the episode, Tracey discusses what it means to be color brave, a term of empowerment that inspired a photo project to increase representation and raise awareness about barriers and stereotypes that people of color face. We hope you enjoy this dialogue on how people are making places better every day.

Hope from Love Wisconsin

It was with huge excitement that three years ago Wisconsin Humanities partnered with Love Wisconsin, taking over the production of its digital storytelling platform from founders Brijetta (Jet) Hall Waller and Megan Monday.


Recovery Grants keep history alive

During the onset of the pandemic, we moved quickly to offer rapid-response grants to help libraries, museums, and other nonprofits survive financial hardships. These WH CARES grants were followed by WH Recovery Grants this past summer.


Grants awarded across Wisconsin

WH’s year-round grantmaking for public humanities programs kept right on going in 2021. At the same time, our staff and board worked overtime to use federal American Recovery Plan funds to help organizations survive and bounce back from the pandemic.