Human Powered is a show about how people make places better. In our first season, we explore Wisconsin together to meet real people and hear in-depth stories that we hope leave you feeling closer to your neighbors—and inspired by where you live. Brought to you by Wisconsin Humanities and Love Wisconsin and produced by Field Noise Soundworks.
The Power of Experience (with Caroline Gottschalk Druschke)
The Driftless region of Wisconsin is no stranger to flooding. Its spectacular valleys and ridges were formed by the flow of rushing water over millions of years. But in recent memory, the floods are getting more intense, and happening more often—a combination that is having a profound impact on local people and communities. In this episode, we’ll hear stories from people who experienced the flooding firsthand, from farmers to firefighters. And we’ll hear from people who think that these stories might just hold the key for creating a sustainable future in the Driftless—and beyond. In 2019, The Driftless Writing Center based in Viroqua submitted a grant application to Wisconsin Humanities describing "Stories from the Flood." The project was to record interviews with residents about their experiences of the catastrophic flood of 2018. "Stories from the Flood" was awarded a Major Grant and the seed of that idea has grown and continues to expand. The project published a book that can be read online here. In this episode: Caroline Gottschalk Druschke is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she incorporates her research interests in watershed-based conservation into her teaching. She is also earning a master's degree in environmental resources with a focus on stream ecology. Tim Hundt has worked as a journalist in the Driftless Region for the last 20 years: as a reporter for the Vernon County Broadcaster, News Director for three radio stations in Viroqua (WVRQ-Q102-WKPO), and as a freelancer livestreaming under the VernonReporter name. He has covered the flooding that has impacted the region as well as environmental issues, local government, and politics. Born and raised in La Crosse County on a dairy farm at the top of the Coon Creek watershed, Tim now lives in Viroqua where he works as a district representative for Congressman Ron Kind. He has written about the watersheds including the Lessons of Coon Creek and worked with the Driftless Writing Center on the “Stories From Flood” project that included a video he produced about the watersheds. Curt Meine is a conservation biologist, historian, and writer who serves as a senior fellow with both the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Center for Humans and Nature, and as associate adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has written several books, including Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work (University of Wisconsin Press, 1988). You can read his reflections on The Driftless Area, where he lives, in "The Edge of Anamoly" and hear him interviewed on Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. He also edited The Driftless Reader, which includes writings by Native people, explorers, scientists, historians, farmers, songwriters, journalists, and poets. Ellen and Nick Voss live with their coonhound Loki on a small farm near Soldiers Grove in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area. They spend their free time fly fishing for trout and muskies, finding new rivers to paddle, and road biking. Ellen is the Aquatic Invasive Species Program Director with River Alliance of Wisconsin, and Nick is the head fly fishing guide at the Driftless Angler fly shop in Viroqua.
The Power of Listening (with Arijit Sen)
Who are the experts in a city? In a neighborhood? In this episode, we meet a professor of architecture who has designed a ‘field school’ that encourages students to dig into these questions. We sit on front porches in some of Milwaukee’s most economically challenged neighborhoods to learn from residents that building community, and caring for a place, takes more than a hammer and nails. In this episode: Dr. Arijit Sen is a professor at UW-Milwaukee, where he teaches courses in architectural design and urban cultural landscapes. He cofounded Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures, a program for students in the Architecture and Art History doctoral programs at UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison. The BLC Field School mentioned in this episode has ongoing projects that are documented on this website. Arijit has worked on post disaster reconstruction and community-based design in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans and written extensively about South Asian immigrant cultural landscapes. He served on the board of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, a national organization dedicated to the study, preservation and analysis of the everyday world. Camille Mays is the founder of Peace Gardens MKE. She explains that with the blessing of families who have lost people due to gun violence, she plants perennial flowers as a way to care for her neighbors while improving the neighborhood. She speaks as part of local and national forums about her work and serves on city and local committees. Camille has been featured in many articles, including: - Picturing Milwaukee - My Block: The Peace Gardens of Sherman Park - Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service: How Camille Mays finds peace after gun violence took her son Cheri Fuqua is the founder of The Middle Ground, a community organization that provides employment opportunities, along with resources and life skills, to help Black youth in Milwaukee. She is an AmeriCorps Alumni and a graduate of the Neighborhood Leadership Institute. In 2016 Ms. Cheri was honored with a Resident Leader Award from Mayor Tom Barrett. For over twenty years, she has maintained a strong presence in her community by connecting residents, leaders, and stakeholders at monthly meetings. Chelsea Alison Wait is a PhD candidate in Architecture at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP) at UWM. Chelsea focuses on community collaboration, storytelling, public history, local architecture history, and finding ways to integrates her public art practice. Chelsea’s research looks at how people practice care as it relates to the built environment and urban landscape. She is an adjunct faculty at SARUP, teaching introduction to design and local architecture histories, and an associate lecturer in the Peck School of the Arts, where she teaches teaches multicultural history of America and artwork.
Season 1 Preview
Human Powered is a new podcast about people making places better. In our first season, we are traveling around the state of Wisconsin to see how big ideas and everyday people are coming together for extraordinary change. In this preview, you'll hear from some of those people: Arijit Sen, Caroline Gottschalk Druschke, Rachel Monaco-Wilcox, and Tracey Robertson. The first episode drops on March 10th. The show is hosted by Jimmy Gutierrez and brought to you by Wisconsin Humanities and Love Wisconsin, and produced by Field Noise Soundworks. To learn more, visit wisconsinhumanities.org/podcast.
This is an awesome podcast— fascinating to listen to. Looking forward to future episodes, definitely worth subscribing.