As a small-town girl, I’ve grown up loving brats, cheese curds and cows—markers of an identity seemingly synonymous with the Dairy State. And while it may be spot-on for some, this rural rendition often leaves an entire collection of cultures and identities behind.
Our state is much more than the perceptions of passers-by. Wisconsin is the urban and the rural, the Sassy Cow farmer and the Milwaukee muralist, the Menominee students and the Sikh temple members.
Our staff and I set out to explore the cultures unique to Wisconsin, to discover what lay beyond the initial impressions. Yet I was amazed to find countless common threads connecting our cuisine, arts, communities and people.
We found anomalies and contradictions—stories of an optimistic Sikh community in mourning, sustainable gardens emerging in the face of health food scarcity, an inspiring arts program in a prison and candy created through chemistry.
From the rural areas in northern Wisconsin to the urban centers of Milwaukee, our stories, struggles and traditions share common connections. Whether stories of tears and triumphs, or unexpected laughs and oddities, Wisconsin is a varied state. And in a time of deep divisions, we were thankful to discover the Wisconsinite identity unites us all.
I invite you to look past the rolling hills and urban skylines to discover the people and stories within. Wisconsin is a state of intersecting identities and individuals. It’s time to discover those amazing differences, their common thread and together, weave a Wisconsin that connects, not divides.
Editor, Curb Magazine