By Mallory Shotwell, Lake Edge resident and Founder of Madison Community Discourse
Moving into the Lake Edge neighborhood in March, Mallory, her fiancé Chad, and her son Liam found themselves loving it right away. They quickly got busy planting vegetable gardens, walking their dog, and riding down the long hills. People often describe their house as living inside a treehouse, as the view from the top of the hill is incredible.
Mallory is happy, not only because she loves the new neighborhood, but because she is studying it this year with her nonprofit Madison Community Discourse. She is the founder and executive director of this community arts nonprofit that connects community through art and discourse. She believes that art and discourse are the solutions for change in the community, and connecting through that makes an incredible difference. One less stranger and one more friend creates this stronger sense of belonging in our community.
Founded in 2013, Madison Community Discourse (MCD) has studied a theme to connect people. In the past, they have studied love and courage, and this year it is happiness. It is an open-ended, universal experience that we can all share. One neighbor’s happiness is different than another’s, but we can connect to that because we both had that moment. MCD connects and strengthens community in three ways: interviews, community art workshops, and an exhibition at the end of the year. They are conducting interviews this year to create a ‘portrait’ of what happiness is in the community. Every age, race, gender, orientation, and background is included in this process.
There are two workshops every month. One is a hands-on art workshop, where visitors become participants as they engage in art and their own thoughts on happiness. The other is a philosophical discussion group called ‘Happy Hour’ where everyone is invited to share in larger questions on what happiness is in our lives. The exhibition is a multi-media interactive installation art show, where everyone who attends is invited to play, touch, create, and engage in the art. While there are some 2d art pieces, most of the pieces are interactive in that they are not completed until people actively engage with it. Artists will invite participants to ride on a bicycle to ‘light up your life’ (a light bulb installation that lights up with the user’s movements), typewriters on tables, video projections, headphones on the wall to listen to the interviews, and so much more.
MCD Exhibition Event
They are hosting the following workshops in November/December:
Please visit their Facebook page or website to learn more about the events, activities, or to see the stories of happiness all over the city.
By Ken Gusner and Seethong Yang, Monona Shoe Repair
Over the past seven years that I have been a cobbler, I noticed a few things that each of us can do to preserve and prolong the life of our shoes and in turn, improve the well-being of our feet. Well, a good and comfortable pair of shoes adds to the quality of our overall health. We ought to take the time to care for them. When a pair of shoes lasts longer and it is comfortable to wear, we spend less money and not to mention, our feet are happier. When our feet are happier, so do we!
The first thing anyone can do to care for their shoes is to clean them. In the case of your Allen Edmonds, Alden, Cole Haan, other leather shoes and boots, polish them. This is the single most important thing you can do to get the most out of your footwear. When you polish your shoes, it is recommended that you use a cream polish, which soaks into the leather to keep it soft and flexible. A good cream polish will condition the leather and extends its life and usage. It prevents the leather from drying and cracking. A paste polish may also work, but it won’t penetrate into the leather as well.
The second thing is to avoid getting your shoes wet. Getting your leather shoes wet and dry several times can crack the leather. You can keep your shoes dry by wearing an overshoes, which is a pair of thin rubber shoes that fits right over your shoes. Especially, when it’s raining or snowing. The other alternative is to wear your crappy shoes in crappy weather.
If your leather shoes get wet, don’t put them in the oven or by the fireplace to dry. Doing this will ruin the shoes. Wipe them with a clean cloth, hang them upside down on a broomstick and let them dry naturally. This will allow the moisture in the soles to evaporate. Once the shoes are dry, polish them with a cream polish. Remember that leather is a skin and it needs to be conditioned and cared for.
The third thing is to wear your footwear appropriately. Don’t wear your Allen Edmonds to mow the lawn or plow the snow. Your good quality shoes are not made to withstand such abuse. If you must do manual labor around the house or in the yard, wear something that is made for that purpose. Your shoes protect your feet, which is the foundation upon which you stand. How well those shoes fit your feet will affect your posture, movement and overall health. Your shoes add a lot to your health and well-being, you should care for them just as you would care for your hands or your feet. And remember, they’re shoes, they need love too.
Ken Gusner is the owner of Monona Shoe Repair, 4517 Monona Drive - a proud sponsor of LENA! Ken is also a resident in the Lake Edge neighborhood.
Articles are written and submitted by members of the Lake Edge Neighborhood Association, residents, business owners, community members, and elected officials in the Lake Edge neighborhood or vicinity.