Good morning, Madison!
Happy Thursday, y'all. Today is an extra special day because it is our dear friend Sam's birthday! 🎉 🎉 🎉
Madison Minutes literally wouldn't exist without him so be sure to take a moment and add a "thank you" to any birthday wishes.
Sam has spent the past few months working tirelessly on our new website (while also holding down a full time job outside of Madison Minutes!) and we wouldn't be here today without him.
The absolute best way to celebrate this special day is by becoming a Madison Minutes member. We've mentioned it before, but we're just a team of two and we rely on your support every day to keep this email in your inbox.
Now let's get into the news.
🖼️ “Is Black art safe at MMoCA?”
- A new report from Madison356 details a shocking incident at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in which local artist Lilada Gee's work was defaced and taken by a woman and two children who thought that they could interact with the “Ain’t I A Woman?” exhibit.
- This isn't the first time Gee has had problems with the downtown museum. In March, as Madison365 reports, "Gee was verbally assaulted and belittled by a physically aggressive Overture Center for the Arts employee as Gee tried to re-enter the building where she was working on her art [for the MMoCA exhibit]." The employee was later fired but Gee was left too distraught to finish her art.
- Gee found out about the vandalism of her art when she got a call from MMoCA director Christina Brungardt asking her if the people who defaced her work could take the canvases home with them. “I absolutely couldn’t believe it," Gee told Madison365.
- The museum is investigating the incident. And in the meantime I highly recommend reading the full story.
🏫 Renaming Jefferson Middle School is on hold for now.
- If you'll recall, back in March, the School Board appointed a 12-member committee tasked with renaming Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Cap Times reports the committee received 42 proposals for new names, but the committee has yet to discuss any of them.
- The 12-member committee has since dwindled to nine and two of those members have yet to turn in their name rankings, leaving the committee unable to take the next steps in the renaming process.
- The effort is now on pause until mid-October.
☕ Downtown Starbucks workers will find out the results of their union vote today.
- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s Milwaukee office will tally the votes from workers of the Capitol Square Starbucks today and find out whether the store will become the first in Dane County to unionize.
- The bigger picture: Three other Dane County Starbucks stores announced unionization efforts in April, Cap Times reports. The local stores are part of a bigger union wave sweeping through Starbucks locations across the nation.
🚸 The city needs crossing guards.
- School may be out of session but the city is trying to get ahead of the curve by putting out a call for crossing guards.
- The position typically required 10-15 hours per week and hiring will occur continuously until all of the positions are filled. Learn more here.
⚖️ Scott Walker is still getting his way.
- The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Wednesday Frederick Prehn may continue to serve on a DNR Board until the state Senate confirms his successor — even though his term expired over a year ago.
- Some context: Former Gov. Scott Walker appointed Prehn, a Wausau dentist, to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board for a term that ended in May 2021. Gov. Tony Evers appointed teacher and environmental consultant Sandra Naas to replace him. But Prehn has refused to leave his post.
- How did we get here? The GOP-controlled state senate refuses to take action on Evers' appointment of Naas. Wispolitics reports "Prehn consulted with Walker, Senate [Majority Leader Devin] LeMahieu, and lobbyists as he decided to stay on the board."
- The impact: The 4-3 court ruling ensures conservatives will continue to hold a majority on the board that decides contentious environmental policies, WPR reports.
🌆 25 years of the Monona Terrace.
- While the Memorial Union Terrace might have all notoriety and photo ops, the Monona Terrace has helped define Madison for the past 25 years. Originally envisioned by famed urban planned John Nolen and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938, it took nearly 60 years to bring the Monona Terrace to life.
- Monona Terrace opened in July 1997 and has since generated over $697 million in economic impact for Madison, according to the city.
- The terrace will celebrate its 25th anniversary July 23 with a free community event featuring local bands, dance performances, and a drone show over Lake Monona.
- Read more about the terrace's long history and impact in this piece from Madison Magazine.
🥘 Your lunchtime read: It's not just food — it's history: Yusuf Bin-Rella connects growing, cooking and community.
- Via Wisconsin State Journal: "By day the food service supervisor at the Dejope Residence Hall on the UW-Madison campus, Bin-Rella spends his very-early mornings and evenings working his own garden. On weekends and weeknights, he’ll cook and dish up food steeped in tradition and ancestry, served with a story."