Tag Archives: Wisconsin Public Television

Quilt Expo 2019: Sept. 5-7 in Madison, Wisconsin

Tickets are now on sale for the ultimate quilting adventure! Join us Sept. 5-7 in Madison for the 15th-annual Quilt Expo, presented by Wisconsin Public Television and Nancy Zieman Productions.

Did you know that more than 20,000 quilting and sewing enthusiasts gather in Madison, Wisconsin each year for the Wisconsin Public Television Quilt Expo? Quilt Expo is not only a premier quilting destination for the Midwest, but it also welcomes attendees and vendors from across the U.S.  — and even across the globe — each year. And this year, Quilt Expo is celebrating 15 years of quilting fun!

Three attendees pose in front of the photo backdrop at Quilt Expo's entrance.
Attendees pose in front of the photo backdrop at Quilt Expo 2018.

Since 2004, Quilt Expo has brought quilters together while giving back to the community in numerous ways. Proceeds from Quilt Expo always go to support Wisconsin Public Television’s programming and outreach initiatives. That means that by purchasing an admission ticket, stopping by the WPT booth to buy a raffle ticket or registering for a presentation, you are not only enriching your life, but also enriching the lives of others who are impacted by WPT’s work on-air, online and in the community.

An attendee smiling at the camera while sewing at Quilt to Give at Quilt Expo.
Quilt to Give at Quilt Expo

And, throughout the event, Quilt Expo is full of opportunities for attendees to give back. One such opportunity is Quilt to Give, an annual community service project that invites attendees to sit and sew for a great cause. Finished quilts are donated to local charities each year. Last year, 29 quilts were donated! Nancy Zieman Productions has a great blog post about this project that details its history and how you can get involved; click here to read it.

If you haven’t yet been to a Quilt Expo, what should you expect at the three-day event? Here are some of the highlights:

  • A 10-category juried and judged Quilt Contest Exhibit featuring hundreds of quilts and cash prizes.
  • Special quilt exhibits! This year’s new exhibits include the Quilt Expo Log Cabin Challenge, Quilt Expo Modern Mini Challenge and Quilt Expo Kids’ Quilt Challenge. Plus, traveling exhibits on loan from across the country, like the Prince Challenge from Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics!
  • Hundreds of educational activities, including lectures, stage presentations, sit & sew workshops, hands-on workshops and evening events. Explore modern circles, color theory, silk fusion and stash busting. Learn about creative stitching and ruler work — or, if you’re feeling ambitious, head to Quilters Bootcamp! Then, take a moment to celebrate Nancy Zieman with a special lecture from Nancy Zieman Productions.
  • An 85,000-square-foot vendor mall featuring businesses and organizations from across the nation. Click here to explore a full list of 2019 vendors.
  • The Quilt Expo raffle, featuring prizes with a value of $200 or more.
An attendee smiles while admiring a quilt in the Quilt Expo Quilt Exhibit.
What would Quilt Expo be without quilts?!

Advance registration for the expo is now open, which means you can register early and save $2 per admission ticket, workshop and lecture. Plus, registering early means you can take advantage of limited-quantity opportunities, like the Quilt Expo VIP package!

A collage of VIP benefits, including a mug, tote bag, golden ticket and an entry in the sewing machine drawing.

VIP ticket holders receive the following: 

  • One three-day Quilt Expo ticket.
  • A Quilt Expo tote bag.
  • Early access to the quilt contest exhibit at 8 a.m. Thursday – be the first to see the quilts without the crowds! You’ll also be treated to a coffee and tea reception.
  • A Quilt Expo VIP coffee mug.
  • A commemorative Quilt Expo VIP badge with a matching multicolored WPT lanyard.
  • A Quilt Expo VIP button.
  • A quilting book from Nancy Zieman Productions.
  • One entry into a drawing to win a Baby Lock Sofia 2 sewing machine…and more!

Whether a seasoned quilter, a novice or just curious to learn more about quilting, Quilt Expo offers an opportunity to learn, laugh and draw inspiration from quilting masters who will share their ideas and expertise. We hope to see you this September!

Click here to download this year’s Quilt Expo Advance Registration Guide, or browse and register online.  

Q&A: Prof. Mike Leckrone, UW Varsity Band

Over his 50-year career leading the University of Wisconsin Bands, Prof. Mike Leckrone has often spoken of “moments of happiness” – the peaks in life that make the valleys easier to bear. He’s had many of those moments at Camp Randall Stadium and the Kohl Center.

Leckrone flies in with a “jet pack” at the 2019 Varsity Band Spring Concert.

So it’s fitting that “Moments of Happiness” is the title of his final Varsity Band Spring Concert.

Watch the legendary Leckrone take his final bow at the Kohl Center 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4 on WPT, with game day favorites, the best of popular and musical theater standards and (as always) many surprises.

Leckrone took time out of his still-busy schedule to speak with us. Read his reflections – including just what he plans to do after stepping down – in our Q&A below!

Continue reading Q&A: Prof. Mike Leckrone, UW Varsity Band

Q&A: Andy Soth, Portraits From Rural Wisconsin

Portraits From Rural Wisconsin premieres 8 p.m. Thursday, April 11 on Wisconsin Public Television. Through a series of interwoven personal essays, see why some western Wisconsin residents still say that “rural life is the best life” – even in the face of hardship and change.

Andy Soth headshotProducer/reporter Andy Soth, whose work has appeared on Here & Now, WisContext and Wisconsin Life (among others), spoke to us about the multi-year process that has brought these unique visual essays to life.

Continue reading Q&A: Andy Soth, Portraits From Rural Wisconsin

Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’ – Q&A With Program Co-Producers

Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’ is a new television special with an old twist.

In the program, premiering 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 on Wisconsin Public Television, celebrated Wisconsin author and humorist Michael Perry looks back on his Clodhopper tales of life in Wisconsin with an eye toward the ways his stories of the past connect us to the future. Checking in from north of Wisconsin’s Highway 64, Perry reflects on the people and places that shaped his life, while sharing stories relatable to every Wisconsinite.

Laurie Gorman and Grant Fenster, co-producers of Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’, sat down with us to discuss the upcoming special.

Read on to learn more from the people who put this new program together!

Continue reading Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’ – Q&A With Program Co-Producers

Wisconsin Public Television and the University of Wisconsin-Madison announce the Timothy William Trout Education Innovation Lab

Gift of $2.1 Million from Dr. Monroe and Sandra Trout creates partnership among Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Morgridge Institute for Research, UW Madison School of Education and Wisconsin Public Television.

An ambitious new partnership in Wisconsin will create, connect, and activate world-class content creators in science, instruction and media with teachers and learners across the state and the nation. This K-12 education-based project will leverage the data, knowledge and expertise of a top university, coupled with the national educational resources and reach of the PBS system, all focused and concentrated through the innovation and educational infrastructure of Wisconsin Public Television (WPT).

Dr. Monroe and Sandra Trout, who earlier created the Timothy William Trout Education Endowment Fund at Wisconsin Public Television, have made a gift of $2.1 million as an investment in creating this new model, recognizing the power of public media to help learners, teachers and parents with valuable educational programming and resources.

“With this investment, in memory of their son Timothy, Dr. Monroe and Sandra Trout will help fuel the next generation of scientists and explorers,” said Jon Miskowski, WPT Director of Television. “This work will help connect the breadth and depth of world-class resources of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the rest of the state, and nation, through public television. It’s the Wisconsin Idea realized.”

This endeavor will join the University of Wisconsin’s premiere science discovery labs through a partnership with Discovery Outreach, a joint venture of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; together with the UW-Madison School of Education, the leading public school of education in the nation; and the reach and impact of WPT’s media resources and broadcast, online and classroom engagement fully comprise the Timothy William Trout Education Innovation Lab.

“As part of UW-Madison, Wisconsin Public Television shares its mission to provide knowledge, connect to the whole state, and make life better for its citizens,” says UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “Through this new partnership, WPT and UW’s faculty will build new connections to content available across our campus – from both our research and teaching.  We expect that this will provide new opportunities for public media to inform and engage learners.”

Fueled by creative leadership and the energy and academic excellence of the collaboration, the approach will be research-based and be subject to rigorous evaluation in a spirit of continuous improvement. The project’s goals include inspiring and enabling teachers and learners to stoke personalized curiosity-driven learning experiences, creating institutional level change in how research reaches public and K-12 audiences, and developing models and resources to be shared at a national level.

“This embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea will help us translate the discoveries happening inside the Discovery Building into public knowledge and will advance our efforts to bring STEM programming to the citizens of Wisconsin and beyond,” says WID Director Jo Handelsman.

The Timothy William Trout Education Innovation Lab will focus the energy and expertise needed to deliver inspirational, high quality science education tools and roadmaps that teachers and learners need and can easily use in their classrooms, homes and other learning environments.

WPT is a service of the Educational Communications Board and the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wisconsin Public Television is a place to grow through learning on WHA-TV, Madison; WPNE-TV, Green Bay; WHRM-TV, Wausau; WLEF-TV, Park Falls; WHLA-TV, La Crosse; and WHWC-TV, Menomonie-Eau Claire.

Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is an interdisciplinary research institute on the UW–Madison campus built to develop a new approach to science driven by unlikely collaborations and partnerships.

The Morgridge Institute for Research is an independent biomedical research organization that explores uncharted scientific territory to discover tomorrow’s cures.



Around the Farm Table returns!

A Note From Inga…Inga Witscher, host of Around the Farm Table

Has it really been six years since we started this quirky little show we call Around the Farm Table? My father Rick (producer, director, and the guy that irons my shirt) and I are absolutely humbled to help tell the stories of the hard working and inspiring farmers here in the great state of Wisconsin.

Read more to find out where we’re headed this season on Around the Farm Table – and join us for our new episodes airing Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television!

Continue reading Around the Farm Table returns!

The Great American Read: Kathleen Ernst shares her picks

The Great American Read is back, with weekly explorations each Tuesday night of why America’s best-loved books and characters make such lasting impressions in our lives.

Kathleen Ernst headshot, by Geri GerroldWe’ve enjoyed hearing about Wisconsin authors’ own picks, both on and off TGAR‘s list. Next in our series is Kathleen Ernst, a multitalented author who describes her work as “writing at the intersection of people, places and the past.”

If you enjoy history, mystery or any combination thereof, read on for some of Ernst’s inspiring picks!

Continue reading The Great American Read: Kathleen Ernst shares her picks

The Great American Read: Michael Perry shares his picks

It’s here! Tune in 7 p.m. tonight for the fall kickoff episode of The Great American ReadThere’s plenty of action to come, both on TV and in our continuing series of Wisconsin authors.

Author Michael Perry smiles and wears a plaid shirt.Today we present WPT/WPR favorite and The New York Times bestselling essayist Michael Perry, of New Auburn. The paperback of his latest book, Montaigne in Barn Boots, will be released by HarperPerennial in November while he is on tour with his band the Long Beds.

Read more to find out which books have encouraged Perry to question his assumptions about writing and life.

Continue reading The Great American Read: Michael Perry shares his picks

What We Watch: Garry Denny

Bringing Wisconsin Public Television’s delightful mix of programming together takes a lot more work than most of us realize. Beyond PBS itself, WPT previews and purchases programs from American Public Television, the BBC, our own local production teams and multiple other independent sources.

Garry Denny

In our latest installment of What We Watch, we chat with Garry Denny, WPT’s director of programming. A member of our staff since 1986, he’s the one who brings it all together: acquisition, scheduling and delivery of programming services on WPT’s six-station network.

Read more to find out what Garry is most looking forward to in WPT’s fall schedule!
Continue reading What We Watch: Garry Denny