Full Circle

Stage-StoweZak-crJeffKlawes-09062018Shunned by his church and college, Zak Stowe finds a home directing “Southern Baptist Sissies”

Five years ago, Zak Stowe was being raked over the coals for trying to stage a play that his conservative Lutheran college considered anti-Christian. Now in Madison, Stowe is making his directorial debut with StageQ’s Southern Baptist Sissies, the story of young gay men finding themselves in Texas. Read more at Isthmus.com.

Mural with a mission

Art-Trinity-Mural-Dedication-cLatasiaDhami-08022018In early July, Madison artist Jenie Gao scaled scaffolding to install a bright mural on the parking-lot side of Trinity Lutheran Church between Winnebago and Atwood Streets. One morning, a couple walked by and struck up a conversation. Gao explained that the nonprofit she works with, Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA), had helped the church community conceptualize and create the colorful four-panel mural.

“At the end of the conversation, this guy goes, “I never understood why anyone would like to cover up such a nice stucco wall, but you made a believer of me,” says Gao, lead artist on the project. “So we had a conversion on public art and murals.” Read more at Isthmus.com.

Self-aware fiction

Books-Franson-Sally-crCadence&EliPhotography-07052018“A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out” is a witty look at modern office culture

Verona native Sally Franson has not sold out — by her own definition — though the title of her debut novel indicates otherwise.

The former Isthmus writer graduated from Verona High School in 2002 before relocating to New York City to attend Barnard College. In 2005, during her senior year, she scored an unpaid internship — save a free Metrocard — fact-checking, pulling clothes for photo shoots and contributing articles to the Daily Candy, a now-defunct, then-pioneering style site and e-newsletter. After her formative years in tie-dye and Birkenstocks, she idolized the trendy chic female employees who gave her a quick lesson in professional dynamics from an office in SoHo. Read more at Isthmus.com.

Women take center stage

Music-LunArt-UgrcicIva-06282018The founder of LunART Festival opens up about her mission

Discrimination and sexism often prevent women from thriving in the arts, but not for much longer, if Iva Ugrćič (OO-gurr-cheech) has anything to say about it. The Serbian-born flutist has launched the inaugural LunART Festival, June 28-30, partly in response to the negative experiences she faced while beginning a music career in Europe. Read more at Isthmus.com.

Latinas making history

Books-Somos-Latinas-Authors-05172018A new book celebrates the women who changed Wisconsin — and the world.

Beginning with an impressive foreword by labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, Somos Latinas: Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists parallels a groundbreaking oral history project. The book serves as a who’s who of change-makers, providing inspiration and context for modern and budding activists.

Authors Andrea-Teresa Arenas and Eloisa Gómez — activists who met in Milwaukee during the 1980s — know the territory well. Read more at Isthmus.com.