Community Partners

2013-14 Community Partners


Madison Children’s Museum (MCM) is a nationally recognized and award winning interactive museum whose mission, is to connect children with their families, their communities, and the world beyond through discovery learning and creative play. MCM is an educational leader, community partner, and source of inspiration for families with children ages 0–12, and serves a vibrant and diverse community, primarily from Dane County, blending both urban and rural backgrounds. The museum serves over 225,000 people of all ages each year through its onsite and outreach offerings.

A national leader in sustainable exhibit and program design, MCM undertakes its work with a decidedly local approach, working with local people, products, and resources, and content that highlights the many unique features of Madison, Dane County, and Wisconsin in all of its work. This sustainability ethic is core to the museum’s principles, and has distinguished our innovative practices for decades. 

Madison Public Library’s tradition of promoting education, literacy and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 135 years.  The library’s nine locations throughout the City of Madison are open six days a week (with limited Sunday hours) and welcome over 2.35 million visits each year.  Madison Public Library (MPL) is part of the South Central Library System, a cooperative network of 52 public libraries in a seven county area. The System offers a shared online catalog, daily delivery of books and media, and reciprocal borrowing privileges among libraries.  In 2011, Madison Public Library welcomed 2.25 million visitors from Madison, Dane County, and beyond, circulated nearly 4.4 million library books and media from nine different library locations throughout Madison, facilitated over 721,400 in-library internet uses, and welcomed almost 90,000 children and adults to library classes and events.  Among Wisconsin’s 10 biggest library service areas as defined by the state, Madison topped the rankings of circulation per capita, accumulating more than 4.7 million checkouts in 2010, or 17.82 per resident, according to data from the 2010 fiscal year compiled by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Madison Public Library’s mission is to provide free and equitable access to cultural and educational experiences. We celebrate ideas, promote creativity, connect people, and enrich lives.  We envision that the Madison Public Library is your place to learn, share, and create.  One way we are achieving this vision is through a new initiative, the Bubbler, which will focus on innovative arts and technology programming that fosters community interaction.  Fueled by the energy of a new Central Library opening in September of 2013, The Bubbler will provide a venue for the vibrant creative community in Madison to share their skills with a wider audience through lectures, demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and a digital publishing project.


To the Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK) is a nationally-syndicated radio program produced by Wisconsin Public Radio, the second largest public radio network in the country. TTBOOK is a Peabody Award-winning “public radio magazine of ideas” with an audience of 360,000 listeners for each hour. The program is distributed by Public Radio International to more than 200 stations around the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Miami. TTBOOK also has 145,000 monthly podcast subscribers. Its website includes a searchable database with 12 years of archived interviews.

TTBOOK broadcasts two one-hour programs each week. Each hour has a theme, which is explored over the course of the hour primarily through interviews. The program also airs essays, performance pieces, music and highly-produced feature stories. Topics vary widely - from politics, science, philosophy and "big ideas," to cultural trends, contemporary fiction and pop culture. TTBOOK has interviewed many of the world’s leading writers, scientists, artists, and intellectuals, as well as dozens of Nobel laureates. Every year TTBOOK produces one 4 or 5-hour series, which is distributed more widely than the weekly broadcast. Recent series include “Meet Your Mind: The Science of Consciousness,” Democracy: A Short History of a Big Idea,” “Science and the Search for Meaning,” and "Boots on the Ground: Stories from the War in Iraq.” 

Great World Texts in Wisconsin (GWT), a program of the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities, connects UW faculty with high-school teachers across the state. Each year, the Center for the Humanities works with UW faculty and graduate students to develop a rigorous curriculum for teaching a work of world literature that in most cases would not otherwise be taught in high school classrooms. The program is simultaneously global, interdisciplinary, and collaborative. Teachers come to UW-Madison in both fall and spring for daylong workshops with scholars across the humanities, and each participating school receives a classroom set of books. The program culminates in an annual student conference, where hundreds of students from across Wisconsin come together to present their scholarly and creative work. The conference always includes a major keynote speaker, whether a recent translator (Robert Pinsky); some adapting the work for new audiences; or the author themselves (Arundhati Roy). Since its inception, GWT has focused on The God of Small Things, Antigone, 1001 Nights, Things Fall Apart, Brothers Karamazov, 100 Years of Solitude, Don Quixote, and Dante’s Inferno. The 2013/14 text will be a novel by Orhan Pamuk.