Wisconsin Life # 811: Talents and Tradition

December 30, 2021


It’s a celebration of art, music and dancing as host Angela Fitzgerald visits the Folklore Village. Located in Dodgeville, the campus serves as a place for guests to experience a variety of folk-art traditions. There’s even an opportunity to visit a historic church and school that sit on the property. Folklore Village Director Terri Van Orman explains more about the community events and classes taught here. Angela also learns about the ongoing effort to restore and rebuild an 1800s log cabin using methods from that time period. We meet the group of interns using hand tools to reconstruct the 2-story cabin.

Nels Diller also discusses the tools that are being used to construct these cabins.

While Angela explores Folklore Village, we find discover Hong Gao who is the owner of Taigu Noodles in Middleton. Hong came to the U.S. in 1989 from the Shanxi province. This province is known for its noodles, and Hong couldn’t find these noodles when she moved. This drove her to open her shop and share the noodles of Shanxi with others.

Then, we move to a unique art form that comes from Ghana. Eric Adjetey Anang is a third generation craftsman in the art of design coffins. Anang’s coffins are one of Ghana’s most unique cultural exports. It’s a business his grandfather started. The idea came about when Anang’s grandmother passed away.

Next, we find ourselves in Milwaukee with John & Kate McLaughlin, owners of the Brass Rooster Hat Company. In addition to handcrafting hats, they offer full cleaning and repair services, custom fittings and customer service as traditional as the 100 year old equipment they use to make their hats.

After that are sounds that will take many back to when they were younger. These sounds are the clicking of buttons and the chiptune music of retro arcade machines. Bradley Czech collects and restores old video arcade machines, and his restorations have become a large collection that he shares with multiple museums.

Finally, winter is a season that invites strong feelings among Wisconsinites. Love it or hate it, we all have to deal with it. Beloit College professor Christi Clancy tells us how she deals with that cold and snowy time of year in an animated short.


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