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Friends' Newsletter Spring 2006 vol. 4 no. 1

| Director's Column | Documentary Discs | The Landscape of Cultivation | Miracles of the Spirit |
| Polkabilly | News From Iowa | Announcements |

Viva la Greenbush!

Italian Workmen's Club

Photo by ????

The Greenbush Community Free Conference held May 2nd at the Italian Workmen’s Club, was truly a ‘Melting Pot’ of discussions, exhibits, technology, stories, and fun. Nearly a half-century after Urban Renewal bulldozed most of the thriving Greenbush neighborhood on Madison’s near south side, generations of community members are still coming together to celebrate, share, and learn from each other’s diversity.

Throughout the day attendees, including Mark Wagler’s 5th grade Randal Elementary students, heard the voices and perspectives of over twenty-five former and current residents, family members, care providers, community leaders, business owners, UW-Madison students, and scholars. Woven through each story and experience were the threads of fellowship and culture, which helped to build a strong - generations old - solidarity in the community and between families and friends.

With the hard work of Randall students, CSUMC staff, and expertise of tech-goddess, Sara Ziemendorf, many of these voices, along with photos, quotes, maps and more, can be viewed at A huge ‘Thanks” to all who helped make this a truly great conference!

Hats off to Exhibition, Miss Annie Mae

Where: Milwaukee County Historical Society, 910 N. Old World 3rd St., Milwaukee
When: April 1-June 4
Admission: Free! For information, call (414) 273-8288 or go to

Terri Birt Grandniece

Annie Mae's great-niece, Terri Birt.
Photo by and courtesy of John Urban.

The story of Miss Annie Mae McClain, who left rural Mississippi for Milwaukee with her family in the 1930s, is a story shared by hundreds of African-Americans who migrated from the South to the industrial cities of the North.

The exhibtion, Miss Annie Mae’s Hats, highlights the tradition and significance of wearing hats to church in the African-American community, the art and craft of hat making, and the community bonds forged by wearing these hats to Sunday services.

The exhibit started off at Madison’s James Watrous Gallery, Overture Center for the Arts January-March, before moving to the Milwaukee Historical Society April-June. Wrapping up the series of excellent programming is CSUMC’s, Ruth Olson, along with Corey Coleman, owner Milwaukee’s Heads Up Hat Shop. They will lead the discussion, "Church Hats in Milwaukee's African-American Community," May 25 at 7 p.m.

The exhibit’s 66 hats will be auctioned off on June 17th at 1:00 p.m. at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Road, in Madison, with all proceeds benefiting a scholarship fund for students of color.

Last Updated:
February 4, 2009

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