#FlashbackFriday with the Historical Society: Home Talent Show 1937

It’s time once again for #FlashbackFriday with the Whitewater Historical Society.

This week’s image is a cast photo of a local home talent show based on the “National Barn Dance” program broadcast on Chicago’s WLS radio station from 1924-1968. WLS had an enhanced signal after dark and their Saturday night program could be heard throughout the Midwest. This popular show featured mostly country music and humor not unlike the Grand Ole Opry out of Nashville. For a time, the barn dance program sponsored a hometown talent show in local communities, and Whitewater held theirs on February 4-5-6, 1937. It was co-sponsored by the Business and Professional Women’s Club, part of the Whitewater Federation of Women’s Clubs. The show was held in the auditorium of the old city high school (old Franklin Junior High School) with Bill Hall and Harry Bonnett as toastmasters. According to the Whitewater Register, it was a big success that featured many community members as this photograph shows.

Join us next week for more from the Whitewater Historical Society.

(3503P Whitewater Historical Society)

Hiding in Plain Sight – The Arboretum at Starin Park

The Arboretum at Starin Park

In our city we have an arboretum hiding in plain sight. Did you know that Starin Park is also an arboretum? Why did that happen? How did that happen? What does it mean?

At the park, the Burr Oak provides wonderful shade.

At the arboretum, the Burr Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) makes you wonder. What kind of tree is that? How old is that tree? How tall is that tree? What’s special about oaks?

The arboretum is a classroom—the curriculum is ecology.
The arboretum is a sanctuary—take a walk, take a deep breath.
The arboretum is a living museum—a home for Wisconsin’s native trees and shrubs.
The arboretum is a social environment—meet your friends, engage and maybe even become a volunteer.

So, what is the difference between the park and the arboretum? It takes more than a town or city to make an arboretum. It takes a community! There are new plantings to be made. There are programs to be planned and offered. There are plants sales. There are school visits that need direction and guidance. All this and more!

Visit the Arboretum at Starin Park. Take a walk. Find the trees with ID tags. Look for all the new plantings. Give Quercus alba a hug. Maybe, as a first step, visit online and find out more: The Arboretum at Starin Park

If you are interested in being a steward of the arboretum, or an ArbKeeper as we like to call it, then email the Arb and let us know. You can do that here: Starin Park Arbkeepers or EntAtStarinArb@gmail.com

Editor’s note: This writing is by Barry Rosenberg, a Friend of the Arboretum.

Witte Artistry Reception Friday, Feb. 3 at the Cultural Arts Center

Witte Artistry Exhibit –  An exhibit of full body paint characters, body paint hand creations, paintings, and more by Kim Witte.

Opening reception and meet the artist on Friday, February 3, 2023 from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center (2nd floor gallery), 402 W. Main St. Refreshments offered.

Exhibit – Thursday, February 2 until Sunday, March 26, 2023, 12:00 – 4:00 PM (Thurs. – Sun). Exhibit is free to attend. 

Learn more about the show and see the virtual option on opening day via our website: https://www.whitewaterarts.org/witte-artistry-exhibit-2023 

Flower Power Fundraiser for Studio 84

Editor’s note: The following announcement was received from Studio 84.

8x10 flowerpower

Spring is on its way, it really is. 

Soon the world will be full of buds and blooms. 

Have you got your flowers and bulbs picked out? Studio 84 is here to help. With the help of Flowerpower fundraising we are selling flowers and seeds. Included are dahlias, lilies, perennials, seed mats, and more.

Simple to do: order online by May 15, pay the low shipping fee no matter how much you order, and then your order will be shipped directly to you. For more information contact info@studio84inc.org.

Link to order today

Studio 84 is a non-profit art studio, gallery and store. We specialize in the creative and vocational development of people with disabilities including those with Autism, Down Syndrome, physical disabilities, cognition delays and mental illness. We believe in creating an environment of inclusion. Open to all ages and all abilities. Located in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Studio 84 provides fully accessible opportunities in the arts to enrich people’s lives by focusing on the strengths and abilities of the individual, by encouraging the creative voice with self-directed activities, thus, inspiring self-worth, pride, confidence and acceptance. Our program has shown that art enhances self-image, improves self-esteem, improves communication, increases independence, counteracts social isolation, develops thinking skills, teaches teamwork, develops creative problem solving. Your support can help us replenish art supplies, with our day to day needs in keeping our space a workable and creative space, add new programing and artistic mentorship, maintain our presence in the community, ensure that Studio 84 will continue to be a vital part of our area. Your support can provide a person with a disability the opportunity to change their identity from a “disabled person” to a “creative artist.”

UW-W Interim Provost Fox to retire in 2023


Editor’s note: The following was posted on the UW-Whitewater announcements page on February 1, 2023.

Robin K. Fox, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, will retire from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at the end of the spring term.

“It has been my honor to serve UW-Whitewater for more than 30 years,” Fox said. “I came here to teach at the Children’s Center and to work on my master’s degree. Very quickly, I found UW-Whitewater to be a good fit for me – the sense of community, the focus on meeting the needs of all students, the amazing arts and athletics events, were all reasons for staying. However, the most influential reasons to stay were the people I had the privilege to work with at the university and in the community. UW-Whitewater will forever hold a special place in my heart.”

A professor of curriculum and instruction, Fox came to UW-Whitewater in 1990 as a lead teacher in the Children’s Center, later elevating to the role of director from 1992-1999. After serving as the department chairperson of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and then associate dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies, Fox served as the dean of the same college from 2018-2022. Her areas of research include teacher preparation, how teachers can meet the needs of children who were adopted or are gender fluid, and working with schools on how to be inclusive of members of the LGBTQ community. 

Fox holds early childhood education degrees from the UW-Stevens Point (bachelor’s) and UW-Whitewater (master’s), and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from UW-Madison. 

“I’d like to thank Robin for her decades of service to UW-Whitewater,” said interim chancellor John Chenoweth. “Throughout that time, she has regularly answered the call to provide formal and informal leadership across the institution. Her willingness to serve as interim provost is just the most recent example. In all cases she provides thoughtful leadership and a caring attitude to help us all move forward. UW-Whitewater is a better place because Robin chose to spend her professional life with us.”

The following leadership transitions will take place on Wednesday, March 1:

  • Corey King will assume the role of UW-Whitewater chancellor.
  • John Chenoweth will return to his role as provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs, a position he has held since April 2021.
  • Fox will move from interim provost into a temporary role of associate provost until her retirement effective May 19. 

Lana Collet-Klingenberg will remain interim dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies and a national search for the permanent dean position will launch in the next academic year.

Local Students Named to Dean’s List at UW-Milwaukee

Editor’s note: The following announcement was received from UW-Milwaukee.

The following individuals from our area have been named to the Dean’s List at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the Fall 2022 semester. UWM is the second largest university in the State of Wisconsin, with more than 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

 Eleanore Treder, Business Undergraduate
 Emma Van Daele, Health Sciences Undergraduate

Fort Community Credit Union to Award $10,000 in Scholarships this School Year

Editor’s note: The following announcement was received from Fort Community Credit Union.

Fort Community Credit Union (FCCU) has announced that they will be awarding
$10,000 in scholarship money for the 2022-2023 school year.

FCCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with locations in Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Watertown, and
Whitewater. Reflecting the mission statement of FCCU, “To help our members be in a better financial position
than when we met them,” FCCU is offering this scholarship to help shoulder the cost of tuition so members
can achieve their educational dreams. FCCU will award $2,000 to five current high school seniors heading off
to a 4-year university or a 2-year technical or trade school in the fall.

To be considered for a scholarship, student must meet the following criteria:
• Be the primary owner of an active account (savings or checking) at FCCU for a minimum of 3 months.
Current FCCU staff, directors and scholarship committee members and their immediate family members
are not eligible.
• Be enrolled in high school within Jefferson, Walworth, Rock, Dodge, Dane, or Waukesha Counties. Students
participating in a home-based educational program, privately operated correspondence or virtual school
must reside in the qualifying counties listed above. Applicants attending these programs must also provide
proof of enrollment with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for the 2022-2023 school year,
ACT or SAT scores (if available), and any records relating to curriculum and academic progress.
• Be eligible for graduation at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.
• Applications must be submitted online by March 1, 2023, along with the high school transcript through
first semester senior year and a letter of recommendation from a nonrelated teacher, coach, school
administrator, community member or employer.
Applications are due March 1, 2023 and can be submitted online via FCCU’s Website.

Voting by Absentee Ballot for Feb. 21 Election; Links provided to School Board Banner Q/A & LWV Forum Video


Races on the primary ballot are Justice of the Supreme Court and Whitewater Unified School District School Board Member. All eleven active candidates for the school board responded to a questionnaire from the Whitewater Banner. Their responses may be read here. The League of Women Voters – Whitewater Area held a school board forum on January 28. Ten of the eleven candidates participated in this two hour event. The video may be viewed here.

Any qualified elector who is unable or unwilling to appear at the polling place on Election Day may submit a request to vote an absentee ballot to their municipal clerk.  A qualified elector is any U.S. citizen who:

  • will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day.
  • has resided in the ward or municipality where they wish to vote for at least 28 consecutive days before the election.   

The elector must also be registered to vote to receive an absentee ballot.   Proof of identification must be provided before an absentee ballot may be issued*.  

Making application to receive an absentee ballot by mail

Contact your municipal clerk and request that an application for an absentee ballot be sent to you for the primary or election or both.   You may make written application to your municipal clerk for an absentee ballot in person, by mail, by fax, by email or at MyVote.wi.gov.  

Your written request must include:

  1. your voting address within the municipality where you wish to vote
  2. the address where the absentee ballot should be sent, if different from the address above 
  3. your signature   
  4. a copy of your photo identification*

The deadline for making application to receive an absentee ballot by mail is:

5:00 p.m. on the fifth day before the election, February 16, 2023.

*Voters who are indefinitely confined due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability may not be required to provide photo ID. If this applies to you, contact the municipal clerk regarding deadlines for requesting and submitting an absentee ballot.

**Special absentee voting application provisions apply to electors who are indefinitely confined, in the military, hospitalized, or serving as a sequestered juror.  If this applies to you, contact the municipal clerk regarding deadlines for requesting and submitting an absentee ballot.

Voting an absentee ballot in person

You may also request and vote an absentee ballot in the clerk’s office or other specified location during the days and hours specified for casting an absentee ballot in person.

Michele R. Smith, Clerk
312 W. Whitewater St.
Whitewater, WI 53190
(Phone) 262 473-0102
Voting Hours:  M-F
8:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Lisa Griep, Clerk
W3497 Vannoy Rd.
Whitewater, WI I 53190
(262) 473-6228
Absentee Hours by Appt.

Crystal Hoffmann, Clerk
P.O. Box 359
Whitewater, WI 53190
(262) 495-8200
Absentee Hours by Appt.

Pam Hookstead, Clerk
11053 Willow Drive
Whitewater, WI 53190
(262) 473-8515
Absentee Hours by Appt. 

Brian Hayes, Clerk
W9046 County Road A
Delavan, WI 53115
(608) 883-2269 or 608-312-9674
Absentee Hours by Appt.

Jorja Boiley, Clerk
W8590 Willis Ray Road
Whitewater, WI 53190
(262) 473-4639

The first day to vote an absentee ballot in the clerk’s office is: February 7, 2023.  

The last day to vote an absentee ballot in the clerk’s office is: February 17, 2023. 

No in-person absentee voting may occur on the day before the election. The municipal clerk will deliver voted ballots returned on or before Election Day to the proper polling place or counting location before the polls close on February 21, 2023.  Any ballots received after the polls close will not be counted.

WHS Players Spring Play Opens February 23

Join the WHS Players for Agatha Christie’s, “A Murder is Announced,” February 23 – 25 at 7:00 p.m. or February 26 at 2:00 p.m. in the WHS Auditorium.

Tickets are $7 per student and $10 per adult. Reserve your general admission tickets by calling the box office at 262-472-8178.

Article Submitted by Jim McCulloch
WUSD Theater Director
Photos Courtesy of Tom Ganser

UW-W Dept. of Music Presents Scandinavian Songs Concert

The UW-W Department of Music invites the community to join faculty members and guest artist Anna Hersey for an evening of Scandinavian music on Saturday, February 4 at 7:30 p.m. This program features repertoire for voice and piano by Scandinavian composers including Elfrida Andrée, Edvard Grieg, Agathe Backer Grøndahl, Ture Rangström, and Sigurd von Koch. Performers include Karen Boe, piano; guest artist Anna Hersey, soprano; Brian Leeper, baritone; and Rachel Wood, mezzo-soprano. All proceeds from this and other concerts in the Music Mosaics series go directly towards scholarships for Department of Music students. 

The venue for this event is the Light Recital Hall in the Greenhill Center of the Arts, located at 950 West Main Street, Whitewater, WI 53190. Tickets are available in advance and can be purchased online at tickets.uww.edu or by calling (262) 472-2222. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for those age 65+, and $8 for under age 18. There is a $2 surcharge if purchased at the door at the time of the event.