Common Ground

Welcome to the new Madison Magazine

Kaleem Caire and I are both about to be forty. We both called Virginia home for a time and then went on to earn degrees from UW–Madison. Years later we each have kids and, like most parents, we worry about their future. As I chatted on the phone with Kaleem about his candid interview with Phil Busse I was moved by some of these shared life experiences. Because even today social and cultural norms would paint our lives onto separate canvases. He’s a black man, and I’m a white woman. His parents were unable to raise him, so he went to live with his aunt. My parents brought me up, and then sent me off to college with tuition paid for and peanut butter in the mini-fridge. The military was Kaleem’s meal ticket to a bachelor of science in urban education.

Despite a rocky start, Kaleem is now a bona fide leader and he’s back in Madison to see to it that all our kids—his, mine and everybody else’s—get the education and career opportunities they deserve. It’s a remarkable story so far, and as Kaleem heads over the proverbial hill, I have a feeling his story is just revving up.

House Keeping

Here at Mad Mag, we’ve remodeled the house, and we hope you like the result. To be honest, if you haven’t yet noticed the redesigned magazine in your hands, that’s perfectly fine, too. The content is still the same meaty mixture of lifestyle and business journalism you subscribe to every month; what’s different is the packaging.

Cover to cover, we’ve nipped and tucked the style, design and vernacular in keeping with the times to make your reading experience that much more enjoyable. Your city magazine should reflect the tastes and desires of the Madison region and its inhabitants—a diverse and fascinating mix of people, places and ideas that informs and entertains, affects positive change in the community and provides an effective vehicle for our advertisers, who know that your discriminating eyeballs on their unique products help the local marketplace thrive.

Because the economy, jobs and quality of life are of utmost importance in a city and a state recovering from recession, we’ve moved our business coverage up front and now offer two distinct voices on the machinations of Madison business. Rebecca Ryan will continue to cover the entrepreneurial spirit, particularly as it relates to the next generation of thinkers, doers, investors and game changers. Derrell Connor, whom some of you may know from his talk show “Outreach” on NewsTalk 1310 WIBA or his column “Last I Checked” on Channel3000.com, will bring fresh eyes and a new perspective on people you should know.

Food and drink coverage, especially chefs, restaurants and the dining out experience, is one of our most popular topics, so we’ll continue to eat, drink and tell you all about it with a new feature called “Sip and Savor” (p.70). And we’ve added an entertaining crossword puzzle, so sharpen your pencil and put your local trivia skills to the test on p.85.

While editors captain magazine redesign efforts, they rely heavily on team talent. Publisher Jen Winiger’s fifteen years of city-regional magazine experience came in handy, particularly in the “what-not-to-do” department. But also she gave us a lot of wiggle room to explore our own ideas about the form and function of a glossy monthly, and rarely vetoed the results. Tim Burton has been art directing Madison Magazine since 2001. While this marks his first redesign, it reflects the kind of creativity and innovation we’ve enjoyed in his work all along.

At the start of this project, Tim suggested to the editors that we take a recent issue, rip it apart and then reflect, reorganize and recommend. That exercised produced equal parts satisfaction and restlessness. So what you hold in your hands is a combination of the classics (including the timeless “Madison” logo on the cover) and the modern. We wanted the result to feel subtle, seamless and worthy of your armchair exploration of all that the city has to offer.

Brennan Nardi is editor of Madison Magazine. Comments and letters can be sent to 7025 Raymond Rd., Madison, WI 53719, or bnardi@madisonmagazine.com. Letters we publish may be edited for space and clarity.

Find more columns here.

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