Week 7 Dessert Recap: The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

And then there were six. Dessert week asked the remaining six bakers to craft a roulade (a.k.a. Swiss roll) fit for a whole family, a Marjolaine and 24 mini mousse cakes. The contestants were sidetracked by their swirls, mystified by the flourless Marjolaine, and slightly maddened by their mousse.

Our Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge bakers ran into similar problems as their Great British Baking Show counterparts. But they didn’t back away from the unfamiliar and even took things to the next level with some very Wisconsin twists — and incredibly punny dessert names. Cow-kies and Cream Roulade, anyone?

Here’s our recap of both the show and the submissions we received this week in The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge. Read to the bottom to find out who our local featured bakers are for Week 7!

Haven’t seen the Dessert episode yet? This spoiler alert is for you!

Continue reading Week 7 Dessert Recap: The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Week 6 Botanical Recap: The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Seven contestants on The Great British Baking Show took on three very different challenges inspired by nature. All tested technique, creativity and patience. One person made quite the rebound to land Star Baker, despite magnificent creations by the more consistent bakers.

The Great British Baking Show S4E6

Our local bakers took on the botanical challenge with enthusiasm, tapping their gardens, markets, CSAs, farmers markets and friends for fresh ingredients. And, we were pleased to see the Wisconsin state tree and flower be honored in their creations.

Here’s our recap of both the show and all the submissions we received this week in The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge. Read to the bottom to find out who our local featured bakers are for Week 6!

And as always, here’s our spoiler alert!

Continue reading Week 6 Botanical Recap: The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

What We Watch: Steve of SteveSongs

Steve Roslonek of SteveSongs has been writing and performing his award-winning music for kids and families for the past 15 years. Ahead of Steve’s musical performances in Madison and Appleton this Aug. 4-5 for PBS Kids’ Get Up and Go! Day, an annual event for Wisconsin children and their caregivers, we caught up with him to learn what he loves most about Get Up and Go! Day and what he watches when he’s not onstage.

What’s your favorite part about being part of Get Up and Go! Day?

I love that the event is broadcast live. I also just love seeing the kids and the families that attend the event every year. They’re all just fantastic.
Overall, there’s this awesome positive energy around the whole event: from the kids to the grown ups to everyone working on the production. There’s a super uplifting aura throughout. 

This year, we also have a number of new songs that we’re going to be playing, including new dance moves, too, of course.  After we debut this year’s set in Madison, we head up to Appleton the next day. We’ve been doing that for the past two years. 

The cool thing about heading up to Appleton after Friday’s Madison broadcast is the excitement from the attendees, who have often seen broadcast the day before. They arrive excited and ready, and know some of the songs by heart!

When you’re offstage, what are your top catch-whenever-you-can PBS picks? 

My wife and I love Poldark on Masterpiece. When new episodes are available, it’s our favorite show. When we’re not watching PBS, we like Modern Family and So You Think You Can Dance. 

When it comes to PBS Kids programming, what are your family’s favorites? 

A few of our favorite PBS Kids programs (we have two children, ages 6 and 9) are Super Why!, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Curious George and Wild Kratts.

My 9-year-old son grew up with Super Why! It’s a great show for learning letters, and he’s very passionate about reading to this day. PBS offered online games to accompany the show, and it was the perfect combo. We could watch an educational show from a trusted network, and then we could go online together as a family and take the learning to the next level.

Don’t miss Steve’s catchy songs, like the ones below, at Get Up and Go! Day 2017. Click here for details.

Meet Wisconsin’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator: David Olson

In April, we introduced you to David Olson, chair of the social studies department at Madison’s James Madison Memorial High School. As Wisconsin’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator, he was one of 52 educators across the country to attend the 2017 PBS Digital Summit. Read their stories.

WPT spoke with Olson shortly after his return from the Digital Summit in San Antonio.

“Having access to high quality digital resources, and finding ways for teachers to connect with one other and foster innovation, can only lead to good things,” says Olson. “It will lead to much better outcomes for students; we’re creating citizens who hopefully will be ready to be full participants in a very different world than the one in which many WPT members might have grown up.”

For more great resources for educators, kids and anyone who loves to learn, visit WPT Education.

Continue reading Meet Wisconsin’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator: David Olson

This Wisconsin Native Living in Alaska Wants WPT Viewers to Watch Wild Alaska Live!

Meet Lewis Pagel, an Edgerton, Wisconsin native, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh alum and a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan who moved to the Arctic town of Kotzebue, Alaska 10 years ago. We couldn’t think of anyone better to tell us why we should watch the three-part  Wild Alaska Live starting this Sunday night at 7 on Wisconsin Public Television to learn about the natural beauty and wonders of America’s last frontier! We’ll be watching, Lew!
Watch a trailer below for the three-part series, hosted by the Kratt brothers, that will continue Wednesday, July 26 and Sunday, July 30.

Meet Angela Fitzgerald – New Host of Wisconsin Life

This fall’s new season of Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Television  brings plenty to get excited about. New adventures await, bringing us closer to the people and places that make our state such a great place to live and explore.

And, this year, the show has a new host to help guide the way.

Angela Fitzgerald joins Wisconsin Life as the series’ host for its fifth season, inviting viewers along to visit new locations, meet people whose passions, hobbies and expertise celebrate the best of our state, and introduce new stories from every corner of Wisconsin.

“I’m excited to experience the people and places of Wisconsin, while introducing our viewers to the diversity that exists in our state,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s been a blast filming in locations around Wisconsin so far, and I look forward to sharing all those stories with viewers across Wisconsin.”

In addition to her new role as host of Wisconsin Life, Fitzgerald is a member of the Madison College faculty, as well as a professional financial educator with Summit Credit Union. Her work in the field of financial literacy led her to be a founder of Brown Girl, Green Money – a social network of women of color working to support the achievement and pursuit of personal finance goals.

The award-winning WPT series dedicated to telling personal and engaging stories about Wisconsin people and places begins its new season Thursday, Oct. 5, but viewers can start watching exclusive new segments online now at WisconsinLife.org.

Get to know Angela a little bit better – and learn about some of the exciting places we’ll all visit in the new season of Wisconsin Life in this exclusive interview from a recent on-location shoot in Minocqua!

WPT’s “Little Man” Featured in PBS Online Film Festival

Wisconsin Public Television is pleased to announce that the animated story “Little Man,” produced by our motion graphics designer Philip Ashby, has been accepted into the 2017 PBS Online Film Festival!

From July 17 to July 28, you can watch all 25 films included in the festival. Viewers are also encouraged to vote for and share their favorite films to win the “Most Popular” award.  And, for the first time ever, a distinguished panel of eight jury members will select their favorite film of the festival for the “Juried Prize”. Join the conversation online with #PBSFilmFest.

In this animated story, “Little Man” brings to life the words of Steven Rodriguez. While enrolled in the First Wave Hip Hop Spoken Word and Hip Hop Arts Learning Community at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rodriguez composed a poem inspired by his younger brother nicknamed, “Little Man.”  He speaks to his brother’s struggles with discrimination as a Mexican American and tries to infuse his brother with a sense of hope for the future. He also discusses his experiences being born to a drug-addicted mother, and being a struggling — but dedicated — college student.

In a Q&A with PBS, Ashby discusses why he was inspired by the words of Steven Rodriquez and the creative process behind his animation.

“My creative process usually starts in my sketchbook. After I hear the voice track or read the script, I start doodling and what usually flows through my pencil is a character or a scene that evokes the atmosphere of what I experience with the piece,” Ashby explains. “Once I have a sense of the art direction I create a storyboard, which helps me think about scene transitions and the flow of the visual story.”

Speaking about his choice of color in the film, Ashby says: “The life circumstances of Steven and his brother are bleak. I wanted to express this by creating a dark environment with no light entering this space. By putting the characters onto a black background, I wanted the viewer to sense their isolation and desperation.”

“Little Man” premiered on Wisconsin Public Television in 2016 in an episode of Wisconsin Life.

“I hope the viewers find an appreciation for Steven’s art, which is sincere and authentic,” Ashby says. “Urban artists like Steven share personal expressions that give us an honest look at areas of our community that are unknown or ignored by most of us.”

Read the full Q&A.

WEEK 5 PASTRY RECAP: THE GREAT WISCONSIN BAKING CHALLENGE

We’re halfway through Season 4 of The Great British Baking Show … but at least we have our butter to console us. Lots and lots of butter.

The eight remaining contestants walked into The Tent ready to put their layering skills to the test with pastry week. The mood was upbeat, and many bakers were still hopeful that Star Baker was within grasp. But Mary and Paul had a few challenges up their sleeves …

Read on to see who our Week 5 featured bakers are in The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge, but first, let’s reflect on what we learned from the latest episode of The Great British Baking Show. Spoiler alert! Continue reading WEEK 5 PASTRY RECAP: THE GREAT WISCONSIN BAKING CHALLENGE

Escape, Create & Celebrate at Quilt Expo This Fall

Join the ultimate quilting adventure and meet Sewing With Nancy’s Nancy Zieman during Quilt Expo 2017: Sept. 7-9 in Madison!

Presented by Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) with Nancy Zieman, Quilt Expo is designed to capture and revitalize the creative quilting spirit. The expo features a 10-category quilt contest, vendor mall, stage presentations, informal lectures, sit & sew and hands-on workshops, nationally known celebrity presenters, appearances by Nancy and raffle prizes.

Advance registration for the expo is now open, which means you can register early and save $2 per admission ticket, workshop and lecture. Plus, registering early means you can take advantage of limited-quantity opportunities, like the brand-new Quilt Expo VIP package! Continue reading Escape, Create & Celebrate at Quilt Expo This Fall

Week 4 Batter Recap: The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

The nine remaining contestants didn’t know what to expect by the first-ever “batter” challenge, except that it was ripe for new puns.

The episode started in familiar territory with Yorkshire pudding, but then the lace pancakes and churro challenges really set the crew apart. Let’s just say a few of them took “a battering.”

Read on to see who our Week 4 featured bakers are in The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge, but first, let’s reflect on what we learned from the latest episode of The Great British Baking Show. Spoiler alert!

Continue reading Week 4 Batter Recap: The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge