Traditions are incredibly important in Wisconsin, from fish fry on Fridays to deer camp at Thanksgiving, from the cabin up north to the kringle on the breakfast table. While the state motto is “Forward,” Wisconsinites never forget to look back. As their customs change with the times. In, they create something that’s uniquely Wisconsin.
This is the driving philosophy of 2015’s Curb magazine, “Backroads & Boulevards,” a 64-page publication produced by 21 students in UW-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Over the course of the semester, these students spent countless hours researching, interviewing, writing, editing, designing, and fundraising for the magazine, a capstone project for seniors.
“There’s really nothing else like this at the university,” says editor Andy Stoiber. “It’s been a completely different sort of learning environment that has been incredibly empowering and successful.”
Stories highlight contemporary perspectives on Wisconsin traditions.
“These students are deeply connected to Wisconsin and its customs, and they set out to explore how these customs are changing and evolving,” says instructor Stacy Forster. “They show readers a state that is always recreating itself. I’m incredibly proud of the work they’ve produced.”
Every aspect of the magazine was completed by students, from funding to production. Curb staff raised more than $11,000 through advertising and apparel sales, as well as generous donations from alumni, family, and friends. Students produced feature-length articles for print and the Web, in addition to multimedia content available exclusively at curbonline.com.
In 2012 and 2014, Curb was named the best student magazine in the country by the Society of Professional Journalists.