2021 Sessions

Released Sessions

One-on-one with Sara Nelson

Sept. 17, 6:00 p.m.
Sara Nelson and John Nichols
Hailed as the most dynamic labor leader in the United States, Sara Nelson is the president of the Association of Flight Attendants and a key member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council. She will speak with Cap Times associate editor John Nichols about renewing the power of organized labor and her work with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to address economic and racial injustice.
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How Trump Broke It

Sept. 17, 7:15 p.m.
Carol Leonnig, David Maraniss and Philip Rucker
Pulitzer-prize winning Washington Post writers Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker in conversation with colleague David Maraniss about their book “I Alone Can Fix It” and its richly detailed account of the damage the Trump presidency did to American government and democracy.
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Planet on the Brink

Sept. 18, 9:00 a.m.
Juliet Eilperin, David Maraniss and Bonnie Jo Mount
Washington Post writer Juliet Eilperin and photographer Bonnie Jo Mount — both Pulitzer Prize winners — in conversation with colleague David Maraniss about their stories and stunning photos documenting global warming and other dangers to the environment.
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Wisconsin’s 2022 Vote

Sept. 18, 9:00 a.m.
Dan Balz, Andrew Hitt, Angela Lang and Jessie Opoien
2022 will be a pivotal year for Wisconsin politics and perhaps the rest of the country. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is up for re-election and so will legislators running in newly drawn districts for the first time in a decade. And then there’s the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Ron Johnson, which will be heavily targeted by both parties as they seek a majority in that chamber. A trio of experts with different viewpoints discuss what’s most likely to happen.
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One-on-one with Tammy Baldwin

Sept. 18, 10:15 a.m.
Tammy Baldwin and Jessie Opoien
A discussion with Madison native and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin about her experience in politics from the local to national level, the biggest issues Wisconsin is facing and what’s at stake on the ballot in 2022.
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Dark Money and Democracy

Godfrey & Kahn
Sept. 18, 11:30 a.m.
David Maraniss and Jane Mayer
The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, the nation’s leading investigative reporter on the role of dark money in politics, speaks with David Maraniss about attempts to curtail voting rights and the role of Wisconsin’s Bradley Foundation in that effort.
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Sports and Social Justice

Sept. 18, 12:45 p.m.
Howard Bryant, David Maraniss, Toni Smith-Thompson and Dave Zirin
A vibrant and provocative panel on sports, race, and social change featuring Howard Bryant of ESPN, Dave Zirin of The Nation, and Toni Smith-Thompson of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who, as a basketball player at Manhattanville College, was in Colin Kaepernick’s shoes a decade before he was. In conversation with David Maraniss.
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Health care is a fundamental human right

Sept. 18, 10:15 a.m.
Carola Gaines, Brenda González, Ken Loving, Christina Ott and Beth Zeidler Schreiter
Quartz believes everyone deserves equitable access to health care. During our session, health care and community leaders will discuss reducing barriers to care and improving health outcomes for all. As leaders in health care, we know collaboration will help us face today’s challenges and lay the groundwork for a healthier tomorrow.
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The fracturing of America

Sept. 18, 2:00 p.m.
George Packer and Charles Sykes
Atlantic writer and author George Packer theorizes that the country has fractured into four ideological camps: Smart America, Just America, Free America and Real America. He talks with Charles Sykes, founder of The Bulwark, about how this plays out in Wisconsin.
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The Great Resignation and the future of post-pandemic work

Sept. 18, 2:00 p.m.
Shahar Erez, Jason Lauritsen, Mark Richardson and Rebecca Ryan
The pandemic was more than a temporary hiccup in the agreement between employers and their workforces. It was a significant disruption that has reshaped employees’ expectations and will have significant effects. This dynamic national panel will discuss how power is shifting from employers to employees, the biggest gaffes employers have made, what we can learn from those mistakes plus suggestions for employees and employers about how to navigate this terrain.
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What does it take to be a food and beverage entrepreneur in 2021 Madison?

University Research Park
Sept. 18, 3:15 p.m.
Lindsay Christians, Jonathan Correa, Billy DuPlanty, Harriet Gomez, Anne Minssen and Brad Rostowfske
A record number of new businesses launched and thrived during the pandemic. Restaurant veterans left the industry and purchased food carts, began bottling spices and sauces, and explored new product lines. Many business owners found unlikely opportunities to expand, both in terms of physical space and market share. This panel will discuss what it takes to be a successful food and beverage entrepreneur in Madison today, as well as challenges like access to capital and staffing, plus the influence of social media on growth.
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What will downtown Madison look like in the future?

Sept. 18, 3:15 p.m.
Jessica Cavazos, Ellie Westman Chin, Jason Ilstrup, Satya Rhodes-Conway and Amy Supple
Downtown Madison is currently at an inflection point. Are we on a path to becoming a little big city or a big little city? A group of top downtown leaders discusses how it can grow to become a vibrant, equitable place where everyone feels welcome.
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Un(re)Solved Wisconsin: a dialogue on racial violence

Sept. 18, 4:30 p.m.
Angela Fitzgerald, Erika Howard, Denise Jackson-Ford and Brad Lichtenstein
This session will focus on one chapter of a much larger story, breaking racial violence down to the impact on just one family, one woman’s telling of her father’s experience. Using clips from the PBS FRONTLINE series and podcast, along with storytelling, a panel discussion and audience Q&A, attendees will spend an hour inside the complex and often invisible world of racial violence. Since much of this session is designed to engage the audience and the public, and to build awareness and create change here at home, we want to hear from you. Come with a story, come with a question, come to learn about the very real, very personal impacts of racial violence in our communities.
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How will the pandemic continue to shape our lives?

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
Sept. 13, 1:00 p.m.
James Conway, Ajay Sethi, George Smith and Karen Timberlake
The advent of COVID-19 vaccines in the spring combined with dropping caseloads raised hopes that the pandemic might be coming to a close, but the emergence of the Delta variant and a resurgence in cases makes it clear that we still have a ways to go.
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How can we close the achievement gap?

Madison Community Foundation
Sept. 13, 3:00 p.m.
Kaleem Caire, Scott Girard, Angie Hicks, Gloria Ladson-Billings and Camara Stovall
Despite decades of debate and policy changes, the school achievement gap between white students and those of color remains persistently wide nationwide and in Madison as well. What really has to change in order for that gap to shrink? An internationally renowned researcher, an educational entrepreneur, a top administrator in the Madison School District and a classroom teacher discuss the possibilities.
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One-on-one with playwright Adam Kennedy

Sept. 13, 7:00 p.m.
Adam Kennedy and Khalid Long
Forward Theater is one of the sponsors of Cap Times Idea Fest, and the run of their production of “Mom, How Did You Meet the Beatles?” overlaps with the festival. Come hear a virtual conversation between Adam Kennedy — the play’s co-author — and Khalid Long, the dramaturg for Forward’s production about the Kennedys’ collaborative writing process. (Adam co-wrote the play with his mother, Adrienne.)
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One year later: How is local law enforcement evolving?

Sept. 14, 1:00 p.m.
Shon Barnes, Abigail Becker, Keith Findley, Brandi Grayson and Sarah Henrickson
A year after nationwide calls for justice for people of color disproportionately targeted by law enforcement, the Madison Police Department implemented a Civilian Oversight Board, began the process of hiring an independent police monitor and is preparing to launch the city’s first mobile unit of unarmed first responders and mental health providers. At the same time, the department has a new chief at the helm. Are they meeting their goals, and — more importantly — those of the community they serve?
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Cap Times Live presents Proud Parents

Monona Bank, Goodman’s Jewelers and Lake Louie Brewing
Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Rob Thomas and Proud Parents
Starting in Madison as the musical culmination of a decade of friendship and playing in punk bands, C Nelson-Lifson (they/them) and Tyler Fassnacht (he/him) began writing the first of Proud Parents’ jangly, garage-infused pop tunes in C’s living room in 2014. Shortly thereafter, Heather Sawyer (she/her) joined on drums and vocals, turning the songwriting duo into a trio, and they quickly garnered a devout following both locally and regionally as a live power-pop force to be reckoned with. The band will play at the High Noon Saloon as our third Cap Times Live concert, and it will be livestreamed via Zoom and Facebook Live.
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Who gets to live here: How does Madison ensure fair access to housing?

Sept. 15, 1:00 p.m.
Abigail Becker, Vanessa McDowell, Kurt Paulsen and Satya Rhodes-Conway
As Madison strives to add housing to keep pace with its growth, how can we break down barriers to housing and address historic racism in the housing market? This panel will look at the various programs and creative solutions in the works by the city and other groups to safely house all of its residents.
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The future of cancer screening and diagnostics

Exact Sciences
Sept. 15, 3:00 p.m.
Jo Handelsman, John Kisiel, Jake Orville and Sung Poblete
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery director Jo Handelsman leads an all-star panel in a discussion about how advances in science and technology are transforming cancer detection and treatment. Topics will include efforts to develop a multi-cancer screening test, the importance of health equity, and how earlier cancer detection changes everything.
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The bottom line is not a race to the bottom

Sept. 16, 1:00 p.m.
Zach Brandon, Jessica Cavazos and Carolyn Cawley
Business advocacy is changing because politics is changing. It is no longer easily defined by left or right. Increasingly it is right and wrong. In recent years, many companies have begun to make their public advocacy about more than taxes and regulation. Listen to a trio of commerce experts discuss the essential role business can play in improving our society.
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Title IX at 50: Issues for Women in Sports

Sept. 16, 3:00 p.m.
Simone Charley, Courtney M. Cox, Victoria Jackson, Andrew Maraniss and Kristi Oshiro
The landmark Title IX legislation that changed the course of women’s sports in the United States turns 50 in 2022. Join a panel of scholars, authors, and athletes for a wide-ranging discussion on the state of women’s sports today and changes to expect — and advocate for — in the future.
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Cooking with the Cap Times featuring Patience Clark

Sitka Salmon Shares, Kessenich’s and Shiner Bock
Sept. 16, 6:00 p.m.
Lindsay Christians and Patience Clark
Join us for the September edition of Cooking with the Cap Times as part of Idea Fest! Madison chef Patience Clark of Palate Pleasures will demonstrate how to make Southern-style cabbage stew in conversation with Cap Times food editor Lindsay Christians. Clark learned to cook from her great-grandmother Louise Dunlap, 98, who grew up in the South. From her, she learned Southern style dishes and how to use spices. From an aunt, Clark got a treasure trove of historic family recipes, and she’s been working on a cookbook.
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Past Sessions

Smarter Than You Trivia at Cap Times Idea Fest

Sept. 15, 7:00 p.m.
Paul Guse
Even the pandemic can’t stop trivia. Join us for Madison’s best trivia experience — offered virtually via Zoom — with your fully formed team or sign up as an individual and we’ll find you a team. Yes, the musical challenge will still happen. Top finishers will receive a boatload of Cap Times swag but the real fight will be for the bad snack second prize. BYOB.
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Closing reception

UBS-The Burish Group
Sept. 18, 5:30 p.m.
Dalton Gang and Doc’s Smokehouse
Socialize with attendees, speakers and Cap Times staff after a great day. We’ll hear music from the Dalton Gang, featuring Rhonda Chalone on keyboards, June Dalton on tenor sax, Nicky Sund on percussion and Laurie Riss on bass. Food will be provided by Doc’s Smokehouse, and a cash bar will be available.
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