Common Wealth Board of Directors Congratulates Marianne Morton

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Many in the community are asking about a party for Marianne Morton in honor of her retirement from Common Wealth. It was the Board’s and staff’s fervent wish to celebrate her legacy with a community-wide event to mark her commitment to the work of Common Wealth and to note the major milestones Common Wealth has achieved since she started in 1981. However, Marianne prefers to not be in the limelight and instead speak with people individually. We look forward to marking her legacy when we welcome our new Executive Director in an event that will look both at our history and forward toward our vision for the future. If you wish to reach out to Marianne or make a donation …

Common Wealth Announces Justice Castañeda as its next Executive Director

Andy Miller Announcements 4 Comments

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, January 13, 2017 Madison—Common Wealth is excited to announce that Justice Castañeda will be its next Executive Director.  Justice brings a blend of qualifications, experience, and a life story that embodies Commons Wealth’s goals. Growing up in the City of Madison with a volatile childhood, Justice personally encountered many social justice organizations in our community.  Upon graduation from Madison’s East High School, Justice enlisted in the Marine Corps where he served two four-year terms before an honorable discharge as Staff Sergeant.  Returning to Madison a veteran, but without a college degree, between terms Justice experienced several barriers in our community including a difficult job placement environment.  Determined to overcome the obstacles in his way, …

The Cargo Bike Shop opens retail spot on Willy Street

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Common Wealth Development welcomes a new business to 1404 Williamson St. by Barry Adams | Wisconsin State Journal Tim Staton has his garage back and Williamson Street has gained a new niche retailer aimed at families looking for an alternative way to cart around their young children, groceries and other packages. Think of The Cargo Bike Shop as a dealership for two-wheeled, eco-friendly versions of the minivan. For the past two years, Staton has been selling cargo bikes through word of mouth and online…click here to continue reading at madison.com.

Bike-focused coffee shop opens on Willy St.

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A new small business is opening up on Willy St. in one of Common Wealth’s buildings. www.cafedomestiquemadison.com By Samara Kalk Derby — Wisconsin State Journal A bike-centered coffee shop opened Saturday next to Batch Bakehouse on Williamson Street. Dan Coppola opened Cafe Domestique, decorated with bicycles, at 1408 Williamson St. The Cargo Bike Shop is getting ready to open next door, specializing in cargo, family, utility and electric-assist bikes.  The cafe is using coffee from Intelligentsia Coffee Roasters and sweet and savory bakery from next door…click here to continue reading at madison.com.   photo by Cafe Domestique  

Diana, Madison West High School

Youth Programs alumni testimonial: Diana’s story

Liz Machesney Youth Programs 1 Comment

Diana’s story is one that impeccably captures the goal of Common Wealth’s Youth-Business Mentoring Program (YBMP). Now a junior at Madison West High School, Diana completed YBMP during the first semester of her sophomore year; she was hired at TJ Maxx within a month of successfully completing the training and has now worked there for over a year. While she started the 3-week training a little quiet and timid, she immediately demonstrated maturity and an eagerness to learn and work. From a facilitator’s perspective, it has been beautiful and humbling to watch her eagerness and maturity increase and to see the timid side of her fade away as her first part-time job shone light on the confidence we always knew …

Rachel Darken

Rachel Darken, 2016 M List with Madison Magazine

Andy Miller Uncategorized 1 Comment

Rachel Darken, Common Wealth’s Youth Programs Director, is one of 32 mentors and teachers who made the 2016 M List with Madison Magazine. “I’m honored to be included in this group of people dedicated to improving the lives of youth in our community,” said Rachel. “Being a part of this year’s M List isn’t just about one person, though – this honor should also extend to all of the employees on Common Wealth’s Youth Programs team (past and present), our dedicated volunteers, the businesses who employ the youth in our programs, and everyone who has been a part of supporting this vital work.” According to her M List article: Rachel is motivated by the “privilege of being able to witness …

Big changes for the Williamson-Marquette Gazette

Andy Miller Williamson-Marquette Neighborhood Leave a Comment

For the past 34 years, Common Wealth, the Marquette Neighborhood Association and the Williamson-Marquette Neighborhood Center have partnered together to produce the Williamson-Marquette Gazette, a bi-monthly newspaper for the Williamson-Marquette neighborhood. We are proud to have provided news and connections to our community for so many years. Volunteers and staff have dedicated an extraordinary amount of time to shape and share the Wil-Mar Gazette. Our community is stronger and more vibrant because of this collaborative effort. With the changing format of news delivery and online networks, our three organizations have come together to evaluate the effectiveness and costs of the Gazette. We have determined that, in order to devote more staff time to emerging projects and offer sustainable, evolving connections within …

Congratulations to Willy Street North on the Grand Opening on August 15!

Andy Miller Williamson-Marquette Neighborhood Leave a Comment

Common Wealth sends much congratulations to the Willy Street Co-op on the grand opening of their new store on Madison’s north side in a food desert this past August 15, located at 2817 N. Sherman Ave. This harkens back to 1985, when Common Wealth had a capital equity and loan program funded by the City of Madison’s CDBG program. We had a chance to catch up with Mark Koppelkam, who helped draw up business plans for the Willy Street Co-op that was originally located at the corner of Williamson and Few Streets, where the Social Justice Center is now. Mark was the lead on this project for Common Wealth at that time and now works as a Loan Underwriter with …

Wanda Fullmore Summer Internship Program participants, 2016. Photo by Kent Sweitzer.

Fifty youth from Madison complete Wanda Fullmore Summer Internship Program

Andy Miller Youth Programs 1 Comment

The third annual Wanda Fullmore Internship Program concluded last week, with fifty youth residing in the City of Madison completing eight week summer internships with various City of Madison departments. For the second consecutive year, Common Wealth was chosen as the nonprofit partner to administer the internship program, increasing from 30 interns in 2015 to 50 in 2016. The internship concluded with a certificate ceremony, presentations by interns, and cake at the Madison Central Library on Friday, August 19, 2016. The Wanda Fullmore Internship Program is designed to help underprivileged teens who are facing some sort of life barrier. It is an opportunity for them to learn about the possibility of working for city government. Wanda Fullmore was first hired …

MadFolk celebrates the 39th Annual Willy Street Fair by hosting the Folk Stage for its 9th year

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  It is that time of year where we have the final festival of summer here in Madison, you put away all your indoor toys, tvs and computers and you come out to get, as the Chicago Tribune says, a “hip dose of Madison,” parades like none other, foods stands that can’t be beat, groovy stands to buy stuff ‘cuz you deserve to splurge on yourself and of course, cold beer and MUSIC! The folk stage will again kick off Willy Street Fair (WSF) this year. We welcome a newcomer to our stage, Kendra Swanson. Kendra is an independent roots music performer and songwriter. With strong, expressive vocals and energetic instrumentation on banjo, guitar, and fiddle, she applies a timeless …