Jay Rath

Jay Rath

Besides The Wisconsin Examiner, writer-cartoonist Jay Rath has contributed to Animato!, Cartoonist PROfiles and Nemo: The Classic Comics Library magazines. An early and longtime contributor to The Onion, for more than 20 years he taught cartooning and animation to young people through the University of Wisconsin School of Education-Extension. 

Images from A Little Night Music performed at Peninsula Players, photo by Len Villano | via Wisconsin Arts Board

Can bipartisan support save arts funding in Wisconsin?

By: - May 2, 2023

Salvation for the arts in Wisconsin may yet be delivered by an unlikely partnership between non-profits, Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and the former head of the state Republican Party. Right now it doesn’t look good. What a state arts coalition terms a “generational” opportunity to endow the arts in Wisconsin will […]

Perrot State Park sunset

Was humankind created in Wisconsin?

By: - April 1, 2022

A 35-mile stretch along Wisconsin’s western border was once the real, actual Garden of Eden, according to a Methodist minister.  Though little-remembered, the “scientific” research of the Rev. David Oyer Van Slyke was hotly debated in his day, and his Eden still makes news.  “There are a lot of people who would tell you that […]

Thanksgiving table

Wisconsin leaders reflect on what makes them feel grateful

By: - November 25, 2021

We asked notable people around the state, “What are you thankful for this holiday?” Here are the replies we received: Gov. Tony Evers: After the immense hardships Wisconsinites have endured—including the tragedy in the city of Waukesha on Sunday—Kathy and I believe it’s more important than ever to share what we’re thankful for and to […]

The southernmost of three Lone Rock bridges that are being given away by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. (photo: Jay Rath)

The State of Wisconsin is offering you a great deal on a bridge

By: - October 25, 2021

You no longer have to go to Brooklyn to buy a bridge.  An hour west of Madison are three you can have for the low, low price of free. The historic steel truss bridges connect two islands and the north and south shores of the Wisconsin River at Lone Rock, on Wisconsin Highway 130. The […]

Ringling Bros. Circus } Jay Rath

Saving Circus World

By: - October 7, 2021

The mystery-laden offices of Baraboo’s fabulous Ringling Bros. Circus just won $500,000 for restoration and preservation. That’s the good news. The bad news, and first of several mysteries: Why does a modest, house-like structure — a National Historic Landmark — require the lofty sum of $500,000 for repair? Its interior is only 1,680 square feet, […]

Steven Schmelzer, new chief of Wisconsin State Parks, visits Blue Mound State Park last week. (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

Busiest ever state parks face challenges under new chief 

By: - August 17, 2021

Visits to Wisconsin state parks this year have increased 18% compared to 2020, and increased 36% over pre-pandemic 2019. So far, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has logged more than 9.6 million visits to state parks in 2021. “So it’s just been a huge increase in use of state properties, and it’s great to see,” […]

Rainbow LGBTQ heart on hands, Getty Images

Day of silence, years of protest: Wisconsin’s LGBTQ history

By: - April 23, 2021

Today is the 25th annual Day of Silence, when LGBTQ students and allies around the world observe wordless protest against bullying and discrimination. In classrooms that respect the event, reading is a popular alternative to speaking, so it is doubly appropriate that the Wisconsin Historical Society has recently published a history of how enforced silence […]

Poster: five of the celebrated seven brothers who founded the Ringling Bros. Circus from Baraboo, in 1905.

Ringling Bros. Circus returning

By: - April 8, 2021

“The Greatest Show on Earth” appears to be coming back. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s parent corporation is looking to hire a casting director for the famed American circus, which closed in 2017. The seven Ringling brothers’ circus was founded in Baraboo, in 1884. Its off-season quarters there have been preserved as Circus World, […]

Vaccine vials at UW

UW chosen as distribution hub for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

By: - December 10, 2020

UW Health will be a regional distribution hub for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, it was announced today. The integrated health system of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has 80 outpatient sites throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. “These vaccines will be going to front-line healthcare workers first, and there are still uncertainties around the quantities we’ll get […]

Lake Monona and the Peck cabin, site of Madison’s inaugural Thanksgiving meal, in 1838 (note teepee at left). But Native Americans and Europeans first met in Wisconsin to give eat and thanks two centuries earlier, following a dramatic rescue. (Wisconsin Historical Society: Image 2859)

Wisconsin’s early Thanksgiving history

By: - November 26, 2020

You may think you know the story: In the 1600s starving Europeans, new to the continent, were rescued with gifts of food from Native Americans, with whom they joined to give thanks. Except this Thanksgiving story didn’t happen near Plymouth Rock. It happened in Wisconsin in 1659, just 38 years after the Pilgrims’ feast. The […]

The state Assembly’s ceiling restoration project will finish this week. From left to right, Bridget Kiefer, Jeff LaMay, Robin Zentner and Mike Bath. The temporary “dance floor” is 30 feet above the room’s actual floor, creating a fairytale ballroom. (Photo by Jay Rath)

Assembly restoration preserves chamber’s beauty

By: - October 27, 2020

Though the Wisconsin Assembly hasn’t met since April 14, a lot of hard, detailed work has been taking place in its State Capitol chamber. After years of planning and months of work, restoration of the Assembly’s beaux arts ceiling will be completed this week, on time and under budget. “To bring it back to what […]

Wisconsin Funnies Credit: Museum of Wisconsin Art

Badger style cartooning is a work of art

By: - August 3, 2020

The Badger State’s rich cartooning history will be celebrated in an exhibit opening Aug. 8 at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. “Wisconsin Funnies: 50 Years of Comics” will be on display through Nov. 22 at the West Bend museum and Saint Kate — The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee. The split location and timing are intended […]