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Issue 10

 Driftless in an independent, submission-based magazine about food, art, and adventuring in the Midwest.

We could not be more excited to announce that Issue 8 is available for pre-order! This year’s Fall + Winter issue includes an interview with a Madison-based environmentalist about living a life with less waste, tips on foraging for and cooking with wild mushrooms, and a photo essay of some of the Midwest’s most beautiful landscapes reaching from South Dakota to Minnesota. All issues are on sale for $12 in our online shop through Monday, November 12th using the code midwest12!

For each issue, our contributor's creative talent continues to amaze and inspire us, and this publication would simply not be possible without them. Thank you again for your support and being part of the Driftless community.

Visit our online shop to pre-order your issue!

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Midwest Gathering

We are so excited to attend Midwest Gathering this year! Midwest Gathering will be bringing together eight innovators from the photography and videography worlds for a two day conference at the Jam Handy in Detroit this fall, November 7th+ 8th.  Featured speakers include Paul Octavious, Nessa Kessinger, Brian Morrow, Margaret Jacobsen, Oli Sansom, Bri McDaniel, Sam Hurd, and Nisha Ravji. Throughout the two days, there will be keynote lectures, smaller breakout sessions, panels and Q+A sessions, and time for networking with other creatives and attendees. 

Check out our interview with Heather Jowett and Meghan Kindsvater, wedding photographers and Midwest Gathering creators and founders. And Heather and Meghan were the sweetest to offer our followers a special discount code for attending the conference! Find that at the end of the interview.

Tell us about yourselves. How did the two of you meet and start working together?

Heather (H):  I was born a small, wrinkled child on the shores of the Chesapeake … actually, I’ll skip forward a bit.  Meghan and I met after I moved from Virginia to the blue water area sometime around 2005. I don’t remember the exact moment of our meeting, but we had a lot of mutual friends and as often happens when that is the case, we just kind of found ourselves knowing one another one day. I had preceded Meghan into wedding photography by a few years, but once she started her business we started to see more of one another, getting together every few weeks to edit weddings along with some of our other self-employed friends. I think while we have different approaches to some things, we have similar work ethics, and that has really helped to build a bit of a mutual affection. We’re well suited to be doing this together because we have pretty complimentary skill sets. The business side of things is not my forte and I feel so lucky to have Meghan with me on this because that’s honestly where she excels. I know how to make stuff look pretty and how to interject fun. Meghan knows how to open a business bank account and get an event insurance policy.  

Meghan (M): Before ever picking up a camera myself, I remember clicking through Heather's galleries repeatedly (often obsessively) and being in total awe of her work. I felt incredibly honored when she asked if I would be willing to be a part of Midwest Gathering and am still a bit in shock that she felt I was cool enough to partner up with. I spent seven years working in non-profit administration before leaving to photograph weddings full time, so it feels good to dig back into event planning and spreadsheets. I second Heather regarding our complimentary skill sets. She is charismatic, so well integrated in this industry, and really, really great at picking out fonts and essentially all the design elements and special details that make this event desirable for our community.

What is Midwest Gathering? How did the idea for this conference come about?

H:  Honestly, Midwest Gathering was born out of a frustration with a lot of what I saw going down with other conferences. In addition to being a photographer, I have a really strong desire to want to see the world be a more equitable place. I attribute this tendency toward fairness to my grandmother, who was known to count the individual M&M’s she put in her grandchildren’s Christmas stockings. I saw so many conferences putting out the same sort of lineups, almost always all male, almost always all white. It frustrated me because I know that our industry has a lot more to offer than that. I spent about two years starting conversations with these conference organizers, trying to encourage them to care about representation, but often was either met with deaf ears or with the same kind of conspiracy about how they didn’t mean to have an all male / all white conference, it just worked out that way, they didn’t think about race or gender, it was just a coincidence, and what did it matter anyway? These were the best photographers they could find and isn’t that what should matter? That last but really frustrated me the most. It was almost as if these conference organizers were completely ignorant to the talents of a large part of the photography community, if when they thought about the ‘best’ photographers, they could only come up with white male names. For 2 years I had this conversation and then I got sick of having it and decided to start my own. I see the tides starting to change, slowly, and there have been conferences who have been putting up representative lineups for years, so I don’t want it to seem as if I have some illusion of grandeur about sailing into unchartered territory. I just think more lineups like this can never hurt.

M: After traveling across the country to attend conferences, I was immediately charged at the idea of having an educational opportunity like this taking place in my back yard. When Heather came to me with the idea it brought an entire new awareness. I was familiar with several staple conferences and had even attended a few, however I was completely blind to the lack of diversity on stage, as I am sure many organizers and attendees unintentionally are. Heather will share these frustrations and consistently uses the phrase "Do Better." And it's not a scolding or criticism, but an opportunity to look harder at how this industry is represented and be a part of the change. 

What are your experiences with photo conferences? What are you hoping to incorporate from similar events and what is going to make this one stand out? 

H: I’ve been lucky enough to speak at quite a few conferences and attend a few more, and we’re not fully reinventing the wheel here. It’ll still be amazing photographers on a stage talking about something they’re passionate about. We’re not having them incorporate modern dance or anything (unless they really want to). It’s honestly hard to know what exactly will make us stand out until it’s happened, but we’re excited, mostly, to be bringing a lineup like this to the Midwest, to a city that is so often overlooked. I also solemnly promise that we will include long lunch breaks. My number one pet peeve at conferences is short lunch breaks. I want people getting out into the city, eating at our restaurants, seeing what Detroit has to offer, and I don’t want anyone to have to choose between cutting a conversation short and missing the next speaker. Connecting with other people who go through the same things you do in business and life is one of the best fringe benefits of attending one of these things, and we want people to have the space to do so. 

M: I've always left conferences feeling refreshed and re-inspired. Midwest Gathering is taking place at the tail end of most wedding seasons and it's important to recharge and gear up for future projects. I really want Midwest Gathering to feel inclusive and that everyone there feels comfortable and connected to those around them. Hosting a panel and letting attendees participate in Q&A's so that they can learn from presenters as well as each other.

We love Detroit! How did you decide to host this event in this city? What drew you to the Jam Handy?

H: Well, we’re both Michiganders who work in the city almost every weekend at weddings and have both known for years that Detroit has a lot to offer. There’s something romantic about Detroit, not in a love way, but in a black and white movie way. The city still, for the moment, has it’s heritage. It still has it’s Art Deco skyline (with the exception of the renaissance center, which I admittedly HATE). It’s one of those cities that has a tangible soul when you walk around it. Detroit has always been a hub for creatives and art and music, and we want to carry on that tradition (we’re not bringing it back because it never left). The Jam Handy just felt like a natural choice. It’s history as a movie studio made it feel like the right place to bring together a bunch of producers of visual art. It’s also just a beautiful inspiring space. We won’t have to do much to make it look incredible because the bones are already there and they’re good.

You have selected such an incredible group of people for your conference panel — what was this decision process like?

H:  A little of this, a little of that. For this first year, I drew heavily on relationships I already had and tried to balance bigger names who have already proven themselves to be incredible speakers with people who I knew would be if given the chance. We wanted a wedding focus but not exclusively a wedding lineup, because we have so much to learn from one another and diversity of thought can be a real boon to creativity. All eight of our speakers inspire me. All eight of our speakers are compelling, good, ethical people. Honestly, there wasn’t much of a decision process. These are the people I had in mind from day one and I’m just so happy all eight of them said yes.

What part of the conference are you most excited about?

H: Honestly, it’s not so much the conference that excites me, it’s what comes after. I hope this conference can lead to a real community of people who are going to continue to be there for one another after the last day. I’ve made so many friends from various photography communities and have been lucky enough to have those friendships evolve into real friendships where we don’t just talk about a couple we were frustrated with or changes we’re going to make to our contract for the following year. I also hope this conference really puts out a good image for the city of Detroit. I want our out of town attendees to walk away feeling like they know and love the city now, so hopefully they’ll go forth into the world and say nice things about Detroit.

M: I agree with Heather, the idea of cultivating and strengthening relationships between creative professionals feels good. I can attest to the friendships I have made and maintained over the years with individuals I have met at events such as this. I was actually once told when contemplating purchasing a conference ticket that the education itself wasn't incredible, but that the people you would meet and connections you would make were. Both parts of the statement turned out to be true, but I'm confident that with Midwest Gathering attendees are going to walk away with some pretty powerful knowledge, inspiration, and many new friends. Secondly, as ticket sales continue to grow, I am super excited for that first morning. To see all of the guests pile into the Jam Handy, take their seats, and for the day to begin. Really just to watch all of the planning unfold.

What do you hope participants will take away from Midwest Gathering?

H:  Some new knowledge, some inspiration, some really tangible nuggets of solid wisdom (Nessa’s talk is my favorite for this), new friendships, a desire to come back next year, and hopefully not too bad of a hangover.

M: As well as a whole new appreciation for the city of Detroit.

What’s your favorite aspect about the Midwest? Why do the two of you choose to live and work in this region?

H: The people in the Midwest are what makes it for me. Having grown up in the south (a region that thinks it has a corner on hospitality and niceness), I can tell you, no place in the US that I’ve seen is friendlier than the Midwest. Also, the summers are probably the most divine summers you can find. The blueberries are pretty damn good too.  I live here for a lot of reasons, but the biggest practical one is living in the Midwest allows me to afford the others things that make me happy. The Midwest is still underrated enough that you can live here for a fraction of what other regions will cost you, and then take that extra money you’re not sinking into the real estate bubbles of the Pacific Northwest and the Bay Area, and use it to do some incredible things. I wouldn’t be as well travelled if I lived elsewhere. I probably wouldn’t have been able to take the financial risk of starting my own business elsewhere. Maybe you shouldn’t print this. I don’t want other people getting any ideas and messing up the Midwest for the rest of us who got in on the ground floor.

M: I've been fortunate enough to travel and work across literally the entire country, yet I still continue to return to the Midwest. I will admit that I try to escape the winter months and head south, but there is really nothing like a Michigan summer. Maybe because the nice weather is so limited, it is appreciated more by everyone that lives here. Wedding season feels relaxed and primarily focused on the celebration. Backyard parties are abundant. I also appreciate the comfort of swimming in water and hiking through forests without the concern of wild animal attacks. We have a close and supportive community of talented folks that I have yet to find in any other region I've had the opportunity to work in and that is truly a testament to people in the Midwest. 


We can't wait for this conference in November and we hope to see you there! Through August 31st, you can use the code DRIFTLESS at the registration checkout to save $150 on your ticket. How amazing is that! Endless thanks to Heather and Meghan for putting together such a solid crew for what is sure to be an incredible conference.

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Let's Camp | Camp Wandawega | Part 3

We are so excited to share the motion piece we created for Let's Camp at Camp Wandawega. Be sure to check out the links below for all the creative and inspiring women who helped make Let's Camp so wonderful. 

And don't forget to read Part 1 and Part 2 featuring interviews with Mandy Lancia and Nikki Ricks about how the idea for Let's Camp came about and what their day-to-days look like outside of camp. 

 The group of women who attended Let's Camp 2018 at Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
 

Alma Omeralovic
Deditation / Yoga / Witchery | Chill Babe Alma
Website / Instagram

Amy DiMatteo
Female Healthcare | Femme Totale LLC
Instagram

Alyssa Clark
Experiential Marketing | Revelry Experience
Website / Instagram

Amber Lee
Video and Content Production | Visual Country
Website / Instagram

Amelia Dellos
Corn Bred Films
Website

Amy Baas
Maker / Graphic Design | Little Fish Designs
Website / Instagram

Amy DiMatteo
Education, BIRTHFIT Chicago North Shore
Website / Instagram

Ashley Hagerman
Website

Amy Haiar
Adventure Travel, Modcamp
Website / Instagram

Angie Schoemer
Advertising & Production, Du Nord Productions
Website / Instagram

Anna Powell Teeter
Photography & Filmmaking | Creative Director & Editor
Anna Powell Teeter | Driftless
Website / Instagram | Website / Instagram

Allison Berler
Creative, Design, Photography, Food Styling
Website / Instagram

Bergen Anderson
Clothing | Lilla Barn Clothing
Website / Instagram

Blue
Commercial & Independent Film | Jason & Blue
Website / Instagram

Chelsea Beery
Boutique Retail / Lifestyle Brand / Blogging / Ecommerce | Reverie and Rule
Website / Instagram

Chelsea Chandler
Designer | Wild Proprietors
Website / Instagram

Chelsea Fischer
Design
Instagram

Christina Ruiz
Photography / Media | Dearest
Website / Instagram

Claire Rutkoske
Web Development / Data Solutions | Claire Rutkoske Proc9
Website / Instagram

Constance Pikulas
Food Stylist / Marketing / Branding / Event Management | Spoonfed Agency
Website / Instagram

Danielle Denha Wilson
Advertising/Art Director
Website / Instagram

Danielle Kruse
Staffing Agency, Specializing in Catered Events
Ambiente Chicago
Website / Instagram

Dean Renaud
Design (Interior, Event, Production, & Travel) | South Social & Home
Website / Instagram

Eva Daiberl
Photography | Miss Renaissance
Website / Instagram

Ginger Bonneau
Real Estate | DesignChicago Home Options

Hallie Borden
Retail | Mik Handmade | Honey Bridal
Website / Instagram | Website / Instagram

Jackie Kolber
Instagram

Jaclyn Simpson
Photograher | Jaclyn Simpson Photography
Website / Instagram

Jen Corbett
Audience Development / Social Media Consulting
Instagram

Jenn Gaudreau
Personal Brand Photography / Wedding Photography | Jennifer Kathryn Photography
Website / Brand Instagram / Wedding Instagram

Jen Luby
Coworking Space | Dayhouse Coworking
Website / Instagram

Jessica Anderson
Baking | Sugar Fan Club
Instagram

Joslyn Villalpando
Curated Craft/ Workshop | J. Villa Workshop
Website / Instagram

Kate Adams
Musician / Education Advocate / Event Management
Website / Instagram

Kathryn Godwin
Stylist | Studio Cultivate
Website / Instagram

Katy Liang
Architect/Designer
Instagram

Katy Osborn
Creative Visual Arts & Filmmaking | Amelia Street Studio
Website / Instagram

Kiley Peters
Content Marketing/Digital Marketing/Web Design | Brainchild Studios
Website / Instagram

Kim Kaylor
PR
Instagram

Leah Fithian
Photographer / Creative Director / Designer | Driftless
Instagram | Website / Instagram

Leigh Hardy
Crafts / Events / Venue | Indigo & Violet Studio
Website / Instagram

Libby Brouwer
Busines Strategy/Creative | Cabbage
Website / Instagram

Lisa Lindgren

Lori Highby
Digital Marketing / Web Design | Keystone Click
Website / Instagram

Mandy Lancia
Events / Social Media | The Glossary
Website / Instagram

Marie Hoese
Boutique | The Vintage Gypsy
Website / Instagram

McKenzie Hanson
Photography / Filmmaking
Website / Instagram

Mel Holmes
Stylist | What Women Read
Website / Instagram

Meredith MacDougall
Rugs & Imports / E-commerce, Canary Lane
Website / Instagram

Molly Schemper
Event Catering & Bar Catering | FIG Catering & Drinks
Website / Instagram

Nicole Gilbertson
Wellness/Meditation | Chill Chicago
Website / Instagram

Nikki Ricks
Busines Coach/Consultant | Feminest
Website / Instagram

Rachel Stinebring
Graphic Design
Website / Instagram

Renata Musial
Personal Development & Inspiration for Moms | Renewing Mom
Website / Instagram

Romy Pereira
Events | KITH + KIN
Website / Instagram

Roshelle Ritzenthaler
Consultancy | JanuaryFirst
Website / Instagram

Simi Botic
Health Coach / Author
Website / Instagram

Stacey Subject
Food and Entertainment | Dinnertain
Website / Instagram

Stephanie Bassos Sievert
Photography
Website / Instagram / Wedding Instagram

Sydney Walters
Designer | GREYBOY
Website / Instagram

Terese Poulos
Interior Designer | Relic Design LLC
Website / Instagram

 

 

 


 

 

 





 

 

 

 

 

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Let's Camp | Camp Wandawega | Part 2

 A photo of the Camp Wandawega car in Elkhorn, Wisconsin during Let's Camp.

We are still reveling in our experience from Let's Camp at Camp Wandawega. What an incredible weekend surrounded by 60 creative and inspiring women from all over the states! We talked business, networking, creative practices, stories, and the importance of self-care. There was karaoke, hikes in the woods, swimming in the lake, and an incredible bonfire with delectable s'mores from the James Beard award winning pastry chef, Mindy Segal. Check out our interviews with Mandy Lancia (of the Glossary) and Nikki Ricks (of Feminest) about how they began Let's Camp and their other passions that help make this retreat possible. And be sure to check back for Part 3 where we'll share the motion footage we captured while at camp.

How did the two of you meet and start collaborating?

Nikki: I reached out to Mandy and we grabbed coffee. I felt like we both had similar missions in helping creative women thrive!

Mandy: Nikki reached out first and asked to meet for coffee. At one of our meetings at Caffe Streets, she mentioned that she wanted to collaborate on a retreat. Since we were both working with women in different capacities, we thought it would be a great idea to team up and bring both of our communities together.

How did the idea for Let's Camp come about? How did you decide to host Let's Camp in Wisconsin at Camp Wandawega?

Nikki: I had been wanting to do a retreat and had always been a fan of Camp Wandawega — and we I saw that Mandy had interviewed Tereasa — I knew we could do something great together. It's kind of a "give". Tereasa and David have really created something special up there. I know I always wanted to grab a group of friends to go up and it just spiraled from there!

Mandy: When thinking of the idea for a retreat, Camp Wandawega was out first option of where we wanted to host it. I had interviewed Tereasa previously, so we felt like we could make it happen there and that Camp Wandawega would be welcoming to a group of creative women. We really wanted to structure an event that combined learning with relaxation, and with most of our contacts in Chicago and the midwest area, Elkhorn was an easy escape from the city. 

 A photo of reading material at Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

How do you decide what specific topics are important to you to include for a weekend retreat like this?

Nikki: We had a mix of people telling us what they wanted and just from the work we do with women creatives we know what would interest them! 

Mandy: We went into planning our first retreat with the concept that it would be for creative women entrepreneurs. So from there, we thought about what we would want to learn as an attendee and what the other female business owners in our lives had told us that they were either struggling with or wanted to learn more about. We want the programming to cover more logistical aspects of running a creative business, as well as the emotional aspects. Through workshops and group discussions, we have been able to bring on some amazing women to collaborate with over the course of the weekend. 

What was your favorite part of the weekend?

Nikki: Ice cream and feelings. It's an open mic night on the last night of camp and it's incredible how close people come together and what powerful answers women have to the question "what I know to be true".

Mandy: Ice Cream + Feelings is kind of the best. We've done it both years and it is such a highlight. By Saturday night, people are feeling much more comfortable with one another. They have spent a full day together, shared meals, shared sleeping spaces, and now they are really open to be vulnerable. After our group dinner, we have ice cream and a microphone where people can share some of their feelings. We prompt the women with the question "What I know to be true..." which allows for very open ended responses. At first it can be really scary to stand in front of a large group with a microphone, but once people allow themselves to be vulnerable, everyone else follows. People head up to the mic one after another and share. They share their experiences or advice or struggles or breakthroughs. We cry. We laugh. We continue to shove our faces with ice cream. It's just a really beautiful experience. 

What are your goals for the participants who come to Let's Camp / what do you hope they ultimately take away from their experience? 

Nikki: My heart sings when I see women get together after camp, stay friends, and do business collaborations. This happened a ton, and I can't tell you how happy it makes me.

Mandy: I really want people to feel supported, seen, and heard. I think that the programming is great, but I really think the most important part of the weekend is the relationships that are made. People let their guards down pretty quickly when they're at camp, which allows for friendships to form more rapidly (nobody is judging you when you're covered in sweat, dirt, and bug spray since everyone is covered in sweat, dirt, and bug spray). I hope that everyone that comes to camp leaves feeling supported by all of the women, connected to new friends and collaborators, and inspired to go back to their businesses.

Do you have plans of expanding Let's Camp to other cities?

Nikki: We have absolutely talked about this. I'm in Australia now so it makes things a little more tricky but I would love to host something here after I've built up more of a community! :)

Mandy: At the moment, no. I don't really think that Let's Camp can fully exist outside of the grounds of Camp Wandawega. With that being said, that doesn't mean other retreats of different names and types won't happen in different cities. In terms of The Glossary, we have hosted different retreats of varying sizes and do have plans to lead new retreats in different cities. 


Nikki Ricks of Feminest


How long have you been a Creative Consultant? 
I started officially September 2015!

When did the idea for Feminest come about?
I had started a coworking and childcare event service and I realized I had such a love of entrepreneurship. I loved hearing women talk about what they do for work and their aspirations and realized that I knew I thing or two and could help them.

You recently moved to Australia — what's it like working with clients across the world?
It's so rewarding and so hard. The Australian women I've met so far have been so warm and open. But I've also realized it's going to take some time to build up the community I had in Chicago. 

What kinds of services and resources do you provide through Feminest?
I offer events, like the Let's Camp weekend, workshops, e-courses, mastermind, and 1:1's. 

What's your favorite part of your job?
Helping women set scary goals and achieve them. Seriously I see this time and time again and it's so incredibly rewarding and powerful!

Connect with Nikki on Instagram and Twitter.


Mandy Lancia of The Glossary


When and how did the idea for the Glossary come about?
I have always loved connecting creative women. It is one of the things that I actually feel like I am good at. When I moved from Boston to Chicago, I wanted a way to meet new ladies, as well as finding a way to support them. When I started The Glossary, it very quickly grew from simply an online platform to a real life community. I love the idea that women can learn from and support one another in an online space, especially since you can reach so many more people from different backgrounds and locations online, but then they can also meet them in person through the events that we do in Chicago and in other cities. I have always wanted The Glossary to be a space that feels personal to everyone. It's not my platform, it's everyone's platform and that has created such an incredible passion and community surrounding it. 

How do you decide who to interview and showcase?
The only "requirement" for interviews is that it's a creative woman. They can be in any creative field in any location. I use Instagram a ton to find really incredible women, but it's also nice to get recommendations from people I know and women that are mentioned within the interviews. I always ask my interviewee "who are some creative women that inspire you?" so that ends up giving me more people to reach out to and connect with.  I very much encourage the women that I chat with to be vulnerable and honest with their interviews. I think a lot of time an interview can be seen as just press so run of the mill answers may be given, but with the community that surrounds The Glossary, people feel more comfortable to share the good and the bad (and sometimes the really difficult).

How do you decide what cities to host retreats and events?
At the moment, it has just been cities that I have friends or family in or cities that I can easily drive to. I'm working of figuring out how to expand to all of the cities that have been requested, but traveling to host events is a large cost when the events themselves aren't huge money makers. Besides the logistical side of getting to cities, I also want to be able to bring The Glossary to cities that don't have a lot of or any community based events that bring women together. When I have done events in smaller cities where women are really in need of a community it has been so rewarding for everyone involved. 

What does it mean to become a Glossary Ambassador?
The Ambassador Program was a way to get more people involved with the daily runnings of The Glossary. At the moment, this is a one woman behind the scenes show in terms of actually generating and producing all that The Glossary has to offer. I wanted more people to feel consistently involved, especially those outside of Chicago. It is still a work in progress of how I want this program to work, but I currently have about 15 women from around the country that help suggest people for interviews and send me content for stories. They are also my point people for when I am traveling to their cities. I am definitely wanting to restructure the ambassadorship a bit so that it is really more consistent and that is something I will be taking a look at in the near future.

What's your favorite part of running The Glossary?
The connection. 100%. A lot of the time I am extremely stressed or questioning myself, but once I hear that something I planned or an interview I posted touched someone or formed a new relationship, it's all worth it. The friendships and collaborations that I have watched develop over the past year are beyond incredible and I couldn't ask for anything more.

Connect with Mandy on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Related posts:
Let's Camp | Camp Wandawega | Part 1

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Let's Camp | Camp Wandawega | Part 1

Photos by Anna Zajac

We couldn't be more excited to attend Let's Camp, a weekend away for creative women at Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn, Wisconsin! We're heading up today to attend the retreat and interview Mandy Lancia (of the Glossary) and Nikki Ricks (of Feminest) about how the idea for Let's Camp came about. You can take a look at the weekend's itinerary of hands-on workshops about business, networking, creative practices, stories, and the importance of self-care and follow along through the Instagram hashtag.

We have been wanting to visit Camp Wandawega since first learning about it, and can't think of a better introduction than a weekend in the woods surrounded by creative women. We're looking forward to this weekend break to disconnect for a moment from our day-to-day norms and connect with fellow creatives, entrepreneurs, and the natural world around us. 

This is the second year for Let's Camp, and we're so excited to be a part of it. In addition to Mandy and Nicki, Workshop Leaders for the weekend include Tereasa Surratt (owner of Camp Wandawega, author, Director of Design at Ogilvy), Mindy Segal (owner of Hot Chocolate + Mindy's Edibles), Simi Botic (Heath Coach and author of Letting Go of Leo), Joslyn Villalpando (owner of J. Villa Workshop), Alma Omeralovic (Meditation Teacher), Stephanie Bassos (photographer), Mel Holmes (founder of What Women Read), Jen Corbett (expert in audience development), and Mo Fritz (photographers).

Check out the itinerary below and start planning your trip for next year! 

new itinerary green (1).jpg

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Issue 9

DriftlessMagazineIssue9.jpg

We could not be more excited to announce that Issue 8 is available for pre-order! This year's Spring + Summer issue includes an interview with a husband-and-wife ceramics company in Detroit, recipes created over open fires in the Northwoods of Minnesota, and a profile of a diversified, organic farm in southern Michigan.

For each issue, our contributor's creative talent continues to amaze and inspire us, and this publication would simply not be possible without them. Thank you again for your support and being part of the Driftless community.

You can pre-order Issue 9 for $12 through Friday, May 4th!

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Detroit, Michigan

 Issue 5 of Driftless Magazine contains an amazing city guide of Detroit, Michigan by photographer Jesse David Green.

We were in Detroit last week shooting stills and motion for our final feature for Issue 9. We had so much fun exploring the city with the help of our Detroit City Guide from Issue 5 and so many wonderful recommendations from our contributors and readers. Check out a few places we've highlighted below. And start planning your trip — we highly recommend a visit to the Motor City!

Roses's Fine Food — the ultimate diner — was the perfect place to stop for brunch after we arrived in the city. Homemade food with quality local ingredients. Seriously order the grits when you visit, you will not regret it! And don't forget to order something from their bakery case.

 Rose's Fine Food is a diner with delicious baked goods and food in Detroit, Michigan.

We visited Detroit Mercantile Co. and the Fisher Building based on recommendations from our followers. Detroit Mercantile is a store that celebrates Detroit's shared past while introducing their customers to new products. Like the mercantile and general stores of the past, they strive to find the highest quality products from the city, state, and across the country. If you haven't visited Detroit before, you will quickly see that the city has some seriously incredible Art Deco and postmodern architecture. Detroit has one of the largest surviving collections of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century buildings in the U.S., and there are multiple architecture tours available for visitors and residents alike! 

Sister Pie, a bright corner baker located in Detroit’s West Village, provided the most amazing breakfast to help us celebrate International Women's Day. Celebrating the seasons through pies (and other delectable desserts), Sister Pie boasts untraditional flavor combinations that are constantly changing to reflect the state's local offerings.  (The leftovers also made the perfect road trip snack.)

 Sister Pie is a quaint bakeshop emphasizing creative, sweet and savory pies made with local, seasonal ingredients.

We ended our visit at the Belle Isle Conservancy— we could've spent all day at the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory and exploring the rest of the Isle and its historic public landmarks. The Conservatory is the oldest continually-running conservatory in the United States. And the park itself is a 2.5-mile-long, 982-acre island park, located in the international waters of the Detroit River. Known as the “Jewel of Detroit,” Belle Isle has significant natural, architectural, and cultural resources. Almost one third of the island is a natural wooded area, home to a wide variety of small animals and birds. So cool!

 The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is a greenhouse and a botanical garden located on Belle Isle, a 982-acre island park located in the Detroit River between Detroit and the Canada–United States border.

Pick up a copy of Issue 5 (while you still can!) for a complete city guide created by one of our favorite contributors, Jesse David Green, and stay tuned for our Issue 9 announcement to find out what we were working on while in the city! You can see more photos from our trip on our Instagram.

Other places we visited, dined, and highly recommend:
Astro Coffee
Metropolis Cycles
Detroit Foundation Hotel
Workshop
Selden Standard
Will's Leather Goods
Dime Store

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Issue 8

DriftlessMagazineIssue8.jpg

We could not be more excited to announce that Issue 8 is available for pre-order! This year's Fall + Winter issue includes a guide to all of the best neighborhoods, shops, and restaurants in St. Louis, an interview with the women behind a Minneapolis-based boutique carrying ethically sourced and sustainable merchandise, and delicious, vegetarian recipes ideal for camping in the cooler months.

For each issue, our contributor's creative talent continues to amaze and inspire us, and this publication would simply not be possible without them. Thank you again for your support and being part of the Driftless community.

You can pre-order Issue 8 for $12 through Friday, November 10th!

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Yoko Oh Yes!

Amy O started as the solo project of Amy Oelsner (pictured above) in 2004, and has evolved over the years into a full band. She submitted an excerpt from her new zine Yoko Oh Yes! to Issue 5 of Driftless (pictured below)The zine is finally here accompanying Amy's new record Elastic and we had the opportunity to talk to her about it.

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Jesse David Green

Jesse David Green is a photographer based in beautiful Detroit, Michigan. He tells stories of makers, business owners, and couples in love in Detroit, Northern Michigan, and around the country. Read on below for a wonderful interview where Jesse shares more about himself and his creative process. In addition to photographing a great feature on Douglas and Co. Detroit for Issue 4, Jesse had an incredible Detroit City Guide in Issue 5 and that issue's cover. This past weekend he took over our Instagram account, showcasing the immense love he has for Detroit. We are now even more eager for a visit!

Shortly thereafter I had some older friends graduating high school, so the natural progression once I somewhat knew how to use the camera was to take their senior pictures. I wised up to the “business” end of things pretty quick, and had a portfolio and website going pretty early on. Fast forward just one year, and a family friend that was getting married and had a pretty low budget essentially said “Hey, we’re getting married and don’t have a ton of money, you seem like you know what you’re doing with a camera, want to shoot it?” And without any prior experience at weddings; no second shooting or assisting or even paying attention to a photographer at a wedding, I did it. I did that one wedding in October at age 16, did five weddings the year after that, and twenty-five weddings the year after that. By age 17, I was full-time in Wedding and Portrait photography (cost of living and risk isn’t too high when you’re still in high school and living at home), and I haven’t looked back since!

When did you first get into photography?

I first got into photography back when I was 14 or 15. It kind of came out of nowhere and surprised me. It seems like my entire life I had never found MY thing prior to that. I was slightly above average in school, I could semi-hold my own in sports, but I didn’t have anything that I was great at and that made me feel like I had found my passion or my way in life. All of the sudden, on family trips I found myself constantly with my parents' point and shoot camera in my hands. Taking macro photos of flowers, and my dogs nose, and my family and the sights that we saw and it just started making sense to me. Turns out, my Dad had been a bit of a hobby photographer in his younger years and still had all of his film gear hiding in the closet. We actually ended up selling that old film gear and bought my first DSLR at age 15 and I started going to town with my little Canon Rebel XS. 

What does your creative process entail? 

I wouldn’t say I have a hard and fast creative process per se. I’m more of a creature of my environment. I’m extremely inspired (or uninspired) by my surroundings and really feel like I do my best work (whether shooting or editing) when I feel like I’m surrounded by a space or people that get me excited creatively. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few really cool offices in the last couple of years (an old industrial loft building on Detroit’s riverfront for a few years, then a loft apartment/office in New Center Detroit for another year or so, and now for the last year I’ve been sharing space with some friends at Lunar North and Detroit Lives! And it’s been the absolute best fit yet). Rather than being by myself in a really cool office, now I get to sit high-atop Detroit’s Art Deco gem, the Penobscot building in a ridiculously gorgeous space with some amazing and ridiculously talented dudes. We’ve got beer and sparkling water on tap, ping pong until your arm falls off, and enough creative brains to bounce ideas off of until the sun goes down. It’s been amazing. 

For weddings and portrait sessions, my creative process is on the fly. A product of the light and environment that I’m given in those situations. For editorial and commercial shoots, there’s a bit more pre-planning that goes into it sometimes. Sometimes it means storyboards and actual mapping out of what I’m looking to accomplish, sometimes its putting my head together with my wife who is so great at pulling ideas out of her hat that I would’ve never thought of, and then helping me figure out how the heck to implement them. 

All that to say, with an increased workload up here, we were renting hotels and Airbnb’s like crazy, and then had a serendipitous story (which I’ll spare the details of in my already long answers) about our little cottage we ended up finding on the West Bay, and the rest is history.Now we’re in Traverse City 1-2 weeks a month, and in Detroit the rest of the time. We have two amazing communities we get to be a part of, and I have incredible projects I get to shoot in both places so it's literally the best-case scenario that we couldn’t be happier with. Traverse City has everything under the sun we could want to “escape” Detroit. Incredible nature, Lake Michigan, sand dunes, kayaking and swimming, and wineries; but then it also has a perfect downtown with world-class restaurants, coffee, and activities for the kids. We’re mildly obsessed and might shed a tear or two every time we leave to go back downstate.

How does the Midwest impact your work?

The Midwest is everything to my work. It’s home. It’s the light and sight and sounds of the forest and the lakes and rivers and people here. The thought has truly never crossed my mind to live anywhere but here. We just feel like we have everything we need right in our backyard, and four beautiful and perfectly different seasons. I’ve shot all over the place and am so inspired by travel and new experiences, but I can’t imagine coming home to anywhere else but here. Not to mention, not getting lost in the sea of photographers on the coasts has its advantages to being able to stand out and work on some really exciting projects. 

Any advice for aspiring photographers? 

Shoot. A ton. Like, shoot a ton and then shoot a lot more than that. I haven’t taken a photography class in my life. I got thrown into wedding photography before I had even had a chance to think twice about it. I’ve learned everything I’ve learned as I’ve gone, and I’ve shot more frames than I can begin to fathom. My work still isn’t where I want it to be, I don’t know that it ever will be; but that’s the drive that keeps you going. Surround yourself with an amazing community of photographers. They’re some of the coolest bunch out there and so gracious with their time and knowledge. A couple of photography Facebook groups I’m in have quite literally changed my life and my work and given me friends all across the country that have provided referrals, advice, and a place to commiserate about the ups and downs of the job. But then when you’re done with that stuff, just make sure you go shoot some more. 

Check out our Instagram for Jesse's full takeover series!
Follow Jesse / @jessedavidgreen / @jessedavidgreenphoto

What inspires you?

First and foremost, my family. That sounds really cheesy, but any amount of “success” or recognition or anything else I’ve gotten for my work, stems from my drive to work my butt off to give them as amazing of a life as I can. I want my kids to see that you can chase after your passion and turn it into your job and that there doesn’t need to be a status quo. Spending time exploring and adventuring with them and my lovely wife in between the work is about the best it gets. Past that though, it’s people in general. I actually have an extremely hard time being inspired by imagery that doesn’t involve humans or a human touch in some way. Landscape photography doesn’t do it for me, interiors are even tough sometimes (though I work with some incredible home builders and designers and I can find some rad inspiration within their spaces). But if there’s a couple in love, or a maker, or any other awesome human in my frame, I’m usually inspired. 

Where’s your favorite place to unwind?

My place to unwind is on my kayak somewhere out in Grand Traverse Bay. The water is crystal clear, you can’t hear a sound except your paddle running through the water, and if you keep your eyes peeled you just might see a bald eagle fly overhead. It’s the one time of my day or week that I’m not on my phone, hanging with the kids, or driving to another shoot; and it is the epitome of serenity. 

You split your time between Detroit + Traverse City  what made you choose these cities as places to start your business? How do you split your time between the two?

The split between Detroit and Traverse City has been a really fun development in our lives in the last couple of years. My wife and I both grew up in Metro Detroit, and then about six years ago just prior to us getting married, I moved my business to Detroit to that first office on the riverfront. It was the single best move I ever made. The people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made, and the work I’ve done have almost all come back to Detroit. The people there are my favorite people on Earth, every single corner is inspiring, and being in the thick of the crazy comeback-kid story we’re creating right now is incredible. About four years ago though, I found myself doing more and more weddings in Northern Michigan (which I was absolutely obsessed with). The magic of Northern Michigan is hard to describe, but it's a lifestyle for us Michiganders (and the surrounding states). Going “Up North” is a thing, and making that your destination wedding just keeps getting bigger and bigger by the year.

Related posts:
Evan Perigo

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With Food + Love Pop-Up Dinner Series

interview by Leah Fithian and Anna Powell Teeter of Driftless Magazine
with Sherrie Castellano of With Food + Love
winter photographs by Amanda Paa of Heartbeet Kitchen
spring photographs by Meghan Izaguirre

How did you get the word out about the pop-up?
The food community in St. Louis is really engaged and supportive, and the concept has been warmly received mainly through my blog and social media.

What was your inspiration for the menu?
I plan my menu exclusively around what is available to me. I work with some wonderful farmers and I utilize whatever they have growing or whatever they have foraged.

Why do you feel it's important to gather people around the table to share a meal together?
I have a deep desire to care for others through food. It is truly my love language. These meals are a great reminder that slowing down and enjoying unplugged time with others is still very much alive and well.

Where you live and what do you do?
I live in Saint Louis, Missouri. I am the content creator behind my blog, With Food + Love. I am a pop-up chef. And I'm the director of marketing for Big Heart Tea Co. — a badass women run, ethically sourced herbal tea company.

When did you first begin the pop-up dinner series?
May 2016. Since then I've held them about every two months. More information here! The next one is our Early Summer dinner on June 10th. 

How many people are typically invited and involved?
My pop-up dinners are open to everyone. It is an all inclusive event. No invitations, no special lists, anyone can attend. But there is a limited amount of seats available (about 24 per dinner).


WINTER DINNER  January 22, 2017

Polenta
braggadocio polenta, sweet dumpling squash, black pepper turnip ragù

The Last Hour
bitter cacao nibs, wild elderberry syrup, aeries port, pinckney bend vodka

Mousse Me
bissinger’s dark chocolate, caramel, hibiscus, blood oranges - recipe here!

Pears + Pine
pear shrub, wild pine syrup, pinckney bend gin

Bowl of Winter Whites + Seeds
fennel, cauliflower, white beans, yogurt, seed loaf

Salad – From The Earth
beets, baetje farms coeur de la crème, oregano vinegar, wild chamomile greens


FOREVER SPRING DINNER  April 13, 2017

Plucked, Spring Mix Salad
pea shoots, spring greens, petite radish, herbs, johnny jump-ups, wild violet vinegar

Brewed, Oolong Broth Stew
forever spring oolong, asparagus, potatoes, carrots, crispy lentils

Sorrel Sour
sorrel syrup, parsley, 360 vodka

Churned, Golden Affogato
vanilla ice cream, sunshine dust, salty cacao nibs

Brings May Flowers
hibiscus, wild violet, rose lavender, lilac bitters,
lion’s tooth dandelion liqueur, 360 vodka


Pulled, Green Garlic Soup
green garlic, tokyo long whites, spinach,hemp seed dukkah

Foraged, Ramp Tartine
ramps, white beans, union loafer baguette, flory’s truckle

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Issue 7

  Cover image by  Kyle John

Cover image by Kyle John

We could not be more excited to announce that Issue 7 is available for pre-order! This year's Spring + Summer issue includes interviews with an incredibly talented bartender from a favorite Minneapolis diner and periodical shop owners from Indianapolis, recipes from a farm dinner hosted in the middle of one of Chicago's industrial neighborhoods, and the story behind Missouri's Queen City.

For each issue, our contributor's creative talent continues to amaze and inspire us, and this publication would simply not be possible without them. Thank you again for your support and being part of the Driftless community.

You can order Issue 7 in our online shop!

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Creating a Sense of Place at Marble Hill Farm

words and pattern by Lindsay Welsch Sveen of The Fiber Archive
photographs by Anna Powell Teeter of Driftless Magazine

Some people see the Midwest as a swath of corn and soybean fields. Indeed, there are many of those here in Indiana. But the Midwest also boasts a growing number of small farms with diversified crops and sustainable practices.

Kip and Whitney Schlegel own Marble Hill Farm, a 150-acre plot about ten miles southwest of Bloomington. By day, they’re both on faculty at Indiana University — Whitney in Biology and Kip in Criminal Justice. But when they get home from campus, they throw on jeans, lace up their boots, and head out to gather eggs, feed sheep, or move cows from one paddock to the next. The farm is part of their livelihoods — they sell beef and eggs at farmers’ markets and local co-ops — but it is also an investment in the future of their land and their community. Whereas large-scale, mono-crop farms (“big ag”) aim to get as much as they can out of the soil, Kip and Whitney adopt practices that put nourishment back in.

“Our best resource is our pasture,” says Whitney. “We tend the land to keep our animals healthy and create a wonderful product — and make sure the soil has a future.”

The Schlegels have received grants from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a partner with the USDA, to install fences, water lines, and other infrastructure that allows Marble Hill Farm to function on a sustainable, rotational model. The specialized fencing is crucial — it enables Kip and Whitney to rotate their cattle, sheep, and chickens among several fields, ensuring that no stretch of land becomes overgrazed.

“I do believe small farming is a sustainable practice, in all communities,” Whitney says. “We love to have people come visit and say, ‘That’s cool! I could do that!’”

One of the highlights for any visitor is Whitney’s flock of Shetland sheep. They’re a small heritage breed with distinct personalities and a range of fleece colors. In true Shetland fashion, each new crop of lambs is named according to a theme: fruits, herbs, flowers, and (my personal favorite) cheeses — Whitney’s eldest ram is a stately chap named Chevre.

In addition to being amusing and adorable, the sheep also provide one of the farm’s newest products: wool. Whitney uses her homegrown (and hand-dyed) yarn to create hats, scarves, socks, and more for her friends and family, and she sells bundles to local fiber enthusiasts. “People can meet the sheep over here and see the plants we use to make the dyes over there,” Whitney explains. “You can’t get that in a yarn shop.” Kip adds, “That’s what we do best here. We create a sense of place.”

That sense of place imbues everything Kip and Whitney produce, including the yarn. Whitney entrusted me with two skeins she had dyed with the willow that grows near their pond and then modified with additional farm-grown dye plants. One, over-dyed in indigo, is a soft forest green. The other, over-dyed with walnut, is a classic tan. These yarns inspired me to design and create the Willow Hat. You can make your own using the pattern below, if you also feel inspired.


Willow Hat

The Willow Hat’s slanted grid colorwork mimics the fences that define the Marble Hill Farm landscape. Its structure pays homage to farm life, with a doubled-up brim to keep ears warm on brisk mornings and a loop at the top for easy hang-up after a long day’s work.

APT_FarmHat01.jpg

Gauge

4” = 20 stitches and 24 rows

Materials

  • 1 skein worsted weight yarn in main color
  • 1 skein worsted weight yarn in contrasting color (if doing colorwork version)
  • Size A: 16” size 7 circular needle
  • Size A: Size 7 double-pointed needles
  • Size B: 16” size 5 circular needle

Pattern

  • With size B needle, cast on 96 stitches using long-tail cast-on (or preferred cast-on method).
  • Join and place marker at beginning of round.
  • K1, P1…. continue to alternate until end of round.
  • Repeat K1, P1 ribbing for 36 rounds or until piece measures 4.5 inches (or twice your desired brim depth).
  • Switch to size A circular needle.
  • Place every other stitch from cast-on edge onto size B circular needle. Fold brim in half, positioning the cast-on edge behind your working stitches. You’ll be joining these two edges in the next round.
  • Knit one round, knitting also into cast-on edge every other stitch, to end of round. (If stitch on left needle is a K, knit into that stitch and next stitch of cast-on edge. If stitch on left needle is a P, knit into only that stitch.)
  • Discard size B needle. Place marker on size A needle at beginning of round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • For next 16 rounds, follow chart (below). One round = 6 repeats of the 16-stitch pattern. Place markers after each repeat, if desired.
  • After completing chart, resume main color and knit 5 rounds.
  • *K1, K2tog, K19, SSK, PM. Repeat from* two more times. K1, K2tog, K19, SSK.
  • Knit one round.
  • *K1, K2tog, knit until two before marker, SSK. Repeat three times.
  • Alternate previous two rounds until 16 stitches remain.
  • K2tog until 4 stitches remain, removing markers as you go.
  • With 4 remaining stitches, knit an I-cord two inches long (approximately 12 rows).
  • Bind off and pull tail through top of hat to create a loop.
  • Tie off tail to secure loop, then weave in ends.
  • Block as desired.

View more of Lindsay's work from The Fiber Archive and in Issue 6 of Drifltess Magazine.


Upcoming Events at Marble Hill Farm
8101 South Victor Pike Bloomington, Indiana 47403

Homegrown Indiana Farm Tour
Sunday, July 9th
4pm - 8.30pm

Shearing Day
Saturday, April 22nd
11am - 4pm

The evening will culminate in a dinner prepared by local chefs from Big Woods Bloomington, C3 Bar and Truffles, including vegetarian and vegan options. It is a farm to fork experience you will not want to miss. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods Market and DeliHarvest Moon Flower Farm (featured in Issue 3!), Big Woods Bloomington, C3 Bar and Truffles.
More information

 

Come share in this community celebration and welcome Spring on the farm with the shearing of the flock of Shetland sheep. Visit with the lambs and learn all about wool with demonstrations and hands-on activities. Discover wildflowers, pollinators and more with scientists and naturalists from our community. Experience small farm life and land stewardship practices that enhance our use of natural resources and support conservation efforts. There will be hayrides, walking tours and farm products available.
More information

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Winter Bundle Sale

It's the last week of winter! Living in the Midwest, we love enjoying all four seasons. For this week only we're offering a $20 Winter Bundle that includes Issues 4 + 6, our latest fall/winter issues, with free shipping on this product! Use code goodbyewinter at checkout. Sale ends the last day of winter - Sunday, March 19th. Visit our online shop for more details.

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Issue 7 Submissions

Interested in contributing content to Driftless? Know of an incredible small business that would make a great feature? Have a seasonal recipe you just can’t get enough of? Just got back from an unbelievable adventure? Let us know – we would love to hear more!

Our content is based on contributions from our readers, and we highly value the interest and expertise that local stories bring to the table. When accepting submissions for print, we are looking for content based around Midwest America. Our definition of the Midwest includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 

Submissions for Issue 7 – Spring + Summer 2017 – are now open. In order to submit a feature for consideration, fill out our online form and submission fee of $12. Submissions will not be considered until the fee is paid. This submission fee helps support the cost of printing – Driftless is completely ad-free, and by paying the submission fee you help ensure we can continue printing physical copies of the magazine. You’ll also receive a complimentary issue for submitting.

Any questions can be directed to info@readdriftless.com with a subject line of "Issue 7 Submission Inquiry." We couldn't be more excited for this 2017 Spring + Summer issue, and look forward to seeing your work!

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2017 Subscriptions

Our 2017 Subscriptions are now available! Subscriptions include our two 2017 issues, in both print and digital versions. You'll receive Spring + Summer in May, and Fall + Winter 2016 in October. Exact release dates to be determined based on print timeline. More information in our online shop.

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Issue 6

  Painting by Thomas Agran

Painting by Thomas Agran

We could not be more excited to announce that Issue 6 is available for pre-order! This year's Fall + Winter issue includes recipes that will warm you during the cooler months, steps you need to host a beautiful dinner party, and in-depth interviews with an Iowa-based painter, Chicago neighborhood bistro, and independent publishing house in Indiana. You can pre-order Issue 6 for $12 through Friday, November 18th! 

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Issue 6 Submissions

  Photograph by  Caitlin O'Hara

Photograph by Caitlin O'Hara

Interested in contributing content to Driftless? Know of an incredible small business that would make a great feature? Have a seasonal recipe you just can’t get enough of? Just got back from an unbelievable adventure? Let us know – we would love to hear more!

Our content is based on contributions from our readers, and we highly value the interest and expertise that local stories bring to the table. When accepting submissions for print, we are looking for content based around Midwest America. Our definition of the Midwest includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 

Submissions for Issue 6 – Fall + Winter 2016 – are now open. In order to submit a feature for consideration, fill out our online form and submission fee of $12. Submissions will not be considered until the fee is paid. This submission fee helps support the cost of printing – Driftless is completely ad-free, and by paying the submission fee you help ensure we can continue printing physical copies of the magazine. You’ll also receive a complimentary issue for submitting.
*Any current yearly subscribers do not need to pay the submission fee. Please check your email for more details or subscribe here.

Any questions can be directed to info@readdriftless.com with a subject line of "Issue 6 Submission Inquiry." We couldn't be more excited for this 2016 Fall + Winter issue, and look forward to seeing your work!

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Indieana Handicraft Exchange

We are so excited to return to Indianapolis this summer. The Indieana Handicraft Exchange is a contemporary craft fair that consciously celebrates modern handmade goods, the relationship between creator and consumer, and local, alternative economies. Admission is free and we will have Issues 2-5 along with other Midwest-print products. We'll be outside in the sunshine at booth 79, come say hello!


Saturday, June 11  //  12pm - 8pm   //   Harrison Center for the Arts   //   1505 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202   //   Booth 79

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Interview with MIKE ADAMS

“I want to turn what’s good about the Midwest into something that’s artistically valuable. I don’t want Indiana to be left behind. I want to be a part of it and try to make it better.” - Mike Adams

Born in Claypool and based in Bloomington, Mike Adams has lived in Indiana his entire life. He is a dear friend and became a Driftless contributor in Issue 2 with a nostalgic story about his favorite Christmas tradition, bowling on Christmas Eve with his family.

Adams played pop music in Bloomington for years before beginning his solo career in 2011. When he isn’t writing and recording music or touring while making his podcast, Adams hosts his own television show, The Mike Adams Show. It's filmed with a live audience and features local talent. He has kindly asked Driftless to be on the show (details below!) and we were excited to talk with him about it.


How has growing up and living in the Midwest influenced your music and songwriting?

The Midwest (specifically, Indiana) is the only place I've ever lived. So, the answer to this question probably runs a lot deeper than I care to admit, haha. Things around here tend to be very distinct. It's obvious what is a cornfield and what is a strip mall. All four seasons are really clear, and we're known for being polite. I think, musically, this really comes through in my work. The tunes tend to be clear, accessible and easy to understand. On the other hand, I think the contrast and my rebellious push against that notion comes through lyrically. With imagery and words I really like ambiguity, double entendre, trying to be clever, and all that sort of thing. Saying what I feel without spelling it out or being too on the nail. That combination feels like a really midwestern philosophy to me. It's the only life I know.   

Different from your two previous records, Casino Drone lends itself to the calmness of everyday life. Why do you choose Bloomington, Indiana? What keeps you coming back after visiting so many other cities on tour?

Bloomington is an easy place to live and work. It's affordable, beautiful, diverse, comfortable, and very, very small. I like feeling close to people, so living in a small town makes that almost a given. I sort of think living here feels like living in a year-round summer camp. I'm also allowed the openness here to be as creatively ambitious as I want to be, while maintaing the security that my family is well taken care of. I like traveling and meeting new people, and visiting exciting places, but at heart I'm a homebody and the pace of life here really suits me. Also, Bloomington is very centrally located, so it's super easy and convenient to get just about anywhere I want to go east of the Mississippi.

What made you start The Mike Adams Show and how has it evolved from your original vision?

It was really Jared Cheek's idea to start the show. I think he was influenced by a lot of things, including Cowboy Jack Clement, Cosmo Kramer's Merv Griffin living room, Charles Kuralt, the internet, DIY attitude, his empty garage at the time...and he knew that I'd go along with just about any idea that he ever has! He proposed we start a local, internet-based talk show in his garage, I said "ok", and it has grown from there. We've never really had much of a vision for it, other than it should be as fun as possible. It began as a way to kill time and have some laughs, and as it's grown into this strange live event, it's gotten bigger and we've invited more people in, but that's still very much the guiding principal. Pure fun.

What all goes into to the taping of an episode? How many people are involved? Is there much script planning or do you work better on the spot?

There are about seven of us intimately involved in the production of each episode, excluding the TV crew. There's always a general outline of who-is-coming-on-when, and when we're taking a commercial break, but there's no script. 90-percent of what we're doing on stage is ad libbed and just a reaction to each other, the crowd, or the guest. Lately we've been trying to come up with opening bits, or at least jumping off points for conversation or jokes we'd like to steer the show towards. I think my wife, who's been doing our set design, and Jared, who does all the scheduling, are the people doing the most actual work. The rest of us know our roles and we just try to push our confines as far as we can while maintaing the recognizable format. We typically have one "production meeting" at a restaurant a few days before each show, just to get us all on the same page. It's a fly-by-night operation and we're all snake oil salesmen who actually believe in the powers of snake oil. 

Do you intend to keep the focus on local celebrities or would you like to see it grow beyond that?

I'm happy to ride this thing wherever it takes us. We never, ever, imagined that it would become this live event with an audience that actually wants to be there and is as excited as we are about it, so anything beyond what we have now is just icing on the cake. I love picking the brains of anyone who's doing something interesting, whether local or famous or whomever. Being great and being popular are not mutually exclusive, so as long as we have unique folks to chat with, I'm happy to take advantage of any opportunities this weird thing affords us. 


We invite you to join us for the live taping of The Mike Adams Show on Saturday, June 4th. This event is part of the annual Limestone Comedy Festival, so admissions is included with an event badge. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The Mike Adams Show
Saturday, June 4th
7.30pm (sharp!)
John Waldron Arts Center
122 South Walnut Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47404

More on Mike Adams
MusicWebsite / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram
New record CASINO DRONE out on Joyful Noise Recordings
Podcast - Tan Van Tour Talk
The Mike Adams Show

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