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Wisconsin Union: Summer by the Lake at the Terrace Kicks Off With Return of Chairs, Party on April 17

April 10, 2024

Contact Information:
Shauna Breneman, Wisconsin Union Public Relations and Communications Officer
Phone: (608) 262-8862



MADISON – The Wisconsin Union’s historic outdoor dining and entertainment destination the Memorial Union Terrace will reopen for the 2024 Terrace season on April 17 with the return of 2,000 green, yellow and orange sunburst chairs and a Wisconsin Union-hosted Opening of the Terrace Party.

The chairs will start to return the early morning of April 17 and will continue to return through the early afternoon followed by the Opening of the Terrace Party from 4-6 p.m. at the Terrace. The free party that kicks off a season of summer by the lake will feature an appearance by Bucky, free brats provided by Johnsonville while supplies last, a DJ performance, a performance by the University of Wisconsin Spirit Squad, free Terrace Lemonade and Terrace Strawberry Lemonade tasting, and free mocktail tasting.

Available on-site dining options include pub food destination der Rathskeller, pizza and pasta restaurant Strada, salad and sandwich shop Carte, dessert café the Daily Scoop, grab-n-go and snacks shop the Badger Market, beverages and snacks restaurant der Stiftskeller, and seasonal lakefront destination Lakeview Lounge.

At 7 p.m. on April 17, guests can attend an Open Mic Night hosted by the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Music Committee and Moda Magazine, which marks the start of WUD Music’s nine-event music series WUDstock.

The Wisconsin Union team hosts Terrace season from late spring to early fall each year, including free film showings on Monday nights June-August, free concerts Wednesday-Saturday usually beginning in late May, free and low-cost art activities, and low-cost outdoor recreation experiences. The Union team will announce its film and music lineup in May at

The Wisconsin Union will soon make a Terrace Festival Package available for purchase, which will include a limited-edition t-shirt, a limited-edition button, a coupon card redeemable for monthly free food items, and more.

“Terrace season is really a three-month-long festival of free music, free movies, free and low-cost art, and so much more. It’s the perfect way to spend summer by the lake,” Wisconsin Union Deputy Director Susan Dibbell said. “There’s nothing else like Terrace season in the country, and no Wisconsin summer is complete without a Terrace visit, whether someone lives here or is visiting.”

The Wisconsin Union team is planning its programming and overall Terrace experience with the theme “Summer by the Lake” in mind.

“With music, great food, lakefront relaxation, and unique opportunities to make lasting memories with friends, family or colleagues, visits to the Terrace deliver the essential Wisconsin lakeside summer,” Public Relations and Communications Officer Shauna Breneman said.

The Wisconsin Union team anticipates opening seasonal dining options the Brat Stand on April 19 and the BBQ Stand on May 3, weather permitting. Coffee and tea café Peet’s Coffee is anticipated to reopen in late April with double its previous beverage-making capacity.

The Wisconsin Union held its first full Terrace season in 1929. Today, the space welcomes almost 1 million people each year, and its Wisconsin-crafted, metal sunburst chairs are trademarked and widely regarded as beloved symbols of Madison and summer in Wisconsin.

Most Terrace season events and most other events held by the Wisconsin Union are created by student leaders in WUD, who gain hands-on professional experiences through their Wisconsin Union leadership roles. Some WUD students receive up to 80% of their in-state tuition paid through Wisconsin Union academic stipends in recognition of their responsibilities contributing to student life and culture.

The Wisconsin Union is a non-profit organization that does not receive any taxpayer dollars to support its Terrace operations, Terrace season events, or year-round patron services, such as its open arts studio and outdoor recreation. Purchases at Memorial Union and Union South as well as its outlying markets and cafes, tax-deductible donations, and membership purchases help make Terrace season and other Union experiences and spaces possible.

Most of the events that occur at the Terrace during Terrace season also occur inside the Union’s spaces from late fall to early spring, including free film showings at the Marquee at Union South; free and low-cost art events at Memorial Union; and free, live music at both Union South and Memorial Union. Guests can continue to enjoy events indoors at Memorial Union and Union South while awaiting Terrace summer programming and can do so again when Terrace season ends. 

Patrons can visit for Terrace season details.


About the Wisconsin Union

The Wisconsin Union enhances the lives of members and visitors through recreational, cultural, educational and social opportunities. Formed in 1907, the Wisconsin Union is a membership organization that blends study and leisure to create unique out-of-classroom opportunities. Learn more about the Union and its tradition of providing experiences for a lifetime:

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Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra: Concerts on the Square Volunteer Affiliate Program Applications Open

Apply for your business to be a Volunteer Affiliate for Concerts on the Square!

Annually, the WCO selects six local small businesses to feature as Concerts on the Square Volunteer Affiliates. Each business will be given marketing opportunities in exchange for volunteer time at the event their business is assigned to. You can learn more and apply at

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Improving mental health is focus of new WPS report


DeAnne Boegli
Corporate Communications

Improving mental health is focus of new WPS report

MADISON, Wis.—April 8, 2024—The 2023 WPS Health Solutions® Corporate Social Responsibility Report, “Mental Health is Health,” is now available on The report details the company’s commitment to good mental health along with an overview of how various lines of business at WPS Health Solutions supported mental health initiatives in 2023.

During the year, WPS worked to bring awareness, fund programming, reduce stigmas, and advance availability of mental health care. A highlight of the efforts was adding 20% more mental health care providers to its networks, reducing wait time from weeks to hours.

“Addressing the mental health needs of beneficiaries, our insured, and our employees has been a focus of mine since becoming President and CEO last April. I’m proud of how company leaders have stepped up and brought real solutions to the table,” said WPS President and CEO Wendy Perkins. “This report highlights our continued focus and progress and reaffirms our belief that mental health care is essential health care.”

More than 75 years since its founding, WPS continues its work to protect the health and financial well-being of its customers.

About WPS Health Solutions®

Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation (WPS Health Solutions), founded in 1946, is a nationally regarded benefits administrator for a variety of U.S. government programs and a leading not-for-profit health insurer in Wisconsin. WPS Health Solutions serves active-duty and retired military personnel, seniors, individuals, and families in Wisconsin, across the U.S., and around the world. WPS Health Solutions, headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, has more than 2,600 employees. For more information, please visit


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Vogel Bros. Building Co.: Revitalizing the Heart of Hilldale

For Immediate Release
March 29, 2024

Media Contact:
Katie Kulchytskyy

Revitalizing the Heart of Hilldale
Demolition and Groundbreaking at Hilldale Shopping Center

MADISON, WIS. – Revitalizing the Heart of Hilldale. Hilldale Shopping Center is thrilled to announce an ambitious project that will breathe new life into our beloved community at Hilldale and greater Madison. This transformative initiative aims to convert a former theater space into a dynamic and vibrant streetscape, showcasing an array of exciting retail tenants that promise to enhance the overall shopping experience.

This project entails a 25,000-square-foot renovation of existing space for mixed use, accommodating new retail and restaurant tenants. The exterior façade will also be reimagined, enhancing the experience of visitors to Hilldale Mall. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024. WS Development, the Massachusetts based firm that owns and manages Hilldale Shopping Center, has partnered with Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc. (EUA) for design and Vogel Bros. Building Co. as the construction partner.

Chris Boyce, Director of Asset Strategy and Development of WS Development indicated, “The upcoming project marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Hilldale Shopping Center, reinforcing our commitment to community engagement and fostering a lively, inclusive atmosphere. The decision to repurpose the former theater space reflects our dedication to creating spaces that resonate with the pulse of Madison and stay relevant to the evolving nature of retail.

“Our vision for the future of Hilldale was informed by input from local residents to ensure our growth aligns with the community’s aspirations. We are confident that this project, which is only just beginning, will not only meet but exceed the expectations of Madison residents, creating a thriving space for shopping, socializing, and community engagement.”

“Vogel Bros. is excited to partner with WS Development, return to Hilldale, and eager to bring our expertise to the table for the redevelopment that will convert existing space into a pedestrian-friendly experience,” says Matthew Schultz, Vice President of Vogel Bros. Building Co.

WS Development ( is one of the top five private, retail-first developers in the United States. Based in Chestnut Hill, MA, WS Development has been a leader in the acquisition, development, management and redevelopment of retail and mixed-use properties. Its diverse portfolio consists of more than 100-plus properties totaling 20-plus million square feet with 5-plus million square feet in new developments.

Vogel Bros. Building Co. ( is a fifth-generation construction services company with offices in Madison, WI and Lakeland, FL. As an award-winning company, Vogel Bros. has earned recognition for completing large-scale complex projects, encouraging innovation, embracing new technologies, and making a difference in our communities. We owe our success and longevity to the values established by the Vogel family that have been shared through the generations and are embodied in our employees. Vogel Bros. mission is to continually improve our services in order to enhance the lives of the people in the communities we serve.

Photo by Richard Hurd

‘Mythbusters’ Host, Author Kari Byron to Speak on Unlocking Curiosity at Wisconsin Union Directorate Event April 24

MADISON – Author and “MythBusters” television host Kari Byron will share her thoughts on how to use curiosity to solve problems at Shannon Hall in Memorial Union on April 24 at 7 p.m. at a Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS) Committee-hosted free lecture.

The event, titled “Curiosity Unlocked: An Evening with Kari Byron,” will feature a 60-minute lecture followed by a 30-minute audience Q&A. The event is free, but tickets are required. Current University of Wisconsin–Madison students may register for tickets on April 9 at 2 p.m. Students will require a promo code, which they will receive via email, to acquire their ticket. Any remaining tickets will become available to the general public on April 10 at 2 p.m., with a limit of two tickets per person. Ticket registration for the event will be available here

Known for her work on reality science television shows such as “MythBusters,” “Thrill Factor” and “The White Rabbit Project,” Byron has a steady presence in the science education community. Using her own arts background, Byron works to connect the fields of art and science, which can be regarded as conflicting approaches. 

Byron is the co-director of the National STEM Challenge, a competition that fosters creativity, critical thinking and a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics for middle and high school students. She is also the co-founder of EXPLR Media, which provides science-related resources to kids worldwide.

Her book, “Crash Test Girl: An Unlikely Experiment in Using the Scientific Method to Answer Life’s Toughest Questions,” explores the use of the scientific method in her own life to solve everyday issues, including career-building, love and friendship.

“I’m a living, limping, example of how being a risk-taking methodologist can bring you love, success, and inspiration,” Byron said in her 2018 autobiography. “I had to be a crash test girl to evolve into a road-tested woman.”

The WUD DLS Committee brings engaging and influential people to the UW–Madison campus to encourage thought-provoking conversations. WUD includes 12 committees and six Wisconsin Hoofers clubs that program thousands of events each year.

Patrons can learn more about the upcoming free talk featuring Byron here.