Curb Magazine looks at role of nature across Wisconsin

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This fall, 21 journalism students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison broke out of the classroom to get into communities across the state and tell stories about the impact of nature on Wisconsin.

curb-magazine-coverSustainable homes made from Wisconsin round timber, water parks at the Wisconsin Dells, and a local microbrewery that gives leftover grain to farms are a few of the many topics in the latest edition of Curb Magazine. The annual Wisconsin-lifestyle magazine is produced by students enrolled in a School of Journalism and Mass Communication course taught by Assistant Professor Katy Culver and instructor Stacy Forster.

For the past three months, the students have traveled around the state to explore the role of land in shaping Wisconsin identities, communities and passions. The Curb team will print and distribute a 64-page print edition to nearly 10,000 homes statewide. This year, the team also focused on producing several video and multimedia features, including maps, timelines and graphics, which are available on the magazine's website and in the tablet edition.

"Anyone who thinks the Millennial Generation is lazy or self-involved needs to meet my students," Culver says. "This team has been absolutely tireless in painting a vivid and visual picture of natural Wisconsin. I am deeply proud of them."

Curb staff raised more than $10,000 through advertising and apparel sales, sponsorships and donations. For the fifth year, Royle Printing of Sun Prairie donated half of the cost of printing. Alumni donations provided each student with an iPad for the semester to allow for the production of other multimedia pieces.

"As technology increases, so do our means of storytelling," says videographer Michelle Gonzalez of Milwaukee, who produced nine videos for the magazine using a GoPro camera. "Using multimedia allows people to experience and understand stories differently than print."

The online version of the magazine went live today, and the print copies have been mailed. The tablet version is available for download from the iTunes Store.

"We set such high goals for ourselves and this magazine, and seeing all the pieces come together has been an amazing experience," says marketing director Ally Boutelle of Madison. "Most of us have never worked on a project of this scale or been able to take on responsibility for every little detail."

Story by University Communications