The Ripple Project | Beyond the Page

The Ripple Project

In 2022-2023 Beyond the Page programs will be unified under the common theme of racial equity throughout all Dane County Libraries. We aim to leverage libraries to engage communities in meaningful reflection and dialogue about race.

In addition to offering free public programming, library staff have begun participating in ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion training. Library staff and directors throughout Dane County participate in regional equity teams to continue to advance this work.

In fall 2022, Beyond the Page will launch a paid internship program to help diversify the field of librarianship. Stay tuned for more information in May/June about how to apply.


Interested in volunteering? Become a Ripple Project Ambassador:

You can volunteer to support a Ripple Project event by helping with:

  • Event set up
  • Event photo/video/social media
  • Event take down

Email Alicia at if you'd like to learn more.


Attend a Ripple Program at your library!


Contemporary Native Art, Issues and (Mis-)Understandings

Karen Ann Hoffman, Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork Artist of the Oneida Nation


Program Description:

Join National Heritage Fellow Karen Ann Hoffman of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin for a conversation about Contemporary Native Art, Issues and (Mis-)Understandings. Warning—some topics may be triggering for some attendees.

Our gathering will begin with community building over a sampling of traditional Oneida food and tea prepared by Karen Ann. As we get to know each other, Karen Ann will share a presentation of her art, songs and stories focusing on a 2 way discussion comparing the ways Western and Native cultures understand the role of Art. The broad ranging conversation will include an in-depth discussion of her multi-year efforts to raise awareness about the Mass Native burial site on the grounds of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. We’ll also touch on the ongoing tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the discovery of children’s graves at Residential Schools. Karen Ann will also encourage attendees to “Ask an Indian Anything!” as a way of openly and gently addressing questions and concerns and (mis-)understandings they may have. 

Presenter Bio: 

Karen Ann Hoffman has been beading peace, beauty, and meaning through her Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork since the 1990s. Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork (also known as Iroquois Raised Beadwork) is unique to the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, characterized by lines of beads that arch above the textile surface for a three-dimensional effect, typically sewn onto velvet. Hoffman is a respected national leader in this art, known for reimagining existing forms to expand their significance for today and the future.

Hoffman pursues her twin goals of strengthening Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork within the Haudenosaunee community and gaining recognition for it more widely. She produces two to three large pieces each year, with some in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Field Museum, the Iroquois Indian Museum, and the Oneida Nation Museum. She teaches and hosts a beading circle at her home. She is a co-organizer of the annual International Iroquois Beadwork Conference and has curated multiple exhibits of work by Native artists.

Middleton Public Library

July 19th, 2022 at 6:30-8pm

Madison Public Library - Sequoya Branch

July 20th, 2022 7-8:30pm

E.D. Locke Public Library (McFarland)

July 21st, 2022 at 6-7:30pm

Black Earth Public Library

August 4th, 2022 at 6:30-8pm 

Marshall Community Library

August 10th, 2022 at 6-7:30pm


Creating a Sense of Belonging Through Slam Poetry

Charles Payne

Program Description:

Charles's workshop will help participants delve into crucial conversations across differences. And by doing so, participants will foster a deeper understanding of themselves. The learning objectives were designed to challenge participants to think, write, and share experiences they've had that contributed to their sense of belonging by giving participants a brave space to share their personal stories and challenging them to listen critically. First, we'll start with looking at poems by different poetry slam and story slam authors, discuss, then write using tools the poems and stories provided. Then we'll then work through a workbook that walks participants through social justice, engages, and reflects on their intersectional identities. Much more before we challenge participants to brainstorm ideas for a three to five-minute poem/story they'd like to tell. In groups, participants will discuss those ideas and workshop their stories. Finally, participants will get to share their three to five-minute antidotes with the group in whatever form they choose.

The workshop also Includes a free copy of Charles’s self-published book, Love, Payne, Hate, & Adversity!

Presenter Bio: 

Charles Payne (he, him) has won the Arts + Literature Laboratory's inaugural ALL Originals Prize competition for his poems and the Moth's Inaugural Central GrandSLAM storytelling competition. Charles is a Madison (WI) transplant, a certified teacher, and a self-taught social artist from Michigan. As a child, he loved hearing the sound of Paul Harvey's voice, their innate ability to describe every intricate detail truly inspired Charles to tell stories himself. And, yes, Charles can't wait to give you the rest of the story. Because good stories foster empathy and help people see the world from different perspectives. 

E.D. Locke Public Library (McFarland)

June 7th, 2022 at 6-7:30pm

Madison Public Library - Sequoya Branch

June 25th, 2022 at 2-3:30pm

Verona Public Library

October 4th, 2022 at 6-7:30pm


Speaking with Music

Neng Now

Program Description:

HMong music is the last surviving musical language in the world—it is able to mimic HMong speech by using musical intervals, ornamentation, and chords to mimic linguistic tones, consonants, and vowels—allowing musicians to literally speak with music. However, there have not been many opportunities for this unique trait of HMong music to shine. HMong American refugees first arrived to the United States in 1975, after having supported American CIA forces in Laos during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, Wisconsin curriculum does not teach this part of American history, underrepresenting the more than 50,000 HMong Americans who currently call Wisconsin Home. Programming that highlights this one-of-a-kind musical ability of the HMong language, gives a spotlight to the diversity within Wisconsin, the beauty of other cultures, and gives the HMong American community an opportunity to realize that we are indeed special, and our culture is worthy of being shared, taught, and preserved. 

Presenter Bio: 

Neng Now, is a documentarian, scientist, and artist. He is a Harvard graduate, who has worked and traveled to over 25 different countries around the world, and recently produced his first documentary film, “Among Mountains,” in 2021. His work has earned him a Fulbright Independent Research Grant to research Hmong musical linguistics in Laos in 2020, a Community Impact Award from the Hmong National Development Conference in 2019, and has built an online community of over 70,000 followers on social media thus far.

DeForest Public Library

April 19th, 2022 at 6:30-7:30pm

Verona Public Library

May 9th, 2022 at 6:30-7:30pm

Fitchburg Public Library

September 24th, 2022 at 2-3pm

Cambridge Community Library


Madison Public Library - Lakeview Branch


Trace the Line: Community Conversation

Alex Miranda of Bravebird

Program Description:

Bravebird has been on the forefront of diverse and equitable filmmaking since 2018. During the pandemic “pause,” Alex had a vision of a story come to him. This seed of an idea resulted in a COVID-compliant film, Trace the Line, that had the dual purpose of supporting artists who lost their work and reflecting on the shared experience of 2020. 

Trace the Line is a feature length film about two young artists in the Midwest, a black man and a white woman, a poet and a painter. It depicts their lives as they try to understand the world that we are in now, especially as it relates to isolation, connection, and race relations.

The filmmakers will show exclusive behind the scenes photos and clips with audience members ahead of the public release of the film. A Q&A discussion will give attendees the opportunity to reflect on how these themes are reflected in our local community. 

Trace the Line Website

Presenter Bio:

Bravebird is a female and Indigenous video production company that seeks to transform the way diversity is depicted on screen. Bravebird co-founder and ALMA Award-winning Filmmaker, Alex Miranda Cruz spent 15 years working in Hollywood as a diverse professional actor as well as for a top Hollywood studio. Alex appeared in film and tv shows like The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Walker Texas Ranger. He eventually left Hollywood after constantly being stereotyped as a delinquent. Alex maintained his passion for storytelling and decided to pursue transformative work behind the camera with the goal of including more diverse voices in the story-telling process.

Mount Horeb Public Library

April 26th, 6:30-8pm

Deerfield Public Library

September 15th, time TBD


Finding Me: A Musical Children's Book

Music Theatre of Madison

Program Description

Have you ever heard a student say they went to a school where they didn’t feel seen, heard, confident, loved, or like they truly belonged? Jr. has felt that way at his many schools. But things begin to change when he stumbles upon a magical classroom and peeks through their window. With the help of a teacher named Mr. Rise, he sees a handful of students who are shown just how special they are every day! Will Jr. be too afraid to reveal himself to them? Will they let Jr. join their team? Only time will tell if he’s found the community he’s needed for a very long time.

Bring your creativity and your superpowers and join us for a read-aloud and dance and sing-along of the book from author Alexis Dean, Jr.! We’ll also have coloring pages from the book!

Presenter Bio

Music Theatre of Madison: Discover What’s Next. 

Music Theatre of Madison is a seventeen-year-old professional theatre company that focuses on the new and different in musical theatre. The company has 37 full productions to its credit, plus numerous readings, concerts, and educational activities, including frequent partnerships with Madison Public Libraries. During the pandemic, the company found ways for musical theatre to exist in a variety of mediums, including as a podcast and audiodrama, in a film of original songs, on a concept album written by BIPOC local artists, and in the form of this book, Finding Me, a two-year project involving nearly 60 Madison and Milwaukee artists. The book will be available to purchase online at and the libraries will have copies as well!

Fitchburg Public Library

May 7th at 11am

Belleville Public Library

June 14th, 2022 at 2pm

Marshall Community Library

June 15th at 6pm

Black Earth Public Library

July 14th, 2022 at 6:30pm

Madison Public Library - Monroe Street Branch

TBD-- early 2023


Race: The Power of an Illusion 

Facilitator: Yolibeth Rangel-FitzGibbon of Mosaicos

Program Description

Join us for a viewing and facilitated discussion of the award-winning documentary series by California Newsreel. RACE—The Power of an Illusion is a provocative three-hour series that questions the very idea of race as biology. Scientists tell us that believing in biological races is no more sound than believing the sun revolves around the earth. So if race is a biological myth, where did the idea come from? And why should it matter today? RACE—The Power of an Illusion provides an eye-opening discussion tool to help people examine their beliefs about race, privilege, policy, and justice.

Presenter Bio


Yolibeth Rangel-FitzGibbon (Yoli) is the founder and Executive director of Mosaicos Cultural Enrichment Corporation and a member of the Stoughton Board of Education. Born and raised in Venezuela, she moved to the U.S. in 2000. Her international work and travel experiences instilled an appreciation for the assets people bring from diverse cultures. She established Mosaicos in order to make Stoughton a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

Mosaicos promotes understanding, appreciation, and inclusion through facilitated conversations about diversity throughout the community and fosters academic achievement among underrepresented students by providing them with academic support and mentoring.

Monona Public Library

April 3rd 2-3:30pm

April 24th 2-3:30pm

May 8th 2-3:30pm

Rosemary Garfoot Public Library (Cross Plains)

February 2023 (date/time TBD)


Black Girls Don't

Prenicia Clifton

Prenicia Clifton standing and smiling with one hand on her hip, wearing a red dress.

Program Description:

In this presentation Prenicia tells her story of overcoming society putting young Black girls in a box and what it really means to create your own path in life. Prenicia to this day constantly challenges the stereotypes of Black women and uses her story to inspire youth.

Black Girls Don’t Sing Opera!

What does it mean to be a Black girl performing in a predominantly white field? 

Black Girls Don’t Lead!

What does it mean to be a Black girl breaking barriers and leading a community? 

Black Girls Don’t Read!

What does it mean to be a Black girl overcoming an undiagnosed learning disability? 

Black Girls Don’t Speak Out!

What does it mean to dedicate one’s life to activism as a Black woman? 

Black Girls Don’t Tell!

What does it mean to overcome abuse and tell on your abuser?


Presenter Bio:

Prenicia Clifton is an accomplished opera singer with credits in major opera houses around the world; including opening opera houses with Placido Domingo, sharing the stage with Grammy Award winning artist-Denyce Graves, and becoming the first African American to sing in a Chinese opera house solely in Mandarin.

Clifton is the founder of Seein' is Believin' an organization committed to improving educational spaces through a culturally responsive lens and educating communities on the best ways to support the holistic safety of youth. Seein' is Believin' offers workshops, project management, consulting and planning for K-12 youth outreach activities as well as community training in Youth Protection and Youth  Mental Health First Aid. Our classroom workshops are focused in Social Emotional Learning, Diversity and Equity, and increasing representation in K-12 spaces. For more information visit our website at


Can You Find the Hidden Object? Decoder Puzzle Adventure

Winnie Karanja with Represented Collective

Illustration of Nakira with cartoon text reading "Nakira's World"

Program Description:

Come along with Nakira and friends on a journey to explore STEM all around us. Our adventure begins with the Decoder Puzzles – piece together the puzzle and put on your Decoder Glasses to uncover the hidden mystery items in each illustrated scene. After completing your Decoder Puzzle and finding all of the hidden objects, join in the fun of making a custom pair of Decoder Glasses to reveal your own secret messages!

Monona Public Library

June 4th, 10:30-11:30am

Oregon Public Library

July 16th, 10-11am

Deforest Public Library

September 27th, 4:30-5:30pm

Stoughton Public Library



Think Like A DJ: Varsity Program

Martinez "Pops" and Harlem "Son" White

coloring book cover with black line drawing portrait of Harlem White wearing headphones. Text reads: "Think Like A DJ: Coloring Book by Martinez "Pops" and Harlem "Son" White"

Program Description:

The THINK LIKE A DJ: Varsity Program uses the four core elements of Hip-Hop culture (DJing, MCing, Breakdancing, Graffiti) to teach financial literacy, artistic independence and entrepreneurship to youth.

In one hour kids will be inspired and empowered to use their artistic gifts to achieve their dreams.

Join us for DJing, a rap game and a graffiti contest! Contest winners will earn prizes and all participants will receive a copy of the Think Like A DJ coloring book by Martinez "Pops" and Harlem "Son" White.

Dream Bus at the Kennedy Heights Community Center (Part of the Kennedy Heights Block Party)

July 15th, Friday, 5-6pm

Dream Bus at Allied Park (Part of the "Parks Alive~Allied Drive")

July 25th, Monday, 5-6pm

Dream Bus at the Theresa Terrace Neighborhood Center

July 27th, Wednesday, 5-6pm


Writing Workshops & Open Mic Nights Celebrating QTBIPoC Disabled Voices

Loud 'n' Unchained Theater Company

Program Description:

Loud ‘n’ Unchained Theater company presents a series of writing workshops and open mic events centering Black, Indigenous and POC, Queer, Trans and Disabled writers and authors. Each open mic will feature a new QTBIPoC Disabled artist and and Live DJ. Sign up in advance to read or show up by 5:45 to sign up to read!

Presenter Bio:

T. S. Banks is a community organizer, disability justice and mental wellness advocate, poet, and playwright from Madison, WI. A First Wave and UW Madison Graduate. He is the Founder of Loud ‘N UnChained Theater Co. Which is also home to LNU Black Theater Festival; that premiered April 2021.  His work  addresses visioning for Black Power + Liberation, a critique of the medical-industrial complex, psychiatric violence, sanism, radical care + access, transformative justice. QT Justice, Disability Justice, and cross-movement solidarity.

Pinney Library (Madison)

Friday, July 15 6-8pm Open Mic (feat. T.S. Banks & DJ Femme Noir)

Saturday, July 16 12-1:30pm Writing Workshop (feat. T.S. Banks & DJ Femme Noir)

Theme: Split. Love and Madness! Celebrating Queer Trans and Mad-c/Krip Voices!

Central Library (Madison)

August 5 4-5:30pm Writing Workshop (feat. Sean Avery Medlin & DJ Femme Noir)

August 6 5-8pm Open Mic (feat. Sean Avery Medlin & DJ Femme Noir)

Theme: 808's & OtherWorlds


Goodman South Madison Library 

October 13 5:45-7:45pm Writing Workshop (feat. T.S. Banks)

October 21 5-7:45pm Open Mic (feat. Lature Carter, Erick Blue & DJ M White)

Theme: Black Liberation and Joy


Pinney Library (Madison)

November 11 6-8pm Open Mic (feat. Chalchi & DJ Femme Noir)

November 12 12-1:30pm Writing Workshop (feat. Chalchi)

Theme: TBD



More information about our presenters and programs coming soon!

Ripple Programs will begin April 2022 and continue through early 2023.


Contact Alicia Treviño-Murphy, Beyond the Page Manager