How Mid-Century Radio Inspires Stories of the Wisconsin Idea

Hello Wisconsin Logo

Wisconsin native and son of Norwegian immigrants, William Evjue, founder of the Capital Times, delivered his famous weekly radio address, “Hello, Wisconsin,” broadcasted every Sunday across the state, throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Evjue would discuss the “political, social, and economic programs facing the citizens of Wisconsin,” covering topics like state industries, highway debt, war profits to Wisconsin, and hundreds more. Through his radio addresses, Evjue, a champion of the Wisconsin Idea, connected his Wisconsin listening public to a diversity of perspectives on news that mattered to them.

It is in that same spirit of public service and the desire to understand the realities of Wisconsin that the Wisconsin Idea Seminar bus leaves Madison on a winding five-day journey through the state to meet farmers, business owners, environmental stewards, health practitioners, artists, teachers, and many others who generously share the stories of successes and challenges in their communities. Like the “Hello, Wisconsin” broadcasts, the Seminar creates spaces where ideas come together, assumptions are challenged, and where participants learn from and are inspired by the people and places of Wisconsin.

“Hello, Wisconsin” has also inspired the Wisconsin Idea Seminar team to share celebrate and acknowledge the remarkable ways that the Wisconsin Idea animates the work of of people across the state and the world. Stay tuned!

Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of the Capital Times and long-time underwriter of the Wisconsin Idea Seminar since 1985.