20 Poems Project

Poetry Scavenger Hunt

Twenty poems are scattered throughout Downtown Reedsburg - find them all and receive a 20 Poems sticker!  Maps are available at the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce or you may download it by clicking below.

About the 20 Poems Project

Taking direction from our community, this project aims to distill the essence of life in Reedsburg through poetic verse—whether written by a poet laureate or a fifth grader from Pineview Elementary.

The 20 Poems Project, a Reedsburg ArtsLink initiative, features 20 unique poems installed throughout Downtown Reedsburg. A mix of published as well as original verses submitted by writers with a strong connection to Reedsburg, the poems offer diverse perspectives and expressions of small moments in our lives. The poetry was gathered through community workshops, an open call for submissions, and a review of published works.

In addition to the open call, poems were gathered through a series of free poetry workshops led by Madison-based poet Katrin Talbot. Talbot curated the final selection of 20 poems alongside a panel of local writers and readers.

Additional honors for the authors of the selected poems included the opportunity to present their poem during a public reading of the 20 Poems at the Reedsburg Public Library during Poetry Month and a special invitation to the Public Dedication of the 20 Poems Project in early June of 2019.

Special Thanks!

Special thanks to lead poet Katrin Talbot, lettering artist Morgan McArthur, location scout and illustrator Katie Schofield, editor Philip Matthews, and project assistant Jenifer Stanek. Additional thanks to the City of Reedsburg staff and the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding was provided by the City of Reedsburg Arts Committee and the Reedsburg Area United Fund.

A picture of Madison-based poet, Katrin Talbot leads a poetry workshop for the 20 Poems Project in September with students from Ms. Carey's English class at Reedsburg Area High School.
A picture of Lettering artist, Morgan McArthur will hand letter poems onto structures in Reedsburg's downtown.


~The first poem on the 20 Poems Scavenger Hunt is by WI Poet Laureate Max Garland.  Photo Credit: Max Garland

A picture of Madison-based poet, Katrin Talbot leads a poetry workshop for the 20 Poems Project in September with students from Ms. Carey's English class at Reedsburg Area High School.


~ Madison-based poet, Katrin Talbot leads a poetry workshop for the 20 Poems Project in September 2018 with students from Ms. Carey's English class at Reedsburg Area High School.

Reedsburg Arts Committee Logo
Logo Wisconsin Arts Board
Logo: National Endowment for the Arts

Ahuchoga: Blue Wing’s Legacy Project

In the summer of 2016, ArtsLink partnered with the Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF, Wisconsin Dells) for Ahuchoga:  Blue Wing's Legacy Project.  The central activity was to create a community mural inspired by an important historical event in Reedsburg. In 1873 members of the Reedsburg community gathered at the depot to stop the relocation by federal agents of all Ho-Chunk including the beloved chief, Ahuchoga, or "Blue Wing", and his family.  It is believed that this action may have contributed to ending the US Government's inhumane relocation policy.

The Ahuchoga: Blue Wing's Legacy Project was crafted to encourage cultural education and exchange. Supporting activities included educational programming at the Reedsburg Public Library, a Native Art Market in Harvest Park and a pop-up gallery featuring the work of First People's Fund Fellow Wesley May. It was supported with a generous grant from the First Peoples Fund, with additional support from the Sauk County U.W. Extension Arts and Culture Committee and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin.

Interpretive Information

The symbolic mural depicts Chief Ahuchoga's legacy as a kind and gentle man that has brought people together from the past, present and future.  Ahuchoga, which in English means "Blue Wing" is drawn out in feathers and within each of the 12 feathers are the clans of the Ho-Chunk.  These keep the Ho-Chunk centered on who they are as human beings.  At the heart of the mural is the symbol for Ahuchoga.  Ancient rock writing found in Wisconsin inspired this symbol which also appears on the Blue Wing memorial marker at the Blue Wing Cemetery in Tomah, WI.  Extending out is a red banner, symbolizing the blood that is the common tie among all human beings.  On the right side of the mural is the traditional home of the Ho-Chunk and on the other is an empty train leaving Reedsburg.  The handprints found in each corner represent the community coming together to commemorate this historic event and our shared connection to Mother Earth.

The Ahuchoga mural was installed from 2016-2021 at 300 Vine Street, Reedsburg, on the Reedsburg Boys & Girls Club building.

Image of Ahuchoga Dedication

Descendants of Chief Ahuchoga, project organizers & members of the community gathered at 300 Vine St to dedicate the community mural honoring his legacy on Oct. 8, 2016. Photo by Bill Schuette.

Image of youth working on mural.

Ho-Chunk youth visiting from Tomah, WI practice their painting skills prior to helping complete the Community Mural.

Image of Chief Ahuchoga.

Photo of Ho-Chunk Chief Ahuchoga.

Logo of Little Eagle Arts Foundation
Open post

The Red Piano Project

Red Piano 2
The 2013 Red Piano was featured in an alfalfa field located on the the Don and Dorothy Harms family farm on County Road S.

The Red Piano Project began as a stop along the 2013 Farm/Art DTour. ArtsLink adopted a turn of the century upright piano, tuned it up, painted  it bright red and placed in an alfalfa field adjacent to a cow pasture on a county road along the DTour route.  After the 10-day DTour, the piano was donated to Aunt Ozie’s Cafe, a Loganville-based business supporting live music.

Similary, ArtsLink featured turn of the century uprights on the 2015 and 2016 DTour routes that were also donated to local businesses that support the arts. The 2015 piano was donated to Reedsburg’s Touchdown Tavern, and the 2016 piano went to The Branding Iron in Lime Ridge.

The Red Piano Project was generously sponsored each year by Able Trek Tours, Reedsburg, WI.


Branding Iron owners Lisa Buttonow and Steve Fearing toast their newly adopted Red Piano.
The 2015 Red Piano was located adjacent to woodlands on County Road PF near La Rue.
Local musician and keyboard instructor Shawndell Marks and her students took turns playing carols on Touchdown Tavern’s Red Piano during Reedsburg’s annual Living Windows event.
The 2016 Red Piano was featured in Ableman’s Gorge State Natural Area
Open post

The Ruminant / Harvest Park Project

Ruminant, an ode to agriculture, is a John Deere combine outfitted with 34 stained glass panels created by Minnesota artist Karl Unnasch. Originally a temporary installation along the 2013 Farm/Art DTour route, a group of Reedsburg citizens decided the sculpture was important, and that it should remain in the community. The group also turned the lot into a new park, called Harvest Park, and dedicated Ruminant to the City of Reedsburg in 2014. The Ruminant /Harvest Park Project was Reedsburg ArtsLink's first major initiative.

For more information about the sculpture, and for descriptions about each panel, visit the Ruminant Project website or the Ruminant / Harvest Park Facebook page.

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