Madison Community Discourse

MCD is a community arts nonprofit. Founded in 2013, we strengthen community using art and discourse as our tools.  Utilizing hands on workshops, creative placemaking events, interviews, and exhibition, we study a theme and connect community through this theme.

This year we are studying happiness.

Art Events

Our events that focus on happiness are designed for the community to engage in hands on activities together.  Intentionally hosted all over the community, we host hands-on workshops in an effort to strengthen the city through art.



Random Acts of Kindness Interactive Art Workshop 

Saturday, February 18

Hawthorne Library


In this drop-in event, artists from across Wisconsin will be joining us for an interactive art workshop. For this unique event, each artist will be setting up a station for participants to create art or pieces for random acts of kindness.

Featuring artists: Jennifer Bastian, Anja ‘La Prosette’ Notanja Sieger, Danika Brubaker, Katrina Lord, and Mallory Shotwell.

See the full description and register here.


 Happy to Be Here: An Interactive Art Workshop 

In this participatory art practice, we are building dropboxs and starting our city-wide postcard interactive art project.

Participants will be working with artists and local organizations to create a series of dropboxes that will be taken back to their store//community center/business. These dropboxes will stay at that place for three months, allowing people of all ages and backgrounds to write or draw on a postcard to encourage a practice of mindfulness and happiness. This postcard will be all white, with the words ‘Happy to be Here’ on the bottom.

We are asking people to write or draw on these postcards why they are happy to be ‘here.’ Here could be the store, the Bubbler, the city of Madison, or the state of mind. This is a practice of mindfulness that will work in part with many creative placemaking workshops that will be happening across Madison as well.

Postcards will be collected at the end of May and turned into a book that will be available at the exhibition on happiness in the fall.

See our official video for our City-Wide Pay it Forward Coffee Chain.  Thanks to Grant Brooks of Momentum Medium for documenting it!

Discourse Events

Happy Hour is a philosophy group that discusses different aspects of happiness in our lives and in the community.

Philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom.  Each person has their own stories and wisdom gained through experience and reflection.  We are inviting people, regardless of education or philosophy background, to engage in a monthly community discussion on varying aspects and thoughts of happiness.


Discourse on Happiness and Kindness 

Wednesday, February 22

Field Table


RSVP here


Current Exhibition

Participatory Art, Study on Happiness

HAPPINESS is the culmination of the year-long social study on happiness in Madison, Wisconsin.

Honoring a breadth of experiences, HAPPINESS offers a juried selection of work from emerging and established artists from the Midwest.

The exhibition’s mission is for participants to examine their own experiences and those experiences around them.  It is important to note that we are including the spectrum of happiness within this show. Whether a participant or artist is visually articulating elation or depression, it is all within the scale and offers to the greater dialogue on happiness.  These vulnerabilities shared connect the community through this collective experience.

HAPPINESS will also feature six interactive installation pieces that invites participants to engage and reflect.


See the Call for Artists, applications due March 25, 2017

See our Past Exhibitions 


Join the e-newsletter to receive monthly updates on Madison Community Discourse

Join the our e-newsletter list to find out what is happening at Madison Community Discourse. If you are interested in learning about the latest events, exhibitions, and workshops, the MCD e-newsletter is a great way to stay informed. Our biweekly e-newsletter will tell you what’s happening at MCD. As we develop creative placemaking events, art workshops, and discussions, we want you to be the first to know.  Connect with us.

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