Willywash Project – Madison City Creed

Willywash: Below I have posted the Madison City Creed for the Willy Wash Project. Please note this was transcribed grammatically “as is” from the original.  Roy Elkins

Here is a link to an article the Willywash group.

Yahara River WillyWash


I BELIEVE in her PAST achievement, in the men and women who created and conserved that I might produce and earn, enabling me to buy and pay, in the courage of her pioneers whose wisdom and foresight built between these lakes a well – planned organic city, every foot of whose ground is worth in gold its market value because the brain and brawn of man has added wealth to nature’s own endowment.

I believe in the reality of her PRESENT, a present that combines the push and friendliness of the newer West with the reflection and poise of the older East, a present which makes her the distributing center of one of the most productive agricultural sections of America, the heart of the richest dairy region in the world, the location of going industry and commerce, and the focus point of miles of railroad trackage, that converges into this hub like the spokes of a wheel from nine directions, a present that makes her the seat of the government for forward Wisconsin, the home of the state university that spells freedom and utility, and the birthplace of so powerful an influence for the well-being of humanity that thousands are attracted annually to this center of achievement in democracy.

I believe in her ability to become the FUTURE, a city of even greater influence and power, a city destined to become the abode of one hundred thousand people, where the poor shall be less unhappy, the rich less self-satisfied, for the one shall have a more intelligent understanding of the other; where jails shall be empty of prisoners, streets clear of beggars and neither shall the aged in want be cast upon the charity of strangers; a city where friends shall be true friends; neighbors real neighbors; a city where the strong shall really sympathize with the weak; where there shall be even more respect for those who have traveled the longer road; and even more hopeful confidence in the promise of glowing youth; a city where progress shall be the result of retaining the good of the old and accepting the tried of the new, where co-operative competition shall be the ideal in trade, live and let live the slogan of business, serve others well to successfully serve self the policy of industry and commerce; and finally, where each and every citizen shall be a community builder in fact, as now in name.

AND I PLEDGE TO MY CITY a more complete understanding of her problems, a more liberal conception of her limitations, a more hopeful attitude toward her possibilities, a more generous contribution to her needs, and a more active participation in the broader functions of her citizenship in order that my city may become a greater credit to herself, to Wisconsin, to America and to God because of my having lived in Madison, “The Four Lake City.”

If you would like to get involved in the Willywash project, please go to the Willywash website or leave your comments here.


Press & educational links – Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms


One thought on “Willywash Project – Madison City Creed”

  1. Past: Madison Creed: 1915
    Present: Madison’s Year of Transition: 2015
    Future: Food, arts, music, environment (FAME) for social and economic good
    A Millennial generation-managed process
    Supported by Willy Wash: A Musical Yahara

    The 100th anniversary of The Madison Creed in 2015 will be used to shape the city’s future by defining how food, arts, music and environment can create social and economic value over time. The Millennial Generation will coordinate the effort.

    Millennials and other young adults value the ingredients of FAME as important to quality of life, the creative economy and sense of place. This is especially true for some professions and economic sectors like technology.

    The 2015 discussion follows the 125th anniversary of the Park and Pleasure Drive Association in 2014. The association was a citizen-driven group that advanced John Nolen’s vision when some city leaders shied from his ideas. [Willy Wash: A Musical Yahara is a citizen network inspired by a vision.]

    Also in past time, the Madison Board of Commerce offered its own vision and challenge to the city through a Creed adopted in 1915. The Creed stated the city was destined to make its mark though by setting social, academic and economic examples. It scolded citizens to be “real neighbors” who tackled poverty and crime. It instructed businesses to practice “cooperative competition” and “serve others well.”

    John Nolen, the Parks and Pleasure Drive Association and Board of Commerce have inspired Willy Wash: A Musical Yahara under the umbrella of food, arts, music and environment for good (FAME for Good) as ingredients in Madison’s future.

    FAME for Good input process
    FAME for Good is grass roots up. Its social focus emphasizes diversity, neighborhoods and education. Design input from teachers, chefs, artists, youth leaders, civic leaders and others with a focus on social good. Its economic focus emphasizes the creative economy and entrepreneurship. Design input comes from educators, researchers, business persons, professions, investors and talent recruiters.

    The UW plays a special role in social and economic value creation, recalling its past contributions to the city and intention of engaging in Willy Wash as a positive force for the city’s future. It brings research, teaching, outreach, experimentation and evaluation to the table in addition to serving-learning.

    The process will produce data from conversations, meetings and surveys. It also will record persons interested in FAME for Good and have something to give the city socially and economically through an active network.

    After a year, the process will have produced an asset list of the city’s capacity in food, arts, music and environment and how they connect to produce a strategy with concrete first steps.

    What will happen?
    Beginning in 2015, a team will document positive things that already exist that the city can celebrate and build upon. Sustain Dane and partners will coordinate the process.

    The 1915 Creed had social and economic dimensions. So does FAME for Good:

    Food for: healthy living, cultural pride, community conversation, entrepreneurship, dining distinctiveness, careers, producer relationships, supporting processors, hospitality commerce;

    Art for: cultural richness, architecture, history, public expression, ideas, inspiring performance, personal fulfillment, multi-cultural richness, social good and youthful purpose;

    Music for: commercial value, social good, educational effectiveness, creativity, cultural bridge-building, entrepreneurship, science-math learning and personal fulfillment;

    Environment for: public space and water access; neighborhoods with front porches, back yards and trees; trees as a forethought in building; modern, energy-saving mobility; eco-system services and green infrastructure; quality of life; careers and business services.

    Year of Transition Timetable

    Fall, 2014

    Willy Wash urban parlors on arts, food, small business and mobility;
    Downtown Rotary: Madison Design Group on Law Park
    Badger Bio-neers: The case for purposeful disruption

    All 2015

    Downtown Rotary: Sustain Dane on history, vision and challenge
    Discussions and input all year, building a record
    Badger Bioneers event: Translating words to concrete ideas

    Winter 2016

    Downtown Rotary: Report, city challenge and next steps

    Connecting through Willy Wash
    Willy Wash is a place. Willy Wash: A Musical Yahara is a vision. The vision imagines Madison’s future using food, art, music and the natural environment as elements in a creative economy that benefits everyone – especially youth. Willy Wash the place is a vibrant urban setting of 300 acres bounded by the Capitol and shores of the Yahara River and Lakes Mendota and Monona, supported by cutting-edge technology and architecture.

    Willy Wash is a Gateway to the city — a distinctive place of artistic merit, architectural distinction, creative energy and economic vitality. Willy Wash respects the history of the area as the city’s manufacturing, cultural, entertainment and residential hub.

    Willy Wash is a “back to the future” moment that draws on the boldness of the Parks and Pleasure Drive Association and principles of the 1915 Board of Commerce. Willy Wash: A Musical Yahara embraces the vision of a Madison as a world city built on its natural attributes, civic capacity and intellectual acumen:

    Madison: A showroom, classroom and meeting point for the creative economy.
    Madison: A place where business does well while doing good — especially for youth!
    Madison: A go-to-place for can-do people.

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