Weekly Spotlight on a WNPJ Member Group - Raging Grannies of Madison

Started in 2003, the Raging Grannies of Madison began as a project of the Madison Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Their first public appearance was singing at the first annual Fighting Bob Fest in Madison, WI. 

The Raging Grannies have quite the impact on the community: in fact, reporter John Nichols referred to the group as the “moral conscience of the community”. The Grannies sing for peace, racial and economic justice, public education, a sustainable environment, women’s rights, and democracy.  While attracting attention with their hats, aprons and shawls, the Grannies make people laugh by poking fun at the powers that be (and sometimes themselves) in order to call for a more humane social order. Although the pandemic had made it almost impossible to sing in public, during last summer in August 2020, the Grannies hosted a socially distanced “clothesline march” with signs and t-shirts expressing their opposition to sending federal troops to Portland to police BLM protests. 

 The Grannies stated that they love getting invited to events sponsored by other WNPJ member organizations: in fact, they have songs and will travel almost anywhere in Wisconsin. The Grannies enjoy learning what other WNPJ groups are doing by receiving the action alerts through the weekly WNPJ e-bulletin and by watching the WNPJ website.  

Although the pandemic has prevented normal gatherings last summer, the Grannies usually can be found every other week at the Dane County Farmers Market on Capitol Square. In recent events for the Grannies, in 2017, they published a 244 page book “Listen to your Grandmothers.”  Individual Grannies wrote their stories and why they sing. The book also includes a CD with 28 of their songs. Even though the Grannies completely sold out, several of the public libraries in Dane County have copies.  

To learn more about the Grannies’ clothesline march, check out this link from the Wisconsin Examiner: Raising again their Raging voices


Raging Grannies of Madison
Contact: Bonnie Block
Address: 2237 Fox, Madison, WI 53711 
Phone: 608-256-5088
E-Mail: grannies@madisonwi.us 
Website: http://raginggrannies.madisonwi.us/


Thanks to WNPJ volunteer Ambar Cornelio for putting this article together!