Rural Arts & Artists
For the past four years, I have traveled 29,880 miles, for at least 660 hours, and went through 1.5 cars, to get a masters degree in Professional Studies in Arts & Cultural Leadership at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
I wrote a lot, thought a lot, and viewed a lot of rural communities, as I also taught in rural communities as a teaching artist through COMPAS, and showed my art work in galleries in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The landscape provided me with some questions, but the answers were often not presenting itself as easily.
So I wrote my capstone on the question: Is it time to talk about arts funding and bias and barriers against the Rural? I don't like drudging up such questions, and frankly I was hoping to find my thesis statement misguided, but I found that even when unintentional, it was still something that is felt by many folks in remote areas, and frankly, those in power know it is true, but often are not allowed to admit it.
When I interviewed leadership, I knew that I could only use some of the information. I got more "off the record" comments, that said the truth, than was able to make it into my research.
That is why I'm not done yet.
I plan to share my findings soon, once I get it through the university approval process (or whatever that is that officially says you are done.) For now, I plan to process the insane amount of information, and turn it into something else... an art piece, a blog series, a community discussion series... I'm not sure yet.
So if YOU have any ideas of what is needed, please let me know! I will be co-facilitating activities at the Rural Arts & Culture Summit, in Morris, Minnesota, June 6-8, 2017, called Space Stations (think placemaking, but.. not.) Also, you can always find me on Facebook, Twitter, and (I guess I'm a grown up now): LinkedIn. Email works: email@example.com