Wednesday and Thursday, June 7 & 8, various times
A Steady and Irresistible Wind
Wednesday, June 7, 9:00 – 10:15am
Scanning the Field
Lauren Carlson, Poet and Media Producer
Mary Swander, Executive Director of AgArts and Poet Laureate of Iowa
Jeremy Staab, Program Manager at First Peoples Fund
Cecilia Cornejo, Filmmaker and Teacher
Andrew Nordin, Curator and Visual Artist
Haley Honeman, Theater artist
The Summit’s opening plenary will feature a vibrant smattering of several short, image-filled presentations from arts and culture leaders who are making an impact in the small towns that they care about with theater, poetry and film, to business skills training on reservations, and long term cultural planning.
Wednesday, June 7, 1:30 – 2:30pm
Creating inclusive rural places through arts and culture
Carlton Turner, Executive Director at Alternate Roots
Meredith Martin Moats, Folklorist and founder of McElroy House
Anton Treuer, Author and Professor of Ojibwe, Bemidji State University
Michael Strand, Ceramicist and Head of Visual Arts at North Dakota State University
Moderator: Laura Zabel, Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts
For years, the arts have been a tool to tell an authentic story about rural America, to engage new voices in communities and their futures, and to cultivate more inclusive places. And now they are needed more than ever.
In the wake of the 2016 election, the media increasingly portrays rural America as homogeneous, behind the times, bigoted and naive. However, the truth is more complex. Across the country, New Americans are reinvigorating rural economies that were once dwindling rapidly; and women, people of color and Native Americans are business owners and nonprofit leaders making crucial contributions on Main Street. Where do artists and culture bearers fit into this picture?
The featured plenary session at the 2017 Rural Arts and Culture Summit will bring together four cultural leaders: Anton Treuer, an Ojibwe scholar from Bemidji, Minnesota; Michael Strand, a potter and activist from Fargo, North Dakota; Meredith Martin Moats, a folklorist and founder of the McElroy House in Dardanelle, Arkansas; and Carlton Turner, founder of Alternate Roots from Utica, Mississippi. From pottery that encourages conversations among elected officials, to a regional online platform for arts and activism tools, these artists and community leaders will share their perspectives of the current social climate in the rural communities they know and love, their hopes for the future, and tangible ideas of how artists, arts organizations can work together to bridge conversations across differences.
Thursday, June 8, 8:30 – 9:15am
A Reciprocal Relationship: Rural and Arts Advocacy
Sheila Smith, Executive Director at Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
Sarina Otaibi, Granite Falls City Council and Preservation Alliance of Minnesota
Representative Erin Murphy, Minnesota House of Representatives, 64A
Hugh Weber, Institute of Possibility
Moderator: Ashley Hanson, Public Transformation
Rural. Arts. Advocacy. Each of these words can be unpacked in a myriad of different ways, which of course, makes it challenging to have a unified voice – one common message that we are calling out or one common goal that we wish to achieve.
Since the election, the perceived and the real urban and rural divide has gotten a lot of attention. At the core of this, rural voices made themselves heard and, perhaps for the first time, urban ears are being forced to listen. What is the role or responsibility of the artist or the arts in each of these conversations?
During this discussion we will hear from four leaders who are advocating in various contexts on the important role of the arts in community and/or the importance of rural voices being heard. Moderated by Ashley Hanson, who recently drove across the country to learn more about the experiences of artists in rural contexts, this conversation will help our network get clearer on our individual and collective goals in making sure that both the arts and rural voices are “at the table” in local and national policy, community planning and funding.
Thursday, June 8, 9:30am
New models for rural creative economies
Dr. Jessica Metcalfe: Artist and Founder of Beyond Buckskin
Hear from Dr. Jessica Metcalfe about rural entrepreneurship and success with invigorating local economies. This work happens at the intersection of local economic systems, involves individual artists and creative producers, and includes cultural preservation as well as forward-looking growth.
Founded by Dr. Metcalfe, Beyond Buckskin empowers Native American artists and designers, advancing the quality of Native American fashion through education while providing an in depth podium for societal participation. Inspired by relevant historical and contemporary Native American clothing design and art, Beyond Buckskin promotes cultural appreciation, social relationships, authenticity and creativity.
Dr. Metcalfe is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a Ph.D. in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona. She is the main author of the website, Beyond Buckskin, which focuses on all topics related to Native American fashion, and is the owner of the Beyond Buckskin Boutique, which promotes and sells Native-made couture, streetwear, jewelry, and accessories. Her current work focuses on Native American art and adornment, with special projects focusing on contemporary Native artists and fashion designers. Sponsored by donors to the Barbara Greenwald Memorial Arts Fund and the Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.