Jump on Board with Public Transformation!

Ashley Interview
Ashley Hanson interviews Dylan Locke at The Floyd Country Store in Flyd, VA (pop. 432) after participating in a Bluegrass Jam Session, which happens at the store every Sunday afternoon.
Photo credit: Ellie Moore

Public Transformation is a documentary art project led by Minnesota artist, Ashley Hanson, highlighting artists working in rural communities across the country

On January 4th, Ashley took off from the West Coast in a little yellow school bus, along with her Golden Retriever Bodie, on a five-week cross country road-trip conducting interviews, creating art, and documenting the journey with audio, video, and photos. Along with partners, Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange, and Art of the Rural, Ashley hopes to shed light on the incredible work rural-based artists, cultural leaders, and arts organizations are doing at the intersection of art and community development. So far, she has visited artists in Del Rey, CA; Ajo, AZ; Show Low, AZ; Zuni Pueblo, NM; Santa Ana Pueblo, NM; Albany, TX; Edom, TX; Fayetteville, TX; Arnaudville, LA; Summit, MS; Newbern, AL; Denmark, SC; Lake City, LC; Flyd, VA; Whitesburg, KY  – all communities with populations under 10,000 – the majority of theses communities with a population under 2,500.

Ashley by Ellie MooreAshley Hanson takes tours Pine Mountain Settlement School with Geoff Marietta and Megan Epperson in Big Laurel, KY. She also visited Appalshop and Higher Ground  in Eastern Kentucky.
Photo credit Ellie Moore.

Public Transformation is a cross-country documentary art project highlighting the work rural artists and arts organizations are doing to make their communities a more vibrant, healthy, connected place to live. After the election, which brought to light major divides in our country between urban and rural areas, Minnesota artist Ashley Hanson, purchased a little yellow school bus and began planning a trip from West to East, North to South to document and share stories of the work being done in rural communities with a national audience and to further connect rural practitioners across the country to each other.

In addition to being a documentary art project, Public Transformation is also a mobile artist residency. During the five-week journey, artists will join Ashley to create work about their experiences in these communities. Upon completion of the trip on February 6, all of the stories and works of art will be compiled into a multi-media exhibition that will be showcased at the Rural Arts & Culture Summit in Morris, MN June 6-8, 2017 and at Art of the Rural’s headquarters the Outpost in Winona, MN in July. The exhibition will be designed to facilitate conversation about the role of arts in rural community development and will seek to be useful for artists, organizers, planners, or anyone living in and working with rural communities.

The Mobile Artists in Residence for the Public Transformation journey are:

  • Photographer / Videographer Ali Rogers of PranaLens(Minneapolis) (Jan 5-6)
  • Writer / Photographer / Fashionista Randi Carlson (Los Angeles) (Jan 8-21)
  • Photographer / Writer / Musician Ellie Moore (San Francisco) (Jan 21-26)
  • Theater Artist Hannah Holman (Minneapolis) (Jan 31-Feb 6)

Additional artists will contribute to the project remotely and in collaboration with Ashley following the road-trip. These artists include citizen artist Mary Rothlisberger (Washington), writers Michele Anderson (Fergus Falls, MN) and Matthew Fluharty (Winona, MN), musician Brian Laidlaw (Denver, CO), and playwright Jessica Huang (Minneapolis).

Ashley Hanson taking points toward her next destination as she drives her Public Transformation bus through the desert of Arizona on her way to meet with artists who live in the border community of Ajo, AZ (pop. 3,705). Photo credit: Ali Rogers

Public Transformation invites you to follow the journey. Visit www.publictransformation.org to see updates from the road and become a member of the Department of Public Transformation. You can also follow Public Transformation on social media @publictransformation, #publictransformation.

To donate to Public Transformation, visit their Indigogo Campaign at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/public-transformation-community/x/1693058#/

Public Transformation is supported by Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange, Art of the Rural and many generous individual donors.


 

 

About Public Transformation 

Public Transformation is a cross-country documentary art project highlighting the work rural-based artists and arts organizations are doing to make their communities a more vibrant, healthy, connected place to live. Ashley Hanson’s little yellow school bus will act as a mobile artist residency to document and share stories of the great work being done in rural communities with a national audience and to further connect rural practitioners across the country to each other.

www.publictransformation.org

 

About Springboard for the Arts

Springboard for the Arts is an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists based in Saint Paul and Fergus Falls, MN. Springboard’s work is about building stronger communities, neighborhoods, and economics, and we believe that artists are an important leverage point in that work. Springboard for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life. Our programming focuses on supporting the wok of artists through professional development, health, and legal resources, and creating systems and programs for communities to connect to the creative power of their artists. We share this work nationally via our Creative Exchange platform (www.springboardexchange.org) and by freely sharing our work and creating connections among artists and communities, we work to make substantial, system-wide change. www.springboardfrothearts.org

About Creative Exchange

Dedicated to helping communities mobilize the powerful, creative force of artists to solve local challenges, Creative Exchange is a national hub where community leaders and artists share proven ideas and success stories for building stronger communities. Recognizing that many local governments, community organizations, nonprofits, and arts groups lack the resources to develop innovative programs from scratch, Creative Exchange offers free toolkits, consultations, and networking to help communities collaborate with artists in replicating successful programs that creatively address economic, social and cultural issues. Based in Saint Paul, MN, Creative Exchange is a national initiative of Springboard for the Arts. www.springboardexchange.org

About Art of the Rural

Art of the Rural is a collaborative organization that cultivates new ideas, media projects, and exchanges to connect rural and urban communities and cultures. Its national headquarters is located at the Outpost collaborative space in Winona, MN. www.artoftherural.org

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