Public Launch: Frequently Asked Questions

The interior of Driftless Sanctuary, by Lyon Smith; photograph by Nate Bauman


Thanks for stopping by. Here are some frequently asked questions about Public Launch:

What exactly is Public Launch? 

Public Launch (formerly Outpost) is a collaborative space located in Winona, Minnesota that welcomes folks to work together and share their stories and cultures. This sometimes looks like potlucks, entrepreneurial networking events, community conversations, performances, exhibitions, and many other things in between.

This space is founded on the belief that our everyday, living culture (and cultural heritage) is as worthy of attention as more institutional forms of art and performance. Our events are free and open to everyone.

Public Launch was founded in 2016 by Art of the Rural and evolved into its current partnership between Art of the Rural and Engage Winona in 2019.

Why did you change the name from Outpost? 

We feel that a space called “Outpost,” located on land that Art of the Rural acknowledges as the homeplace of the Dakota people, sends deeply contradictory statements about our values and our vision for the future. We are guided locally toward this vision by the Winona Dakota Unity Alliance, and, nationally, by our colleagues at First Peoples Fund.

I have an idea for a community event. Who should I contact? 

To discuss these sorts of ideas and connections further, please contact Brian Voerding, Executive Director of Engage Winona.

Who curates the visual art and performances in Public Launch? 

The work on view at Public Launch is curated by Nate Bauman and Matthew Fluharty. We often welcome folks into the space to conceptualize work in collaboration or facilitation with us. All individuals and organizations who share their work in Public Launch have been invited by Art of the Rural, in consultation with Engage Winona.

Can Public Launch be a venue for my work? Also, I am thinking about applying for a SEMAC grant.

First off, thanks for your interest. Though Art of the Rural, in consultation with Engage Winona, directly invites folks to share their work at Public Launch, we will consider unsolicited exhibition proposals. We seek to share work that addresses the everyday, living culture of our region, work that tells stories and histories in Winona and southeastern Minnesota that are not as frequently heard or made visible — work that falls outside of restrictive, often elitist, definitions of art and cultural heritage.

We consider SEMAC grant venue proposals up to three weeks ahead of the Artist Grant deadlines of February 1 (internal deadline January 21) and July 1 (internal deadline June 11). If the proposal fits with the mission above and the space-use schedules of Art of the Rural and Engage Winona, we will reach out promptly to schedule an in-person meeting where we can discuss the proposal and budget considerations ahead of the SEMAC application deadline. We will not field last-minute requests that fall after our internal deadline.

If you have an idea to propose, please contact Matthew Fluharty, Executive Director of Art of the Rural.

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