Dedicated to integrating culture and agriculture, the Wormfarm Institute is an evolving laboratory of the arts and ecology and fertile ground for creative work. Planting a seed, cultivating, reaping what you sow . . . both farmer and artist have these activities in common.
The Wormfarm Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to build a sustainable future for agriculture and the arts by fostering vital links between people and the land. Generating, supporting and promoting these links between our creative selves, our work and our place on earth is essential for a thriving community.
In 1998, co-founder Jay Salinas coined the term ‘cultureshed.’
CULTURESHED (kul’cher-shed) n. 1. A geographic region irrigated by streams of local talent and fed by deep pools of human and natural history. 2. An area nourished by what is cultivated locally. 3. The efforts of writers, performers, visual artists, scholars, farmers and chefs who contribute to a vital and diverse local culture.
A cultureshed is similar to the agricultural concept of ‘terroir’ in which the products grown in an area reflect its unique geography, geology and micro-climate. Likewise, arts and cultural products from different culturesheds also reflect their unique local influences. To foster the development of a strong, indigenous culture, the Wormfarm Institute creates, sponsors and hosts exhibits, performances and other projects that engage the surrounding community, utilize the talents of local artists and speak to rural experience.
In the video below, Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas share perspectives on how to build community through the arts. Recorded on October 9, 2012, this special Wisconsin Academy event was co-presented with the Robert E. Gard Wisconsin Idea Foundation and Wisconsin Public Television.
In the Pecha Kucha video below, Donna Neuwirth talks about Wormfarm’s ArtPlace funded projects - Farm/Art DTour and Food Chain: