“Art of the Rural” Panel

Posted May 26, 2015 | No Comments

Art of the Rural: Creating Thriving Places Beyond the City is a panel discussion hosted by the Wormfarm Institute as the final event of Fermentation Fest 2014–A Live Culture Convergence.

Moderated by Curt Meine, five prominent panelists discussed the wealth of imagination, innovation, and collaboration found across communities and culture-based projects in rural America. These initiatives highlight connections between art, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and the heritage of a people and their place. This work often frames new ways of thinking about the relationship between rural and urban spheres within a given cultureshed. *

The panel addresses these qualities from a variety of personal and professional perspectives, describing how collaboration across fields and between sectors is having a lasting impact on rural America. The event closed with open discussion and a performance by resident musicians Holy Sheboygan.

* A term coined by Wormfarm Institute founder Jay Salinas, meaning “A geographic region irrigated by streams of local talent and fed by deep pools of human and natural history.”


Click names for extended bios and links:
[accordion-item title=”‣ Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace America”]Jamie Bennett is the executive director of ArtPlace America, a partnership among 14 foundations, 8 federal agencies, and 6 financial institutions working to position art and culture as a core sector of community planning and development in order to help shape a community’s social, physical, and economic future—a practice that is referred to as creative placemaking.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”‣ Matthew Fluharty, Director, Art of the Rural”]Matthew Fluharty is the son of a fifth-generation farming family from the Ohio Valley. He is a writer, artist and the Director and founder of Art of the Rural, and currently a Research Fellow in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”‣ Charles Fluharty, Founding Director, Rural Policy Research Institute”]Charles Fluharty is Founding Director of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), the only national policy institute in the U.S. solely dedicated to assessing the rural impacts of public policies. A seasoned policy analyst and practitioner, he has authored numerous policy studies, journal articles and policy briefs addressing the rural differential in public policy decision making.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”‣ Sarah Lloyd, Special Projects Coordinator, Wisconsin Farmers Union”]Sarah Lloyd is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Wisconsin Farmers Union and serves as interim General Manager of the farmer-led Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative. She also assists her husband Nels Nelson and his family on their 300 cow dairy farm. Sarah has a Ph.D. in rural sociology.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”‣ Stan Gruszynski, State Director, USDA Rural Development”]Stan Gruszynski is State Director of USDA Rural Development. Prior to his appointment he directed the Rural Leadership and Community Development program for the Global Environmental Management Center at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and served for a decade in the Wisconsin State Assembly.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”‣ Moderator: Curt Meine, Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation”]Curt Meine is Senior Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Center for Humans and Nature. Dr. Meine has worked as a conservation biologist, environmental historian, writer, and musician. He is author of the definitive biography of Aldo Leopold.[/accordion-item]

Video Highlights:

Click links to watch video highlights (opens YouTube in new window):

‣ 0:00 Introductions

‣ 2:47 Jamie Bennett:

“Artists are the one asset that exists in every community.”

‣ 8:36 Sarah Lloyd:

“Agriculture provides a unique and exceptional opportunity because of its connection to the land.”

‣ 14:37 Matthew Fluharty:

“The 21st century is about the responsiveness between the rural and urban.”

‣ 22:07 Charles Fluharty:

“The importance of place, culture, and the arts”

‣ 27:02 Stan Gruszynski:

“Successful societies are societies where you have an enlightened constituency.”

‣ 40:20 Q&A – Exemplary Projects, Trends, and Challenges

‣ 48:19 Q&A – What is ‘art’? What is ‘rural art’?

‣ 1:03:00 Q&A – Rural Diaspora

‣ 1:08:14 Closing Remarks, Staying on the Cutting Edge

‣ 1:14:11 Holy Sheboygan performs “Afraid to Die”

Leave a Reply