Of What Use?
I believe that the upside down world we are only just moving into will see a significant realignment within the cultural community. Given our history, some of it will produce painful loss particularly among the most vulnerable segments of the arts community. But there will also be extraordinary opportunities.
Those opportunities will manifest in answer to a question that has been asked many time before (most recently during the great recession and will surely be asked again in the coming months and years. " Of what use are the arts in these troubling times.” The answer to which will give rise to many more complex and challenging questions. How can America’s creative brain trust help reinvent and re imagine what “community” means as we struggle with the contradictory and frustrating push-pull of the unfolding plague era? What ways of working, thinking, and making can help us build the new American community? What will it take for artists and arts organizations and their community partners to explore and address these hard questions with the communities that will be asking them?
This article shares the story of how similar challenges have been addressed over the past 4 years in rural Southwest Minnesota.