POF INSTITUTE: Thursday, July 14 – Monday, July 18 2016
As part of its Performing Our Future initiative, Appalshop hosted a national Institute from July 14-18 of 13 teams of artists, scholars, and community leaders sponsored by Oregon State, University of Florida, Wilfrid Laurier University (Ontario), Iowa State, Ohio State, Cornell, Virginia Tech, Syracuse University, Arizona State University, University of California Davis, and the eastern KY-based Mountain Association for Community Economic Development. Participants explored the questions: How can arts and culture promote individual voice and collective agency, unbounding a community’s imagination and ambition in order to create the conditions for economic development? How can a community organize itself to build an economy that’s broad-based and sustainable? Institute activities engaged teams in investigating the history, animating ideas, and policy environments for arts- and culture-based economic and civic community development; training in methodologies for economic development based on community cultural assets; immersion in Appalachian culture (including discussions with Appalshop’s filmmakers and radio journalists and a square dance at the Carcassonne Community Center); art making, including a 23-hour production period in which each participant chose to create a short play, short film, set of photographs, music recording, or radio documentary in collaboration with Appalshop professional artists and their community partners; and collaborating within their university-sponsored teams to generate arts- and culture-based development plans to take back to their home communities.
The Institute was a collaboration among Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, a 100-college consortium dedicated to creating democratic spaces to nurture scholarship that draws on the arts, humanities, and design; Lafayette College’s Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project; and Appalshop. Performing Our Future is made possible by the generous support of Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Fund for National Projects, National Endowment for the Arts, ArtPlace America, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and The Hearst Foundation.