Reason #27: Fostering a rural art and gathering space

Categories:Projects
Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma

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Reason #27: Compared to urban areas, rural areas are often underserved in the areas of the arts and community gathering spaces.
One of our favorite stories lately has been that of a restaurant in a Maine tourist town that, when everything else in town shuts down for the winter, stays open on Fridays for soup lunches and live music. Locals make their way through the snow to share conversation and good food and for many, Friday becomes a bright spot in a long and lonely season. Customers can even take soup to-go for those who can’t make it out of their homes. And the best part? It’s all pay-what-you-can.
Like the folks who started this restaurant, we recognize that there’s often a lack of third places (except bars) in rural areas, particularly late at night and in the winter. We hope the school can provide a place where there are intergenerational arts activities taking place at many times of day year-round, with special attention paid to filling the gaps. We also hope the school can be a place where our wonderful local established artists and organizations can collaborate to bring arts opportunities to the school’s walkable, diverse neighborhood. Whether we’re welcoming a senior citizen at risk for depression in the winter or a middle school kid who’s dangerously bored in the summer, we hope the school can become a place that defies rural stereotypes and statistics.