Rural lives, rural arts


Something I've been thinking a lot about lately is the relevance of arts programming to its community at large. One local organization (in Madison, Wis.) that I think does a fantastic job of linking its programming to the outside world is the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, which runs a contemporary art gallery, a public lecture series, a quarterly magazine, scholarly conferences and more. Although the academic-sounding name makes many people think it's a division of the University of Wisconsin, it's actually an independent nonprofit that's been around since 1870 (!).


 


The current exhibition in the Academy's James Watrous Gallery is "Wisconsin's People on the Land," which is tied in with a much larger "Future of Farming" initiative. Despite our state's image (and ridiculously stereotypical state quarter with a cow, ear of corn and wheel of cheese--ugh!), the agricultural way of life is undergoing drastic changes, as it is everywhere. "Wisconsin's People on the Land" addresses these issues innovatively by involving artists, rural sociologists, folklorists and farmers. My review of this show ran in Isthmus, Madison's alt weekly.

April 24, 2007 7:00 AM | | Comments (3)

Categories:

3 Comments

John, yes, I think the Academy is doing a great job in bringing together the arts and humanities with local life and local issues ("local" in this case really meaning statewide). Their quarterly magazine regularly publishes poetry and fiction by Wisconsin authors and usually includes some some news/profiles/what-have-you about state writers.

The mag was renamed "Wisconsin People & Ideas" since the previous name, "Wisconsin Academy Review," was found to be too academic and off-putting to some. The mag was not watered down in any way, but the new name (even though I kind of liked the old one!) better reflects its nature as a general-interest cultural magazine, not an academic journal.

Here's some more info:
http://www.wisconsinacademy.org/review/index.html

This organization sounds like the ideal kind of group that could step in where newspapers are stepping out: that is, serving the community by leading discussion of the arts and their impact on the community. Newspapers as commercial concerns are turning away from, say, book coverage, because it is unclear to the corporate mentality what the value of book reviews are to readers, to the newspaper and the company. But a long-standing institution like the Wisconsin Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters (having been around since 1870, after all) could lead the way in bringing attention, focus and examination of books that are written locally, published locally or concentrate on local issues, ideas and concerns.

Aww. I'm not a native Wisconsinite, but I live here and love it now. And I like that cow on the quarter...

Leave a comment

Recent Comments

Blogroll

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by FlyOver published on April 24, 2007 7:00 AM.

Rock in the Outback was the previous entry in this blog.

My business is rejoicing, my business is rejoicing is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads



AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

culture
About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Dewey21C
Richard Kessler on arts education
diacritical
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Flyover
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

dance
Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

jazz
Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
ListenGood
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Rifftides
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

media
Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Overflow
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
PianoMorphosis
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
PostClassic
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Sandow
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

publishing
book/daddy
Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

theatre
Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

visual
Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
Artopia
John Perreault's art diary
CultureGrrl
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.