The Department of Public Transformation is an artist-led organization that works to develop creative strategies for increased community connection, civic engagement, and equitable participation in rural places.
Our vision is one where rural communities across the country acknowledge, support, and integrate art and artists as vital contributors to economic, community, civic, and social life.
HOW WE WORK
Our four key (and often intertwining) program areas seek to connect rural municipalities and artists; activate rural community assets; support rural arts and cultural workers; and nurture the rural arts and culture field. We support rural communities through artist-led, creative, cross-disciplinary, and cross-sector initiatives that celebrate and build on existing efforts while inspiring new ideas, approaches, and ways of thinking.
Our work sits at the intersection of arts and rural economic and community development; we are a nonprofit organization that seeks grant funding, but we’re also distributing funds directly to artists and communities. Through piloting and building programs and networks with bird’s-eye-view fieldwork, we operate as connectors and pollinators, encouraging creativity and ideas to grow.
As arts and cultural workers, we listen to the stories that rural people and places tell about themselves and the stories that are told about them. We critically examine and adjust our role in shifting damaging narratives of scarcity, isolation, and decline to those of abundance, connection, and hope. We actively encourage rural-urban solidarity.
DoPT is a multi-centered organization that works on projects and programs in and with Southwest Minnesota; statewide throughout Greater Minnesota; regionally in the Upper Midwest; and nationally across the United States.
Banner Image features the 2023 Ignite Rural Cohort celebrating the completion of their Artist Showcase in September 2023 at The YES! House in Granite Falls, MN. Pictured (L-R): Lynne M. Colombe, Rocky Casillas Aguirre, Omani Luger, Leticia (Gonzales) Snow, Leah Xiuzhen Rathe, Esmarie Cariaga-Whiteman, and Cecily Rose Engelhart. Not Pictured: Alixena Patnaude. Photo credit: Mitch McCallson