Department of Public Transformation

A nonprofit organization


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.


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.


  • Accessible Play
    We believe play is an essential component of human connection to break down perceived barriers and make room for vulnerability; we utilize the power of play to ignite and inspire important connections, cultivate untapped creativity, and provide platforms for challenging conversations.
  • Deep Compassion
    We believe in having deep compassion for the people and places that we work with; we meet people where they are at; we strive for critical self-awareness; we act as responsible stewards of the land and her stories.
  • Reciprocal Exchange
    We believe that everyone has value to add; we view our work as a reciprocal exchange and not an extraction or dissemination of knowledge, skills or resources; we work with, not for; we work together, always. 
  • Intentional Representation
    We believe in intentionally providing intergenerational opportunities for women, non-binary people, people of color, LGBTQ2IA+, New American, and Indigenous community members to work towards equal representation in artistic and civic leadership; we strive to compensate artists equitably for their work.


  • Build Trust
    We believe in leading with accountability to and for the people that we serve; we strive to move at the speed of trust.
  • Prioritize Community Connections
    We believe in being good neighbors and bringing good times to connect with each other across differences.
  • Cultivate Creativity
    We believe engaging our creativity leads to happier, fuller lives and more vibrant, welcoming communities. 
  • Shift Narratives
    We believe that the story of rural communities must be told by people who live and work in rural communities; we believe geography must be considered in the national conversations around equity and access to resources; we believe rural-urban solidarity is vital to moving forward together.
  • Lead with Love
    We believe in cultivating supportive, creative spaces and radically welcoming environments.

Learn more at

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

Organization Data


Organization name

Department of Public Transformation

other names


Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Community


726 Prentice St
Granite Falls, MN 56241