Colorful Tile Wall

Closing: How do we reimagine a North Central MN for everyone?

In this culminating session, Anna Claussen from Voices for Rural Resilience and Ash Hanson from Department of Public Transformation will guide participants through an interactive reflection and call to action. This will be an opportunity to integrate findings from the past two days, deepen connections with fellow participants, and harness the knowledge, hope, and inspiration generated in the previous sessions in order to sustain the changemaking work that often feels physically, socially, and emotionally isolating.

Story Circle Activity

with Twelve 'I COME FROM' Prompts - reflect and write 

§  If you looked out the window in one of your childhood homeplaces, what would you see, and if you stepped outside, what would you smell

§  The taste of something that someone cooked for you or gave to you - how did it feel in your mouth

§  Think of one of your favorite places, what is a brief description of that landscape that means something to you

§  Something that you have held in your hands over and over and over again

§  A crossroads or a difficult or important decision that shaped who you are

§  What is something or who is someone that impacted you and your journey that brought you here today

§  Think of gathering places in your community - current or community of origin - what is a phrase that you would hear often

§  Something you learned or experienced about yourself during this Summit

§  A game or an activity or a ritual or a celebration that you and your family or your community or your friends would do together

§  Something you are proud of and/or something you are not proud of

§  Something you hold true - a value, a belief, a north star, a guiding light

§  A fear and a hope, both

Presenters:  Ashley Hanson and Anna Claussen

Ashley Hanson is the Executive Director of the Department of Public Transformation. She has 15 years of experience working with rural communities to activate stories, connect neighbors, and exercise collective imagination. She is a member of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice Leadership Circle and she was an Artist-in-Residence in both the Planning Department at the City of Minneapolis and with the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, where she employed creative community engagement strategies for equitable participation in urban and rural planning and development processes. In addition to her work with DoPT, she is the founder of PlaceBase Productions, a theater company that creates original, site-specific musicals celebrating small-town life. She holds an MA in Applied Theater with a focus on Rural Community Development, and she was named an Obama Foundation Fellow and a Bush Fellow for her work with rural communities. She believes deeply in the power of play and exclamation points!

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Anna Claussen is a photographer, community place-maker, policy and social strategist, landscape architect, teacher and mother. She bridges years of practice in urban design and sustainable agriculture policy with a life deeply rooted on a working Minnesota family farm. Over the last two decades she has focused on creating resilient rural communities through the design and vision of alternative land-use plans; by advancing market solutions within the emerging bio-based economy; by sitting in tough spaces, wrestling with problems, and believing in humanity of all people. She founded Voices for Rural Resilience to shift the way people think and feel about climate change, and about each other, and to facilitate the social change necessary to protect and heal our natural world. Today she works with a collective of rural connectors uplifting cultural narratives and transformative stories and curating immersive experiences to advance a Culture of Empathy - to seek more nuance, complexify the narrative, and break down assumptions in order to connect across perceived distances.