In 2018, regional neighbors from arts and cultural communities came together to identify shared experiences and goals which continue to inform regional arts and cultural work today. Friends, collaborators, and neighbors continue to work together to support the preservation, growth, and development of the arts and humanities in the Heartland. Administrative and advocacy leaders named the motivation for this important work in the Heartland with a phrase that says it all,
“Our hearts are in the arts.”
Sharing our hearts and stories through media arts requires access to digital skills and tools. The Foxtrot and other public arts and humanities programs support increasing online and digital equity for all.
The Hutchinson-Reno County Arts & Humanities Council (HRAH) was an administrative team that was active from 2019 to 2022 after a public convening in which local arts and cultural objectives were identified. The council received support and resources from the Hutchinson Recreation Commission (Hutch Rec) and in turn, developed projects and programs like the Foxtrot, Music on Main, and more. The HRAH Council shared a vision to unite and celebrate our diverse community around its heritage, arts, and culture. Today, local leaders gather and invite our diverse community to unite within the Heartland Arts & Culture Collective.
In August 2020, Hutchinson celebrated 12 years of art, music, and community in the form of our beloved monthly gatherings, Third Thursday. In celebration of this anniversary, local arts and humanities leaders introduced the Heartland Arts and Culture Collective (HA&C). The HA&C serves as an umbrella title for the region to unite around its arts and heritage. The existence of an arts collective responds to a community-identified goal of greater opportunity for shared identity, action, and support. The collective unites affinities and intersections within the incredible Reno County arts and cultural network, including:
In 2018, members of local communities identified public objectives relating to our arts and humanities. Residents of Reno County, friends, neighbors, arts and cultural workers and supporters, now work together through regular meetups and events to continue achieving and expanding upon these important objectives.
In 2019, When the Council and Hutch Rec teamed up to take a closer look at arts and humanities in our region informed by the 2018 community objectives, local relationships strengthened and important information was collected. The Council asked questions like…
What are the arts?
What do the arts mean to you?
What are the humanities?
What is arts education?
What is public arts experience?
How do the arts contribute to quality of life and well-being?
What are the creative industries?
What does it mean to work in the arts and humanities?
What are the ways we represent the value and impact of that work?
In what ways are the arts a part of entertainment and tourism?
How do the arts interact with economic development and cultural health?
The HRAH Council and Hutch Rec “pooled” administrative resources and systems around these creative, important programs and projects.
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
By leaning into shared action with our local, regional, and state peers, like the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) and Radio Kansas, we can create new ways to strengthen networks and share information and resources – and in doing so, celebrate regional arts, entertainment, and cultural experiences. Through support from our partners and community members, the Foxtrot and its programs equip and empower locals in the creation and sharing of their own unique stories.
The Foxtrot answers a public objectives identified by our arts and humanities neighbors, friends, and communities,“To revitalize empty spaces, and house centralized, accessible, diverse arts and cultural experiences and resources.”
Support from the KCAIC “Reimagined Spaces,” program launches the Foxtrot into the infinitely expanding vision, “to see the Heartland connected equitably to, and amplified within, a global network of media arts resource and exchange.”
We’re here for you, “from the prairie to the stars.”