Ad Hoc has spent time over the last few weeks receiving and digesting ideas brought back to Lindsborg by a group that visited Berea, KY. The group went in search of how colleges and communities can work together -- and how the the fine arts and crafts can bolster economy and livability both both. Certainly there was grist for Bethany College and Lindsborg in Berea. It is home to the well-known and historic Berea College, as well as to a city that has embraced the creative as the key to its identity.
Our objective this morning was to identify efforts we'd like to support. Here's the list we started:
1.) Approach the Bethany College art faculty about our group's interest in working with them and BC students in whatever ways will bring to students good experiences and exposure.
2.) Assertively look for Ad Hoc events that can be brought to the campus or encourage BC to bring its events off campus. Maybe a "walk of local makers" on campus during portfolio review day? A "We Love Bethany" edition of 2nd Friday night Makers Street?
3.) Look for a visual symbol or metaphor for Aug. 26 street dance, "Bethany Arises.... Lindsborg Dances."
4.) Start an artists version of the Ad Hoc Roundtable. This would meet a real need for a regularly scheduled, open-ended creative crossroads.
5.) Use existing spaces -- bits and pieces -- in businesses to provide a public working space for creatives to demonstrate, work and sell. Taking this a step further? Establish a retail store to showcase Lindsborg and BC makers.
6.) Pursue a sister college/sister city relationship with Berea.
Local notes and reminders:
Tuesday, Aug. 1 Deadline to register for Swede Days Business Expo, which will be held in the Bethany student union from 9 to 2 Friday, Aug. 18
Friday, Aug. 5 complimentary sherbert zingers will be served in the lobby of Peoples Bank & Trust from 9-4
Sunday, Aug. 13 Bethany Home Ice Cream Social featuring house-made goodness. Free will donations accepted and music by the Crystal Creek Band
Saturday, Aug. 26 annual Lindsborg street dance being celebrated as "Bethany Arises... Lindsborg Dances." Stage situated on the 100 block of South Main with King Midas and the Muflers at 8, guitarist singer Sam Unruh opening at 7. SV After Prom Committee will serve BBQ sandwiches prior in nearby city parking lot.
Try your BBQ skills for a slightly larger audience of encouraging organizers and friendly diners? Please do at the Smoky Valley High School After Prom fundraising BBQ competition on Saturday, Aug. 26. That’s the same day as the Lindsborg Street Dance featuring King Midas and the Muflers and guitarist/singer Sam Unruh. Successful in its freshman year, the BBQ event asks a $100 entry fee. Competitors will receive two bone-in pork butts and a location to work after 8 a.m. with their own equipment near Main Street. First prize: Green Mountain tailgate grill donated by Anderson Body Shop. Other kind sponsors include Sodexo food service on the Bethany College campus and Salina Regional Orthopedic Clinic. Judging starts at 5:45 p.m. Serving of BBQ sandwiches on a Frisbee starts soon after. Competition deadline: Aug. 16. Get your entry form via email from Vonceile Heble at email@example.com or Roxie Sjogren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tie a string on your finger, pls: Free community swim on Thursday, July 27, sponsored by Lindsborg Community Hospital. The second big weekend of Broadway RFD’s production of “Beauty and the Beast,” Friday and Saturday nights, July 28 and 29, at Swensson Park. Advance available tickets online. Now jumping to Saturday, Aug. 5: Smoky Valley Classic Car Show, also in Swensson Park, and Bethany Home Ice Cream Social with house-churned goodness from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13.
If weather cooperates on Thursday, July 27, a 120-year-old farmhouse on the northeast edge of Lindsborg will be moved to the corner of South Washington and West Grant streets, two blocks west of downtown. Historic preservationist Jim Prugh purchased the farmhouse and intends to restore it, along with another historic building already at Washington and Grant. The farmhouse was built in 1898 with 10-foot ceilings in the living room, dining room and kitchen. Original windows, woodwork and other architectural features remain. Unruh House Moving, Inc. of Galva will move the farmhouse north on 14th Avenue, then west on Wheatridge Road, then south on Coronado Avenue, then east on Grant Street. The next day, the farmhouse is expected to be be slid over and secured onto its new foundation.
Ad Hockers talked last Monday about the statewide anticipation for three upcoming shows of paintings created over several decades by Lindsborg’s Mike Hartung. Mike, retired from Arrow Printing in Salina, labored in his Main Street apartment to create a huge body of work that few ever saw. At least three Kansas art institutions will be needed to exhibit Mike’s work later this fall: The Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery, The Salina Arts Center and the gallery at Fort Hays State University. Learn more here: http://kcstudio.org/little-help-friends-mike-hartung/ Once again, Ad Hoc focused discussion on 1:) further attracting and better retaining creative people; and 2.) the role of the arts and creativity in our economic future.
As snowbirds begin thinking about their trek later this year from northern locations to southern, Ad Hoc also discussed what it takes to provide attractive RV services. Most of today RVs need larger and more level pads, as well as sufficient water and electrical hookups. Thus, more investment in infrastructure. But there are great opportunities for communities to attract visitors that buy locally, establish loyalties and refer others.
And finally.... Carla Wilson had a wonderful idea: bring our quirky Ad Hoc traveling award -- the big can of Lindsborg elbow grease -- to a wider public. So Carla presented last weekend during Broadway RFD a big can of elbow grease to Karmon and Mary Anne Almquist, who have been consistently helpful in an array of local efforts. Thanks for the great idea, Carla. Thanks to Mary Anne and Karmon for, well, everything!
• This morning we discussed how to continue to help build the relatively new and already successful monthly event called Makers Street: The Lindsborg Art Walk. Consensus of those on hand: more promotion, as well as continuing to widen the circle of friends, acquaintances, family and customers to participate as creatives and makers of performances, visuals, food, and more. Like most volunteer-driven projects, there's plenty of heart and little money. Ad Hoc is paying for social media promotion through the "Let's Get Social Fund" and First Bank Kansas has offered to duplicate maps each month. What can you do to help? The next Makers Street is Friday, Aug. 11. Plan now to take part in "Pie Luck," a relative of ol' fashioned pot luck suppers but featuring pies only. Donate and share a pie. Buy and eat pie. Create a visual about pie. Celebrate pie in song or verse. Whatever it is, let's get dreaming of pie! Contact the good folks at The Red Barn Studio, The White Peacock and Chestnut Studios to see how your idea can fit in -- and to thank them for their great work on this emerging tradition.
• The coming week: 23 students attend camp through Friday, July 21, at the Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess; also, the 28th annual Kansas Women Attorneys Association summer meeting in Lindsborg Thursday through Saturday, July 20-22 with a Friday evening dinner at the J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center. Do brace for a fab summer theater production of Beauty and the Beast by our hard-working friends in Broadway RFD. Opening shows are Friday and Saturday nights with repeats next Friday and Saturday nights, July 28 and 29. Let's keep offering (and supporting) The Lindsborg Experience, everyone.
• Looking further ahead to Saturday, Aug. 26: Lindsborg's annual street dance. It will be on the 100 block of South Main. This year, the dance specially celebrates Bethany College back-to-school and what is hoped to be the official end of an accrediting probation period that started two years ago. Tag line: Bethany Arises... and Lindsborg Dances. So bring your lawn chairs and enjoy. SVHS After Prom fundraising BBQ competition and dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. on the south city parking lot. Singer Sam Unruh opens at 7 p.m., King Midas and the Muflers 8 to 11 p.m. As before, this event is free, thanks to Lindsborg businesses. Questions? See David Hay of First Bank Kansas or Megan Gallucci at Jay Jensen American Family Insurance.
• A note on Main Street music: We continue to fine-tune the speaker system as well music programming. Thanks to everyone for their help. To get a much-needed change of musical pace, we'll be subscribing to and interspersing seasonal Spotfiy playlists over the next year to see how these mix in with our recorded Scandinavian and other tunes. This $120 fee for the year will be absorbed by the "Bring Back the Music" fund.
• Several weeks ago with Lindsborg Police Chief Tim Berggren we discussed how to spot fake currency. Here's more reading in case it would be useful: https://www.secretservice.gov/data/KnowYourMoney.pdf
• Register now to take part in the Swede Days Business Expo for new and incoming students on Friday, Aug. 18, in Pihlblad Student Union on the Bethany College campus. Details below. Deadline: Aug. 1.
Bethany College is getting an earlier start on welcoming what will be a larger freshman and transfer class — plus more returning students than ever. It’s exactly what Bethany, Lindsborg and the Smoky Valley wants and needs: more students overall, a healthier college, and more connections to Saline and McPherson families.
The college also welcomes a new Dean of Student Development. Ryan Van Dusen, Ph.D, takes the reins from Dean of Athletics Dane Pavlovich, who did both jobs for the last two years. Good to have you here, Dean Van Dusen. Let’s all offer warm thanks to Dane Pavlovich for his perseverance and extraordinary work as he continues as Dean of Athletics.
Asked at Ad Hoc last Monday what we all can do to help, Dean Pavlovich encouraged more of the same — the warm welcoming that Lindsborg has shown in the past. At curbside, on campus, at events. Please notice and say something to students and families.
In response to student families, Bethany has moved its check-in day for new and transfer students to a Friday from a Sunday. This scheduling change in turn makes it difficult to hold Swede Sweep, a feature of the last few years in which new and transfer student tackle jobs around the community as part of their team building education. It will not be scheduled this year.
Saturday, Aug. 12 — check in for fall athletes return (about 220)
Monday, Aug. 14 — athletic practices start
Friday, Aug 18 — check in for new and transfer students
Friday, Aug. 18 — business expo in Pihlblad Student Union 8-2 (advance registration needed)
Sunday, Aug. 20 — check in for returning students
Tuesday, Aug. 22 — classes start
Saturday, Aug. 26 — Lindsborg street dance with King Midas and the Mufflers and Sam Unruh welcoming all students, faculty and staff, 100 block of South Main Street
In addition, Ad Hoc wants to schedule a welcoming reception for Bethany faculty and staff in later August. We’ll let you know more later about that.
In the meantime, *now* is the time to register to be part of the annual business expo. Early response will help our our friends at Bethany. The expo is good way to wave the flag of welcome from the community, as well as find new connections with students and their parents. Businesses and organizations can share a table or display singly.
Expo registration form and directions are replicated here. Hard deadline: August 1.
Our brains, particularly in the Internet era, love lists. We sometimes hear about "listicles," the article-as-numbered-list writings as seen on social media. It's a blend of visual and text, really, and it seems to tickle our minds.
So, yeah, the listicle can work for Lindsborg, too. Holly Lofton and Tricia Clark at the Lindsborg CVB are building a list of "the best $10 you can spend in Lindsborg" for use in a news release. Do you have a favorite treat? Small purchase? Donation? Just jot down a brief paragraph about your fave little splurge and send it within 24 hours to Holly at email@example.com.
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This morning, Ad Hoc continued its discussion fololow-up of an April trip to Berea, KY, by a Lindsborg-Bethany College group. The trip's aim: gather inspiration from a town of 15,000 with a close college-community history and well-known traditions in the arts and crafts. The group also wanted to see how Berea signals its vitality to its residents and many thousands of visitors every year.
Since its inception, Ad Hoc has been about improving "The Lindsborg Experience" for residents and visitors alike. Constant signs and symbols of what and who we are as a community remain an important as we develop. Thankfully, we have the venerable Dala horse as a symbol. We also have generally well-maintained housing and public buildings, often with local art or craft displayed. We see ongoing street improvements and new construction. The in-town walking trail is well-maintained and welcoming with historical signs dotting it. We have one large and several small murals on downtown buildings -- each lovely. Yet there's more to do. So this morning we discussed: What more can we do to signal community vitality overall, especially in the creative realms? Here are some ideas:
• Don't be blind to what is here already. Don't be shy of celebrating it.
• Expand the realms in which fine art and craft can take place. Where are under-used spaces in existing buildings/businesses that can be turned into small working and showing areas?
• Also expand the idea of what art can be. Focus on the satisfaction of creating.
• Seeing the creative process under way is a big signal. Where can painters paint, makers make in front of us?
• Create a visual element that can be placed on all websites to signal our friendliness to the fine arts and crafts.
• Draft a phrase or statement -- a tag -- that amplifies this.
• Find a place for Bethany students to show and demonstrate and be celebrated downtown.
• Organize visual artists to paint otherwise uninteresting items such as back-of the-building bumper guards, concrete curbs stops, and alley utility boxes. Expand the number of unexpected pops of color and design in the most humble everyday places.
• Update a list of "makers" in our area -- makers of music visual art, craft, theater and writing.
• Is there a way to expand the number of artists' residencies in our area? In this way, more creative people can try Lindsborg and Bethany College on for size over a week or so.
• Expand social media awareness of Lindsborg and makers. Certainly Makers Street, the 2nd Friday Lindsborg art walk, is giving us a real specific invitation and set of visuals for social media, as well as introducing new creatives to our town.
During part of this morning's Ad Hoc discussion, we began to take stock. We recalled the stated objectives when the Ad Hoc working group first began meeting five years ago. Here they are:
• elevate The Lindsborg Experience on the street and inside businesses and organizations
• build communication among and about Lindsborg
• connect with Bethany College
• build and expand an operating relationship with the Sundstrom Conference Center
• upgrading areas behind business properties
• working together and communicating with customers/visitors on downtown infrastructure improvements
• establishing and working from a year-ahead calendar
• generating ideas about how Lindsborg can attract more working artists
Although we will continue to re-evaluate, it does seem that a fair number of these remain works in progress. In fact, Ad Hoc is looking for new ways to convene with any organization that makes strategic plans -- not just with Bethany College and the City of Lindsborg.
In any case, we count as progress the simple practice of talking with each other at a regular time and place and in a positive and open-ended fashion. Five years of that has helped us all in ways that never could have been predicted.
What are challenges and opportunities in your world? How can sharing objectives and posing open-ended questions to your colleagues, staff and the public help identify ways forward?