The first segment in the program offers a glimpse of just a few of the creative people working in Fergus Falls to infuse art, history and community building into a vision for the community’s future. Michele Anderson and Naomi Schliesman of Springboard for the Arts are interviewed along with community activist Glorias Shephard and artist Kirk Williams. The question about what to do with the endangered former Fergus Falls State Hospital, known as the Kirkbride, forms the backdrop for the segment, which takes place during the Kirkbride Arts and History Weekend. “What is really profound,” according to Anderson, “is how the smallest conversations can lead to something really huge and get the community having fun together and imagining what is possible.”
In the second story, Postcards features the art of Leanne Larson, a live wedding and event painter who lives in Garfield, Minnesota. Larson is an Australian native who moved to the states when she was 19 years old. She now lives in her husband’s father’s home place in Garfield where she has established Cane Toad Studios. Larson has pioneered the concept of live wedding paintings and teaches a variety of painting classes in the region to both children and adults. “What I love about being an artist most is the flexibility it can give me and feeling like I’m true to myself for once,” says Larson.
The final story in this season opening episode tells the story of one of the longest running sister city relationships in the U.S. between Montevideo, Minnesota and Montevideo, Uruguay. There have been exchanges of one kind or another happening between these two cities since 1905. The latest exchange in June, 2014 featured a visit by master Afro Uruguayan drummer Alvaro Salas and his host Andy Stermer. “It is a great honor to bring Afro Uruguayan art to the people of my sister city in the Montevideo of the north,” said Salas.