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Rural Arts and Cultural Summit: Lauren Carlson in 2 Panels: Female Artists and Spectacular Failures


From the write up at the 2019 Rural Arts and Culture Summit in Grand Rapids Thursday October 3rd-5th

WE CAN! Working Towards Equity in Rural Communities through Female-led Artistic Interventions and Creative Action

Ashley Hanson, Lauren Carlson, Cassie Williams, Esmeralda Hernandez, Saara Raapana, (Women’s Empowerment Creative Action Network)

A recent Creative Minnesota report stated that female artists receive only 50% on the dollar of what male artists are paid in Southwestern Minnesota. To address substantial inequities, ten female-artists from the region co-organized a Women’s Empowerment Creative Action Network to utilize arts and culture strategies to produce creative events, activities, trainings, peer learning groups, and gathering spaces that allow women and people of color to strengthen leadership skills, cultivate creativity, make connections, and encourage active participation in civic processes. In this session, WE CAN! artists will first share their process for coming together and the creative strategies they are developing and implementing to build leadership through creative action, and then facilitate an interactive workshop for participants to create their own “action bank,” of strategies to address equitable opportunity in their community.

Spectacular Failures: How Changing The Way You Think About Failure Can Breathe New Life Into Artistic Processes.

Lauren Carlson (facilitator), John Davis, Erika Nelson

We often hear about the road to success (linear only in retrospect), but what about the paths that veer into the void? Not just a hiccup, but an utter, total failure. This humanizing discussion will focus on philosophies and strategies for reinvigorating creative work using failure as a means of exploration, discovery, and resilience. Panelists will offer true examples for overcoming epic failure and adversity and discuss subsequent unexpected lessons and surprises. Through this shared exploration of the embarrassing, each participant will see that success isn’t a guarantee, but a journey, with twists, false starts, and the permission to start over with a clean slate.