With a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC), Artworks will host Third Coast Conversations on February 6 at noon and February 21 at 5:30pm. They are being offered during Festival of the Arts as a way to highlight the art of conversation. The conversations are designed to build relationships; create a space for listening and sharing our values. Plans, actions, to-do lists, agendas are not the ultimate goal, but could happen. Artworks will also host an informational meeting on Tuesday, January 29 from 6-8pm at Artworks in the Chemical Bank Lower Gallery. All are welcome and encouraged to bring friends to this exciting “conversation.”
Since the 19th century, Michigan’s lakes and rivers have drawn tourists regionally, nationally, and internationally because of their beauty and identity as restful places. But where does this sense of place come from and who creates it? Contemporary authors such as Bonnie Jo Campbell, as well as icons of American literature such as Ernest Hemmingway have endowed Michigan’s waters with a distinct sense of place through their words. Tourism has also been a means through which lakeshore communities have reinvented their economies from fishing and logging towns to sites of travel and leisure. By engaging authors, artists, writers from all backgrounds, as well as developers, and chamber of commerce who help shape the distinct identities of Michigan’s water ways, conversations in this theme will look at the tensions between how Michigan’s water is imagined culturally and the reality of how it is experienced by people on the ground.
More About the Michigan Humanities Council Third Coast Conversations
Through humanities scholarship and environmental history, urban history, literature, public history, and Native American studies drawn from the expertise of our advisory group, Third Coast Conversations will start dialogs, build excitement, facilitate connections, and open doors for local communities in urban, rural, and suburban areas of the state to examine history, culture, people, and cultivate a renewed sense of local pride by examining the topic of water in ways that resonate with issues that matter locally.
Conversations are intended to raise awareness of the relationship between water and our sense of place, articulate what we learn from each other about that relationship, create new connections among people who are interested in water (and strengthen existing connections), and inspire attendees with a renewed sense of local pride in our water.