Bringing the Arts to the Rural Community: A Cultural Arts Center
Vap, Vanessa Quinn
Every society must provide art, entertainment, and information for its members. Herbert J. Gans Within society there are many different cultures and each produces different forms of art. Art often provides a glimpse into a culture's past and present. Art is often viewed as falling into two categories: fine art and folk art. Even though all societies create art, exposure to the arts tends to be somewhat exclusive to different portions of society. For instance, exposure to the arts is vastly different between urban and rural areas. The National Endowment for the Arts primary mission is to increase access to the arts. Yet, over one third of the NEA funding goes to only six cities: New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Many primarily rural areas are left with little access and exposure to the arts. The majority of Nebraska is composed of farmland intermixed with the occasional small town. The purpose of this thesis is to develop an arts outreach center that will bring fine art and folk art to rural Nebraska. The Cultural Arts Center will serve as a gallery and a teaching institution for culture of folk art, fine art and the farm. The site is located on a historic farm in Cass County Nebraska. Cass County is the midpoint between Omaha, Nebraska's largest city, and Lincoln, its capital. The farm was homesteaded in 1875 and was bought by the Story family in 1877. The history of the farm is depicted through the development of its barns over time. These historic barns will be adaptively reused in combination with new construction to house the Folk Art Fine Art Center.