Support artist in residence program, attend the party

To the Editor:

Cord McMahon, Webster City’s artist in residence, has been in town for the last 9 months and will be leaving September 1. Legacy Learning Boone River Valley is hosting a going away party for Cord on Thursday, Aug. 31 from 4 to 6 pm. There will be snacks, cake and drinks.

Featured art works will be by Cord McMahon and kid’s art from the Artist Camp this summer. Cord is continuing to take commission work as well. You’ll see some of this work at the party.

Why is it important for a small town to have an artist in residence? Here’s the top five reasons that the Project for Public Spaces has shared.

1. Public spaces are essential in every community. It provides opportunities for people to meet and be exposed to new neighbors and ideas.

2. It increases civic participation through celebrations. Any chance to bring people together to celebrate a common theme is a bonus!

3. It engages our youth. This can’t be left to the schools and parents alone. Providing a space for them to be meaningful contributors in the social and economic aspects of community building can’t be overlooked. Do we want them to live here as adults? We need to get them involved in our community — right now.

4. When people become involved in the design, creation and upkeep of places they develop a vested interest in using and maintaining these spaces.

5. Some people have argued that social capital — the volunteer organizations and efforts that provide the glue in any community — has eroded steadily over the past two generations, as seen by the drops in participation in social and civic groups. This crisis may really be one in which the old tools for involving people in civic issues are no longer sufficient to meet new challenges. The tools may have lost effectiveness as the population diversifies. Providing new and different opportunities to participate helps us move into the future.

I urge you to support ways to bring more value to our community. The Artist in Residence program is just one way. Legacy Learning is looking for an artist that wants to participate in the next 3 month program.

Come to the going away party, enjoy the art, ask questions, eat the food and drink the drinks. Be active in your community, this is a good first step.

Deb Brown,

co-founder of