SOIL SERIES is creating Community Studio
4

patrons

$74
per month
Hello and thank you for visiting our Patreon! We are Francesca Fiore and Hillary Wagner, founding artists of SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing and we hope you will take the chance to get acquainted with our project via our website: http://soilseriesbethel.com. If you're just learning about SOIL SERIES, welcome! Below is a brief description of our project and what we need from you in order to keep running our free art programming for the residents of Bethel, OH.

What is SOIL SERIES?

SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing is a collaborative work of art and an ongoing conversation between artists Francesca Fiore and Hillary Wagner, poet Matthew Kosinski, and the rural Appalachian community of Bethel, OH. A dynamic set of relationships between artists, community members, agricultural producers, local organizations, academics, and policy-makers, SOIL SERIES is a drawing in the most expansive sense. As it creates the conditions for new conversations and relationships within the community and without, each new connection becomes a dynamic line in a relational web. This relational web, or social drawing, is the generative engine for community-initiated social change.

We began SOIL SERIES in June of 2017 after receiving our graduate degrees in fine arts from Parsons The New School for Design. As the presidential election in the fall of 2016 caused tensions to flare across the country, we began an ongoing dialogue which illuminated points of intersection and departure between our disparate lived experiences: Francesca as the descendent of Italian immigrants in the New York metropolitan area, and Hillary as the descendent of generational Clermont County farmers. These conversations proved especially valuable against the backdrop of national tumult, and we found common ground in our shared belief in art’s capacity to promote empathy and engender new possibilities. 

In particular, we became interested in how we might use thoughtful artistic practice to engage Hillary's hometown of Bethel, OH, which is experiencing a staggering opioid epidemic, widespread food insecurity, and the erosion of cultural and economic opportunity. We were especially concerned about an emergency operating levy on the ballot for Bethel’s local school district. Finding itself in an precarious financial situation, the Bethel-Tate district was forced to confront the possibility of deep budget cuts if the increase in tax funding was not passed. The proposed cuts threatened arts programming, gifted education, and student transportation, among other services. Although the levy ultimately passed by a narrow margin of 28 votes, the stopgap measure is only expected to sustain the district until 2022. Remembering the obstacles she had faced as a curious and creative child growing up in Bethel, Hillary was heartsick for her community, and ever since our efforts have focused on how to provide cultural and intellectual nourishment to the residents of Bethel.

Community Studio

Community Studio is a free public art program we developed in partnership Empower Youth, a local non-profit organization dedicated to partnering with children “in hopes of instilling in them the confidence and resources needed to break through the chains of generational poverty.” Since 2015 Empower Youth's food bags and mentorship programming have provided vital resources for Bethel's at-risk youth, and our Community Studio Program now extends the organization's mission to include new pathways to cultural resources as well.

Our arrival in Bethel coincided with Empower Youth's acquisition of a 15-acre former horse ranch. In April of 2017, a local bank, Community Savings, gifted Empower Youth the foreclosed property, and The Empower Youth Ranch (or EY Ranch) has since become home to the organization's operations and an active community hub. When we arrived in Bethel in June, Empower Youth's directors, Lori and Scott Conley, generously offered us space in one of the property's barns for our proposed programming. Over the course of the next month and a half and with the help of Empower Youth's network of hard-working volunteers and interns, we created the Barn Studio. The images below show the amazing transformation:



The Barn Studio, now the site of our Community Studio Program, is a safe space for exploring new ideas in the heart of Bethel. The program, which had its first session from July through October of 2017, offers local residents of all ages a dedicated time and place for creativity. We believe everyone is an artist and our Community Studio participants are encouraged to consider themselves artists regardless of background or training. Through guided projects and prompts, Community Studio artists are invited to investigate place while taking inspiration from relevant examples of contemporary art practice. Projects are carried out using a variety of materials, including those found on the ranch, and the process of making helps participants connect more deeply to their home and one another.

Learn more about our Community Studio Program by visiting our website, and be sure to check out our post about the inaugural Community Studio Exhibition we held at the Empower Youth Ranch in October.

How can you help? Become a patron of a Community Studio artist!

Although we received generous in-kind contributions from friends and supporters during the renovation of the Barn Studio and the first session of the Community Studio Program, much of the funding for the project thus far has come out of our own pockets. We were happy to provide the initial funding to kickstart the project, but we now need a sustainable funding strategy that matches our commitment to long-term change in Bethel. As we gear up for the next session of Community Studio, which will run from June to August of 2018 and will culminate in another public exhibition, we are looking for a group of generous individuals to become patrons of our incredible artists so that we may offer them the best possible experience. A small monthly contribution on your part will go a long way toward providing our artists the resources they need. Below are images from Community Studio 2017. On behalf of the Community Studio artists, we thank you for your time and support!

  
 

Rewards
Day Patron
$1 or more per month 1 patron
Congratulations! You are now a Day Patron for one of our Community Studio artists! Your contribution will provide an artist with the materials they need for one Community Studio class in 2018. Thank you for your support! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program :)

Half Session Patron
$5 or more per month 0 patrons
Thanks so much for your contribution! You are now a Half Session Patron for one of our Community Studio artists! Your contribution will provide an artist with the materials they need for half of our 2018 Community Studio Program (about 5 classes). You're awesome! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program and a handwritten thank-you note from one of our Community Studio artists :)

Full Session Patron
$10 or more per month 1 patron
Wow! You are now a Full Session Patron for one of our Community Studio artists! Your contribution will provide an artist with the materials they need for the FULL 2018 Community Studio Program (about 10 classes). We really appreciate your generosity! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program, a handwritten thank-you note from one of our Community Studio artists, and a signed original drawing by a Community Studio artist :)

Full Session Family Patron
$20 or more per month 1 patron
You are amazing! You are now a Full Session Family Patron, which means your contribution will provide TWO artists with the materials they need for the FULL 2018 Community Studio Program (about 10 classes). We are so grateful for your support! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program, a handwritten thank-you note from one of our Community Studio artists, and a signed original drawing by that artist. You will also have your name featured on our website and exhibition materials throughout 2018 :)

Project Patron
$50 or more per month 1 patron
We are blown away! You are now a Project Patron and your contribution will help us provide resources for all of our Community Studio artists in 2018 as well as help us fund our 2018 Community Studio exhibition. We can't tell you how much this means to us. Thank you for your generous support! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program, a handwritten thank-you note from one of our Community Studio artists, and a signed original drawing by that artist. You will also have your name featured on our website and exhibition materials  and you will receive invitations for VIP walkthroughs of all our exhibitions throughout 2018 :)

Goals
$74 of $100 per month
When we reach $100 per month we will be able to provide materials for 10 artists for the full 2018 Community Studio Program!
1 of 3
Hello and thank you for visiting our Patreon! We are Francesca Fiore and Hillary Wagner, founding artists of SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing and we hope you will take the chance to get acquainted with our project via our website: http://soilseriesbethel.com. If you're just learning about SOIL SERIES, welcome! Below is a brief description of our project and what we need from you in order to keep running our free art programming for the residents of Bethel, OH.

What is SOIL SERIES?

SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing is a collaborative work of art and an ongoing conversation between artists Francesca Fiore and Hillary Wagner, poet Matthew Kosinski, and the rural Appalachian community of Bethel, OH. A dynamic set of relationships between artists, community members, agricultural producers, local organizations, academics, and policy-makers, SOIL SERIES is a drawing in the most expansive sense. As it creates the conditions for new conversations and relationships within the community and without, each new connection becomes a dynamic line in a relational web. This relational web, or social drawing, is the generative engine for community-initiated social change.

We began SOIL SERIES in June of 2017 after receiving our graduate degrees in fine arts from Parsons The New School for Design. As the presidential election in the fall of 2016 caused tensions to flare across the country, we began an ongoing dialogue which illuminated points of intersection and departure between our disparate lived experiences: Francesca as the descendent of Italian immigrants in the New York metropolitan area, and Hillary as the descendent of generational Clermont County farmers. These conversations proved especially valuable against the backdrop of national tumult, and we found common ground in our shared belief in art’s capacity to promote empathy and engender new possibilities. 

In particular, we became interested in how we might use thoughtful artistic practice to engage Hillary's hometown of Bethel, OH, which is experiencing a staggering opioid epidemic, widespread food insecurity, and the erosion of cultural and economic opportunity. We were especially concerned about an emergency operating levy on the ballot for Bethel’s local school district. Finding itself in an precarious financial situation, the Bethel-Tate district was forced to confront the possibility of deep budget cuts if the increase in tax funding was not passed. The proposed cuts threatened arts programming, gifted education, and student transportation, among other services. Although the levy ultimately passed by a narrow margin of 28 votes, the stopgap measure is only expected to sustain the district until 2022. Remembering the obstacles she had faced as a curious and creative child growing up in Bethel, Hillary was heartsick for her community, and ever since our efforts have focused on how to provide cultural and intellectual nourishment to the residents of Bethel.

Community Studio

Community Studio is a free public art program we developed in partnership Empower Youth, a local non-profit organization dedicated to partnering with children “in hopes of instilling in them the confidence and resources needed to break through the chains of generational poverty.” Since 2015 Empower Youth's food bags and mentorship programming have provided vital resources for Bethel's at-risk youth, and our Community Studio Program now extends the organization's mission to include new pathways to cultural resources as well.

Our arrival in Bethel coincided with Empower Youth's acquisition of a 15-acre former horse ranch. In April of 2017, a local bank, Community Savings, gifted Empower Youth the foreclosed property, and The Empower Youth Ranch (or EY Ranch) has since become home to the organization's operations and an active community hub. When we arrived in Bethel in June, Empower Youth's directors, Lori and Scott Conley, generously offered us space in one of the property's barns for our proposed programming. Over the course of the next month and a half and with the help of Empower Youth's network of hard-working volunteers and interns, we created the Barn Studio. The images below show the amazing transformation:



The Barn Studio, now the site of our Community Studio Program, is a safe space for exploring new ideas in the heart of Bethel. The program, which had its first session from July through October of 2017, offers local residents of all ages a dedicated time and place for creativity. We believe everyone is an artist and our Community Studio participants are encouraged to consider themselves artists regardless of background or training. Through guided projects and prompts, Community Studio artists are invited to investigate place while taking inspiration from relevant examples of contemporary art practice. Projects are carried out using a variety of materials, including those found on the ranch, and the process of making helps participants connect more deeply to their home and one another.

Learn more about our Community Studio Program by visiting our website, and be sure to check out our post about the inaugural Community Studio Exhibition we held at the Empower Youth Ranch in October.

How can you help? Become a patron of a Community Studio artist!

Although we received generous in-kind contributions from friends and supporters during the renovation of the Barn Studio and the first session of the Community Studio Program, much of the funding for the project thus far has come out of our own pockets. We were happy to provide the initial funding to kickstart the project, but we now need a sustainable funding strategy that matches our commitment to long-term change in Bethel. As we gear up for the next session of Community Studio, which will run from June to August of 2018 and will culminate in another public exhibition, we are looking for a group of generous individuals to become patrons of our incredible artists so that we may offer them the best possible experience. A small monthly contribution on your part will go a long way toward providing our artists the resources they need. Below are images from Community Studio 2017. On behalf of the Community Studio artists, we thank you for your time and support!

  
 

Recent posts by SOIL SERIES

Rewards
Day Patron
$1 or more per month 1 patron
Congratulations! You are now a Day Patron for one of our Community Studio artists! Your contribution will provide an artist with the materials they need for one Community Studio class in 2018. Thank you for your support! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program :)

Half Session Patron
$5 or more per month 0 patrons
Thanks so much for your contribution! You are now a Half Session Patron for one of our Community Studio artists! Your contribution will provide an artist with the materials they need for half of our 2018 Community Studio Program (about 5 classes). You're awesome! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program and a handwritten thank-you note from one of our Community Studio artists :)

Full Session Patron
$10 or more per month 1 patron
Wow! You are now a Full Session Patron for one of our Community Studio artists! Your contribution will provide an artist with the materials they need for the FULL 2018 Community Studio Program (about 10 classes). We really appreciate your generosity! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program, a handwritten thank-you note from one of our Community Studio artists, and a signed original drawing by a Community Studio artist :)

Full Session Family Patron
$20 or more per month 1 patron
You are amazing! You are now a Full Session Family Patron, which means your contribution will provide TWO artists with the materials they need for the FULL 2018 Community Studio Program (about 10 classes). We are so grateful for your support! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program, a handwritten thank-you note from one of our Community Studio artists, and a signed original drawing by that artist. You will also have your name featured on our website and exhibition materials throughout 2018 :)

Project Patron
$50 or more per month 1 patron
We are blown away! You are now a Project Patron and your contribution will help us provide resources for all of our Community Studio artists in 2018 as well as help us fund our 2018 Community Studio exhibition. We can't tell you how much this means to us. Thank you for your generous support! 


You will receive access to our special patron-only updates about the 2018 Community Studio Program, a handwritten thank-you note from one of our Community Studio artists, and a signed original drawing by that artist. You will also have your name featured on our website and exhibition materials  and you will receive invitations for VIP walkthroughs of all our exhibitions throughout 2018 :)