Commonwealth in Rural Kansas
July 21, 2019

Commonwealth is the assets that a place invests in to help the betterment of the community. Through my internship, I have seen beautiful examples of commonwealth within my organization’s community. The commonwealth asset that stood out the most to me that I have seen within my remote community is the arts and culture that my organization is bringing to rural towns in Northwestern Kansas.

Main Street Arts Council held the 2019 Main Street Summer Theater Festival where children from towns in rural Kansas, including Hoxie, Goodland, Colby, Quinter, and Atwood, came together to celebrate the arts through theater. Main Street Arts Council gave children a chance to shine where it is difficult to stand out to the world.

Not only did the children learn about art and theater, but they also learned about a very different culture from their own in which they were performing. The children in Atwood, Kansas performed The Lion King JR on July 20 and 21 for their town. They were able to learn more about where the story originated from through a workshop with Baba Wague and Ronna Neuenschwander. The children completed the traditional mud cloth and African culture workshop in conjunction with the production of The Lion King JR.

I am proud to work with an organization that is bringing different cultures to rural Kansas. I have learned more about culture myself by working with Main Street Arts Council. I feel as if they are an excellent example of what communities should do when focusing on the Commonwealth and the betterment of their communities.