The Department of Public Transformation (DoPT), Dakota Wicohan and Racing Magpie have collaborated to co-design the Dakota Community Artist-in-Residence (CAIR) program, which is a pilot project supporting artist-led solutions to community challenges during the COVID-19 crisis.

For the pilot Dakota CAIR program, two Dakota artists based in the 18-county southwestern Mnisota region, Pezihutazizi Oyate (Upper Sioux Community) and or Cansa’yapi (Lower Sioux Indian Community) will be selected and supported in sharing their work in digital forums and social distance formats.

The two selected CAIRs will work for two weeks “at home” to utilize their artistic practice to design and implement a creative project that will address a need identified by their local community.

Examples of the types of community challenges an artist might work on during their residency include (but are not limited to), designing a creative approach to connect at a safe distance, supporting physical or mental health, strengthening connections between neighbors, improving food access for families in need, or amplifying anti-bias/anti-racist efforts. 

The Dakota CAIR project will provide financial and organizational support for local Native artists and culture bearers, while also stimulating the development of innovative strategies to address the un-precedented challenges that rural and tribal communities now face.

The two selected artists will receive support and funding to work with their local community from their place of residence for two weeks June 26-July 12.

Interested applicants, are encouraged to visit www.publictransformation.org/dakotacair to complete a brief online application by Wednesday, June 17 at 11:59 p.m.

This project was co-designed by Dakota Wicohan, Racing Magpie and the Department of Public Transformation, with support from the Southwest Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (SWRSDP) and with a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council made possible by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

- Image courtesy of Marlena Myles