Ashley Hanson is a social practitioner, theater artist, and lover of rural places. She is the co-founder of PlaceBase Productions, a theater company that creates original musicals celebrating small town life and the founder of the Department of Public Transformation, a national arts collective that highlights, connects, and supports rural-based artists. She is the Director of Small Town CAIR (City Artist in Residence) and The YES! House in Granite Falls, MN & and was recently named a 2018 Obama Foundation Fellow. She spends most of her time on the road and believes wholeheartedly in the power of people, places, play, and exclamation points!
Mary Welcome is a citizen artist from Palouse, Washington (pop. 998), working in collaboration with rural communities and remote landscapes. Her work is conversational and research-based, in response to the social, built, and natural environments we situate ourselves within. She collaborates with local schools, city councils, civic groups, arts organizations, summer camps, libraries, neighbors, and friends to build cooperative environments that encourage civic engagement, radical education, and community progress. Her life-long collaborators include Cabin-Time, Homeboat, Camp Little Hope, M12 Studio, the Department of Public Perks, and the United States Postal Service.