Today many of us will burn meat, load carbs, light off explosives in our yards (or go to city fireworks and let the mosquitoes chew us alive at dusk) and attend parades. I just saw the preparations for the Bangor, Maine (my home town) parade on Morning Joe because Susan Collins, our Maine senator and celebrity swing voter, will be marching in it.

I am thinking about what “independence” means in a very different way from my last half century of July 4ths. We have all managed to get ourselves in our little “think alike” bubbles in what may produce a very dangerous outcome.

Art to Change the World was designed to burst the bubbles and to break down the silos we have made for ourselves. All people who are trying to live on the planet in a considered way need to join forces – practically and authentically.

Easy to say and hard to do. Being a simple country girl from Maine, I tend to keep my ideas pretty simple. Would it reduce human conflict if we all tried to:

1. Collect ALL the data ALL the time? (Challenging but Doable)

2. Get OVER Yourself!! (Almost Impossible). We have been taught to develop our worldview and then stick to it. We have been taught that OUR truth is THE truth. From an empirical point of view…is it statistically probable that within the 7 billion people on the planet …your truth is THE truth?

Join ACW to discuss this and other intriguing topics!!

Welcome to Our Dialogue

February 17 – April 15, 2018  Minimum 6 and maximum 10.

 We will read a film/book for one- two months and discuss the writing and the topic, but more importantly, reflect on how these (hopefully) new ideas inform our practice.  These film/book discussions will not focus on critiquing the work as a piece of literature. If there is anything that bores me, it is a book club meeting that starts out with someone saying ”I liked it “ or “ I did not like it” and then everyone comes out swinging in defense of their position!

Barbara Bridges

Answer to a question I just received and that many of you may have.  I have been doing this for so long that I forget that many may have not been communicating in this digital  mode.

I will have one Zoom meeting and then asynchronous discussions. This means you will come in at YOUR convenience from 6-60 (!) times and  chat with those who are there.  We will bring in other resources and ask and answer questions.  I will be a facilitator.  An optional F to F party in Minneapolis at the end of March.  Invite others outside ACW!  Hope this clarifies!

Fantasyland: How America  Went Haywire  Discusses our nationwide willingness to embrace a factual relativity. Kurt Anderson

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we’ve never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

The purpose of these asynchronous virtual gatherings is to provide a safe place for a multi-generational/alternative perspectives dialogue. Getting into our “Like-Thinkers Silos” , as we call them, does not appear to effect much change.

Kira Corser will lead the first discussions starting in February.  This activity will give us the opportunity to get to know each other, work on our learning curves and build our community. Kira,  and YOU,  will be talking about Human Rights and Climate Change. 

Read More about Event


Please send us reading recommendations.

Member Suggestions for a book or movie or other data point:
Fantasyland: How America  Went Haywire  Discusses our nationwide willingness to embrace a factual relativity. Kurt Anderson

Leonardo Di Vinci  The most famous intersection of art and science.  Walter Isaacson

The Blazing World  Siri Hustvedt  A 60 something artist hires men to beard her work.

Exit Through The Giftshop  Bansky, River and Tides    A documentary on Outsider Art.

Who does she think she is?  Pamela Tanner Boll  A Film looking at women, mothering and art making.

Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference   John Capecci  A comprehensive guide to telling your personal story as an advocate for a cause or organization.

Embrace by Taryn Brumfitt    Embrace uncovers why poor body image has become a global epidemic and what women everywhere can do to have a brighter future.

 13 Reasons Why  Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why” tells the fictional story of 17-year-old Hannah Baker, a troubled high school student who takes her own life. She leaves behind a series of audio tapes describing the “13 reasons why” she did it. The themes are graphic and intense, tackling not only suicide, but also sexual assault and underage drinking.  Very Controversial. Good topic for  cross generational discussion. 

Click Here to Join the Discussions

Artists need to encourage viewers to embrace cognitive dissonance. What does this mean? Why is it so difficult and why is it so important?
Cognitive Dissonance occurs when what you believe to be true is in direct conflict with what you see to be true. It happens when you realize that your truth is truth- not THE truth.In order to learn and remember, you generally have to physically “break” an old memory and put it together with a new one – a new synthesis. Learning occurs on top of old learning. It’s a physico-chemical process of creation. You don’t get what you had before. So most memories don’t stay the same for very long. They change.Brains are not collections of facts laced together into permanent storage, like DVDs. Memories are remade on the fly. Select Dialogue and drop down window Discussion Forum. Click here to raise your voice.

Art to Change the World, Inc.
Board Meeting Agenda 07-14-2018

Date:  July 14th 2018                                   Time meeting called to order: 10:01am

Board Members Present

Name Present Absent Name Present Absent
Barbara Bridges x Craig Harris x
Lynn Olson x Patricia Rogers x
Grace Bianchi x Kristi Hemmer x
Shira Richter x Joan Vaughn x

Mission Statement

Art to Change the World (ACW) is a non-profit, diverse coalition of artists, educators, scientists, topic experts, and other change makers who join forces in service of positive social change. We employ the arts, education, audience engagement, and organizational partnerships to provoke discussion, reflection, and action.

Coming Soon.

John Capecci challenged us to come up with 6 words- not five- not seven.

Jane:  Art Has Already Changed the World

Kristi: Art Challenges one’s beliefs, experiences , perspective.

Layl: Art sparks awareness leading to action

Barry: Art can create transformative experience together

Kobe: Art reflects emotion and story

Craig: Art breaks down traditional barriers & Communication

Susan: “Soul screamed, art answered, changed myself”

Louisa: “Catalyst for change in turbulent times”

Madelynne: “You’re not well- go make something”

Kate Fisher: “You touch it therefore I know”

Anne: “Eyes of hearts may be enlightened”

Jill Waterhouse: “Art inspires change, motivates change makers”, “Civilizations will collapse, only art survives”

Elissa: “Art led me to confront racism”

Maris: Meaning-making, tangible, evocative, whole-brain, healing, emotional

Shira: “Art is human being’s mother tongue”

Rebecca: “Ayn Rand threaded words into lynchings”

JR: “Art lifts us beyond now”

Grace: “Art challenges our perspective = Change”

Gail: “Picasso told the world about Guernica

Danielle: Thought, response, action, connection, kinesthetics

Kira: “Changing hearts through art changes worlds”

Barbara: “Art makes people embrace cognitive dissonance” OR “Art makes people think and feel”

Kris: “Inspires, connects, involves, touches, expresses, affects”

Olson: Accessible, subversive, questioning, educating, exposing, permeating”

Board of Directors

Board of Directors
Barbara Rogers Bridges – Director
Why did I  start ACW?  I wanted to create an organization for change of which I would want to be a member. Over eighty percent of student learning is consumed visually, according to recent research. The time for artists to raise their voices for maximum impact is NOW.  I include a rather lengthy overview of my life so far to assure you that if I say I am going to do this – I will!”

The Artist
Barbara Rogers Bridges has been an artist and a teacher/college professor for over 40 years. Her social practice sculptures have been exhibited in Maine, Miami, the Virgin Islands, Maryland, Chicago, Mexico, Spain, Canada, and throughout Minnesota. Bridges taught K-12 art in Minnesota, Maine and the Virgin Islands.

Barbara creates social practice art from fabricated components in a variety of media and rescued “power objects.” She manipulates the objects to create meaning and provoke discussions and reflection on a wide variety of social topics including agricultural practices (Ode to Gluten), living a considered life (Talking Chairs and Academia Nuts), water quality (Found In Our Water), recovery (Reflection Pool) and Feminism (Three Waves, Wonder Woman and La Mujer).  See  She is a sculptor on a mission to demonstrate how art can serve as a catalyst for social change and is committed to creating, and empowering others to create, high quality art objects which honor their powerful message. Read More about the Art

The Art Teacher
Barbara Bridges seeks to empower all people to embrace the creative process. Barbara’s teaching career began in Maine in 1976 where she was an art teacher. Since then she has expanded her sphere of influence to Mexico, the Caribbean and Minnesota.  Barbara has partnered with various Minnesota institutions such as the Minneapolis school district, the Minnesota Online High School, Perpich Center, the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Weisman Museum and the Minnesota Museum of Art. The online discussion group, ArtsNet Minnesota, came out of those collaborations. ArtsNet Minnesota  boasted a membership of over 600 as well as a site that contained over 8,000 pages of material. Barbara has a passion for giving the gift of creativity back to her students. She believes, if motivated and informed, everyone can be creative.

Amongst her proudest achievements were three Educator of the Year awards in 1998 and 2008, from the Art Educators of Minnesota and the National Art Educators Association. Testimonies for Dr. Bridges

The Professor
Barbara has served as a professor for over twenty years at the University of Minnesota and Bemidji State University and has contributed in a variety of ways. Her appointment includes teaching Foundations of Education, Human Relations and Critical and Creative Thinking, also serving as the architect of the unique DLiTE (Distributed Learning in Teacher Education) – a hybrid online K-8 teacher licensure partnership program and the FasTrack secondary initiative designed for previously degreed candidates who wish to teach high school. The combined programs have served over 6000 teacher licensure students average age 35, working, and place bound with children. Although Barbara serves Bemidji as a general education specialist, she has been a powerful force in art education for many years. Barbara led a National Art Educators Fellows Institute at her home in Maine which included the President of the National and International Art Educators.

Bridges-Barbara Resume


Kristi Hemmer

Board Member Kristi Hemmer is a social entrepreneur, storyteller, sojourner, albanil and MOXIEmaker. As an educator for 25+ years, Kristi saw firsthand how SUPERstar girls/women shrink in a classroom, boardroom, and conversation; it made her mad enough to quit her six-figure job, travel the world learning about social entrepreneurship and the GIRLeffect, and start her own social business AWEinc. (Academy for Women’s Empowerment). AWEinc unleashes the potential in each woman by disrupting the status quo four ways: Corporate America, Youth Programs, International Travel and Social Entrepreneurship. AWEinc. teaches women and girls to be brave NOT perfect. Learn more at

I am joining the Social Art Project because…

  1. I believe in the power of Barbara.
  2. I want to change the language of “starving artist” to “art entrepreneur.” Something that changes the paradigm.
  3. I feel creativity is the power of the future.
  4. There’s a lot of potential. As an educator, potential is power.
  5. I want art and social justice and entrepreneurship and __________, to be more inclusive. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Board Member, Dr. Patricia L. Rogers is currently the Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Winona State University.

Prior to serving at WSU, she was the Founding Dean of Health Sciences and Human Ecology and the School of Graduate Studies at Bemidji State University in Northern Minnesota. Previously, she was the Founding Dean of the School of Education and Graduate Studies at Valley City State University in North Dakota. She has been an educator in higher education for 21 years.

Other administrative experience includes her work as the System Director for Instructional Technology at the Minnesota State Office of the Chancellor, and ten years as the co-leader of the Health Studies unit in the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Rogers’ doctoral preparation includes a double-major in both Art Education and Instructional Systems and Technology from the University of Minnesota. She is a graduate of the HERS Academy (2011), completed American Council on Education 78th National Leadership Forum in Washington, DC, (2012) and successfully completed the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Becoming a Provost Academy in 2013. She is the recipient of the 2014 Minnesota American Council on Education Networks Women Helping Women Award. In 2016, she completed the Minnesota State Executive Leadership Program.

Dr. Rogers is a Getty Fellow (1996 Dissertation Fellowship from the Getty Center for Arts in Education) and a Fulbright Scholar (2000-2001), designing distance-learning programs (Iceland University of Education: formerly Kennarahaskola Islands). She was awarded the first annual Minnesota Online Council’s Pioneer Award for leadership in online teaching and learning has served for six years as a Higher Learning Commission peer-evaluator. In 2017, she was selected as one of 32 Digital Fellows with the Association of Chief Academic Officers, a project funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Rogers currently serves on the Great River Shakespeare Festival Board and the Winona County Historical Society Board.

I am honored to join the Art To Change The World Board because:

  • I have known Barbara for well over twenty years and have seen first-hand her commitment to social justice, defense of the environment, honesty in her ethics as an artist and educator, and dedication to creating inclusive and truly welcoming communities among her students, her friends and family.
  • Supporting a plurality of voices, finding true connections with people, and making safe spaces to enable challenging conversation is a passion of mine as an educator and academic leader. Working through visual and performing arts and sciences to both reflect and move the world is a powerful form of advocacy and activism that ensures change and creates spaces for these critical conversations.
  • I look forward to working with artists, activists, advocates, scientists, educators and so many more who know that art can change the world!   Winona, Minnesota

Board Member, Intern   Grace Bianchi is a senior at Roseville Area High School. Currently she is working on her senior service project focused on double standards and girl bashing. Through her video, she is hoping to make some changes in the school culture by raising awareness. Grace is an active member of AWE inc. changemaker course/group, and has been a member since 2015.  Her responsibilities for AWE include, co-facilitating International Day of the Girl 2017, leading empowerment exercises, and facilitating small group discussions. She is excited about supporting other girls in their empowerment, self-discovery, and leadership. Grace is a student at MacPhail Center for Music. She has played the violin for 15 years and received several music awards. She is active in the community outreach programs and was selected to perform with Black Violin 2017, a sold out show, at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. She mentors younger musicians in both high school and the Suzuki program. She draws on her own experiences to encourage young girls in their own musicianship and self –discovery.

I am excited to join the Art To Change The World board because:

  • I feel it is important to provide a diverse range of artist a platform for expression.
  • I believe art and culture holds the potential for deeper conversations. I will offer a youthful voice with a different perspective on many issues.
  • I come from a long line of artist and have seen first hand the power of art to make meaningful connections and inspire change.
  • I am excited to surround myself with people who are passionate about art and social justice. Roseville, Minnesota

Board Member Craig Harris is Artistic Director of Interference Arts and is a composer, performer, and consultant in the nonprofit arts field. Harris creates multimedia dramatic stage works and creative story spaces, and has been a consultant and nonprofit arts organization leader for three decades, with a focus on arts-based community development. Harris has received support from McKnight Foundation, American Composers Forum, Hanson Institute for American Music, the Right Here Showcase and Rimon: the MN Jewish Arts Council. As Executive Director of Ballet of the Dolls and the Ritz Theater Foundation, he led the initiative to renovate the Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis. He was Managing and Interim Director at the Playwrights’ Center, President of the International Computer Music Association, and Executive Director of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. He has presented at many international festivals and conferences, including the International Symposium on Electronic Arts and the International Computer Music Conference. Harris received a Ph.D. in Composition at Eastman School of Music.

Why am I joining this Board?
+ Bring my experience and leadership skills to join an engaged group of people focusing their energy on using art to reveal truth and positively impact the world.
+ Bring my experience and relationships working in diverse creative communities to work towards common goals.
+ Help to break down disciplinary boundaries to expand inclusion and deepen impact.  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Board Member Lynn Cloonan Olson  I have  always delighted in teaching, beginning that career as a high school teacher of English for 2 years in Nigeria, West Africa. Later I taught English at the grade school and high school level in both Pennsylvania and Illinois. Since coming to Minnesota I’ve spent 36 years as a lawyer and judge, teaching many law seminars and courses to attorneys.

Learning languages has been a constant source of pleasure for me throughout my years as a teacher, attorney and judge.  Immersion programs in Switzerland (French), Guatemala  (Spanish), and Costa Rica (Spanish) helped me to better understand and converse with the people who appeared in my court. I also speak some German and am now studying Somali  so I can understand  what my students are laughing about.

I have enjoyed all of my work, but have concluded that teaching is my first joy! I recently completed an intensive course on teaching English as a foreign language and am now certified to do so. I believe that English can and will improve life for so many who find themselves surrounded by a language and, perhaps, a culture they cannot understand.

I also believe that learning can and should be enjoyed. I intend to create enthusiasm and fun in the classroom through games, music, films, food, and laughter. No one should fear learning English, especially when the atmosphere in our classroom will be one of informality, relaxation and pleasure.

Board Member, Joan Vaughn is a writer, visionary, and entrepreneur.

She has extensive experience in business development:

·         In 1999, Joan created Communities of Care, a home care nursing agency, which she still owns and operates.  ( )

·         She coaches other entrepreneurs in the EOS/Traction business method in her business consulting company, How to Train Your Visionary. (

·         Joan is also a co-owner of 5 Sisters Organics, a farm in Northern Minnesota that has belonged to her family for over 100 years.  (yes, there are really that many sisters)

She has participated on many non-profit boards including Entrepreneur’s Organization, Oak Hill Montessori, and is a founding member of Professional Home Care Coalition.

Previous careers include teaching English and 10 years in a medical device company, Guidant.

I am joining the board of Art to Change the World because

·         I believe in the mission and values of the organization.  Together, art + collaboration can transform people, create new possibilities, and change the world.

·         I am happy to help develop a strong board of directors that will guide ACW.   I have extensive experience with board development, and I am happy to share my experience.

·         I look forward to being in community and collaboration with a diverse group of creative people who are intentionally joining together to create positive change in the world.

Board Member Shira Richter is a practicing, multidisciplinary Research-thinker-Artist-Speaker who has been ARTiculating Motherhood/Mothering/ MotherValue & Worth (care work) in the socio-political-economic and artistic context, for nearly two decades. She is the Director of internationally award winning woman-adventure documentary  films,  Artist Creator of two large scale photography-text-video exhibitions about motherhood and has published several books.   Read More

Why am I joining the board of ART TO CHANGE THE WORLD:

Because Barbara Bridges builds bridges between people and their souls, people and their thoughts, and other people’s souls and thoughts. She does it with a smile, with honesty, with enthusiasm creativity and humor.

Because art is looked down upon by mainstream education- Art is the first to be cut when there are budget cuts. This is a tragedy for our children and for the next generation.

Because for me creativity and art are spiritual practices equal to practicing in a synagogue, a mosque, or a church.

Art is our first mother tongue and the language of soul.

Art can transform a person the same way meditation can.

Art can discover new paths the same way science can.

Because we say we want diversity but keep the arts out of the conversation.

Because isolation is a killer, and for the same reason mothers need mothering-  artists need a supportive community.

Because I have lived long enough to see how encountering my art has changed people’s lives for the better. First mine, then many others.

Feminist artivist mothernist   Hertzliya, Israel