As we've traveled around the country with our American Futures and Our Towns projects since 2013, my husband, Jim, and I have evolved from being skeptics to evangelists about the impact of public arts on communities.
In June 2013, my husband, Jim, and I first landed our small, single-engine Cirrus propeller airplane at the main airport, Joe Foss Field, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was the first…
Exiled writers use words as art and inspire a community.
The words we use about ourselves reveal surprising truths
Three 21st-century words that are driving the nation's most dynamic municipalities
Dipthongs turn into monopthongs, and other adventures among the cypress knees.
How the people of Sioux Falls describe themselves and their hometown
More ways of taking the measure of this vast country.
Across the nation, people have different questions they ask when meeting someone new. There are hidden meanings in all of them—including a popular one about schooling.
The curious geography of American greetings
When we were in Greenville SC recently, I was surprised to learn that a very common follow-up to the greeting of “How do you do?” or “Nice to meet you,”…
Speaking Your Mind in South Carolina
[See update* below.] On our recent flight home in our small plane from Eastport ME, to Washington DC, we were listening, as we often do, to the air traffic controllers (ATC). They…
I always associate the word “wicked” with the Maine icon L.L.Bean. For good reason: do you know that if you search on the L.L.Bean website for “wicked” that you will…
A town teaches itself to talk positive.
When ships sailing downwind are sailing east