Monday, November 7, 2011


Between September and November 2011, there were twelve hours of charette or focus group meetings on ways arts and agriculture can work together in Orange County for mutual benefit. The Ag people are interested in increasing the dollar yield per acre, extending their marketing season, and bringing more people to their farm markets. Arts might be a way to do this. Artists are looking for new audiences and venues for both working and presenting work. The natural settings of the farm and established farm marketing techniques may be a good fit for artists.

The questions were:
How can arts add value to the farms and
How can the farms contribute to the arts in Orange County.

Over a hundred people participated in these discussions and many will continue on committees and via to select the most appropriate activities, people and locations. Some of the suggestions relate to art or farms only marginally ( Is local food “art”) (Are paintings at a farm market really a fusion of Ag and Art?)

Some of these ideas are already in action. For example there are at least two Orange County Ag cookbooks; there have been dance, drama and m,usic events on farms for many years. I think we're lookiong at an appropriate development of these.

Brainstorming Ideas
Present Arts/Ag in a wider context or “web” of community activities.
County-wide logo to link farms and art—central slogan so people associate Black Dirt and Orange County—AgArts in Orange County (8 votes)(17 votes—top 5)
Graphic design for labels and signage—for local foods (6 votes)
Farm logos collectibles/pins for festivals,T-shirts and cups (2 votes)
Mural or signage of what produce is actually produced. Decorating the farms (11 votes)
Get better photography and websites for the farms (no votes)
Road signs for farms like they have in wine country (Received 14 votes)
Internet portal that links to farm/art events; Website or literature for Orange County featuring what’s happening on the farms. Should feature farms and artists, put in magazine also.
Develop artist-type tourist maps, showing farms open to visit, restaurants, etc.(21 votes—top 5)
Get a celebrity spokesperson that feels a real connection to area, Morgan Freeman?.(12 votes
Orange County Farmers calendar, cookbook and paintings (16 votes—top 5)
Artist paints on side of trucks—advertisement for artists as well. . (Received 16 votes—top 5)
Set up geotracking program for mobile devices, giving addresses of farms and including website links, videos, etc. to provide information about institution or farm. (Received 6 votes)
Weekend bike tours around the County to farms; artists could create signage, etc. ( 5 votes)
Expand Arts Presence at Farmers Markets/Green Markets: add dance, poetry
Expand to other types of festivals—Potato, Maple syrupl , snow, ice, early spring blossom
Pop-up markets selling handcrafted items on themes of farms—historic, holiday, etc. (8 votes)
Art walks—fill Main Streets. Apples painted by artists, creating a picture from fruits/vegetables.
Develop Arts/Ag Package Tours: 2 days one night see the Uncommons of Orange County!
Find indoor farm/art market venue (15 votes) Downing Park, Newburgh, Chris Tripoli, mgr
Monthly Open house at farm with art connection, through Cornell Cooperative (21 votes)
Orange County Farm Market gift shop in each village/town (city too presumably) (no votes)
Artisans create custom items for farm markets/wineries: glasses, logos, baskets
Do a farm/art trail. Make the whole region a destination in pulling people through, like Shawangunk Wine Trail, spend the day (42 votes—top 5)

Oral history project collaboration between artists and farmers, farm workers telling stories of
Orange County/Black Dirt farms through storytelling, drama, writing, filmmaking, poetry,
photography (8 votes—top 4) … and integrate their stories into farmers markets (8 votes)
Tie the agricultural community to heritage/architectural tourism (11 votes)
Weekend arts/nature programs —food served, art created, but located on farm (13 votes)
Include animal farms/workshops fiber on animal to finished art project (16 votes—top 5)
Sensory and touch experience at farms, i.e. terrarium play plants (Received 12 votes)
Bugs education—draw bugs, have costume contest
Educate people on how to survive off the land (3 votes)
Meet-the Farmer Have farmers tell about environmental issues

Arts Events on Farms: permanent, seasonal and single day or weekend
Sculptural/Art trail on farms: Murals on barns, silos, sculptures (Received 55 votes)
Land Art projects fallow fields of color, tie into Google Earth for viewing (21 votes—top 5)
Recycle surplus farm materials and make art from them 8 votes—top 4)
Music/Jazz festivals, Dance Performances on farms;
Artist-in-residence program on farm with open house (artist-in-residence : artist attached to a facility for a period of time in order to create) ( 6 votes)
Children’s theater program, create and act out plays about farming history told by older farmers, farmers’ wives, migrants. (11 votes)
To extend season, Farms/Artists theme weekends Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Mid-Winter, Blossom festivals, Ice festivals, Birthing Festivals
Create Art from Natural Materials: using berry juice to create art (11 votes)
Doing project with local clay using vegetables at farm, can be sold at markets/farms/info booths,
Have a Farm program of Be-with-an-Artist for the day (1 vote)
Games on farms, scavenger hunt using photographs of items ( no votes)
Theater games for kids at farms in combination with educational farming programs (1vote)
Create a venue for performance art that would change monthly and benefit both artists and farmers, changing venue with seasons. Arrow Park would be good venue. ( 26 votes—top 4
Several artists share experiences in a multidisciplinary exhibition and show. (8 votes)
Christmas tree mazes. Flash mobs on the farms, Pumpkin float (no votes)
Stamping art—sell stamps created by artists,; take collecting book to farms and get a
stamp, with a prize for collecting certain number of stamps (Received 8 votes)

Develop Relationships with other Organizations
Contact Co-ops in NYC area and Invite them to “socials” in Orange County
Museum Village—tie in food and arts to that era (music) (11 votes)
International Center for Photography comes out to farms with theme (Received 4 votes)
Invite art schools from the city (kids adults)—practice their medium in nature. (18 votes—top 5)
NY Historical Society. Hands-on experiences from yesteryear, equipment demos. ( 8 votes)
Farmers participate in American Crafts Week second week of October?) (no votes)

Advice: When planning events, be aware of farmer’s seasonal demands . December to February are best available months
Foods Where’s the “arts” connection??
Local foods at festivals—locally grown foods (11 votes)
Tie in restaurants and cooking schools on farms, showcase local meal from farms (4 votes)
Create culinary school for 3 days/week, with B & B so you’re keeping people (3 votes)
To extend season, Farms host local foods dinners, have art exhibited

1 comment:

  1. Think seeds. Seed packets with artists seed package graphics on the cover. Seed jewelry. Create an Orange County heirloom seed bank and a seed selling business. A seed exhibit. Seed music rhythm shakers for music with gourds and other forms.....