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Season Two of Long-Form

A gathering of people interested in exploring how we can cultivate belonging and enrichment within our community.

Economic development professional and consultant Carolyn Chrisman asserts that “The future of rural America is bright as long as community stakeholders work together, embrace change and innovation, and provide the leadership necessary to progress.” We strive to convene a group of community stakeholders, which is to say members of our community, and to facilitate an informed, ongoing conversation about how we might collectively foster the innovation and leadership necessary for grassroots economic growth in our beloved rural community.Economic development includes the work of place-making, community building, and cultivating a sense of belonging among residents.

As such, our Long-Form reading selections and subsequent discussions will include texts that explicitly address rural economics, as well as broader and more philosophical questions about community, the self, and the ever important quandary of how to live. The materials covered in the program allows for nuance and contradiction, as well as interactive grappling with these complicated and consequential themes. We imagine participants in this program might feel like they've enrolled in an interdisciplinary, seminar style course – but for a small fraction of the traditional cost.

This year's curriculum includes (but is not limited to) chapters from the following books: 

  • High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out by Amanda Ripley  

  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari 

  • American Precariate: Parables of Exclusion an anthology edited by Zeke Caligiuri et al. 

  • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones 

  • Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown

  • Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good written and gathered by adrienne marie brown

  • The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays by Wendell Berry

  • Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey 

  • The Seven Generations and the Seven Grandfather Teachings by James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw 

  • Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben

  • Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond 

Participants will complete the reading and/or listening assignments prior to meetings. A compilation of chapters, articles, and poems totaling 40-75 pages, or up to two hours of podcast listening, will be assigned prior to each meeting. Each participant will sign up to contribute something simple/casual to eat for one session – thus each meeting will include dinner. Meetings will take place at the Ely Folk School (209 E Sheridan Street in Ely). 

Long-Form will take place twice monthly between February and May.

Registration for the second season of Long-Form is now closed, but stay tuned for information about our third season, which will be available around the end of the year.

Contact Lacey Squier via email ( to indicate an interest in participating.

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