When asked to choose a problem for this Creative Community Fellowship, I chose an environmental issue. Living in an agricultural valley, ranchers buy hay that is bound by plastic twine. This twine accumulates quickly and the closest recycler of this material is 980 miles away (one way). Consequently, this plastic twine is everywhere: wrapped around farm equipment wheels, in burn piles, piled in corners of fields, in birds’ nests and left in ditches. Eventually, it ends up in landfills, burned into the atmosphere or just left out in the fields.
Nina Simon, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, details how the organization’s financial crisis enabled them to take risks and explore a new model that would help them garner support and build relationships to turn around their finances and establish the museum as a community organization.