What makes a hometown a home?
Have you ever given your hometown much thought? Why did people settle there? Has it existed for centuries or can its age be measured in decades? What keeps the economy going? Three young women in Lanesboro, Minnesota explored these questions in remarkable documentaries about their hometown. Perhaps the most important question they considered—what does the future of Lanesboro hold?
In collaboration with Lanesboro Arts, each young documentarian researched, conducted interviews and learned editing in order to create their films. Initially inspired by the exhibition Water/Ways and the area's natural resources, the main theme that emerged is change. Through an exploration of Lanesboro's future and, more generally, how small towns can thrive in the modern world, one film asks, “Will Lanesboro be willing to change?”
Over four months, the filmmakers talked to people on the street, political figures, business owners, families, and perhaps most revealing, each other. The results challenge accepted notions about small town life and reflect something personal about the filmmakers. Echoing the question about whether Lanesboro can change, local Glen Nyenhuis states that it already has: “It’s gonna keep changing. And that’s good.”
All three films are being screened at the St. Mane Theatre in Lanesboro on January 27th and 28th, 2017, coinciding with the exhibition of Water/Ways. If you’re not able to make it to Minnesota though, see each film here on the small screen:
Small Town, Big Changes
Farming, Then and Now
The Rebirth of a Town
Image at top courtesy Tyler Anderson. Others courtesy Lanesboro Arts.