Edie Barrett on Leadership – Join Us and Follow Along!

As the new KDIO program audios are released, we will list the links below for your convenience.
They are also listed in the Radio Show section of this article.   

LINK, May 2019:  Audio 7
LINK, April 2019:  Audio 6
LINK, March 2019:  Audio 5
LINK, February 2019:
  Audio 4 
LINK, January 2019:  Audio 3
LINK, December 5, 2018:   Audio 2
LINK, November 8, 2018
:   Audio 1

For program history and original notes, see below.

Notes by Vicki Oakes, Community Development Coordinator

We have the opportunity to follow along – and join in – as Edie Barrett attends The Humphrey School of Public Affairs (part of the University of Minnesota) in pursuit of a Master Degree in Public Affairs.

Who is Edie Barrett?  She is a lifelong artist and writer who moved to Ortonville in 2010.  Check out her website www.ediebarrett.com for all of her details!

What is the  Master of Public Affairs degree program all about?  It is a program geared toward mid-career professionals who want to advance their skills in public and nonprofit leadership, management, and policy analysis at the local, state, national, or global level.  Designed to stimulate personal and professional growth through concentrated work with dedicated peers, the MPA allows students to design a program that works best for them and their goals.  (Visit this link for more information on the Humphrey School MPA Program)

Classes started in August of 2018 for Edie.  She has designed a class project in leadership involving our local and regional community.  It is not often a student invites you into their learning process and provides an educational opportunity to those around them.  (I know that I am looking forward to this!)

In an effort to be mindful of both rural issues and the arts, prior to attending school, Edie connected with a number of people in our region and in the state.

Pictured below is a pre-class discussion group that Edie invited to her home.  From the left:  Amy S. Mondloch, Community Program Administrator of the Center for Small Towns, Morris; Edie Barret and Liz (the Yorkie) of Ortonville; Becky Parker, Ortonville EDA President; Lisa Graphenteen, Housing Development & ArtPlace Grant, Slayton; Dillon Dwyer, local Journalist, Ortonville; Abbey Guggisberg, University of Minnesota Morris, Student Intern; Jeanie Kanten, Big Stone Arts Council President, Ortonville; and I took the photo!

The three projects that we (the public) are invited to engage with are:

1. Book Club:

Edie is hosting a book club featuring Brené Brown’s new book, Dare to Lead.  You are welcome to join the fun!  The book club consists of group discussions and sharing as we read through the book over the next seven months.  In addition, the book club will explore issues of leadership and circle around what it means to live in a quality rural community.  Here are a few photos from the Book Club:

2.  Radio Show:

Edie and Lauren K. Carlson of Dawson will be co-hosting a monthly radio show called, “Artistic Leadership from the Prairie” (as noted in the photo below).  We hope you will listen in as they explore artistic endeavors, leadership, and prairie life.

These links will take you to the Radio Show audio files:

LINK, May 2019:  Audio 7
LINK, April 2019:  Audio 6
LINK, March 2019:  Audio 5
LINK, February 2019:
  Audio 4 
LINK, January 2019:  Audio 3
LINK, December 5, 2018:   Audio 2
LINK, November 8, 2018
:   Audio 1

3.  Presentation at Unitarian Church, in Underwood MN:

Presentation Date: Sunday, March 31, 2019
Presentation Topic: Getting Uncomfortable with White Privilege

The Content:
Edie’s presentation  encompassed the following Unitarian Church core principles:

  • believing in the worthiness of every person
  • showing compassion and fairness
  • working for justice
  • understanding that everything is interconnected.

She explored these areas:

  • Who she is
  • What she is learning – and more importantly – how this information is changing her
  • Psychological research regarding social divisions
  • Suggestions in moving forward

This newspaper article by Dillon Dwyer was published in the Ortonville Independent last fall as Edie embarked on her leadership project.

Cumulative Event: Sunday, June 2, 2019

A cumulative event of this leadership project was held on Sunday, June 2, 2019, in Ortonville, Minnesota. Approximately 50 to 60 people attended. Participants arrived from Fergus Falls, Beardsley, Clinton, Ortonville, Madison, Dawson, Montevideo, and Minneapolis, as well as Big Stone City and Milbank South Dakota.

Dr. Kevin Gerdes, Director of The Humphrey School of Public Affairs, attended the afternoon event. He participated in the conclusion of the regional book club and was interviewed by Dillan Dwyer, a local journalist. Dr. Kevin Gerdes also brought his guitar and joined the band, and engaged in a conversational exchange with graduate student, Edie Barrett, regarding leadership, urban and rural issues, and core values of leadership and its importance in today’s culture.

Musicians from the left: Dr. Kevin Gerdes (Minneapolis), Audrey Arner and Richard Handeen (Montevideo), and Lee Kanten (Ortonville).

Lauren K. Carlson (Dawson) did a poetry reading from her chapbook, “Animals I have Killed”

And, below are Dr. Kevin Gerdes and Edie Barrett (Ortonville) talking about leadership.
These two photos are courtesy of John G. White

Dr. Kevin Gerdes


Edie Barrett (Ortonville)

Edie Barrett would like to express her gratitude for the partnership with the Ortonville Economic Development Authority and the generosity of the Blandin Foundation for their grant which supported the Radio Show and Book Club.  In addition, she would like to acknowledge Lauren K. Carlson from Dawson for partnering on the Radio Show.

Thank you so much for your interest in this project!