Newly Launched U.S. Department of Arts and Culture hosts “Imagining” to Ignite Civic Engagement Throughout the St. Croix River Valley

Local artist/organizer brings together a diverse cross-section of St. Croix River Valley residents and activists to strategize new and creative ways to solve looming challenges.




2 minute read

USDAC logo

This summer, the St. Croix River Valley makes history. On July 11, 2014 from 4pm to 6pm at the St. Croix Falls Public Library, St. Croix Falls WI, followed by a press conference at the Overlook in downtown St. Croix Falls, community members will gather to envision their community in 2034, one of only 17 cities across the country to host an Imagining with the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC), the nation’s newest people-powered department.

“When is a meeting not another boring meeting?” asks Carissa Samaniego, the USDAC’s local Cultural Agent, answering her own question: “When it’s a lively, creative gathering of community members envisioning the year 2034 when art’s power to engage, connect, uplift and transform has been woven into all aspects of their hometown.”

Cultural Agent Samaniego said that, “Everyone is invited to attend. You don’t have to be an artist, just to care about the future quality of life here in the St. Croix River Valley. We promise serious fun, playful performance, collaborative art-making, and great company. Just contact us via email at to let us know you’re coming!”

Each Imagining is hosted by a local Cultural Agent, sparking ideas, inspiring community action, and contributing to a national vision for the U.S. In addition to their local impact, the 17 Imaginings in this summer’s pilot phase will gather ideas, images, and stories to help shape the USDAC’s policy platform and future programs. What happens in the St. Croix River Valley this summer has the potential to affect the whole country. It’s national and it’s local.

About the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture

Launched on October 5th, 2013, in the midst of the government shutdown, the USDAC has no federal line item, office in Washington D.C., or official governmental status. Rather, the USDAC is the new people-powered department dedicated to cultivating the empathy and imagination we need to create the world we wish to inhabit. Radically inclusive, useful, and vibrantly playful, the USDAC aims to harness the power of art and culture to engage millions in envisioning and creating a more just and sustainable world. It does this by sparking local initiatives, connecting people and ideas across sites, and sourcing, articulating, and activating visions for new national-scale policies and programs. More at