Happy 2022! I hope the new year brings health and happiness to you and your community as well as new opportunities for reflection and intention setting. As I write this rain barrels down in my backyard in Seattle, creating cloudy pools of water in the emerald green grass. It's a different scene than the white landscape, single-digit temperatures and flurries of snow I experienced in Montana over Christmas. In the last year, that's one of the things I've learned to be really grateful for: the opportunity to belong to and work in two communities. I haven't always thought about it this way though. Thanks to my second season two guest, Jake Bullinger, I learned to reframe my own perspective on place and rootedness, embrace the "inbetweenness" of my life and view it as a point of strength that I get to invest in two distinctive states, rather than a liability.
I learn so much from my Reframing Rural guests. You help me feel represented in my experiences. You challenge me. You introduce me to new philosophies and solutions, and you make me hopeful for the future.
Your voices breathe light into the dark corners of winter and uncertainty, for me and so many listeners.
In 2022, I am excited to continue learning from you all, but for now I'd like to share 10 highlights from the past year!
Reframing Rural Founder & Producer
10 Reframing Rural Highlights of 2021
Attending Red Ants Pants Music Festival My creative partner and partner-in-life, Andrew Drinnan and I were all smiles at the Red Ants Pants Music Festival in White Sulphur Springs last summer! Seeing live music again was one of the greatest joys of 2021. I also got the opportunity to create a special bonus episode from interviews and music recordings captured at the festival!
Forging new friendships in Montana, Minnesota and Washington State Largely thanks to Zoom, in 2021 I had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people committed to the future of rural America! Miranda Moen (pictured here), Molly Byron, Ash Hanson, Benya Kraus, Claire Overholt, Tara Mastel, Marguerite Jimenez, Randi Tanglen, Jake Bullinger, Sarah Calhoun, Sam Blomquist, Ben Winchester, Charlene Porsild, Kate McCourt - you all are just a few of the people I've had the privilege of getting to know more this year. Thanks for being part of Reframing Rural's journey!
Receiving grants from Humanities Montana and Greater Montana Foundation + listener contributions A big goal of mine for 2021 was securing funding support for Reframing Rural, and I did it! Big thanks to Humanities Montana and the Greater Montana Foundation for supporting my platform. Thanks also to listeners Ian Templeton, Kat Hurst, Danielle McClune, Domonique Juleon and Paige Petrangelo for making donations!
Hunting with friends and family at my farm near Dagmar, MT In 2021 I had the opportunity to go pheasant and grouse hunting with friends and family at my farm in Eastern Montana. It was truly one of my greatest joys of 2021. I got the chance to walk coulees, share stories, breathe in crisp Montana air and give gratitude to birds whose meat we harvested. I also had the opportunity to celebrate my rural homeplace, sharing my favorite pasture land, gravel roads and Big Sky sunsets with my oldest friend, Morgan Haynie, and friends Mark and Ben.
Hearing from listeners I love when listeners reach out to me and share how the podcast has challenged previously-held beliefs, affirmed experiences or enhanced their understanding of rural America! One listener wrote: "Your gift to us urban folks brings us closer to understanding the rich and diverse life of these rural communities." Thank you for listening and thank you for sharing your comments and feedback with me! Reach out any time!
Being interviewed by the Daily Yonder In December, the Daily Yonder wrote a story about Reframing Rural! "As someone who grew up in Montana but now lives in Seattle, Washington, Megan Torgerson has heard the cliches about the urban-rural divide: people in rural America are close-minded, poverty-stricken individuals who can’t make it in the big city. Urban Americans, meanwhile, are highly educated individuals living on the coasts who wouldn’t think about stepping foot in the Heartland or carrying a conversation with someone who thinks differently than they do..." keep reading
Getting featured in Explore Big Sky In November, I was interviewed by Explore Big Sky! "A Montana-made podcast series that focuses on sharing the stories and perspectives of small-town USA launched its second season, highlighting rural issues and solutions within and beyond Montana’s borders. Podcast founder, host and producer Megan Torgerson launched her nonfiction series “Reframing Rural” in 2020 while working toward her Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership at Seattle University. The idea for the project started brewing during the 2016 election when rural America was brushed aside..." read more
Launching Season 2: Sowing Possibility Launching my second season was a real highlight of 2021! Through conversations with thought-provoking rural advocates in season two, my aim is to uplift the resiliency of rural communities, stretch listeners’ social imagination and call attention to the interconnectedness of rural and urban geographies.
Sharing stories with friends and family in NE Montana through Reframing Rural's first season In 2021 I wrapped up my first season of Reframing Rural, sharing stories of my family's farm and highlighting rural womanhood through interviews with my mom and family friend Kay Brinkman.
Being featured in Wyoming's award-winning podcast, The Modern West May 2021, a podcast I've been a long-time listener of, The Modern West, shared Season 1 Episode 3: Unearthing the Indigenous Narrative in NE Montana. It was a real honor to share this story featuring my friend, Eddie Hentges with Modern West listeners. Listen here!
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