The Granite Falls Department of Public Transformation announced in December that two new employees will join the staff this month. Holly Doll will join the staff as the Ignite Rural Program Coordinator, and Sarina Otaibi will join the staff as the Creative Rural Building Program Director. The Department of Public Transformation (or DoPT) is an artist-led organization that works to develop creative strategies to increase community bonds, civic pride, and equitable participation in rural areas.
Holly Doll will work with the DoPT team on the design and implementation of the program and will be the point of contact and support for the cohort. Doll joins the collaboration with over ten years of experience in nonprofit artistic and cultural work, with her experience specifically involving Native American artists. She is also one of the founders of an Indigenous cooperative called Native Artists United, in which Doll engages in cultural education and teaches traditional beading and stitching art classes. Most recently, Doll helped design a grant program through the Waterers, focusing on radicalizing philanthropy to create a better system of financial support for BIPOC artists and culture bearers. . On top of all this, Doll has around 25 years of experience in creating art.
Doll, who lives in Mandan, North Dakota, decided to apply for the job after seeing the job advertisement due to her knowledge of the work the DoPT does in rural Minnesota. “Besides knowing the incredible work the DoPT has already done, what immediately drew me to them is how much they support artists. He is flexible, understanding and willing to meet artists and culture carriers where they are, without expecting them to adhere to a strict funding schedule, ”Doll said. “It’s designed to be an opportunity, not an expectation. I also like that it is addressed to the artists of BIPOC and to the bearers of culture, because that is what my past and my present have always focused on.
Doll says the most interesting aspect of her new job is the small cohort size. “With a cohort of four, this gives space for better relationships and building trust, and gives me more flexibility in designing parts of the program,” she says. “Work more closely with artists to determine what type of support is most useful to them, and my focus and energy are not too dispersed. Artists can get what they need from me.
Doll expects the more difficult aspect to work virtually. “While grateful that I was able to work remotely since the start of the pandemic, I had times to take a deep breath and think it would be so much easier in person,” she says.
If anyone would like to contact Doll, her bio and a clickable link to her email are available on the DoPT website. “I am extremely excited and honored to join the DoPT and expand my work in Southwest Minnesota,” Doll said.
New DoPT employee Sarina Otaibi will be featured in an upcoming edition of Lawyer Tribune.