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In depth with Lann Briel and her work on the Medicine Wheel for the American Indian Family Center (AIFC)

Lann Briel

Lann Briel

Date: 
July 2, 2015
Whacould a filmmaker, Minnesota’s American Indian community and the social services sector have in common? The common thread is Lann Briel and the valuable, CURA-funded, community-based research she is doing with the American Indian Family Center (AIFC). Whether you’re a student, community member or nonprofit partner, read on. #CURAStudents #RelevantResearch #UMNProud #CURAthingoftheweek
The AIFC, based in St. Paul, helps provide programing, education and resources to American Indians. The center uses the Medicine Wheel, as the lens for its work and Lann is helping the AIFC use the Medicine Wheel as an evaluation frame.
Lann’s background in film production coupled with her current studies in the Arts and Cultural Leadership program at the University of Minnesota made her a great match for the AIFC. 
Show your support and share the story of Lann, the Medicine Wheel and the AIFC with all those who are interested!
Would you like to learn about Lann? 
<We will post the full Q&A with Lann on the CURA site>
Would you like to learn about Lann’s research on the Medicine Wheel? 
<Link to project description>
Are you interested in the American Indian Family Center?
http://www.aifc.net/

What could a filmmaker, Minnesota’s American Indian community and the social services sector have in common? The common thread is Lann Briel and the valuable, CURA-funded, community-based research she is doing with the American Indian Family Center (AIFC). Whether you’re a student, community member or nonprofit partner, read on.

The AIFC, based in St. Paul, helps provide programing, education and resources to American Indians. The center uses the Medicine Wheel, as the lens for its work and Lann is helping the AIFC use the Medicine Wheel as an evaluation frame.Lann’s background in film production coupled with her current studies in the Arts and Cultural Leadership program at the University of Minnesota made her a great match for the AIFC. Show your support and share the story of Lann, the Medicine Wheel and the AIFC with all those who are interested!

A Q&A with Lann Briel

Share something interesting or unique about yourself?

I have an undergraduate degree in film production from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and have worked on two internationally recognized documentaries. One was nominated for an award a Silver Eye Award at Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in the Czech Republic, the other was an official selection at Sundance. I am also a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, based in Belcourt, North Dakota.  

Why did you pick your course of study? 

I chose my course of study after spending five years working as the videographer for the arts based nonprofit Forecast Public Art. I became interested in the impact my videos had on their digital communications. Were they effective? Did they assist with securing grants? Did more artists apply for public art grants because they saw my videos? This is where my interest in evaluation started. In 2013 I applied to the Arts and Cultural Leadership (ACL) program at the University of Minnesota, and will complete my degree next year. This program encompasses public affairs courses through the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and philanthropic courses through the College of Continuing Education. It has provided me with the professional skills needed to be a leader in the arena of arts advocacy and public policy and helped me fine tune my administrative skills for arts, culture and humanities based nonprofit organizations. .

What's been great/interesting/valuable about your work with CURA and your community partners?

I think having an arts background has granted me the ability to be creative in the way I approach evaluation. Having the opportunity to work with the American Indian Family Center has allowed me to educate myself more on the Indigenous Medicine Wheel and consider new ways the Medicine Wheel can be utilized as an evaluation tool. I would have never had the chance to consider this had it not been for the opportunity through CURA.   

How does your project support your learning and education?

The Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund has had a large impact on our state's economy and our state's arts community. I think it is important for our state's arts organizations to report and evaluate according to state standards required of any other state funded nonprofit. It creates transparency for the organization and allows the public to know how their tax dollars are benefiting their communities. I hope to apply what I have learned during this project to future evaluation projects–especially for my ACL final project at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts–and any future places of employment. Evaluation is a strong tool for advocacy, and I've found it important that I incorporate it into my course framework at the University of Minnesota.