Dick Lehman – Ten Essential Elements

In September, Wide Angle Films and Talks invited Amy Worsham and Dick Lehman to explore the intersections between Goshen’s past and present relationships to the arts and the challenges and opportunities before us. During the event, Dick Lehman shared what he calls the ten essential elements that helped shape the artist community in Goshen.

Watch the clip from “A Community of Art”, and explore the Ten Essential Elements below.

“This combination of ten things I think has made it possible for this little town to be a place where we have a thriving arts community.” – Dick Lehman


1) The Elkhart County Economy

“There have always been jobs here. Elkhart County has historically had one of the lowest, if not the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. The cost if living is very affordable. Some have referred to Elkhart County as the Canary in the Coalmine.”

2) Northern Indiana was a Destination Point

Amish Country, RVs, Notre Dame, the Lakes District.

3) Goshen College

“As a liberal arts school, it’s introduced every person going through to Arts Appreciation, Arts History, and at least one studio course.”

4) Larion Swartzendruber

“I know that Larion had lots of opportunities to rent space to people who weren’t artists and craftsmen, but he held out in large part for his vision, hoping that [the Old Bag Factory] could be a unique destination point. There was a visionary person involved there.”

5) Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau

“For about 30 years, they’ve brought a large budget to promote the area of the arts, business, and manufacturing.”

6) Goshen Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber started offering reduced rates and named some of the artists and crafts people as the business of the year. “That to me symbolized a full embrace of those businesses.”

7) Dave Pottinger

“Dave set the bar for inclusivity, creativity, and vision. I think we’re really lucky to have had a person like him here.”

9) Community Foundation of Elkhart County

“Has invested money in a number of things in Goshen”

10) Midwest Museum of American Arts

“In it’s 40th year of sponsoring the regional  juried exposition. They have also “developed and educated a whole group of collectors.”

To see more clips from this event, go to our “A Community of Art” event recap.

To learn more about arts in Goshen, check out the ‘Arts’ theme page on the guide.

About The Author

David Leaman-Miller

Originally from Denver, Colorado, David Leaman-Miller graduated from Goshen College in 2017 where he studied Film and Sustainability. He currently works as a Fellow for the Community Resilience Guild and is one of the primary developers of the Goshen Guide.

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