News & Events

National Conference for Growing Community Foundations


Map of my Kingdom will be featured at the National Conference for Growing Community Foundations: Sustainable Community for All. The play, with actor Cora Vander Broek, will be followed by a talkback and interactive discussion led by Mary Swander. That’s Monday, October 26, 2020, from 6:00-7:30pm.

On Tuesday, October 27, Mary Swander will be available from 2:00-3:00pm for pre-scheduled meetings with attendees.

Hosted by the Kansas Association for Community Foundations.

Conference buzz: “This is the most comprehensive conference for CFs that I am aware of.”

“This is, full stop, one of the most important events of the year.” 

Map of my Kingdom is one of the many presentations at this comprehensive online event. For details, click here.




All About Natural Dyes: Online Class

Curious about natural dyeing? Come learn what works, what doesn’t (and why!)

Instructor Lesley Darling will demonstrate in the September 26 10am class how to dye with what you already have lying about the kitchen and garden. This class is an excellent choice for beginners or those trying to make sense of information they’ve seen online, incorporating traditional dye history, basic science, and practical at-home solutions.

Instructor Lesley Darling is a Midwest-based fiber artist with international experience and 7+ years of textile practice.

This online class is sponsored by Land Alliance Folk School and by AgArts, a non-profit designed to imagine and promote a healthy food system through the arts. $28. REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS.



Creating Videos, Start to Finish: Online Class

Have you ever wanted to make a video? Whether it’s an educational film, a short narrative film, or even just a chance to reach your clients through a YouTube channel, the thought can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be!

Join us for an online 4-part course, Oct. 3-24, 10am to noon Central Time, designed to teach you how to create video content using your video-capable smartphone and the iMovie editing program.

Held each Saturday for four weeks, these 2-hour classes will cover all the basic skills you need to turn your ideas into a full-fledged, sharable video:
Week 1, Oct. 3 – Pre-Production: Planning Your Shoot and Basic Technical Skills.
Week 2, Oct. 10 – Production: Shooting Your Video Footage.
Week 3, Oct. 17 – Post-Production #1 – Understanding Concepts of Editing and Using iMovie.
Week 4, Oct. 24 – Post-Production #2 – Finalizing Your Edit and Sharing Your Finished Video.

Each class will consist of approximately 90 minutes of course work followed by 30 minutes of optional “Community Time,” when participants may ask specific questions or share personal ideas or projects.

Participants will need to have access to a video-capable smartphone and the iMovie application (either on a smartphone or on a computer). Participants will be given handouts and suggested material for further study between classes, if they so choose.

As we move into Post-Production (Weeks 3 & 4), video footage will be made available for download so that all participants can actively learn iMovie during the class. However, if participants have personal footage they would prefer to use, that’s great too!

The classes are designed to build upon the previous week, culminating in a completed video project – concept to distribution.

Instructor, Maggie Techner-Werning, was raised on a small acreage in Iowa. After having spent almost 10 years working in the film industry in Los Angeles, she is excited to share with you her personal bag of movie-making tricks. View Maggie’s IMDb page.

This online series is sponsored by Land Alliance Folk School and by AgArts, a non-profit designed to imagine and promote a healthy food system through the arts. $138. REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS.



Mapping out your Memoir: Online Class

What makes a good memoir? Learn from author Mary Swander ways to narrow your story, use a natural voice and shape it all into a compelling narrative.

So you are excited to sit down, write about your life and publish a memoir. How to get started? You can pour your heart and soul into your computer and end up with 400 pages of unfocused writing that drifts from place to place, incident to incident. Or you can take some time to study and understand what makes a good memoir, how its subject matter is narrowed and focused, and how each chapter propels the narrative forward toward a revelation of character and a satisfying closure.

We will have four sessions in this Saturday series, 10am to noon Central Standard Time. (No class the Saturday after Thanksgiving.) Each session will build upon the past class, culminating in an outline that will serve as your guide to begin writing a book-length manuscript.

Some writers bat around for years trying to shape their memoirs, having no sense of where they will end up. This class will save you that time and frustration, sending you on your way toward publication.

This class is taught by award-winning and nationally acclaimed author Mary Swander.

Session 1. Nov 7, 10am-noon: Find a one-sentence book description and a natural voice.

Session 2. Nov 14, 10am-noon: Shape chapter focus and the central scenes.

Session 3. Nov 21, 10am-noon: Learn to do research and write background summary.

Session 4. Dec 5, 10am-noon: Seek publication.

Sponsored by Land Alliance Folk School and by AgArts, a non-profit designed to imagine and promote a healthy food system through the arts. $138. REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS



Color for the Winter: Natural Dyes at Home: Online Class

Brighten up your winter by learning natural dye techniques at home!

Join us to learn natural dyeing at home in this virtual four-week class presented by Lesley Darling. Over the first three weeks, we will cover beginner’s topics including shibori, how to make a dye bath, bundle dyeing, mordanting cotton, and more! Lesley will send out kits for each student. Students will create at least 3 projects, combining the provided kit with common household materials. Kit fees are covered in the cost of the class.

Projects may be completed at any time between classes, and during the last class we will share our results and continue discussion. Students are encouraged to start saving onion skins upon registration (red and yellow)! We will discuss other necessary materials during the first week of class, so don’t rush out to buy anything!

Week 1: Feb. 6, 10am-noon: Shibori techniques with madder.

Week 2: Feb. 13, 10am-noon: Bundle dyeing on silk.

Week 3: Feb. 20, 10am-noon: Mordanting cotton.

Week 4: Feb. 27, 10am-noon: Final discussion and follow-up.

Classes will be conducted via Zoom and recorded for those who need to miss a class. Kits are not available to ship internationally, but students located outside of the US are encouraged to get in touch with us and we can discuss local sourcing and other options!

Lesley will mail out kits 1 week prior to class beginning so early registration is recommended. Students who register by Jan. 29 should have their kits by the start of the class. Students who register later may not have their kits for the first class, but will be easily able to catch up. Please note that we are not responsible for pandemic-related shipping delays. All packages will ship USPS.

Instructor Lesley Darling is a Midwest-based fiber artist with international experience and 7+ years of textile practice.

Sponsored by Land Alliance Folk School and by AgArts, a non-profit designed to imagine and promote a healthy food system through the arts. $159. REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS


Swander Woman Productions

Online and in-person touring schedule. Very little in-person touring currently due to safety guidelines related to covid 19. For a presentation for your virtual event, contact

Map of my Kingdom



Farm-to-Fork Tales



AgArts Field Day: Drive-In Puppet Show at the Land Alliance Folk School

Imagine that you are an alligator, visiting a deserted mall!

The annual AgArts Field Day will be held Sunday, August 30 at the Land Alliance Folk School and Geyer farm at 1259 Rohret Rd SW, Oxford, Iowa, west of Iowa City. The program will begin promptly at 7:00pm.

Advance registration is required. The fee is $10 per car. REGISTER HERE.

The field day is a drive-in event this year, featuring Eulenspiegel Puppets performing Shenanigans: Animals in Charge! It’s a new show based on true stories of animal antics during a pandemic, “with a lot of imagination thrown in,” said Eulenspiegel director Monica Leo. The show will be entertaining for all ages.

Mary Swander will give a concise talk about AgArts, which imagines and promotes healthy food systems through the arts.

In addition, Anna Geyer will tell briefly about the Land Alliance Folk School, located on her family’s diverse farm which includes a food forest, cutting garden and wood-fired pizza oven.

Jean Graham, artist from Austin, Texas, participated in an AgArts Farm-to-Artist Residency at the Geyer farm last summer, and created a graphic zine about her experience. A few of Graham’s images will be shown before and after the puppet show.

Ice cream bars will be provided to all guests.

Sound will be available through FM car radios and through smart phones. Attendees are to remain in their vehicles and stay for the entire program, 7:00-8:15pm.

Attendees must register and pay $10 per car by August 29.

Rain date is Monday, August 31 at 7:00pm. Check AgArts or Land Alliance Folk School on Facebook for rain-related announcements.

The AgArts Field Day is a Friend-of-Practical-Farmers-of-Iowa event.

For more information, see, contact Mary Swander at 319.936.0187, or contact Anna Geyer at 319.325.6609,