Are you a rural artist? Are you also part of the LGBTQ+ community? Or perhaps the POC community? Both, even? Mount Island would like to include you in its new feature, Mount Island’s Village Voices! As we adjust to the new landscape, Mount Island is excited to announce a new feature—Mount Island’s Village Voices. This feature is strongly connected to our mission of providing a platform that highlights rural LGBTQ+ and POC artists and writers.

Village Voices will feature artists of all disciplines—visual artists, dancers, musicians, writers, etc.—who live in or hail from a rural area. In other words, you might currently live in New York, but you come from a small town in Arkansas, or vice versa. Shanta Lee Gander, our very own director of outreach and publicity, shares her story about her connection to the rural. “I grew up very much a city girl and I live in a small town. I’ve never thought much of my rural roots until exploring some of my family history. I have ancestors who were farmers, a great-grandmother who raised chickens, my rural roots have a depth I’ve not fully explored. My work and focus on Lucy Terry Prince has encouraged me to think about the history and connection of the rural to individuals of color.”

Mount Island’s Village Voices is something new and also something old as the name pays homage to The Village Voice, the nation’s first alternative newspaper that was both groundbreaking and a New York City staple in existence for over 60 years.Mount Island’s new Village Voices series seeks rural artists who are LGBTQ+, individuals of color, and individuals who are artists and allies. If that is you, email us at

Look out for our first Village Voices feature with JC Wayne, multidisciplinary artist and founder of the Poartry Project, this Monday May 1, 2020.