On March 11, 2016, the Center for Rural Affairs will host Map of my Kingdom, a play commissioned by Practical Farmers of Iowa and written by Iowa’s Poet Laureate Mary Swander. The event is coming to Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska. Admittance is free.
Map of my Kingdom shares stories of land succession, as told by Angela Martin, a land dispute attorney who has worked with farmers and landowners for years. Some families almost came to blows, struggling to resolve the sale and transfer of their land, dissolving familial relationships. Others found peaceful solutions that focused not only on the viability of the family, but also of the land.
Transitioning a farm is perhaps the most difficult thing any farmer will have to do. This play and the discussion panel to follow serve an important role in facilitating the thought processes and discussions necessary to have a successful farm transition plan in place. Anyone who thinks they will ever face these difficult decisions should consider attending this event.
Land is the thread that binds all the stories together. Map of my Kingdom will resonate with those who have been through or are working through challenging land transfer issues like dividing the land among siblings, selling out to a neighbor, or attempting to preserve the land's integrity against urban sprawl. The drama will inspire the hesitant and the fearful to start the conversation that cannot wait.
Today, a vast amount of land in the United States is owned by those over 65 years old. Some have made their wishes clear for the future of their property. Others are courting family upheaval by not planning in concrete ways.
An age old problem, evident in literature from the Bible to King Lear to Willa Cather, land transition asks hard questions. Who really owns the land? And what is the role of the steward of a property? Can "fair" become "unfair" to one's children?
We invite anyone who is interested in tackling these issues to join us for an afternoon of theater and discussion. These decisions will have lasting effects on entire rural communities.
Find out more about the Map of my Kingdom performance and register here.
This program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.
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