Ashley Hanson is a social practitioner, theater artist, storyteller, and lover of rural places. She is the co-founder of PlaceBase Productions, a theater company that creates original, site-specific musicals celebrating small town life and the founder of the Department of Public Transformation, a national arts collective that highlights, connects, and supports rural-based artists and change-makers. She is the Director of the first Small Town CAIR (City Artist in Residence) program and The YES! House, creative community gathering space in Granite Falls, MN. She was recently named a 2018 Obama Foundation Fellow for her work with rural communities. She spends most of her time on the road visiting rural places and believes wholeheartedly in the power of people, places, play, and exclamation points!