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Resounds: Roosevelt Center, Part 2

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Anna Paige
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Nancy Dunlap of Mad Woman Sewing

This is the second of a two-part series on the Roosevelt Center and the many artists who have come it call it home.

Nancy Dunlap chose the name Mad Woman Sewing based on having lots of creative ideas combined with an enormous collection of pieces of fabrics, threads, and embellishments on her cutting table. Since she can rarely resist the impulse to collect interesting trims, buttons, and beads, she routinely runs into the dilemma of not enough time or energy to create those designs dancing around in her head, hence the “mad” woman syndrome.

Currently, she is transforming “found fabrics”, like upholstery samples, used jeans, men’s ties, and placements, into purses, shopping bags, book covers, and hats.

Born in Torrington, Wyoming in 1952, like most girl children brought up in a farming community, she began sewing with a group of fellow 4-Hers. Even as a youngster she liked to deconstruct clothes... like her father’s 501 Levis. A little cutting here and there and she would have fashionable cutoffs with lots of rickrack trim. Nancy continues to enjoy and profit from her early sewing education, College-level art classes and haute couture training.

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a program that engages 18 to 26 year olds in team-based national community service, while developing their leadership skills. NCCC teams help communities prepare for and respond to disasters, build homes, help the environment and more. While in Red Lodge, Silver Team II volunteered with Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary, DSVS, Habitat for Humanity, the Volunteer Firewood Assistance program, Red Lodge Food Distribution, Red Lodge Ice, as well as helping refresh the Foundation’s Shared Services Center and Roosevelt Center, and other community partners.

Two teams have served in Red Lodge and a third will be serving through the end of May. The first two teams completed 3,927 hours of service in the community.

Originally from Minot, North Dakota, Sean Keeney moved his family to Red Lodge three and a half years ago. Sean started his career in video editing in the 1980s as a young kid with a camcorder and a VCR, and as time went on and technology grew, he continued to learn.

In the later 2000s, Sean started MightCouldDo where he provided video services for North Dakota and the surrounding states. MightCouldDo made documentaries, music videos, and production videos for nonprofits.

Sean was searching for a space to run his new company Jun[K] Farmers for about eight months and then was able to get a space in in the Roosevelt Center a year ago. “This was exactly what I was looking for,” Keeney said. The high ceiling allows him to use his production lighting the way he needs.

Hero's STEAM Engine is a space for creating and learning. Hero’s provides the environment and tools to create, explore, innovate, and share experience and knowledge among our community for all levels of interest – a place for minds and imaginations to play. Hero's STEAM supports all things Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, including youth robotics and game-making programs; a StoryCorps booth (for video recording/vlogging/editing), button making, laser engraving, 3D Printing, and PPP mask making, and Battle-of-the-Bots. Hero's founder, Ken Whistler, almost made it through year one before he passed. With an awesome new Advisory Board, volunteers and enthusiasm, Hero's has survived through 2020's pandemic and eagerly faced the challenges to keep the doors open.

Corby Skinner is an independent marketing professional with an enormous capacity for assessing issues and creating positive, effective messages.
Anna Paige is a poet and educator and co-founder of Billings Area Literary Arts, created from a desire to connect writers to one another and grow the literary community of Billings.