States of America: Connection
By Brad Barber
CONNECTION looks at the bonds of community and what makes us feel rooted to a place and its people.
While serving a life sentence in a Maryland prison as a 17-year-old, Chris sat down and wrote out what he called his “master plan” of all the things he believed he could do in his life, then got to work. After reinventing himself over 15 years with a college degree, multiple languages, and a passion for learning, he was released and dedicated his new life to providing opportunities to an underserved community in Baltimore.
As a young quadriplegic law school grad, living in a place with strong public transportation accessibility options was a must for Daniel. Wheelchair accessible taxis have made every part of his daily commute easier and allow him to be more spontaneous.
Nancy "3” Hoffman curates the world's only Umbrella Cover Museum on an island off the coast of Maine. Here she embraces a community that welcomes eccentricity and self-reliance as she pursues her life's purpose of bringing laughter and joy to others.
With vivid memories of being harassed and attacked as a child, Dereck manages the isolation and suspicion he is dealt by his near all-white surroundings in Nebraska through his punk rock and electronic music. A lifetime of bucking expectations and cultivating a thriving musical community has brought him to a place where he no longer seeks permission to belong.
Since apprenticing for a retired fiddler after college, Beth has grown into an unassuming cultural staple within her community in Iowa. Working at the Co-op by day and fronting her folk band by night, each year she performs at a festival celebrating the Midwest's vast Scandinavian ancestry. Her act draws hundreds of townspeople and visitors from across the region, teaching them to dance together in a scene of simple pageantry, unity, and wonder.