The Root & The Bloom Collective

Carson Becker, left, and Callison Stratton. Photo by Walter Hinick, courtesy The Montana Standard.
Carson Becker, left, and Callison Stratton. Photo by Walter Hinick, courtesy The Montana Standard.

The Root & The Bloom Collective was founded in 2015 by Carson Becker and Callison Stratton as a humanities organization committed to bringing educational and humanist programming to the Butte-Silver Bow community.

The group was formed in response to a call for proposals to revitalize the Historic Clark Chateau, which has been operated by the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives since 2014. The Root & The Bloom took over management of the Chateau in May 2015, remaining under the umbrella of the Archives for the time being.

Who We Are

Carson Grace Becker holds and MFA in Playwriting from the University of Iowa, and is an adjunct professor of Playwriting at Columbia College in Chicago, where she teaches every autumn. Becker has upwards of 25 years of experience as an educator, public outreach coordinator and award-winning theater artist. She is a Los Angeles native, but has found a new home for herself in Butte’s burgeoning arts community.

Callison Maeve Stratton received her M.Phil in Public History and Cultural Heritage from Trinity College Dublin, specializing in material culture, and memory studies. Before taking over as the Chateau’s Manager, she interned at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula developing educational programs, and worked in exhibit development at the National Library of Ireland. Stratton was born and raised in New York City, but moved to Butte after falling in love with mountains.

What We Stand For

The Root & The Bloom’s vision is to maintain The Chateau as an historical attraction and presence, making it available for tours, presentations, exhibits and community fundraising events.  Our focus is on educational and community outreach, with a particular emphasis on youth.  The Root & The Bloom Collective will work collaboratively with local youth, creating tangible projects that could then be shared with the public, either by way of performances, publishing, or through media channels (TV, radio, internet). We will work in unison with other civic and arts organizations, sharing ideas, events and resources.  Our youth mission emphasizes the importance of literacy, community engagement, leadership, mental health and creative collaboration. The Chateau will become a host for community events that co-mingle adults with youth, and creating opportunities for intergenerational cross-pollination and organic mentorship.

Plato thought that the single most important feat for any society was to teach its young people how to find pleasure in the “right” things — and current research shows that the experience of creative engagement may be the most valuable and pleasurable “right” thing we humans can achieve.  Considering the current crisis emerging within Butte’s youth population, it seems both imperative and wise to gather effective resources in their favor. The Root & The Bloom has begun to partner with a number of individuals and organizations to address and combat Butte’s rising suicide and addiction rates through access to the arts and other soul-enriching disciplines. 

The “act of telling and making” strengthens our individual and collective selves, enhances curiosity and optimism, and fosters human development and complexity in a number of positive ways. Creative engagement encourages and girds what researchers call “habits of mind,” some of which are listed below, and all of which support young people in their “coming of age”:

• Persistence and commitment
• Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision
• Managing impulsivity, maintaining humility
• Gathering data through all senses
• Listening with understanding and empathy
• Creating, imagining, innovating
• Thinking flexibly and exponentially
• Responding with wonderment, awe and joy
• Thinking about thinking (metacognition)
• Taking responsible risks
• Striving for accuracy
• Finding humor
• Questioning and posing problems and solutions
• Thinking interdependently
• Applying past knowledge to new situations
• Remaining open to continuous learning

To stay updated on The Root & The Bloom’s efforts, please use the form below to join our mailing list: