Cross-Currents gathering a great success!

How can art, agriculture and rural economic development support and contribute to each other? That’s just what participants in last week’s event Cross-Currents: Art + Agriculture Powering Rural Economies gathered to find out. The event was held in Greensboro, NC on September 3-5, 2014 and was sponsored by Art-Force and the National Rural Assembly.'

Perhaps the first event of its kind, Cross-Currents sought to look at often unexplored partnerships in art and agriculture, and participants rose to the challenge, launching into collaborative discussions from the first minutes together. The event brought participants from as far away as Canada and Puerto Rico and representing 22 states and the District of Columbia. The conference was keynoted by Robin Rather, who challenged participants to think about rural communities in new ways. Other presentation topics included agritourism, new ways to build local food systems, many exciting local art/ag projects, policy considerations, and more. Participants also toured a local farm, a farmer’s market, and an art studio, and had a locavore lunch with renowned local chef Jay Pierce. Common themes that emerged during this event were community building, relationships, partnerships, and creative placemaking. At the end of the event, everyone was energized by the possibilities of partnerships in art and agriculture and the difference these projects might make in helping make our rural communities more dynamic and successful. We heard many ideas for future projects and collaborations that bubbled up during our three days together. Truly, a cross-disciplinary approach to rural community development holds more potential than we can imagine. More information about this event, including presentation materials that were shared and related resources, is available here.

Perhaps the first event of its kind, Cross-Currents sought to look at often unexplored partnerships in art and agriculture, and participants rose to the challenge, launching into collaborative discussions from the first minutes together. The event brought participants from as far away as Canada and Puerto Rico and representing 22 states and the District of Columbia.

The conference was keynoted by Robin Rather, who challenged participants to think about rural communities in new ways. Other presentation topics included agritourism, new ways to build local food systems, many exciting local art/ag projects, policy considerations, and more. Participants also toured a local farm, a farmer’s market, and an art studio, and had a locavore lunch with renowned local chef Jay Pierce.

Common themes that emerged during this event were community building, relationships, partnerships, and creative placemaking.

At the end of the event, everyone was energized by the possibilities of partnerships in art and agriculture and the difference these projects might make in helping make our rural communities more dynamic and successful. We heard many ideas for future projects and collaborations that bubbled up during our three days together. Truly, a cross-disciplinary approach to rural community development holds more potential than we can imagine.

More information about this event, including presentation materials that were shared and related resources, is available here.