October 26-30, 2020


Rural Rockstars and Small-Town Superheroes, Assemble.

Rural America is more than a place. It’s a state of mind. About 50 million of us call rural home, but even more of us are bound by cultural ties to family, landscapes, and stories passed down through generations.

Whether you live in the middle of Manhattan or on the banks of the Mississippi, you are connected to a future of us and ours.  The roads, fiber, and rivers that move across county lines and city limits have never been more entwined. A global pandemic and a national movement to end systemic and structural racism have brought the truth into focus: We exist together, not apart, from one another.

Our mutual need for healthier lives, greater connection, and more sustainable resources is pushing us to reckon with how to source and fuel a rapidly changing planet. Rural and city-dwellers alike will have to re-evaluate how we work, play, organize, and contribute.

That’s why the Rural Assembly is calling a family meeting.

This October, the Rural Assembly will make space for anyone who wants to contribute to a social contract of interdependence and mutuality. We want everyone to come to the table to help chart a future that will sustain all of us. There is work to be done if we want to be the restorer of streets and hollers to live in, and there is joy to be had together, if we’re willing to show up with curiosity.

Rural Assembly Everywhere is a virtual festival for the curious and the critical, the listeners and the connectors. It’s geared toward rural allies, neighbors, and admirers. The goal of Rural Assembly Everywhere is to create an experience that will inform, entertaininspire, and demonstrate how we belong to each other.

We’ll cover the topics that matter most, from strengthening our democracy to celebrating Dolly Parton. We’ll look at the rural vote and civic participation, pass the microphone to those whose experiences are often overlooked and undervalued, and build spaces for rural leaders to connect and create together.

Each day, you’ll get two hours of main stage programming with some great headliners, rural experts and maybe a couple of superheroes. Beyond the main stage, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and hear from colleagues and friends who are working on some of the most important issues of our time, from climate change to gender equity.

You can participate in Rural Assembly Everywhere from anywhere—from your couch, your porch, your office, or your boat. You may tune in alone, but you’ll be among many who value our connection to rural. That shared affection will be good medicine for all of us.

The Rural Assembly is a program of