Rural Arts & Culture Working Group

Rural Arts Happy Hour

Cross-Currents: Art and Agriculture Powering Rural Economies

The National Rural Assembly hosted its first Rural Arts and Culture Convening at Double Edge Farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts in 2012.  This gathering of over 30 cultural advocates and organizers from across the country explored the viability of creating a cultural advocacy network for rural America.  Turns out, there is a lot of interest, momentum, and potential for such a network.

The long term vision for this work is about building a movement. Across disciplines and geographies, we are creating a new narrative of rural experience. Our communities are diverse and resourceful, local and yet connected with urban and international locales — and they occupy a place at the center of an emerging zeitgeist concerned with sustainability in all its forms, and with building deep and lasting human relationships.

Rural arts and cultural practitioners are agents through which meaningful and sustainable change can occur.  Real change is cultural.  Good policy follows. 

We intend to produce concrete change, by sparking interdisciplinary collaborations both within and beyond our fields, projects which advance our shared vision while also focusing on placing this work on the common ground of our respective communities.

We anticipate work from this group will fall into several categories:

 1.      Advocacy, including public policy opportunities across many sectors, youth engagement, and the promotion of economic sustainability through arts and culture.
2.      Documentation and Case Studies focused on a wide range of arts practices and their implications in rural America.
3.      Communication strategies that incorporates our work into new media platforms in a way that links our stories to the broader, national narrative.
4.      Partnering/Collaborations that will inform how we accomplish this work by sharing resources and leveraging assets.

Become involved by joining our Facebook group! There is also a Rural Arts Weekly Twitter chat every Monday at 10am PT/1pm ET.

Rural Strategies is the managing partner of the National Rural Assembly, a coalition of more than 500 organizations working across regions and policy sectors to improve conditions in rural communities. We are strong believers in the idea that diverse perspectives and interdisciplinary collaborations yield stronger solutions for our communities. 

Related links:
The Art of the Rural
Daily Yonder