Blue Sky Center is building models for resilient, thriving, and inclusive rural economies in the Cuyama Valley in the inland Central Coast of California. In this conversation hosted by Drew Digby from Arrowhead Regional Arts Council (Duluth, MN) in mid-November, learn from co-executive directors Em Johnson and Jack Forinash about how they are manifesting the future for artists as economic developers through the creation of earned-revenue ventures in the arenas of hospitality and less extractive rural food systems, while also using federal grants to enact creative community engagement. As artists themselves, Em and Jack – and their team of creative professionals – co-direct this rural community development organization in a way that defines artists as our rural environments' best resource for creative economic development.

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Additional resources recommended by Em and Jack:

Social Mobility in Rural America A Field Report by National 4-H Council and The Bridgespan Group

"Cuyama Valley Community Action Plan" - a report created by Blue Sky Center, funded by a "Culture and Creativity" grant from Enterprise Community Partners/HUD Section 4 federal funds

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio - film on artists/architects as community members first

Don't miss out on the next conversation in this series on December 11! From the Field: Imagining the future of being a good relative is a conversation with Peter Strong and Mary Bordeaux from Racing Magpie (Rapid City, SD), hosted by Ashley Hanson from the Department of Public Transformation (Granite Falls, MN). Register here!