Rural

Laura Youngbird Knows We Need Art

Laura Youngbird’s art isn’t pretty, and she doesn’t want it to be. Her striking pieces convey the reality of many Native people in America in all its harshness. Laura draws inspiration from her…


Minnesota Through the Eyes of Joseph J. Allen

When the photographer Joseph J. Allen talks about his work, even when he’s talking about photographs of landscapes, he often talks about people. Allen describes himself as an introvert, and nothing…


Cecilia Cornejo embroiders community connections

Cecilia Cornejo is an educator, filmmaker, and artist who engages with different communities in order to create meaningful art. Originally from Chile, Cecilia focuses on the immigrant experience as…


A woman in a tank top and shorts paints a bright mural with a butterfly

Dana Sikkila Flies Her Flag for Creativity

According to Dana Sikkila, she graduated high school “by the skin of [her] teeth.” Months later, she earned a 4.0 in her first semester of college. She attributes the drastic change to the…


From the Field April 9 Graphic

From the Field: Imagining the Future of Creativity, Healing and Wellness

From the Field is Springboard’s virtual conversation series that brings together artists who are reimagining the future of rural America. These artist-to-artist talks will explore rural-specific…


Announcing From the Field!

Update! Join us for From the Field: Imagining the Future of Creativity, Healing and Wellness with Holly Doll and Jamie Horter on April 9!…


A group of people in spooky and glamorous costumes.

Don't get spooked! Dominic Facio is here for you

Editor’s note: As the national platform for Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange has long been a platform to highlight the artists, resources, and efforts in our national network. In this…


People sit at outdoor tables with art supplies in front of a blue trailer that says Tiny School of Arts & Design

Looking back to the Rural Arts & Culture Summit

The 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit was held in Grand Rapids, MN, October 3-5, 2019. With over 350 attendees coming together to share ideas and opportunities around rural-based creative and…


Remaking a Jail in Rural America

When Calvin Phelps first met Nik Nerburn at the inaugural Artists Working in Community Intensive training in Fergus Falls, Minnesota in September 2018, he knew immediately that he wanted to bring him…


Sioux Falls' Zach DeBoer loves to paint street lines

When Zach DeBoer graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in art education and an emphasis in print making, he just assumed he would be a teacher. Even when he worked at the…


Michael Dantzler maps the interconnectedness of Eastover, South Carolina

Michael Dantzler is a full-time photographer, creative, and budding community organizer living in his rural hometown of Eastover, South Carolina, a town of only about 800 people that is predominantly…


Rivers Run Through It: Shel Neymark's Mural Map & Community History Project in Rural New Mexico

Shel Neymark was born and raised in Chicago, near Oak Park. He remembers there were 52 Frank Lloyd Wright houses within biking distance of where he lived as a kid and he was "fascinated" by them. "I…


Mural Map & Community History Toolkit

Springboard for the Arts and Art of the Rural were inspired to commission a toolkit from an artist living and working in a rural place, as a way to bridge the Rural Generation Summit in May 2019,…


Holly Doll is creating a Native-based art economy in rural North Dakota

This article is part of a series highlighting artists and leaders featured at the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, a biennial, practitioner-driven gathering hosted by Springboard for the Arts that…


Delina White designs apparel and produces fashion shows celebrating and perpetuating Native cultural heritage

This article is part of a series highlighting artists and leaders featured at the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, a biennial, practitioner-driven gathering hosted by Springboard for the Arts that…


How Grand Rapids, Minnesota Thrives Through Creative People Power

This article is part of a series highlighting artists and leaders featured at the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, a biennial, practitioner-driven gathering hosted by Springboard for the Arts that…


Jamie Horter is a rural artist working in community engagement—in her own words

This article is part of a series highlighting artists and leaders featured at the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, a biennial, practitioner-driven gathering hosted by Springboard for the Arts that…


From Trenton, New Jersey to rural Vermont, Will "Kasso" Condry uses art as a catalyst for activism and revitalization

Will "Kasso" Condry, Jr. is a pioneer of the street art movement in New Jersey, and made national headlines in 2014 when he painted a mural of Michael Brown, the Ferguson teenager who was shot and…


A rural renaissance: How small towns are leading the way in creative placemaking

In 2014, New London was the recipient of a $262,500 grant from Artplace America. The grant helped fund nine different projects. Full disclosure: I was lucky enough to be one of those recipients. We…


The Blue Sky Center is building a creative economy in rural California

The New Cuyama townsite in California's Santa Barbara County is relatively young. Built in the early 1950s by the Richfield Oil Company, it was a company-driven town where the company came in, built…


Call for Rural Arts Toolkit Creation

If you have a good idea, a project that can can inspire people and spark change in your rural community, we want to know about it! Finding projects with existing toolkits, and sharing toolkits from…


On the Red Road

The idea for the Red Road Project first formed when Danielle SeeWalker was visiting Carlotta Cardana in England where she now lives. SeeWalker remembers reading an article about an area of land for…


Dana Sikkila takes Project Bike all over the state of Minnesota

Visual artist Dana Sikkila grew up in Litchfield, a farm town in West Central Minnesota with a population of a little over 6,000 people. She describes her family and the area she grew up as being…


Creative People Power

Springboard for the Arts and Helicon Collaborative are excited to launch Creative People Power, a new report and framework for combining creativity-centered and people-centered development to build…


Handbarrow harnesses and shares the power of stories

People have always told stories—to share lessons and wisdom, to try to explain life’s mysteries, to entertain one another around a fire. And stories are the foundation for how cultures see themselves…


Mary Welcome welcomes new neighbors all around the country

Mary Welcome, née Mary Rothlisberger, is a citizen artist based in Palouse, Washington, a tiny rural town with a population of 998. While Welcome's numerous and diverse artistic involvements take her…


Toolkit Cohort Announced!

New toolkits are coming! We're excited to announce a new round of artists and organizations selected from our open call for toolkits, and we'll be working with these artists over the summer to create…


Toolkit Toolkit

Yes, this is what you think it is. Since the launch of Creative Exchange in 2014, over 6,000 toolkits have been downloaded from the site, facilitating artist-led projects, business skills…


5 Questions with Creative Exchange: What we have learned from our artists

Since August 2016, Creative Exchange has been asking each of our Artists With Impact a series of five questions, which appear at the end of every profile. We did this to create a thread of continuity…


Public Transformation celebrates & contemplates art in rural America

Artifacts line the wall of Outpost Winona: handmade art and everyday objects, each labeled with the name of a place: railroad spikes from Lake City, South Carolina; a cookbook from Alliance,…