Rural

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,…


Art programs help veterans create new memories

This is the second of a two-part feature on art and veterans. Read first story here. For people who have experienced physical, mental, and emotional trauma, creating art can be a way to express the…


Train-the-Trainer Intensive recap

In July, Springboard for the Arts held the first Train-the-Trainer Intensive, a “summer camp for artist organizers, creative community development folks and creative economy nerds,” according to the…


What would happen if the NEA were defunded, and why should we care?

It has been a little over six months since Donald Trump took office, and a lot has happened during that time. Although the budgeting process for the federal government is a long and arduous process…


ARROW Public Art welcomes one and all to Monroe...AND West Monroe

Brooke Foy is an artist and sculptor originally from West Monroe, Louisiana. She moved away from Louisiana for 10 years but came back when she got assistant professorship at the University of…


Tennessee Ukulele Lady Kelle Jolly continues the legacy of Affrilachian music

Kelle Jolly is a singer, musician, actor, TV and radio personality, and community organizer. She is also the Tennessee Ukulele Lady. "'Tennessee Ukulele Lady' is a song I made up for Ukesophere just…


Heidi Brandow documents definitions of "home" for Native peoples, refugees, and normalized residents

Santa Fe artist Heidi K. Brandow came by her creative practice somewhat naturally – on her mother's side, she comes from a long line of Native Hawaiian singers, musicians, and performers; and on her…


Ehren Kee Natay works in the rhythm of creation

Ehren Kee Natay has been a drummer for 20 years and refers to rhythm and percussion as his "principle art form." But at age 23 he began to shift his focus more towards visual and traditional arts. He…


Rural Arts & Culture Summit Videos

The Rural Arts & Culture Summit was held from June 6-8 in Morris, MN, and it was magical. 400 artists, community development professionals, leaders, and advocates from 22 states came to the town of…


The Arnaudville Experiment: Creative placemaking and economic development in rural Louisiana

George Marks moved back to his tiny hometown of Arnaudville in Louisiana prior to Katrina in 2005, after 15 years of living as a successful working artist in Baton Rouge. He left home in 1989, earned…


Prairie Dreamers: Reflecting on Springboard’s 5 years in Fergus Falls

As a child growing up in Dundas, Minnesota, I learned more in school about the rainforest or the oceans than I did about the prairie and lakes that were in my backyard. I had t-shirts pleading to…