Last week, RUPRI’s President and CEO Chuck Fluharty joined Art of the Rural’s Program Director Savannah Barrett and M12 (artist collective)’s Director of Programs Kirsten Stoltz for the CommunityMatters webinar in discussion about creative rural urban alliances. Thanks to the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design and the Orton Family Foundation for putting together this webinar and for inviting folks to share their work and take questions.
Say the word “rural” and a particular set of images comes to mind—fields of grain, livestock, or the general store. Talk about “urban” and you imagine busy streets and tall buildings. It’s unusual for urban and rural to intersect. We compartmentalize the two contexts as separate and unique—not to be mixed. In many parts of the country these real and perceived differences—from competing political priorities to divergent cultural norms—divide rural and urban communities.
Yet, communities are increasingly acknowledging areas of interdependence and common interests.
Emerging rural-urban alliances capitalize on the unique assets of both rural and urban places to bridge divides, build mutual understanding, and infuse creative energy into community development. This CommunityMatters and Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ event offered inspiration on creative urban and rural connections that could happen in your area. We heard from Savannah Barrett, program director, Art of the Rural; Kirsten Stoltz, programming director, M12 Collective; and Chuck Fluharty, founder and vice president for policy programs, Rural Policy Research Institute.This free webinar on Creative Rural-Urban Alliances took place on Thursday, March 12, 2015.