July 12, 2017
During the closing plenary of the Next Generation Rural Creative Placemaking Summit in Iowa City last October, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chair Chris Masingill announced a commitment to strengthen DRA creative placemaking. Most attendees agreed this was the singular most important outcome of that national convening. The DRA has worked since that announcement to create a region wide initiative, in collaboration with a National Partnership Group which includes NEA, ArtPlace America, Springboard for the Arts, The National Association of Counties, The National Association of Development Organizations, The Rural Policy Research Institute, Art of the Rural, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, The Federation of State Humanities Councils, and the Smithsonian Institution.
This DRA Initiative is designed to strengthen the Delta economy, improve the quality of life for the region’s 10 million residents and stimulate community and economic development efforts through the Delta’s arts and culture sectors. DRA will invest nearly $460,000 in advancing these priorities, creating a significant national innovation in which local elected officials, development districts, economic development staff and other non-arts sector decision makers are supported in reaching out to creative and cultural partners, to form regional collaborations to achieve these joint ends. Seed investments of up to $30,000 will be offered, after six regional workshops, currently being held to more deeply inform community leaders interested in applying. Successful applicants will also receive up to 50 hours of coaching, mentoring and technical assistance.
Chris Masingill, Delta Regional Authority
Joe McKinney, National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
Linda Langston, National Association of Counties (NACo)
Jennifer Hughes, National Endowment for the Arts
About the Digital Exchange Webinars:
Roughly every three weeks, these Digital Exchanges will offer an opportunity for folks to come together and engage with leaders working across the dynamic range of fields that compose the foundation of rural creative placemaking. Each of these one hour Digital Exchanges will feature 2-4 voices from across the country, sharing specific themes, challenges, and opportunities we collectively encounter in this work. This Digital Exchange series is made possible through the support of the Rural Policy Research Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts and the McKnight Foundation, and is produced at the Outpost collaborative space in Winona, Minnesota, national headquarters of Art of the Rural.