John Davis Named 2018-2020 RUPRI Senior Policy Fellow

The Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) is honored to announce that John Davis, who recently retired as Executive Director of Lanesboro Arts in Minnesota, has been named a 2018-2020 RUPRI Senior Policy Fellow. “We are thrilled and honored that John will serve as a RUPRI Senior Policy Fellow, contributing to our emerging Rural Cultural Wealth initiatives, including the RUPRI Rural Cultural Wealth Lab and Rural Generation, a new national collaboration we are pleased to be participating in designing and building,” said Dr. Keith Mueller, RUPRI Director.

Davis was also the recipient of the 2011 Visionary Leadership Award from the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits for his community building work in Lanesboro. His work with the Lanesboro Arts Campus initiative contributed to Lanesboro being named one of the “Top Twelve Small Town Artplaces in America” in 2013, as well as Lanesboro Arts being awarded a Bush Prize for Community Innovation in 2014. Davis has more than 30 years experience with small town and rural creative social change, and is national speaker on rural arts and cultural issues. His work has been featured on National Public Radio and broadcast on C-Span; it has also been featured in USA Today, The New York Times, and the NBC Today Show.

Davis was also recently named a 2018 Bush Foundation Fellow, one of 24 Fellows selected from over 750 applicants. This fellowship enables these leaders to pursue learning experiences that develop their leadership skills and attitudes.  “The 2018 Bush Fellows are exceptional leaders who have made the most of the opportunities in their lives,” said Bush Foundation Leadership Programs Director Anita Patel. “We believe the well-being of our region is directly impacted by investing in individuals who will shape the future. We are betting on the potential of these 24 Fellows to make a significant impact in their communities.” Fellows can use the funding to pursue advanced education, networking opportunities, and leadership resources, workshops and trainings.

“It is very humbling and an incredible honor to be selected for both the Bush Fellowship and a RUPRI Senior Policy Fellowship. I am excited for the opportunity to continue my work on a national scale,” said John Davis, whose passion is rural and imagines thriving rural communities that use the arts and creativity to solve local challenges, drive sustainable economic development and address obstacles to change.

Photo of John Davis, RUPRI Fellow, Arts and Culture