We believe in the future of rural communities and cultures.

Founded in 2010, Art of the Rural is a decentered, collaborative organization that works to forward knowledge sharing, network gathering, and rural-urban exchange.

Our initiatives are longterm, trust-based efforts that co-create spaces for exchange and impact across the traditional dividing lines of place, practice, and lived experience.

This work takes the form of convenings, barbeques, exhibitions, public policy, newspapers, dances, case studies, and many other ways of collectively cultivating relationships and knowledge.

Here’s what we are working on

The Rural-Urban Exchange

A creative leadership program designed to build confidence, grow social capital, and bridge divides. RUX cohorts in Kentucky and Minnesota gain a greater intercultural understanding of region’s many identities, histories, and cultures.

High Visibility

A collaborative partnership with Plains Art Museum and individuals & organizations across the continent. Through exhibitions, publications, and place-based programs, we seek to boldly reframe the narrative on rural America and Indian Country.

Rural Generation

A platform for collaborations and convenings that build relationships across unconnected sectors, regions, and fields of practice in rural and Indian Country.


Residencies, media work, storytelling, and gatherings anchored in the diverse cultures, traditions, and lived experiences of the Upper Mississippi River region.

We are grateful for the collaboration & support of folks across the country.

Our work operates on a local, regional, and national level, seeking to build bridges and pathways for knowledge sharing and exchange between communities, organizations, and fields of practice. 

We are grateful to be supported in this work by individual donors from across the country. To pitch in with this work, please visit us here.
Many thanks to the foundations, endowments, and initiatives that have supported us in the past, including ArtPlace America, Arts Midwest, The Chicago Trust, The Divided City Initiative, Bush Foundation, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Illinois Humanities, The Mercatus Center at George Mason University, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, National Endowment for the Arts, St. Paul and Minneapolis Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.