Art of the Rural one of 60 National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Projects Selected Nationwide

Winona, MN– National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced 60 awards totaling $4.1 million supporting projects across the nation through the NEA’s Our Town program.  Art of the Rural is one of the recommended organizations for a grant of $50,000 to support Next Generation, a partnership between Art of the Rural, The Rural Policy Research Institute, and a host of national networks to involve artists, organizations, and communities in meaningful dialogue and learning exchange to self-define contemporary rural culture and advancing public and private sector decision making.

“The variety and quality of these Our Town projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Art of the Rural, which is headquartered in Winona, Minnesota with a field office in Kentucky, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

“We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for their continued support and for their leadership in extending the knowledge and practice of creative placemaking across rural America,” said Matthew Fluharty, Executive Director of Art of the Rural. “We look forward to working with the Rural Policy Research Institute and our national, regional, and local partners to advance the impact of this work.”

Since 2015, Next Generation’s cross-sector networks have demonstrated reliable influence in rural policy and continue to be engaged in substantive exchange to promote innovative approaches to rural creative placemaking. In the coming year, Next Generation will host the second national Rural Creative Placemaking Summit, designed as a unique blend of immersive local engagement with our Delta host partners, regional development impact for the host communities, and a distinct rural thought leadership applied to expressing the rural dimensions of equity and social justice in the arts and culture landscape.

To learn more about Next Generation, visit or follow the initiative on facebook. For a complete list of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please tag the NEA @NEAarts and use the hashtag #NEASpring18.


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