The Atlas of Rural Arts and Culture embodies a belief that while digital media can collapse the geographical distance that has long separated rural people from themselves and their urban partners, such technology must work to bridge human relationships.

While this Atlas is both a resource and an archive, it is also a roadmap to the building of regional, inter-disciplinary, and cross-sector consortiums — and to an expansion of honest dialogue between a range of communities, individuals, and institutions who, until this point, had never been in conversation. Through telling our stories, we gather to illustrate the complex and irrefutable vitality of the arts and cultural work within our rural places.

The Rural Arts and Culture Map is coordinated by Art of the Rural, in collaboration with AppalshopFeral Arts, and the M12 Art Collective.This work has received generous support from the National Rural Assembly, as well as a Rural Digital Advocacy Grant, an opportunity provided by the Rural Policy Action Partnership with funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.



We invite you to join us. Mapping your own projects on the Atlas of Rural Art and Culture is fun and simple. This open-source, community-driven platform allows individuals and organizations to tell their stories, visualize their networks, and engage existing and new audiences through a user-friendly platform that’s easy to use and even easier to share.  Along with social media sharing capabilities, the Atlas allows users to embed projects and maps on their own website.

We are committed to helping communities and organizations tell their story through individual PlaceStories projects within The Rural Arts and Culture Map. Folks can click on “Atlas of Rural Arts and Culture” in the embedded box at the top of the page, which will lead you to the project page, where you can click to “Join Us.” All the various options for telling your story (video, audio, postcard, documents, etc) are very intuitive, though if you have any questions, the designers offer this page with more information.

Folks can also direct questions to We’re glad to help in any way we can.

PlaceStories offers many ways for users to express themselves. Here’s a few ideas on ways folks can begin to contribute:

• Create picture postcards of landscapes, local objects, and people that help define our experience of place and the arts. On the opposite side of these digital postcards we can provide explanation and links to other sites.

• Share videos and Soundcloud audio pieces. Have some favorite YouTube and Vimeo clips? Heard a podcast, an interview, a radio piece, or a great new musician on Soundcloud?

• Produce our own videos and our own audio stories using the Webcam feature.

• Offer recipes, reflections, quotes, and writing through the Notebook storytelling feature.

• Add a document that adds information and perspective. We can upload pdfs as well to the Map.

• Tell a chronological or thematic story using the timeline feature.



Some recent project examples within the Atlas of Rural Arts and Culture include features from Alan Lomax’s American Patchwork Series created by the Association for Cultural Equity and Rachel Beth Rudi,  the West 100 to 115 Rural Arts and Culture Map created by Richard Saxton of the M12 collective. A collaboration between Art of the Rural and the Kentucky Foundation for Women is coming soon.

Art of the Rural is continually seeking to collaborate with individuals and organizations on projects that can expand the range of experience represented on the Atlas.

West 100 to 115:


Alan Lomax’s American Patchwork: