Reflections on the Year of the Rural Arts 2014

THE YEAR OF THE RURAL ARTS 2014 was a program of events, conversations, and online features celebrating the diverse, vital ways in which rural arts and humanities contribute to American life. This inaugural effort connected citizens, artists, scholars, designers, and entrepreneurs and meet with audiences on the grounds of universities, museums and galleries, cultural organizations, and across rural and urban communities.

Coordinated by Art of the Rural and organized by a collective of individuals, organizations, and communities from rural and urban locales across the nation, the inaugural Year was a collaborative, grassroots effort designed to build steam over the course of 2014.

As a foundation for future work, we were motivated by two goals:

    • Build an inclusive and engaged rural arts and culture network During the Year of the Rural Arts 2014, we sought to expand participation in the national rural arts conversation by identifying rural arts and culture stakeholders and documenting their presence on the Atlas of Rural Arts and Culture digital project. Together, with this online resource as a road map, we built regional face-to-face relationships that contributed resources and support to our local places and also help establish a vibrant national network.
    • Expand artistic, cultural, and historical understanding We have yet to encounter a connective vision of American rural experience. The inaugural Year began the work of presenting these narratives and critical perspectives through partnerships with universities, academic and cultural organizations, and communities across rural and urban America.

Please help us measure the impact of the inaugural Year of the Rural Arts by participating in our 5 minute survey:

YORA Stamp 7.0

Thanks to all of you who collaborated with us throughout the year. Together, we mapped hundreds of annual rural arts events and projects, completed 5 Year of the Rural Arts Residencies, and staged 25 community events in 12 states. We facilitated 7 new projects on the Atlas of Rural Arts and Culture, worked with three new interns, and produced 36 feature articles on the Art of the Rural blog while showcasing 8 talented contributing writers. We also launched Next Generation and Middle Landscape Initiatives, and worked with partners across the nation in collaborations including the American Bottom project, the Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange, and the Mary Celestia Parler project.

For more information on our review of the Year of the Rural Arts, visit:

 YORA composite


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