The Return of Art of the Rural

Friends, today we are happy to share with you the new Art of the Rural site.                                      

All of this would have been impossible without the design expertise of Nicole Irene, alongside work by Nick Zdon and Maria Sykes of Epicenter on the new AOTR logo visible at the top of this page. The first four years of AOTR on Blogger were wonderful, though we continually came up to the edges of that format and our own expertise within it; these folks have helped us land in a place where we now can utilize a web platform to match our aspirations.

After those formative blog-years, our goal is to match the concepts, practices and metaphors we’ve discussed online with events, publications, and consortium-building on the ground. As we discuss in our mission statement, we aim to merge digital and analog activities — and to learn from the points of confluence (and also dissonance) that will emerge through this process. To learn more of our plans, please check out our programs and the work of our Project Stewards.

We are also grateful to the many forms of support and encouragement we’ve received over the last few years from the Center for Rural Strategies and The National Rural Assembly. In many ways, the need for a more versatile web presence emerged through our co-convening of the Rural Arts and Culture Working Group within the Rural Assembly and through the lessons learned in initiating the Atlas of Rural Arts and Culture project. We seek to create a space where rural artists and cultural workers can meet with their colleagues across the country and across various disciplines, and we believe that this movement can contribute to the local and national discussion on the future of rural America.

We believe that lasting change, and deeper, more productive narratives, are created through collaboration across fields. Art of the Rural is thankful for the support and collaboration of the American Culture Studies program at Washington University in St. Louis, and for the opportunity to partner in course design with the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts.

In the coming days we will debut Atlas collaborations with the Alan Lomax Archive / Association for Cultural Equity, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, as well as a new digital map that seeks to bring together folks across the arts and culture landscape of the American West. We have many more new articles and projects to share, so please stay tuned.

On behalf of our staff, advisors, and collaborators, thanks for returning to Art of the Rural. We hope keep the conversation going with you all. Please feel free to contact us, or drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter.

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