Community Development News

Rural People and Rural Landscapes Intrigue

Rural people sell themselves short when it comes to the art and culture that exists in our communities. Too often we head to the city to take in our fill of culture.

Last year I visited a rural arts collective on the eastern plains of Colorado. They call themselves M12, and they’ve set up shop in an old feed store in the hardscrabble town of Byers.

Richard Saxton, founder of M12, uses his work to explore the compelling landscapes that surround us in rural places. The results lift up the fascinating stories that make up our small towns.

Early Childhood Education on the Rural Great Plains

Investments in early education from birth to 5 years old, particularly for disadvantaged children, have numerous economic and social benefits. They reduce economic inequality.

Research by James J. Heckman, professor at the University of Chicago and 2000 Nobel Prize awardee in economics, found investments in early childhood education result in 7 benefits.

Scenic Byways Showcase Vibrant Rural Tourism Offerings

This article was contributed by Muriel Clark, a leader with Nebraska's Lincoln Highway Historic Byway.

Recently I attended the first-ever Byway Leadership Training hosted by the National Scenic Byway Foundation, accompanied by Sarah Focke, another leader with the Nebraska Lincoln Highway Historic Byway. While there, we collaborated with other Lincoln Highway Byway leaders from Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio as well as other leaders from Byways in New York, Louisiana, Utah and Ohio.

Arizona Rural Policy Forum Inspires Collaboration

Contributed by Erica Pederson, Communications Director with Local First Arizona.

In August, individuals representing every county in Arizona descended on Clarkdale, Arizona, for the 9th Annual Arizona Rural Policy Forum. The forum connects rural economic development specialists, nonprofits, community leaders, business owners, and other folks interested in sustaining small towns and rural communities.

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