Small Towns

Rural communities hold the keys to survival in their own hands. With help from policies that build on their strengths as desirable places to live and raise families, they can thrive.

Community Development

To thrive, rural communities must invest in themselves and their futures, including rural schools and rural leaders.

Community Food Systems

Local farmers markets, community gardens, and local and regional food systems provide fresh, healthy food for all and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Rural Groceries

Small towns across rural America are losing their grocery stores, and we’re working to help groceries stay around.

Small Towns Notes

 

The Case for Small Schools

Our Small Schools series of articles began as a response to public statements about the need to eliminate small, rural schools. They said small schools are “inefficient,” and take away too many resources (i.e., public aid to education) from deserving larger schools.

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New Art Grant Celebrates a Lively Rural Culture in America

Last month we learned the Center for Rural Affairs received one of 55 grants awarded by ArtPlace America this year. The grant supports creation of a public artwork in four neighboring towns in northeast Nebraska. A visiting artist will be on hand to help guide the projects. And in the autumn of 2015, we’ll celebrate the completed works with a grand tour!

Putting Art in the Driver’s Seat

It is summertime in small-town America. People line main street for parades and gather in the park for antique tractor shows. Events like these make a town come alive.

We spend a lot of time at the Center for Rural Affairs discussing business development. Art and cultural development is often thought of second, after business and infrastructure are attended to. 

That is the wrong approach. 

Cultural events – the things we do together – give us a sense of identity and shape who we are as a community.