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!

This is an unprecedented opportunity for the Center for Rural Affairs. We’re delighted to share the exciting news with you. Deploying the arts can transform communities. Receiving such generous support from ArtPlace validates your support of our past work and future vision.

It’s exciting to be part of the upswing in awards for art projects in rural and small-town America. This year, 31 percent of ArtPlace’s grants went to projects working in rural communities – up from 17 percent last year. ArtPlace America is recognizing the potential for community art initiatives in rural places across the nation.

ArtPlace’s Jamie Bennett said, “Investing in and supporting the arts have a profound impact on the social, physical, and economic futures of communities. Projects like these demonstrate how imaginative and committed people are when it comes to enhancing their communities with creative interventions and thoughtful practices.”

Jan Cline-Zimmerman, proprietor of Creative Connection Studio Gallery in Oakland, Nebraska, is excited to see the arts move forward in these small towns. “Having dedicated over 30 years to teaching students of all ages in the fine arts, I can see how this funding will allow many more opportunities to expand creativity within the region and encourage communication across multiple generations and cultures.”

The story here is quite universal: a small community wanting to define identity and ignite community vibrancy. We look forward to sharing our experiences and the lessons we learn through this venture with you. And please, share your stories with us!

Feature image: Having dedicated over 30 years promoting the arts, Jan Cline-Zimmerman of Creative Connection Studio Gallery in Oakland, Nebraska, is excited about the ArtPlace America grant. | Photo by Curt Hineline, Oakland Independent