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Save the Date for the 2019 Rural Arts and Culture Summit

We’re delighted to announce dates and location for the 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit! Hold the date for October 3-5, 2019, when we will be hosted at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids, MN. Sign up here to receive updates!

Announcing the 2017 Rural Arts and Culture Summit

June 6-8, 2017 at the University of Minnesota, Morris


Registration is now closed.

Read the full press release



The 2017 Rural Arts and Culture Summit will take place Tuesday, June 6, through Thursday, June 8, at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Organized by Springboard for the Arts and the Center for Small Towns, the Summit gathers rural artists, arts organizations and community leaders to highlight arts-based strategies to rural community and economic development.

The featured plenary session on Wednesday, June 7th, will bring together four cultural leaders who will discuss a variety of cultural equity issues in small towns, and how the arts can help create more inclusive communities:

  • Anton Treuer, an Ojibwe scholar from Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Michael Strand, a potter and activist from Fargo, North Dakotaba1a687b-1484-4027-93f1-e94d5690239d
  • Meredith Martin Moats, a folklorist and founder of the McElroy House in Dardanelle, Arkansas
  • Carlton Turner, executive director of Alternate Roots from Utica, Mississippi

On Thursday, June 8, keynote speaker Dr. Jessica Metcalfe from Turtle Mountain, North Dakota, will share the stories and strategies behind her business, Beyond Buckskin, which empowers Native American artists and designers, advancing the quality of Native American fashion through education while providing an in-depth platform for societal participation. Inspired by historical and contemporary Native American clothing design and art, Beyond Buckskin promotes cultural appreciation, social relationships, authenticity and creativity.

Other highlights of the Summit will include:

  • “A Steady and Irresistible Wind,” a site-specific, place-based performance installation created by artist Bethany Lacktorin, which will take place during the Summit on and nearby the University of Minnesota, Morris campus. A follow up to Lacktorin’s performance, My Ocean (2016), this piece is an ongoing exploration of diaspora where displacement, transition and growth as it occurs culturally, agriculturally, mentally and socially are expressed in story, music, movement and sound.
  • “Range,” an exhibit in UMM’s Morrison Gallery curated by Andrew Nordin. Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to exhibit until April 1. More information about the exhibit can be found at
  • Workshops, panel conversations and demonstrations presented by over 30 practitioners throughout the nation.