Rural Prosperity through the Arts and Creative Sector

Friday, October 4, 1:30 – 3:15pm

Location: Wilcox Theater, Reif Center for Performing Arts

Opening Performance: DanceBARN Rural Collective

Keynote and Moderator: Pam Breaux (President and CEO for National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Washington, D.C.), Susan DuPlessis (Community Arts Development Director for South Carolina Arts Commission, Columbia, South Carolina), Em Johnson (Executive Director of Blue Sky Center, New Cuyama, California), Michele Anderson (Rural Program Director of Springboard for the Arts, Fergus Falls, Minnesota)

This session will begin with a short keynote from Pam Breaux, president and CEO of the National Association of State Arts Agencies, who will share highlights from “Rural Prosperity through the Arts and Creative Sector,” an action guide developed in partnership with the National Governor’s Association, which offers research insights and lessons learned from states that are harnessing the power of the arts to drive rural prosperity. Breaux will share creative policy solutions that draw on home-grown arts and cultural assets to address the urgent problems facing rural America.

Following this keynote, Breaux will invite four rural leaders, who are each leading bold arts-based economic and community development strategies in their own communities, to respond to the suggestions in the report. By connecting policy to practice, this conversation will examine the important intersections of economic development and cultural equity, the complexities of rural narrative and identity, how to adapt to shifting local and national politics, and the opportunities and challenges of this work going forward.

Pam Breaux
Susan DuPlessis
Em Johnson
Michele Anderson