Looking Back at the 2013 Rural Arts and Culture Summit

The Center for Small Towns collaborates with lots of organizations, including our partner last summer: Springboard for the Arts. Together the Center and Springboard put together a 2.5 day conference on rural arts and culture that was hosted by the Center at the University of Minnesota, Morris. The Rural Arts and Culture Summit was a convening of rural artists, leaders, developers, thinkings, and curious citizens. Together they helped continue the long tradition of convening excited rural minds at the University of Minnesota, Morris each summer.

We weren’t done with the Summit in June though, and last fall the Center hired Sonja Swanson, a Communication, Media and Rhetoric major, to help archive materials and keep track of connections and relationships built over the course of the Summit. Swanson worked closely as an assistant for Springboard for the arts and supported RAC summit participants in contributing their presentations onto PlaceStories, an online platform that archives presenter stories from the Summit. 

Sonja also assisted with the content and design of bi-monthly newsletters, archived summit materials, meeting minutes, and other documents from previous summits, and researched the feasibility of future RAC summit strategies, including complementary academic programs, national convenings, emerging leader programs, and regional support models.  

While the RAC Summit is now a year gone and Sonja has already wrapped her work as a communications assistant for Springboard, it’s hard not to reflect back on the Summit after wrapping up our very own Sympoisum on Small Towns this June 4 & 5. The convening work done by organizations like ourselves, Springboard for the Arts, the Bush Foundation, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, and many many more is invaluable to our mission as a community sustainer and assistants in building a bright and prosperous future for small communities. It’s always important to look back and be excited and thankful for all the work we’ve done, and know we will continue to do. 

If you want to know more about the Summit that took place in June of 2013 you can check it out here: http://racsummit.org/. If you’re curious about the Symposium on Small Towns that took place this June 4&5 you can check out our twitter or facebook, or of course you can head to our website at www.centerforsmalltowns.org.

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