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Rustbelt to Artistbelt Conference
27 Jun 2012
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In April, The Art of the Rural took part in the fourth Rustbelt to Artist Belt conference in Saint Louis, Missouri. A phenomenal panel of artists, writers and cultural workers convened for the "Re-Thinking The Rural Arts" discussion: Mary Stewart Atwell, writer, critic, and author of the novel Wild Girls (Scribner, 2013); Brian Frink, artist, professor, and founder of the Rural America Contemporary Art Institute; Rachel Reynolds Luster, folkorist, AOTR Contributing Editor, and founder of HomeCorps; and Richard Saxton, artist, professor, and founder of the M12 interdisciplinary art collective. AOTR Editor Matthew Fluharty moderated the discussion.

The introduction to the "Re-Thinking The Rural Arts" panel discussion is as follows:

“Rural America is undergoing a period of dramatic cultural and demographic change. Its people are poised to take agency over their own narrative, as new media is allowing for the open and decentralized sharing of stories – from next door to across the continent. In concert with this, interest in sustainable and local food systems has leant a visibility, and a cultural and economic force, to a rural landscape often relegated to distorting pastoral clichés.

“These dynamic possibilities offer a moving and multi-layered metaphor for the kinds of work to be created in rural America, as artists and community members are working across disciplines to re-think and re-imagine rural America – and to make connections to their partners in urban and international locales.

Art Community Culture Education Environment Health History Innovation Justice Recovery Rural/Regional Social Enterprise Technology Politics/Conference
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