Thursday, July 12, 2012

Your Vote Counts: The Rural Arts And Culture Map

This morning we are asking for your time and assistance in advocating for the necessity of a dynamic Rural Arts and Culture Map. 

Art of the Rural, in collaboration with the Appalshop, Feral Arts, and the M12 Art Collective, is one of thirteen organizations under consideration for a Rural Digital Advocacy Grant provided by the Kellogg Foundation and the Rural Policy Action Partnership.

The Institute For Emerging Issues is currently hosting a crowd-sourced competition, whereby the grant application with the most votes will immediately receive funding. 

In short: every vote for this Map counts and puts this project closer to becoming a reality. Voting is open only for a few days, closing on July 19th. Voting is quick and easy -- no login or user information is required.

Please see the short project video below*. What makes all of us at AOTR so excited is that we have the opportunity to create this new map in collaboration with the PlaceStories mapping platform designed by Feral Arts. Much like the "open canon" philosophy of AOTR, PlaceStories encourages participation and open dialogue -- and it offers some dynamic ways for stories to be told, and then shared across the internet and beyond.

We are honored to count Appalshop and the M12 art collective as collaborators in the project; their guidance will be invaluable as we consider how to best reach out to diverse communities and cultures while also speaking across disciplines and considering rural-urban exchange.

Please find below a brief description of the project. Though the Rural Arts and Culture Map, under the careful stewardship of AOTR contributor and Digital Intern Rachel Beth Rudi, is currently in the process of completing a first phase of archiving material from rural sites, we are opening up the Map for the public to view during the duration of the voting -- and to get a sense of the exciting possibilities in working with the PlaceStories platform.
Art of the Rural, in collaboration with Appalshop, Feral Arts, and the M12 Art Collective, is requesting a Rural Digital Advocacy Grant to administer the Rural Arts and Culture Map on the PlaceStories mapping platform.

With these collaborators’ expertise in media-making, design, and community-engagement, Art of the Rural will utilize this dynamic open source Map to present new perspectives from rural America, with a focus on rural youth, rural-urban exchange, and a sustaining interest in the changing face of rural America: the next generation, and their membership in diverse ethnic and cultural communities.

Most importantly, this project is driven not by any single organization, but by the people themselves. With opportunities to share video, audio, photography, and text, PlaceStories will give full agency to an audience ready to become active participants in a mission to create new rural narratives. Thus, the Map becomes a manifestation of direct, local, experience; a digital tool that transcends itself; a meeting point for conversation and shared ground; and a foundation through which to unite and motivate rural citizens across the country and contribute to the work of the National Rural Assembly.

This project acknowledges that powerful campaigns for equity and social change emerge from cultural imperatives. Artists and arts practitioners are often grassroots innovators and adept partners in media campaigns. With The Rural Arts and Culture Map, this community promises give a compelling voice, and a new avenue of communication, to a wide range of rural issues.

*Please find below more information on the images and artwork contained in the Vimeo clip. In many cases, multiple articles on these artists have appeared on Art of the Rural and can be found through searching the archives:

"Amazing Grace" - Oakland's Famous One Man Band



Square dance caller T-Claw with the Hogslop String Band, Nashville. Photograph by Jennifer Joy Jaemson:

M12 art collective Campito and Black Hornet projects:

The Wormfarm Institute:

Double Edge Theatre:

Feral Arts and PlaceStories:

Chris Sauter


Carolina Chocolate Drops:

Eamon Mac Mahon:

Wendell Berry:

Yarn Bombing:


David Lundahl: