CityLab: Can Exchange Programs Help Bridge the Urban-Rural Divide?

EXCERPT: “‘The future of the 21st century exists in the space between rural and urban,’ according to Matthew Fluharty. Fluharty is the founder of Art of the Rural, a non-profit dedicated to supporting rural culture. “Plenty of people out there have questions about the connections between rural and urban cultures, because in their own lives, they’ve moved between the two,” he added. ‘There are millions of people who aren’t either rural or urban, but rural-urban.’ Fluharty, who lives in the small town of Winona, Minnesota, founded Art of the Rural as a blog, initially, in 2009. (“We literally talked about everything from cornbread to abstract expressionism,” he said with a laugh.) In 2013, as the blog morphed into an organization, Savannah Barrett, an 11th-generation Kentuckian, joined as program director. Although the group’s programming is nationwide, much of its work to date has been in Barrett’s and Fluharty’s home states—including a summit on the relationship between art and health in Owensboro, Kentucky, and a collaborative space in Fluharty’s Minnesota town called ‘Outpost Winona.'” FULLSTORY: