The Fall 2013 issue of CultureWork focuses on histories of rural arts initiatives. It is timely to focus on this topic as 2014 marks the centennial founding of the Cooperative Extension Service through the passage of the Smith Lever Act. Presently, rural areas receive approximately 1% of philanthropy dollars.
In “Culture in Agriculture: The Cooperative Extension Service as an Alternative Rural Arts Model,” Savannah Barrett provides an historical overview of arts programs within the reach of the Cooperative Extension Service. She makes connections between its significant role in the development of the American community arts field and how its original goals could serve as a model of development for art organizations today.
For over 25 years, The Association of American Cultures and other organizations have sought to equitable participation regarding who makes policy and the networks that impact cultural policy. Jennifer Armstrong and Mitch Menchaca, in “Coming of Age: Access and Equity in American Arts,” highlight some of this history with particular emphasis on networks for emerging leaders in the rural arts and their influence in shaping questions and policymaking around multicultural concerns and place-based settings.
All the best,