This document examines the many ways in which the arts can benefit rural areas. It aims to illuminate potential opportunities found in rural areas for all types of artists, and discusses important points on building arts programs, organizations, and events in these areas. Having a strong arts presence can positively impact the economy, education system, community and well-being in rural areas. The arts help to strengthen community identity, provide exposure to new artistic experiences while preserving local culture, create a more resilient economy, strengthen the education system, and provide a creative outlet for community members. Musicians visiting a rural community have access to a unique and fulfilling opportunity to create, advocate, share and learn. Creating short and long term arts programs and organizations within these communities is an important way of guaranteeing a more sustainable presence of the arts. This document outlines rural areas and their typical characteristics, discusses the impact the arts can have on the rural economy, education system, and well being of the community and its individuals, and explores the many opportunities and experiences available to visiting artists and musicians in rural areas. It also discusses key issues and approaches when creating arts programs, events, and organizations in rural areas. Interviews with rural residents, artists and musicians, and arts advocates, along with the author’s personal experiences and observations provide unique insight into arts advocacy in rural areas, and why it is important.
- The Arts in Rural Areas- Building Musical Communities in Rural Areas