Small towns. Extraordinary Impact!
September 25-26, 2024
Founded by the Hannah Grimes Center and the Keene Sentinel
Learn. Share. Network. Enjoy.
Join us in Keene, NH on September 25 & 26 – we promise you will meet new and interesting people, immerse yourself in engaging and memorable sessions, and enjoy great local food and entertainment — all wrapped up in an amazing small New England town experience. Autumn in New England is our most colorful and vibrant time!
We know you will leave Radically Rural overflowing with great ideas, new friends, and filled with inspiration to make a difference in your community.
We understand that some folks are physically unable to make the trip, which is why we will be making recordings for most sessions available after.
Arts and Culture
The Arts are an expression of our cultural roots, our reality today and our understanding of what may happen tomorrow, and, as such, are vital to the health of communities. The importance of adequate funding and that these funds represent the diaspora of the individuals in these communities and beyond feeds our sense of belonging, understanding and social development. The arts can also be an intricate part of economic development. A full spectrum of emotions and socio-economic benefits are in the hands of our painters, actors, museum curators, arts educators and more.
Join us at Radically Rural as we engage community leaders and stakeholders to build through the arts an increased community understanding and a strong sense of place.
Local Organizer: Monadnock Arts Alive!
The climate crisis is impacting rural communities disproportionately. These communities frequently depend on agriculture and tourism economies, but changes in weather patterns threaten both. Residents of rural communities also spend more of their household dollars on energy, studies show. Investment in energy efficiency, renewables and community solutions to electricity purchasing can provide opportunities to reduce costs, increase comfort and enhance rural living and resilience.
Radically Rural seeks to provide solutions, guidelines and models for community leaders, groups and individuals to promote clean energy as a means to combat the climate crisis.
Local Organizer: League of Conservation Voters
Local journalism, a bedrock for informed and successful small communities, is under threat. More and more towns are losing their local news sources to the economic upheaval facing the news business and dramatic changes in the ways people get their information. We know that when a trusted local news operation leaves a town, taxes increase, bond rates worsen and community economic development suffers.
Radically Rural seeks to provide ideas, solutions, and models for news organizations and communities to ensure the financial health of those operations so that residents can stay informed.
Local Organizer: The Keene Sentinel
Each successive recession in recent history has left in its wake an ever-widening economic gap between rural communities and national trends. Along with a stunning lack of new business formation in rural America, if this trend continues after this current pandemic-induced recession, it will perpetuate ever-widening gaps in income, population, education attainment, innovation, politics, employment and opportunity.
Radically Rural seeks to provide solutions, guidelines and models for community leaders, groups and individuals to create a rich culture of entrepreneurship, a thriving local economy and a vibrant community.
Local Organizer: The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship
National Organizer: Kansas Leadership Center
All in for Health
Why should community members care about health? A community that cares about the health of its members cultivates a vibrant and sustainable place for living, working and playing. A healthy community positions itself to attract new businesses and residents, keeps young families in town, lowers costs for employers, and helps the elderly age gracefully in place. It takes all of us to create this vision of a healthy community. Join us in the All in for Health track at Radically Rural to learn more about your role in this picture. This year we’ll focus on the foundation of community well-being sculpted by the social determinants of health. We will discuss topics such as how adequate housing and community-based behavioral health resources can improve the lives of rural communities. What specifically can you take away from this track? Tangible tools to bring home: replicable ideas from model projects, innovative ideas to spark deep conversation about how everyone can contribute to a healthy and vibrant community.
Main Streets are the socio-economic centers of rural communities. Their ability to thrive is essential to the continued economic success of small cities and towns, and these centers imbue their residents with a sense of place. This awareness is often tied to the past, inextricability set in the present and looking toward the future. Facing the challenges of today means keeping Main Street surviving and even thriving. Tomorrow’s future doesn’t mean leaving everything behind but, rather, acknowledging what to save and what to improve. Reimagining Main Streets can enliven stakeholders and residents in fundamentally new ways. Join us at Radically Rural as we explore the rebirth of Main Street and the positive impacts available to rural communities.
Local Organizer: Southwest Region Planning Commission
Land & Community
Land use permeates conversations in rural communities, from forestry to cattle grazing, to farming and to recreation. The livelihoods of these towns are often tied to the surrounding landscape and lands. Because the health of this land is impacted by the climate crisis, communities must act, adjust and adapt. Join Radically Rural as we introduce how people can better connect to the land for economic, social and healing benefits.
Local Organizer: The Cheshire County Conservation District