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Rural and urban communities need each other. While it may seem on the surface that we have little in common, our lives are more intertwined than most national media narratives or politicians want us to believe.

Over the last decade, the so-called “urban-rural” divide has increasingly become a political strategy to provoke division and fear, rather than supporting solutions, common ground, and shared meaning across our geographical differences.

In the upcoming election year, which is likely to be a heated political season, what might happen if we take the time to discover and affirm the ways in which urban and rural people share a future together? How might some of the daunting challenges of our time be re-framed, and how could new or deeper connections across geographies lead to more equitable and human-centered solutions?

Springboard for the Arts invites artists and creatives across Minnesota to develop projects that explore and shed light on the concept of rural-urban solidarity. Culture bearers, makers, artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, performers, and other creatives are invited to apply for project support for projects that help build understanding, interaction, compassion, joy, and solidarity between rural and urban communities.


Rural Director

Community Development Director


Project Support Stipend:

- For one Lead Artist who can demonstrate a strong connection to and experience in both urban/rural contexts: $2500 total

- For two Lead Artists, one in an urban and one in a rural place, who are teaming up on a project together: $2500 per artist, $5000 total

About the projects:

- Projects can involve as many artists as needed, but the Lead Artist(s) are responsible for submitting the proposal, attending meetings with Springboard, managing the funds and ensuring the project’s overall success. 

- Project support can cover artist fees, supplies and materials, venue rental, promotion and marketing, and other costs necessary to implement the project as determined by the Lead Artist(s). 

- Projects do not need to take place in a specific physical location, but should actively engage both urban and rural people or places in the creation and/or delivery of the project.

Types of projects may include but are not limited to:

- Zines or writing collections 

- Participatory projects like letter exchanges, collaborative poems, activity kits, videos etc.

- Visual displays or temporary public art (murals, lawn signs, posters, chalked messages, billboards, etc)

- Recipe exchanges or culinary projects

-Activations of public space (line dancing classes in parking lots, story circles in a library, shared meals, etc) 

Have a question about this program or the application? Contact nouf saleh, Springboard's Community Development Coordinator, at

Information Session: May 2024


Resources on Rural-Urban Solidarity

From Rural-Urban Divide to Rural-Urban Solidarity launch
Written by Laura Zabel for Medium, 2018.
Appalachian Faces: Rural-Urban Solidarity in Pittsburgh with Pepperoni Rolls launch
Written by Annie Chester for Expatalachians, 2020.
Urban vs. rural? More like urban and rural together, study says launch
Written by Mary Vitcenda for the University of Minnesota Extension, 2011.