The Creativity of Rural America

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Reports show how creative enterprises can help the economy of rural America.


CraftNet is an RTS-sponsored alliance of 14 rural community colleges working to develop their creative economy.

But perhaps the most important step that rural areas can take is simply to give the arts and creativity their due as an economic development engine.  Chambers of commerce and tourism promotion agencies should see how much creativity can and could contribute to a rural region’s economic growth.  If your Chamber is selling a wild ride down your whitewater, perhaps they should also be promoting the local craftsperson down the way.  If your local economic development authority is offering millions of dollars in incentives to lure the last auto plant left in the US, they might want to consider instead spending their money to promote the most important asset in their community—the creativity of their citizens.

Dan Broun is Director of Special Projects at Regional Technology Strategies, Inc. in Carrboro, North Carolina.  RTS recently released its Final Report on Arkansas Creative Economy for the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.  For that report and others, please go to