Racial & Geographic Equity in Arts Funding

September 24 | 9:00 am – 10:45 am

Led by Savannah Barrett, director of Art of the Rural, this is an opportunity for grantmakers to learn about programs and research that are leading the field towards more racial and geographic (aka rural) equity. This is a chance for participants to look at how to set benchmarks in grantmaking and arts support to increase racial & geographic equity.

Key questions the session will touch on:

  • what are underlying inequities that frame this conversation?
  • how does intersectional leadership inform philanthropy?
  • how are regional arts organizations supporting diverse representation and voices in arts leadership?

The panel discussion will be a virtual field scan from people, who have decades of experience in this area, to help other organizations, grantors, and institutions take a first step or deepen their practice.

Resources to review before the session:

Freedom Maps – an incredibly in-depth study that looks at rural arts funding in the South and its social and cultural implications and impacts:

Sunup Initiative:

Show up for Racial Justice Chapters & Affiliates – notice the number of affiliates in rural communities:

Fact sheet on the issue from National Association of State Arts Agencies:

Report from the National Governors’ Association on rural arts capacity:

Speaker: Savannah Barrett, Director of Art of the Rural



Cultivating a Sense of Belonging in Rural Communities

September 24 | 11:00 am – 12:45 pm

Belonging:  noun. a feeling of being taken in and accepted as part of a group.

Across the country, arts are being used as a tool to increase feelings of belonging and connection to place and each other. Speakers will lead session participants in hands-on activities based in work that at its core drives connection, empathy, understanding, and belonging. Barbara Shafer Bacon of Americans for the Arts will then lead the group in an activity to develop a deeper understanding of metrics and evaluation – how do you demonstrate outcomes for creating a sense of belonging? The session will end in an open discussion with each of the conversation leaders led by Anthony Poore, current director of the NH Humanities Council, who has a background in partnership and coalition building, community and economic development, and social work.

Resources that may be informative before the session:

Project planning resource from Americans for the Arts Animating Democracy:

Report from the James Irvine Foundation in CA about Civic Engagement & the Arts:

Speaker: Anthony Poore, Executive Director, New Hampshire Humanities; Barbara Shafer Bacon, Co-Director, Animating Democracy Americans for the Arts; Rachel Balaban, dancer; Catherine Stewart, NH Theatre Project



The Essential Arts: Making a Case Statement

September 24 | 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

As the first in the nation for presidential primaries, there is a strong political culture in NH – from Town Halls and town meetings to rallies and debates. So, from Radically Rural’s roots in NH, welcome to the first-ever moderated debate about the value and vibrancy of arts in our rural communities. What makes art essential in this moment in time, and why?

Invited speakers are professionals in their art form. They’ve done their research and collected data to support their particular form of art, but they need participants’ stories to bolster their case in the debate. In this session participants will break into small groups to do a story-circle activity, then will return to a moderated debate featuring the speakers, now armed with participants’ anecdotes. They will be championing the value of the type of work they do — Studio Art, Public Art, Music, Theatre, Dance, Museum Curation and Programming, Traditional Crafts, and Arts Education — and framing it as essential.

Speaker: Marianne Barthel, Director of the Arts Program at Dartmouth Hitchcock; Cynthia Cutting, director Museum of the White Mountains; Amanda Whitworth, dancer; Kate Beever, musician

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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