Rural Communities are Getting Creative

Public and private leaders in rural Iowa communities are reaping the benefits of place-based “creative placemaking.” Since early 2017, telecommunication companies across the state have applied for Ripple Effect grants to fund planning initiatives for their communities. To date, five grants have been awarded to the cities of Villisca, Keosauqua, New Market, Stanton, and Greene County. These communities are using the creative placemaking process to achieve economic growth and bolster community vitality. The process identifies cultural and entrepreneurial amenities that will help them keep and attract tomorrow’s workforce. The final product is a cultural assessment master plan that identifies a long-term vision for the community’s civic and cultural investments. This heightened focus on the arts generates a creative economy to leverage cultural capacity as a community building and talent development strategy. Ripple Effect is helping make creative placemaking a reality in rural Iowa.