The Impact of the Arts in Rural Communities: Knowing Your Audiences


The research articles that I chose show the impact of the arts in rural communities. My goal over the project was to find out how and why individuals use art to channel their creativity through communities for example; my local museum, my town, and my social media. I wanted to explore how art help gains a stronger sense of community. In the world we are in today; we are constantly changing, evolving, connecting into whatever we feel is next. Especially now in rural NH, it seems that more communities are looking to expand their outreach and through the use of art and creativity however that takes shape. Communities are willing to change and adapt as well as the artists along with them and the two have what I believe is correlated relationship.

Why do the arts matter?

Based off of general observation, people in our society seem to have an overall appreciation for the arts. In most cases I studied the general public usually participate in artistic events by either making, viewing, or even support the functions financially. Arts-based disciplines are multifaceted (Skippington 2016). Art isn’t just events in museums or concerts, but is all around us. Art depicts the human experience as a whole, whether is a typical art form or not does not matter in a way.

By simply introducing and mixing the arts into our lives more, we are engaging in not just the arts, but together. The arts acts as an aide and helps foster a community through creativity. By thinking creatively, we have the capabilities to make improvements and have positive interactions that impact our community. Artists and art organizations are an important resource in our path to build stronger connections. These art programs tend to help develop critical skills to function in our society. Skills you develop just to name a few are critical thinking, communication, social skills, focus, and discipline.

The impact of the arts in rural locations

Based off of the definition provided by the national endowment for the arts; “Rural” is defined as geographic areas encompassing all population, housing, and territory not included in an “urban” area. Something that we seem to not highlight is how the arts play a crucial role in rural locations. The NEA provided reports showing that Arkansas; Mississippi; New Hampshire; West Virginia; and Maine contributed between $2 billion and $3 billion in art programs to their economies in 2015. Arts organizations in rural communities provide the community with business opportunities and attractions. For example rural counties host an art event; this provides more in terms of scenic appeal, recreational activities, and general interests to tourists. Because of this,visitors and even locals seem to spend more time participating in these community activities. According to the national endowment for the arts (NEA), the arts nationally contributed $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015. The NEA also reports how 31% of the rural participants are willing to travel much farther than urban participants which are only at 19%. The art organizations that attract a non local audience, are raised higher than the urban organizations. As shown on the Arts and economic prosperity; Art and cultural events alone, contributed $764 billion to the economy in 2015, including a $21 billion international trade. 

Promoting the arts in a community: multiple levels of marketing

It is clear that the arts thrive in community involvement, businesses, and organizations. It shows that those that work to promote and encourage the arts that they thrive in return. By attending these events and participating, we are creating a deeper sense of place for ourselves. According to a local museum director in a rural NH community, “In order to promote the arts, you must provide opportunities for community gathering.”  Some opportunities are events, workshops, presentations, etc. Another typical way to promote is by spreading around the visuals and compelling texts throughout the community. All these ways of promoting and integrating are vital when projects are being co-created. 

Creating an exhibit for rural audiences:

When it involves planning art associated events, directors take the concept process all the way into the little details. The title and theme/showcase concept has to connect without delay to surrounding communities ideals. The name and short description used in marketing has to suggest that there can be something the audience will really click with. If the community displays no interest in the description then it is much less probable to succeed. Therefore, it’s imperative you know your audience.

 When choosing formats for presentation for rural audiences, don’t forget what are the smoothest methods to inform the stories within the event/exhibit. Include all senses, all types of media and don’t forget to consider all learning patterns or styles.


Connecting communities to content:

If you deliberately create a pathway through the physical experiences, even with tough or complex materials. A goal to keep in mind is that the director/ host of the event should establish a balance of statistics, experience, and proposal. My local museum director discusses how she likes visitors to feel that she planned what the exhibit can do for them. By doing so, the visitors can leave with inspiration, further research, things needed that they can participate in afterwards.



Individuals seem to use art to channel their creativity, but that creativity as I’ve said is all around us. Community and Art share a beautiful relationship thriving off of one another. This relationship is evident in the world we are in today, if you look around we have more artistic expressionism than ever. This rise as I’ve said is most evident in rural NH, where bringing people who are more spread out and keep to themselves is hard to do. Communities are showing that they are willing to change in order to create what truly defines a community versus a town. 


“The Unique Challenges of Investigating Rural and Remote Communities.” Harnessing the Bohemian: Artists as Innovation Partners in Rural and Remote Communities, by PETER SKIPPINGTON, ANU Press, Australia, 2016, pp. 113–120. JSTOR,


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