Evelyn Immonen

Evelyn Immonen is a Research and Policy Associate at the Housing Assistance Council, where she works with the Research and Information team to prepare research reports on rural housing and bridge the gap to real-world policy issues. She also represents HAC as part of the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, a program that brings creative placemaking and design to rural areas.  She recently graduated from the University of Virginia where she earned a Bachelors in English and a Master of Public Policy degree. During her time in graduate school she served as the Teaching Assistant for a graduate-level policy writing course and wrote her Applied Policy Project on the opioid crisis in Indian Country. Evelyn is particularly interested in Native American communities due to her heritage with the Turtle Mountain Tribe and connection to many tribes in North and South Dakota.


  • TED Talk Design Leader on How to Engage Youth

    March 2, 2020

    Mara Mintzer spoke with the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design about her award-winning work at the intersection of design, education, and community engagement with one overriding theme: youth voices matter, and they matter right now. 1.6 million people have viewed Mintzer’s How Kids Can Help Design Cities TED Talk. We suggest a listen, too, as it buttresses CIRD’s recent conversation with Mara.  And don’t let “cities” get in the way; Mara notes the utter rural applicability of her approach.

  • CIRD Learning Cohort Community Spotlight: A Mecca of Recreation in Entiat, WA

    January 30, 2020

    Meet Alyce Brown, a CIRD community leader with a big vision for the small town of Entiat, WA. Working with local organizations and stakeholder groups, Brown plans to transform the town into a tourism destination that provides year-round recreational services to visitors and long-term prosperity to the region.

  • CIRD is Gearing Up for the Local Design Workshops

    January 30, 2020

    CIRD’s multi-day design workshops bring together a diversity of participants from the local community and introduce a wide array of design strategies to improve the way a community looks, its quality of life, and economic viability. The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is proud to announce the schedule for the selected 2019-2020 local design workshops:

  • CIRD Learning Cohort Community Spotlight: Transforming a Former Jail into a Bright Future for McComb, MS

    December 11, 2019

    Meet Calvin Phelps, a CIRD cohort community leader who is renovating a former community jail into an arts-centered space. By preserving the jail, the soon-to-be Pike School of Art will give new life to the community’s rich culture and history.

  • Reflections on CIRD’s Cohort Summit in West Virginia

    October 29, 2019

    A CIRD Learning Cohort Summit participant returns to her youthful stomping grounds ready to learn about rural design. What did she find out?