Webinars

CIRD supports host communities before and after their workshops via informational conference calls and webinars that cover critical topics in community engagement, rural design, partnership development, and workshop planning.

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Our Recent Work

CIRD works with a geographic cross section of communities that demonstrate community capacity and strong partnerships, a commitment to diverse participation and engagement of all the demographic groups present in their community, and the potential to achieve actionable results. Each of the communities that has hosted a CIRD workshop has identified design issues of immediate relevance not only to their town, but to other rural communities as well.
Map of 2019-2020 CIRD Communities

Who we work with

Since 1991, CIRD has worked in communities with populations of 50,000 or less to enhance quality of life and economic viability through planning, design, and creative placemaking. To date, the Arts Endowment has convened more than 80 workshops in all regions of the country, bringing together local residents with teams of design, economic development, and creative placemaking professionals. Together, professionals and citizens leverage local and regional assets to guide the design of their communities.

The multi-day design workshops in the three selected communities will focus on different challenges. Dates for each workshop and members of the resource team are forthcoming.

Millinocket, Maine (population 4,400): The residents of Millinocket, located near Maine’s Mount Katahdin, have mobilized around sustainability, mental health/wellness, and diversifying the town’s economic base after the departure of the paper industry. The goal is to create a design principles guidebook that will inform downtown revitalization plans and be used by local businesses to help create a unified sense of place.

Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico (population 1,241): The Pueblo is developing an ambitious master plan for the Village of Laguna (one of six in the Pueblo) that seeks to address longstanding challenges, including a dearth of affordable housing and the need for both walkability and commercial space that builds on indigenous cultural assets such as artisanship and arid-land farming. The University of New Mexico’s Indigenous Design + Planning Institute will join local institutions to support the workshop.

Athens, Ohio (population 23,832): Mt. Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society wants to preserve and reimagine the use of a century-old church built by free-born and formerly enslaved black artisans. In addition to architectural rehabilitation, the Preservation Society and its partners envision the place as an economic engine and as a hub for black history and culture.

The communities forming the inaugural peer-learning cohort are below and will meet for a Rural Design Summit in West Virginia, October 9-11.

Organization City State

City of Eufaula

Eufaula

AL

Eastern Sierra Artists

Bishop

CA

Dancing Spirit Community Arts Center

Ignacio

CO

Huerfano County Economic Development, Inc.

Walsenburg

CO

Economic Council of Okeechobee County, Inc.

Okeechobee

FL

Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency

Sebring

FL

action pact

Waycross

GA

Thrive Allen County, Inc.

Iola

KS

Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative

Hazard

KY

Snow Pond Center for the Arts

Sidney

ME

City of Excelsior Springs

Excelsior Springs

MO

McComb Creative Economy Partnership

McComb

MS

Clay County Historical and Arts Council

Hayesville

NC

Divide County Economic Development Council, Inc.

Crosby

ND

Woodward Arts & Theatre Council, Inc.

Woodward

OK

City of San Elizario

San Elizario

TX

Town of Scottsville

Scottsville

VA

Shenandoah County Office of Economic Development Shenandoah County VA

NCW Economic Development District

Entiat

WA

Laramie Main Street

Laramie

WY


Success Stories

Learn more about our communities. 

Local design workshops

Learning cohort communities