"We Come From”

The Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange (RUX) was founded in 2014 as a partnership between Art of the Rural and Appalshop.

The Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange has hosted Community Intensives in Bowling Green (2017-18), Covington and Northern Kentucky (2018), Horse Cave (2017-18), Harlan County (2016-17), Knott County (2018-19), Lexington (2016-17), Louisville (2014-15), Muhlenberg County (2019-20), Paducah (2015-16), and Whitesburg (2014-15). The blue counties on the map represent counties where RUX alumni live. The green counties represent counties where alumni grew up, or were living for part of their participation in the program.

The Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange has hosted Community Intensives in Bowling Green (2017-18), Covington and Northern Kentucky (2018), Horse Cave (2017-18), Harlan County (2016-17), Knott County (2018-19), Lexington (2016-17), Louisville (2014-15), Muhlenberg County (2019-20), Paducah (2015-16), and Whitesburg (2014-15). The blue counties on the map represent counties where RUX alumni live. The green counties represent counties where alumni grew up, or were living for part of their participation in the program.

Since then, Kentucky RUX has coached 240 Kentuckians from 42 counties, and has been hosted across every region of the state.

the Kentucky RUX has hosted fifteen intensives in ten communities. The participants in RUX have come from a range of backgrounds and careers, many of which are arts & culture- based, with others including health, education, economic development, and factory work. While the initial goal of RUX was to reach 150 people and every region of the Kentucky in the first five years, the program is proud to have exceeded that benchmark by serving 200 Kentuckians from 42 counties in the first five years.

Looking back on our first six years in Kentucky, RUX has proven its concept. As a result of the RUX program’s recognition at national conferences and in publications such as the Christian Science Monitor, National Governors Association, and the Wall Street Journal, the program regularly receives requests to expand the into other states and regions. We’re keenly aware of the potential of the RUX model to offer a progressive platform for engagement ahead of 2020. With three case studies in development with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the potential for a national gathering in 2020, and this replication effort in Minnesota, RUX is now working to grow the capacity of our flagship program in Kentucky while also sharing our methodology to powerfully impact other regions struggling to achieve a thriving culture of rural-urban interdependence.