Seamonds to speak at Rural That Works conference

JEWELL – Maureen Seamonds will be speaking at the Rural That Works conference Sept. 6 and 7, in Stratford and Jewell, Iowa. Ms. Seamonds will be talking about Art and Economic Development in Rural Communities. InformaIion and tickets are available at

This conference is geared for small town folks who are interested in learning from other successful small towns and people. Ben Winchester, keynote speaker, is trained as a Rural Sociologist and works as a Senior Research Fellow for the University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality and conducts research on topics surrounding a theme of “rewriting the rural narrative” that are vital to rural America.

“I have been working closely with Arts Midwest and the Iowa Arts Council to develop strategic plans that will create sustainable arts organizations in rural communities. Legacy Learning Boone River Valley was awarded a grant to work with mentors and arts professionals from Arts Midwest to stabilize and revitalize our creative organizations”, said Maureen Seamonds

Rural That Works speakers include Joe Jennison from Mount Vernon, Iowa who shares how to create events out of nothing. Kelly Haman, event director at the new events center in Briggs Woods will share how they fundraised and built a $2 million building in a town of 8,000.

Deb Brown from SaveYour.Town will share Innovative Rural Business Models, you’ll learn smaller-scale business models being used right now in small towns.

A panel of rural artists, including Jennifer Drinkwater and Maureen Seamonds, will discuss how to use art in your community as economic development. Abby Huff will speak about How to write a National Register Nomination for your rural buildings. Sarah Thompson will focus on Growing Your Downtown and Creating A Regional Garden of Economic Development. Jewell Area Development Enterprise will discuss how they found funding to create real economic difference in their small town.  

“There’s nothing more exciting watching small towns change and grow over time. We bring practical experience that helps process easier. Register today, seating is limited to 125 people,” said Thompson.

Activities at Rural That Works are also scheduled for the attendees. They will create event plans and also work on creating solutions for what problems rural towns face. The responses will be collected and prepared for the attendees to access when they arrive home.  There will be local artist displays, including a 1 ton Pegasus by Larry Pearson Metal Art from Radcliffe. Visit the website to see updated listings of art works.

Several videos will be created to view when they get home and can share with their communities. Darcy Maulsby – Iowa’s Story Teller, Sheila Scarborough with Tourism Currents, and Richard Black – printmaker from Farnhamville, Iowa (and also knighted by the Queen of England) are just a few scheduled video creators for this event.

Partners who are helping make Rural That Works possible are Hy-Vee Webster City, Building Possibility, Rural Revitalization LLC, The Computer Guy, Interior Spaces  and Midwest Travel Bloggers. More partner opportunities are available at this time.