Director of Programs for Art of the Rural.
Savannah Barrett is the Director of Programs for Art of the Rural. She is a member of the board of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, the Robert Gard Foundation, and The Art of Community: Rural S.C. initiative, and has served on the review panel for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Citizen’s Institute on Rural Design and on the Innovation Team for EmcArts’ Community Innovation Lab program. She has widely published essays and interviews and presented her work at conferences internationally. She holds a Masters of Arts Management from the University of Oregon, and is an alumnus of the Muhammad Ali Scholars for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville and from the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. She previously guided community programs for the Center for Community Arts and Cultural Policy, the Louisville Visual Art Association, the Oregon Folklife Network, Paul Paletti Gallery, and Salvo Collective.
Savannah was raised on a seventh-generation homeplace in Grayson Springs, Kentucky, where she co-founded a local arts agency in high school. The heart and soul of her work with Art of the Rural is the Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange, a project that she leads with Josh May from Appalshop and a brilliant cast of artists and community builders throughout the state to innovate on a regional creative placemaking strategy. This project is complemented by Art of the Rural’s collaboration with the Rural Policy Research Institute on the Next Generation initiative, which engages the public and private sector to advance collaboration, share innovative strategies and research, and elevate emerging leaders in the national field of rural creative placemaking.