The Rural Renaissance

New initiatives for entrepreneurial investment
and community development

The Rural Renaissance Project is an initiative to bring the vision of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) expertise and opportunities to rural communities.

While the current solution narrative for transforming America’s workforce is STEM (STEAM, without the arts), we feel the arts are also essential in making small rural Midwestern cities relevant in attracting and sustaining a 21st-century workforce. We see the situation as an imperative to reverse the flow of talent out of rural America.

Current architects of this vision are Connect the Grey founder Janie Hanson, originally of Frost, Minnesota (population 199), and StatFutures co-founder Deanna Lahre, originally of Windfall, Indiana (population 708).

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Join us to help build this vision!

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The Opportunity

We see Rural Renaissance as an opportunity to solve a 5-part problem:

Internet / Technology

While government is currently discussing physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, airports) as a major issue facing our nation, bringing broadband internet to rural communities is an absolute necessity. Technology and media allow residents to access software, information, and real-time communications around the world.


Arts and culture are a part of any thriving community, identified by economic development efforts as essential to livability. We will spark artist residencies and cultural opportunities as a catalyst for community growth.

Health / Lifestyle / Agriculture

Our vision is to de-commoditize current life, create opportunities and scale for local food and agricultural artisans, and support the farm families engaged in production agriculture.

Water / Energy Systems

We will support the development of technologies and analytics to move municipal water systems, septic systems, and agricultural water and energy usage to a cleaner future.

Education / Media

We will facilitate lifelong learning with our commitment to STEAM critical thinking skills, and work with the evolving needs of the job market to more effectively integrate diversity of thought.

Contact us to learn more about Rural Renaissance and to help us build these initiatives!