What is the Center for Rural Engagement?

The Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement  ( IU CRE ) partners with rural communities, like Nashville, with the goal to improve Hoosier lives. It does so by providing rural communities and small regional cities with access to IU’s cultural assets, research, data, community-engaged teaching, and student service. The Center builds, coordinates, and deepens sustained relationships between communities and the university to address rural challenges and opportunities. Since 2018 they have engaged and established connections through the Brown County Community Foundation to aid in cultivating your Quality of Place locally.

Learn more about the partnerships and programs in place throughout Indiana below or by visiting https://rural.indiana.edu.

Have questions or comments about the work of the Center in Nashville? Reach out to us by emailing intern@bccfin.org.

Student Studies

Last semester, a group of Arts Administration graduate students researched, interviewed, and prepared strategic plans to suggest for Nashville. The question they were charged with was: How do we encourage youth to take more ownership of Nashville? After one of the community sessions, a student commented: “I was amazed by how many positive things everyone had to say about Nashville. There is so much love in & for this town.” Our love, paired with their findings, will help the CRE to decide on programs and partnerships to implement over the next few years to make Brown County a better place to live…and for our young people to love.

Creative Writing Workshop Series

“There are so many parts of our lives that we haven’t told anyone simply because they are that: just a part of our lives.” Through our collaboration with the IU Center for Rural Engagement, campus partners from the IU English Department came to visit and exchange stories and poetry with our senior residents in the community at the Brown County Health & Living Center. “I have 100 years worth of stories to tell,” one resident shared. “If I wasn’t here talking to you, no one would know.” Our creative writing partners also hosted poetry workshops at the local high school, with each work of writing inspired by an art installation at the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art.

It's Showtime!

Pop up films continue to show at the Brown County Playhouse thanks to our connection with IU Cinema! With a focus on rural and independent features, this free series seeks to share some of the greatest and little known gems of the world of cinematography with you! Check in on our Facebook page for recent releases.

Master Classes

IU partners from the Jacobs School of Music visited our county’s classrooms to ignite their love of learning and music through special Master classes for High School Students. “Arts are a huge part of the history of Brown County, because we are a community that was settled for artists,” said Laura Hammack, superintendent of Brown County Schools. “It’s important that we teach the legacy of who we are as a people to our students, and this opportunity to work with IU has really resonated with them.