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.


Look for some of our upcoming events in 2019:

Creative Writing Workshops & Readings  |   Pop-up Cinema Shows   |   Artist Residency with IU MFA Student, Rachel de Cuba

Textile Exhibit at the Brown County Art Gallery   |   Traditional Arts Indiana exhibit at the Brown County Art Gallery


Hover over the images below to discover more!

Community Cinema

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 or on the CRE’s events calendar.

Copyright, Rachel de Cuba

Student Artist Residency

Our Spring 2019 artist is Rachel de Cuba who holds her residency at the Brown County History Center on Wednesdays & Fridays. Look for an exhibit of her work  in May at a local artist hub and one of Nashville’s treasured small businesses, The Emerald Pencil.

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.

Creative Community Writing

“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.) and a poetry reading and workshop at the public library.

Student Studies on Community Rural Arts Programs

IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs Master of Arts Administration students led projects to build capacity, strategy, and sustainability of community rural arts programs. 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. View the Fall 2018 student findings here: Nashville, IN The Strategic Plan