The Rural-Urban Exchange (RUX) was founded in Kentucky in 2014 by Savannah Barrett and Josh May as a partnership of Art of the Rural and Appalshop. RUX is guided by our core values, and is supported by a distributed leadership structure through a statewide Steering Committee and dozens of local, regional, and statewide partners.
In Kentucky, RUX has hosted eight cohorts in 23 community intensives across 13 host communities. After a two-year learning exchange and technical assistance process between Kentuckians and Minnesotans, MN RUX was launched in 2022 and has been hosted in St. Paul, Mahnomen County, Winona County, and across the White Earth Nation.
The RUX network now includes 260 Kentuckians from 49 counties and 32 Minnesotans from 16 counties and Native Nations. These alumni are artists, educators, farmers, attorneys, factory workers, bankers, nurses, elected officials, small business owners, retirees, and more. RUX connects them through a network of deep relationships that bridges cultures, expands social capital, and unites diverse leaders towards a common vision.
RUX is grateful for ongoing support from Appalshop, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the National Endowment for the Arts, Kentucky Arts Council, Kentucky Folklife Program, Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Greater Clark Foundation, Marilyn & William Young Foundation, and Owensboro Health.