A long-term, collaborative initiative grounded in the cultures, communities, and histories of the Upper Mississippi River region.

Community leader and holistic healer Gloria Alatorre. Photo credit: Joy Davis Ripley.

Through support for artists, culture bearers, artisans, and storytellers – alongside the local organizations that support them – Spillway works to create the conditions for engaged projects that honor diverse lived experience, deepen regional relationships, and build rural-urban networks of knowledge-sharing and exchange that will create opportunities for artists, culture bearers, and artisans to thrive, connect with new colleagues and audiences.

Spillway is organized by Art of the Rural, in collaboration with Honoring Dakota, the Winona County Historical Society, and Engage Winona in Winona, Minnesota; photographer Joseph J. Allen and Manoomin Arts Initiative in Mahnomen, MN and White Earth Nation; artist Faye Dant and Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center in Hannibal, Missouri; community leader Roberta Rogers and the Historical Society of Brooklyn, Illinois, with architect Alicia Ajayi; the artists, culture bearers, and writers of the Crossings field school in the St. Louis region; and The American Bottom Project in the East St. Louis region.



Joseph J. Allen, Hakikta

Hakikta (“to look back“ in Dakota) presents an overview of the thirty-year career of Joseph J. Allen, on view at the Winona County History Center, from March 16 - June 9, 2024.

Community Space

Public Launch: 2016-2020

A collaborative community space located in Winona, Minnesota that presented arts and culture as a platform for community problem-solving and intercultural exchange.


Spillway Stories in Winona

In collaboration with Engage Winona, essays and biographies from regional artists and creative leaders, with a focus on place & community-building.


The American Bottom Project

Through both an extensive digital resource and The American Bottom Gazette regional print publication, this long-term project invites scholars, activists, artists, educators, and citizens to collaborate towards telling the complicated history of the 65-mile floodplain to the east of St. Louis.