Sunday, June 18, 2023

'Radically Rural' event in Keene, N.H., Sept. 27-28 wil be all in-person, with 7 tracks including journalism, with 3 sessions

"Radically Rural," the six-year-old community-development conference co-sponsored by The Keene Sentinel, will be full in person this year, without an online component.

This year's theme is “Reimaging Rural,” which “doesn’t always mean something that’s never been done, because sometimes progress includes reaching back to what’s been done before,” Julianna Dodson, director of Radically Rural, said in the Sentinel. “It’s sort of a prompt to help us rethink in new ways.”

The summit, set for Sept. 27-28, is a series of programs co-sponsored by Keene’s Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship. The opening speaker will be Tony Pipa, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Center for Sustainable Development and leader of the nonprofit’s Reimagining Rural Policy initiative, which launched in 2020. He will discuss rural issues with people who have appeatred on his none-episode podcast. The second day will open with Chris Estes, co-executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Community Strategies Group, who will talk about “a more cohesive strategy” in community development, Dodson said.

Radically Rural has seven tracks: arts and culture, clean energy, community journalism, entrepreneurship, All in for Health, land and community, and Main Street. The journalism track will be have three sessions: “Building Sustainability,” “Generating Audience Revenue” and “How Do They Do That?: Groundbreaking Journalism,” The first session will include Taos News Publisher Chris Baker, Joey Young of Kansas Publishing Ventures and Tristan Scott, managing editor of the Flathead Beacon in Kalispell, Mont., which dropped its print edition in April.

Shay Totten, newsroom-success manager for the American Press Institute, will moderate the audience-development session, with Arik Ligeti, director of audience for Canadian environmental magazine The Narwhal, and Christiaan Mader, founder of The Current in Lafayette, La., “These are organizations that have grown their subscriber base and their donor base over time,” said Terry Williams, the Sentinel’s senior advisor for audience and community engagement and its former president and chef operating officer

The third journalism session will be “a deep dive into how … journalists have reported on powerful stories” affecting their rural communities, Williams said. They are North Carolina freelance journalist Victoria Bouloubasis; Adam Ganucheau, editor-in-chief of Mississippi Today; and Samantha Hogan, investigative reporter for The Maine Monitor.

Tickets for the event are on sale, with prices based on a sliding scale using the honor system. A limited number of free tickets are also available for low-income people interested in attending. MOre information is available at

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