Rural Project

The Rural Project


In 2018-2019 we are focusing on the issues facing small town and rural communities in the Southeast in the 21st century.

The dominance of industrialized farming and the shrinking of domestic manufacturing have transformed the landscape of much of the South. In its wake, we see communities struggling with many of the same issues faced by underserved urban populations: poor access to education, health care, and opportunities for advancement. We will be identifying rural communities and rural-based artists in 2018-2019 to develop projects around the stories and experiences of this often overlooked and disrespected part of our community.

Submit a Proposal

Proposals are now open for the Rural Project. Deadline: December 24, 2018

Learn more

Explore Past Projects

Dive into our past projects from previous years.


The 2019 Fellows


In a series of artist-led educational workshops, public forums, exhibitions, and project development sessions beginning in September 2018 and running through the festival in March 2019, a selected Fellowship of artists (filmmakers, artists, activists, community organizers, etc) primarily residing in South Carolina will work with Columbia-based community stakeholders, partnering organizations, and rural communities to develop and create projects exploring the Rural theme. Artworks will be revealed by the Fellowship during the 2019 Indie Grits Festival, taking place March 28-31.

Lillian Burke

Kelly Creedon

Ian Dillinger

Mahkia Greene

Thaddeus Jones Jr.

Yulian Martinez-Escobar

Cedric Umoja

Rural Project Exhibitions

Among Strangers: Cuba and Saluda in Conversation


On View November 08 – December 21, 2018


Among Strangers: Cuba and Saluda in Conversation is an exploration of what it means to be a stranger. Yulian Martinez-Escobar and Lillian Burke will exhibit a series of collages and photographs that document their connections and conversations throughout their travels in Cuba and Saluda, SC.

More about the opening reception:

The Southern Disposition


On View until September 27, 2018


As our first foray into the Rural Project, The Southern Disposition is an exhibition of photographs from a diverse group of Southern artists. Having sought work that “addresses and challenges the social, cultural, and physical landscapes of the South,” we are excited to showcase submissions from over 30 photographers, stationed throughout the Southeast and beyond.

learn more:

Rural Project Events