Radically Rural has ended
Thursday, September 19

7:30am EDT

8:30am EDT

Welcome & Keynote Address by Wendy Guillies, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation CEO
avatar for Wendy Guillies

Wendy Guillies

President & CEO, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Wendy Guillies is the president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States with more than $2 billion in assets.Guillies leads the Foundation’s work to boost student achievement... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 8:30am - 9:30am EDT
The Colonial Theatre 95 Main Street, Keene, NH 03431

10:00am EDT

Bringing Community Stories to Life Through The Arts
Limited Capacity seats available

In June 2019, the Walldogs, a renowned organization of sign and mural artists, hosted a 4-day festival in downtown Keene, leaving 16 historic murals in their wake. Peter Poanessa, a Keene native and a Walldog, will kick off the Arts and Culture Track with Session One, “Bringing Community Stories to Life through the Arts”. This session will highlight the way that the Walldogs and local organizers were able to build a massive community following and engagement in uncovering and selecting the stories that are vital to Keene’s identity. First, watch the premier of the short documentary made about this unique event. Then hear Peter’s story of the Walldogs and how he got involved, and learn how to build awareness and excitement in your own community. This session features a panel of storytellers, members of the organizing team, who will share memorable moments and lessons learned about working in the arts and deep community engagement.  

avatar for Peter Poanessa

Peter Poanessa

Founder, Keene Signworx
I would like to briefly introduce myself. My name is Peter Poanessa and I am just a regular guy with a love of the design/build process. I am also owner and founder of Keene Signworx. I studied art for a year at the University of New Hampshire, until I got "a gut feeling" that I was... Read More →


Rosemarie Bernardi

Professor of Printmaking and Design, Keene State College
Rosemarie Bernardi was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She loves the space and beauty of New England and its proximity to New York, Mass MoCa and other art centers. Currently Professor of Art and Chair of the Art Department at Keene State College, New Hampshire, she has previously... Read More →
avatar for Tammy Dwyer

Tammy Dwyer

Engagement Manager, The Center for Population Health, Cheshire Medical Center
Tammy Dwyer works at The Center for Population Health at Cheshire Medical Center as an Engagement Manager, where she develops and execute strategies to improve the wellbeing in our region.  She graduated from Vermont College, with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts.  Tammy developed... Read More →
avatar for Carol Jacobs

Carol Jacobs

City Counselor, City of Keene
After flirting with a variety of musical instruments, Carl settled into lifelong relationshipswith Bass (Precision and upright), tenor banjo, and singing. He has performedprofessionally with a variety of groups: everything from rock, to bluegrass; country tocontra dance; and church’s... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm EDT
MoCo Arts

10:00am EDT

Collaboration - Competitive Barriers Drop; Journalists Work Together on Rural Issues
Limited Capacity seats available

If you live well outside the city of Bozeman, Montana, there’s a good chance you’re living in a town with a contracting economy, shrinking population and growing opioid and mental health issues. All under the radar. There’s no one to cover the issues. That changed due a group of journalists from western Montana, supported by High Country News and the Solutions Journalism Network. What was produced was an exhaustive, comprehensive look at what many small towns across the country face – and the coverage came with solutions.

avatar for Leah Todd

Leah Todd

Regional Manager, Solutions Journalism Network
Leah Todd is the New England regional manager for the Solutions Journalism Network, building relationships with newsrooms in the New England states. From 2015 to 2018, Leah led SJN’s work in the Intermountain West, including launching and overseeing collaborative journalism projects... Read More →
avatar for Nick Ehli

Nick Ehli

Managing Editor, Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Nick Ehli is the managing editor of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and has worked for Montana newspapers as a reporter, columnist, and editor for more than 30 years. He is also the founding editor-in-chief of Montana Quarterly magazine and has edited several books.
avatar for Stefanie Murray

Stefanie Murray

Director, Center for Cooperative Media
Stefanie Murray is the Director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. A Michigan native, Stefanie previously worked in Michigan and Tennessee as a reporter, editor, digital media manager and news executive. Before joining Montclair State, she worked for... Read More →

avatar for Dawn DeAngelis

Dawn DeAngelis

Vice President & Chief Content Officer, NHPBS
avatar for Melanie Plenda

Melanie Plenda

Project Manager, Granite State News Collaborative
Melanie Plenda is an award-winning freelance journalist and the project manager for The Granite State News Collaborative. Her role with The Collaborative includes reporting, editing and coordinating coverage for the group's inaugural Granite Solutions project, building partnerships... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Keene Public Library

10:00am EDT

Growing Stage 2 Businesses
Limited Capacity seats available

Second-stage companies have moved beyond the startup phase and have the intent and capability to grow. With generally 10 to 99 employees and between $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue, these companies are significant job-creators, bring in outside dollars, offer high-quality jobs and contribute to their community. Learn more about second-stage companies from the nation’s leading Stage 2 advocate, the Edward Lowe Foundation, including how to work with them and how to develop the kind of supportive culture they need to flourish.

avatar for Rich Grogan

Rich Grogan

Executive Director, Northern Border Regional Commission
Rich Grogan is currently the Executive Director of the Northern Border Regional Commission, a Federal-State partnership for economic and community development focused on communities in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Prior to NBRC, Rich served as the Executive Director... Read More →
avatar for Paul Bateson

Paul Bateson

General Manager of External Relations, The Edward Lowe Foundation
As the foundation’s general manager of External Relations, Paul Bateson is responsible for developing a strong national presence for the foundation and managing relationships with our partners in entrepreneurship and economic development. He also oversees Economic Gardening® and... Read More →

avatar for Adam Hamilton

Adam Hamilton

Co-Founder, Nuttin Ordinary
Adam R. Hamilton is a Co-Founder of the rapidly growing company Nuttin Ordinary whose motto is Eat Clean, Be Happy. The first 100% plant-based cashew cheese company in New England. Prior to Nuttin Ordinary Adam has a fifteen-year history in banking and other various management and... Read More →
avatar for Amy LaBelle

Amy LaBelle

Founder and Winemaker, LaBelle Winery
Amy LaBelle is the founder of and winemaker at LaBelle Winery. Formerly a corporate attorney practicing in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, her lifelong interest in wine led her to open LaBelle Winery to pursue her passion for winemaking. LaBelle Winery has developed into a destination... Read More →
avatar for Dan Dube

Dan Dube

Founder and CEO, Compass Innovative Behavior Strategies
Compass was founded by Dan and Ally Dube as a result of their own personal experiences as single parents struggling to raise children with developmental disabilities. After marrying in 2014, Dan and Ally launched Compass only three months later. Dan brings his business management... Read More →
avatar for Michael Knapp

Michael Knapp

CEO, Green River
With professional roots in academic research and teaching, Michael founded GreenRiver in 2000, and has grown the company into an internationally renowned team ofsoftware architects and programmers. As CEO, Michael provides entrepreneurialleadership, and coordinates engagements with... Read More →
avatar for Nancy Cain

Nancy Cain

Founder and Co-Owner, Against the Grain Gourmet
Nancy Cain is the founder and co-owner of Against The Grain Gourmet, a wholesale commercial gluten free bakery whose frozen products and baking mixes are distributed in the US and Canada. Founded in Brattleboro in 2007, the company employees 100 people and is consistently ranked as... Read More →
avatar for Nicole Carrier

Nicole Carrier

Co-Founder & President, Throwback Brewery
Nicole is Throwback Brewery's Marketing Guru, Chief Realist, and card-carrying M.B.A, handling marketing, business strategy, social media, and technology. Besides collaborating with both the brewers and the kitchen team about new recipe ideas (especially sausage recipes!), Nicole’s... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm EDT
The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship 25 Roxbury Street Keene, NH 03431

10:00am EDT

Diverging Views Producing Positive Change
Limited Capacity seats available

Disrupting entrenched Community habits to find healthier and more productive ways to reach short and long term goals. Look beyond traditional views of community conflict.  Traditionally, downtowns have viewed conflict as a negative force which needs to be eliminated by imposing more structure or uniformity. Today, though, successful towns are more likely to embrace diverging views, realizing that they can lead to increased creativity, opportunities to improve, and greater productivity.  Rather than eliminating conflict, the goal is to better manage the conflict that inevitably comes with the open exchange of ideas.

avatar for Carole Martin

Carole Martin

Independent Consultant, Carole Martin Consulting
Carole Martin works to maximize opportunities that accompany planned and unanticipatedchange. Her thirty years of experience include serving as an advisor for, facilitating and leadingcomplex change initiatives of all types in for-profit, nonprofit, governmental, philanthropic andcommunity... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Old Cheshire County Courthouse 33 Winter Street Keene, NH 03431

10:00am EDT

Bridging the Rural Efficiency Gap
Limited Capacity seats available

Rural households spend 33% more of their income on energy expenses than their urban and suburban counterparts. This “efficiency gap” puts rural regions at a disadvantage. Closing this gap would keep money circulating in the community and add both security and energy resiliency to the region. Hear from leaders in the industry who have developed practical tool kits to bridge the gap that can be adapted to your own rural community.

avatar for Sarah Brock

Sarah Brock

Energy Program Manager, Vital Communities
Sarah Brock joined Vital Communities, a regional nonprofit serving 69 towns in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire, in 2013 as Energy Program Manager. Sarah provides support for her region’s 40+ local energy committees, engaging with dozens of volunteers... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Alumni Center

10:00am EDT

An Acre at a Time: Managing Land for Climate Resiliency
Limited Capacity seats available

Recent reports that the planet had its hottest four years on record highlight the need for accelerated work to keep global warming below critical tipping points, as well as the need to ensure that our communities are prepared for the changes in climate we are already experiencing. Management of working lands can play a vital role both in helping to mitigate the effects of a changing climate as a natural solution, and in adaptation. This workshop will showcase practices that foster carbon sequestration, such as restoration of the land, grass-based agriculture, and conservation of forests, and offer practical solutions to using working lands to help prepare our region for a changing climate.

avatar for Karen Fitzgerald

Karen Fitzgerald

Senior Landscape Architect, Toole Design Group
Karen has been practicing landscape architecture, urban design and planning for over 30 years. Sheis a resident of Francestown New Hampshire and has worked with many small towns and citiesthroughout the state on community design and planning issues. She has also worked with severalfarmland... Read More →
avatar for Joshua Faulkner

Joshua Faulkner

Farming & Climate Change Program Coordinator, UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Joshua Faulkner is a Research Assistant Professor and coordinates the Farming and Climate Change Program in the UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture.  He does applied research and outreach on soil, water, and nutrient related issues across the state and provides technical... Read More →
avatar for David Patrick

David Patrick

Director of Conservation Programs, The Nature Conservancy, NH Chapter
David Patrick joined the New Hampshire Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in 2015 as Director of Conservation Programs, and works with his team to undertake terrestrial, marine, and freshwater conservation planning and implementation. Prior to joining TNC, Dave was the Executive Director... Read More →
avatar for Steven Whitman

Steven Whitman

Founder and Principal, Resilience Planning & Design
Dr. Steven Whitman of Resilience Planning & Design is a professional planner and educator who has been working in the public, non-profit, and private sectors in New England for over twenty years. Steve is also a certified permaculture designer and teacher, and works on ecological... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Historical Society of Cheshire County 246 Main Street Keene, NH 03431

12:00pm EDT

Lunch Downtown & Mini-Mixers
Thursday September 19, 2019 12:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
Downtown Keene

12:00pm EDT

Lunch and Networking with the Climate Crowd
Join us for a buffet lunch of artisan sandwiches, salads, and dessert at the Alumni Center at Keene State College.
Panelists from Renewable Energy's second session, "Charge It: Electric Vehicles are Here. Are we Ready?"  will be on-hand to share their experiences and vision for the future of electric vehicles. Posters and handouts explaining "eV 101"  basics will prepare you for the afternoon session's deep dive into how eVs have the potential to address rural communities biggest energy cost; transportation.
* RSVP required | REGISTER NOW!

Thursday September 19, 2019 12:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
Alumni Center

12:00pm EDT

Making Makerspaces Part of Your Rural Development Plan: Cookies, Coffee, and Conversation with the NH Makerspace Network
Limited Capacity full

If there is a thriving business on your block, there is a good chance a makerspace was behind it. While there is no pat definition for makerspace (they are far too adaptable to fit into a prescribed mold), we can think of them as hubs for creativity, collaboration and community. Many provide tools and other resources to enable artists and entrepreneurs to create new products; some offer technical training to prepare a workforce-ready population; others act as sites to explore innovative solutions to community challenges, such as housing and renewable energy. Whatever the model, makerspaces are a key component of robust rural communities. We invite you to join members of the NH Makerspace Network at Make It So, Keene’s downtown makerspace, for a tour and conversation about how makerspaces can be part of your rural development plan.

Thursday September 19, 2019 12:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
Make It So

2:00pm EDT

More Than A Farm: Building Equity & Community through Cultural Programming
Limited Capacity seats available

Amber Arnold, sound healer and 2019 artist in residence at The Clemmons Family Farm, will share the story of the farm, and will discuss the challenges of land ownership and community-building for people of color in rural areas. Then she'll tell us what the next generation of the Clemmons family is now taking on to build community through arts and culture programming and activities for the disconnected African American and African diaspora communities in northern Vermont. There is a unique value for having an African American owned and led location in a rural community for the greater community to learn about and discuss issues of ethnic and cultural diversity. She will also share her sound healing work and how she plans to use it to fulfill the goals of the farm's programming, which was recently awarded an Artplace America grant.

avatar for Amber Arnold

Amber Arnold

Founder, Sacred Vibrations Sound Healing
Amber Arnold is a Sound Healer certified by the International Academy of Sound Healing, a Reiki Practitioner, Folx Medicine Maker, Ritual and Sacred Ceremony Curator, with various trainings in a wide variety of healing modalities ranging from Embodied Movement, Somatics, Reiki, Vibrational... Read More →
avatar for Clemmons Family Farm

Clemmons Family Farm

Clemmons Family Farm
The Clemmons Family Farm is one of the rare African-American-owned farms in the state of Vermont. According to the 2012 United States agriculture census, of the nearly 7000 farms in Vermont, only 19 are African American owned or operated. Of the 1.2 million acres of farmland in... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
MoCo Arts

2:00pm EDT

Solutions Journalism - Helping Communities Take Next Steps
Limited Capacity seats available

News consumers these days can come away from the experience feeling depressed, disengaged, powerless, hopeless. Solutions journalism envisions a more productive experience, one that builds engagement, trust and a renewed hope in democracy, by reporting rigorously on the responses to social problems -- in addition to the problems themselves. Find out how this is being done in rural places, the training behind it and the encouraging results from this disruptive approach.
An interactive session featuring solutions journalists.

avatar for Amy Maestas

Amy Maestas

Digital Editor, The Salt Lake Tribune
Amy Maestas is digital editor at The Salt Lake Tribune. She recently left her position as executive editor of The Durango Herald in Durango, Colo., where she worked for 23 years. Amy oversaw three general interest newspapers, an outdoor recreation magazine and an alternative weekly... Read More →
avatar for Leah Todd

Leah Todd

Regional Manager, Solutions Journalism Network
Leah Todd is the New England regional manager for the Solutions Journalism Network, building relationships with newsrooms in the New England states. From 2015 to 2018, Leah led SJN’s work in the Intermountain West, including launching and overseeing collaborative journalism projects... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Keene Public Library

2:00pm EDT

PitchFork - A Pitch Challenge with a Rural Fit
Limited Capacity seats available

The PitchFork Challenge provides money and momentum for local rural entrepreneurs to apply to be part of a business pitch competition. Over the summer local entrepreneurs are coached to create a compelling pitch and pitch deck describing their business opportunity in pursuit  of a cash award. There are two different tracks and awards; one for a rural startup business (less than three years old) and one to encourage the most important phase, the idea phase, by having soon to be entrepreneurs pitch their business idea with a cash award of $10,000 and $1,000 respectively. Join the excitement as these local rural entrepreneurs pitch their business and receive the “operating manual” on how to run this event in your own community. Winners will be announced at the CONNECT event in the evening.

avatar for Judy Rogers

Judy Rogers

Founder and Owner, Prime Roast Coffee Co.
avatar for Maureen Curtiss

Maureen Curtiss

Senior Business Unit Manager, Janos Technology
Maureen Curtiss is the Sr. Business Unit Manager for Janos Technology, a Fluke, Fortive Company in Keene, NH.Her prior business experience includes General Management Roles at The Timken Company in the precision products business including bearings, bearing overhaul and magnetic encoders... Read More →
avatar for R.T. Brown

R.T. Brown

Director of Business Acceleration & Community Capital Development, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
R.T. Brown has professional experience in online technologies, education, non-profit management, small business consulting, and ecosystem development. Areas of focus and interest include land use and planning, commercial real estate financing, regional economic development strategies... Read More →
avatar for Roy Wallen

Roy Wallen

CEO, TendoNova Corporation
Roy Wallen leads Directional Healthcare Advisors, a NH-based advisory services company, and serves as CEO of TendoNova Corporation, an Atlanta-headquartered medical device startup.  He has served in leadership roles for new product initiatives in medical technology companies ranging... Read More →

2:00pm EDT

Rural Downtown: The Land of Opportunity
Limited Capacity seats available

Rural Regions offer inexpensive and attractive places to live with a quality of life one can enjoy. The majority of the United States remains rural yet research shows we are preparing our gifted young people to leave their small towns, never to return. Meet a group of individuals who chose rural and in the process transformed their downtown into a vibrant economic hub! Recognizing a need or lack of belonging, these entrepreneurs thought radically, pushed social boundaries, capitalized on geographical opportunity and embraced change and their community! Get ready to take inspiration and ideas back to your community!

avatar for Geoffrey Sewake

Geoffrey Sewake

Community & Economic Development Field Specialist, University of NH Cooperative Extension
Geoffrey Sewake is a Community and Economic Development Field Specialist for University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. As a Field Specialist, he provides support to state-wide programming, including the NH First Impressions Program, a program he co-developed and founded with... Read More →

avatar for Breanna Neal

Breanna Neal

Master Barber Instructor/ Owner, Polished and Proper
Breanna Neal (Master Barber Instructor/ Owner): Breanna is a transplant from the midwest. Eager to acquire and share knowledge of the profession, she is happy to contribute to the industry in any way she can. She specializes in all hairstyles, but her #1 favorite thing to do is Straight... Read More →
avatar for Emmett Soldati

Emmett Soldati

Owner, Teatotaller
Born and raised in Somersworth, NH, Emmett Soldati is a small business owner, activist, and occasional provocateur. A graduate of the London School of Economics, Emmett spent the last decade working to connect and uplift the community he knows and loves: his hometown. He founded Teatotaller... Read More →
avatar for Marty Parichand

Marty Parichand

Founder, Outdoor New England
I received my first job out of college, after I received a strong referral from a high level executive that went whitewater rafting with me.​Eight years later, I was definitely “broken in” to corporate life and living what I thought was my only reality. I had a family I cherished... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Old Cheshire County Courthouse 33 Winter Street Keene, NH 03431

2:00pm EDT

Charge It: Electric Vehicles are Here. Are we Ready?
Limited Capacity seats available

Electric vehicles are 3 times more efficient than those that consume gasoline and the fun driving experience is rapidly increasing electric vehicles’ market share. An Upstart manufacturing company has launched an electric pickup truck with a 400-mile range, prompting major manufacturers to follow suit.  With every state receiving Volkswagen settlement funds, many are choosing to direct the money toward building out electric vehicle charging infrastructure. How do rural communities advocate to stay “current” with these technological advances and trends when charging stations will appear in urban areas first?

avatar for Steve Walker

Steve Walker

Founder and CEO, IMBY Energy
A self-taught engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur, Steve Walker founded New England Wood Pellet, building the business into the largest manufacturer and distributor of wood pellet fuel in the United States. After selling the company in 2014, Steve ignited his entrepreneurial spirit... Read More →
avatar for Daniel Gatti

Daniel Gatti

Senior Transportation Policy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists
Daniel Gatti is a Senior Transportation Analyst for the Clean Vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Gatti’s work is focused on efforts to reduce emissions in the transportation sector in the Northeast region, through electrification, efficiency, and clean fuels.Before... Read More →
avatar for Clay Mitchell

Clay Mitchell

Professor, Sustainable Energy & Environmental Policy, University of New Hampshire
Clay Mitchell is a graduate of Vermont Law School where he earned his JD and Master’s in Environmental Law.  His doctorate in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies is from the University of New Hampshire where he currently is on the faculty teaching Sustainable Energy and... Read More →
avatar for Charlotte Ancel

Charlotte Ancel

Director of Strategic Development, Eversource Energy
Charlotte Ancel is the Director of Strategic Development at Eversource Energy, a publicly traded, Fortune 500 energy company serving 4 million electric, gas, and water customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Charlotte leads Eversource’s electric vehicle, storage... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Alumni Center

2:00pm EDT

Governing for Farm Viability
Limited Capacity seats available

Farm and forest entrepreneurs are at the heart of the New England landscape and an integral part of what makes our region a quality place to live. Agriculture is not only vital to our heritage but an integral driver of our local economy. This session will focus on how we can ensure our farmers have the support they need from state and local farm policies and direct services geared to support farm viability. We will highlight success stories in state level tax reform, farmland access, and other policies to encourage farm profitability and the continuation of the agricultural tradition in New England.

avatar for Sara Dewey

Sara Dewey

Director of Farm & Food, and Staff Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation
Sara Dewey is the Director of Farm & Food and is also a staff attorney. Sara has worked on environmental, agricultural, and energy issues as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate and as policy director of an environmental governance initiative at Yale University. Sara holds a J.D... Read More →
avatar for Laurie Beyranevand

Laurie Beyranevand

Director, Center for Agriculture & Food Systems, Vermont Law School
Laurie J. Beyranevand is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Vermont Law School. In addition to teaching, she has directed major grant funded projects for the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems. Professor Beyranevand received a BA from Rutgers College... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Rushlow

Jennifer Rushlow

Director of Environmental Law Center, Vermont Law School
Jennifer K. Rushlow is the Associate Dean for Environmental Programs, Director of the Environmental Law Center, Acting Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, and Associate Professor of Law at Vermont Law School.Professor Rushlow received a BA from Oberlin... Read More →

Thursday September 19, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Historical Society of Cheshire County 246 Main Street Keene, NH 03431

4:00pm EDT

Meet the Finalists: Entrepreneurship Mix and Mingle
Limited Capacity seats available

Join the finalists from the Entrepreneurship Track's PitchFork Challenge after their final pitch! Talk with them about their ideas and startups before the CONNECT event, where the two winners will be announced.

Enjoy light refreshments at this mix and mingle before CONNECT2019: What's Next!

The PitchFork Challenge provides money and momentum for local rural entrepreneurs to apply to be part of a business pitch competition. Over the summer, local entrepreneurs are coached to create a compelling pitch and pitch deck describing their business opportunity in pursuit of cash awards. There are two different tracks and awards; one $10,000 cash award to a rural startup business (less than 3 years old) and one $1,000 cash award to kick off and support one business idea.

Interested in attending the PitchFork Challenge? Learn more here.

4:00pm EDT

Meet the Keene Sentinel
Join us at The Keene Sentinel, 60 West Street, for a soft drink, beer or glass of wine; meet our staff; network among colleagues before we head off to CONNECT. All session and Radically Rural attendees are invited.

Thursday September 19, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Keene Sentinel

4:00pm EDT

Uniting Art & Climate Change Awareness
Fine craft relies heavily on natural elements and inspiration from the world around us. Members and crafters for The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen store in Keene create beauty from wood, fibers, found objects, and develop designs that have organic flair. It's no wonder that Keene store owner Taryn Fisher sees the resonance between her shop and the powerful local environmental movement.

At Thursday's mixer, you are welcome to drop in for conversations on our current climate crisis, and solutions your rural communities are implementing to make a difference, one policy, one activity, one purchasing choice at a time. There will be an interactive survey on the topic as well as art-making that celebrates your vision for a carbon neutral community.

Partners in hosting:
Taryn Fisher, owner of Keene's League of NH Craftsmen store. The League of NH Craftsmen was established in 1932 to help artists during an economically challenging time. Today, the League is recognized as one of the country's foremost fine arts organizations, setting the standards for fine hand crafts - made right here - and highly valued for their creativity, authenticity, and technical expertise. The Keene Fine Craft Gallery is one of nine galleries across NH that showcase and sell the works of over 750 juried artists.

Georgia Cassimatis, owner of 17 Rox. 17 Rox is an artist studios collective located in downtown Keene. Begun just one year ago, the space is a much sought-after location for makers to work in a private but connected studio community. Georgia also runs the community group Friends of Public Art.

Ann Shedd, member of the City of Keene's Energy and Climate Committee. The committee was created In order to protect Keene’s public health, safety and welfare, as well as the economic vitality of the community, and exists to monitor and advocate for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; promote energy conservation and efficiency, as well as the use and production of renewable energy; and increase awareness of and resilience to the expected impacts of a changing climate.

Thursday September 19, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Keene Fine Craft Gallery

4:15pm EDT

Magical History Walking Tour - West Side
Join us for a Magical History Walking Tour of the Walldogs Murals on the West Side of Downtown Keene with Executive Director, Alan Rumrill, of the Historical Society of Cheshire County. The tour will begin with the Abenaki Mural and end at Keene State College for CONNECT. Hear the stories behind many of those beautiful Wall Dogs murals in downtown Keene.  Learn some of the amazing but true stories of the people, places and businesses that have contributed to Keene’s rich history and character.    

Thursday September 19, 2019 4:15pm - 5:30pm EDT
Old Cheshire County Courthouse 33 Winter Street Keene, NH 03431

5:30pm EDT

Limited Capacity seats available

Radically Rural Networking!

Thursday, September 19, 2018, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Put aside everything you know about typical networking events and join us on September 19th for CONNECT 2019: What’s Next! The Radically Rural summit includes our highly attended annual networking event, CONNECT – an annual gathering of hundreds of engaged, locally focused community members celebrating and fostering the advantages and opportunities of rural living.

Check out the year’s CONNECT Installations!
Once again, CONNECT is staged by Machina Arts, an art-inspired event curator based in Keene! This year’s installations will bring to life 6 projects or ideas that will transform the industry of each track – Arts & Culture, Entrepreneurship, Community Journalism, Main Street, Renewable Energy, and Working Lands.

Thursday September 19, 2019 5:30pm - 7:30pm EDT
The Mabel Brown Room

7:30pm EDT

After Party
Thursday September 19, 2019 7:30pm - 11:00pm EDT
Friday, September 20

9:00am EDT

Crazy Good: Stewardship of Place - Art & Events on Conserved Land
Limited Capacity seats available

This workshop is for anyone looking to organize a killer creative, organically growing, attractive event - that also stewards the place it is hosted. Emma Weisman, of Burning Man, will tell the story of this major annual event hosted in the Black Rock Desert. She will share how the values and culture from the initial founding has shaped the way the event organizers and participants interact with the conserved land on which it is held. She will also discuss the processes for leaving no trace after thousands of people create and break down a artful city over the course of the event each summer. Ryan Owens of the Monadnock Conservancy will facilitate an interview and  Q & A with Emma to better understand the threats and opportunities of developing an event like this, and what values and practices might transcend the desert environment and apply to other types of conserved lands.

avatar for Emma Weisman

Emma Weisman

Agency Relations Manager, Burning Man

Friday September 20, 2019 9:00am - 11:00am EDT
MoCo Arts

9:00am EDT

Crazy Good: 50 Ideas that Will Grow Your Audience
Limited Capacity seats available

We’ve reached far and wide! Here are more than four dozen ways you can build better bridges to your readers – from thought-provoking story ideas to collaborative ways to tackle big projects to new newsroom structures. If you only have time to do a few of these, you will be happy you did. A sneak peek: How we built Radically Rural. Leave with a magazine that has curated these ideas.

avatar for Tim Schmitt

Tim Schmitt

Project Manager, GateHouse Media
Tim has spent decades in various newsrooms — some print, and some broadcast. He was a sports reporter, news reporter, and then managing editor of his hometown paper, the Tonawanda (N.Y.) News, where he led an award-winning editorial page. He's worked as an editor, staffer or longtime... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 9:00am - 11:00am EDT
Keene Public Library

9:00am EDT

Crazy Good: The Experienced Economy
Limited Capacity seats available

Think your aging population is a problem?  Think again!  This session shows the 50+ cohort as an asset to be embraced. Participate in a vibrant working session that will use exercises from the Experience Incubator® to ignite a dynamic dialog and create a Living Lab at the session. The Experience Incubator® is the first and foremost global program unleashing the potential of 50+ year olds in the workplace to activate entrepreneurial activity by catalyzing experience across generations. Its unique platform increases employee engagement and retention and accelerates innovation, knowledge transfer, productivity and new business startups. Activating intergenerational experience is today's competitive advantage. We call this "Experieneurship," and it's too valuable to ignore and it's crazy good!

avatar for Elizabeth Isele

Elizabeth Isele

Founder and CEO, Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship
Founder and CEO, The Global Institute for Experienced EntrepreneurshipSenior Fellow in Social Innovation, Babson CollegeAssociate Fellow in Economics, Chatham House: The Royal Institute of InternationalResearchRecognized globally as a pioneering senior and inter-generational entrepreneurship... Read More →

9:00am EDT

Crazy Good: First Impressions
Limited Capacity seats available

A newspaper contains pages of news and information, important stories and happenings from the first page to the last, each page worth reading. But what page gets the most attention? The front page, of course. The bold print headlines, top stories and most intriguing photos...the first impression. Main street is your community’s front page. Does your main street represent your community to the best of its ability? Does it engage and inspire further exploration into the streets and neighborhoods beyond?

A vibrant downtown serves as a gathering place, a place for people to dine, shop, and conduct business. First Impressions is an assessment program that examines your main street through the eyes of potential residents, visitors, and businesses, helping communities learn about their opportunities and empowering them to take steps to improve their downtown.

Attendees will learn skills to assess their own main streets for vibrancy and will hear examples of how communities have revitalized their downtowns through art, business retention, and connecting with trails.

avatar for Casey Porter

Casey Porter

Community & Economic Development Program Manager, UNH Cooperative Extension
      Casey works with communities to build their capacity to gather input, develop strategies, and move to action, resulting in downtown revitalization, community vibrancy, and a strengthened economy. She coordinates and implements programs around downtown revitalization and community... Read More →
avatar for Molly Donovan

Molly Donovan

Community Economic Development State Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension
Molly works with citizen volunteers and leaders to build resilient communities and a strong economy. This work is focused on revitalizing downtowns, retaining and growing business, enhancing quality of life and creating a vision for communities. She specializes in community engagement... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 9:00am - 11:00am EDT
Old Cheshire County Courthouse 33 Winter Street Keene, NH 03431

9:00am EDT

Crazy Good: On our way to 100%
Limited Capacity seats available

Ready For 100% communities are spreading across the country. Right here in Keene, NH, community leaders have passed a resolution to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable energy for transportation and heating by 2050. Learn effective practices from communities who have successfully begun their transitions toward 100%, and start making a plan for your own rural community!

avatar for Lena Entin

Lena Entin

Deputy Director, Toxics Action Center
Lena Entin is Deputy Director of Toxics Action Center, where she oversees organizers working on the ground to assist communities in organizing to clean up and prevent pollution. Before joining the staff of Toxics Action Center, Lena was an organizer and fundraiser with Neighbor to... Read More →
avatar for Kelly Lynch

Kelly Lynch

Ready for 100 Senior Campaign Representative, Sierra Club
Kelly serves as Senior Campaign Representative for Sierra Club’s Ready For 100 campaign. She supports cities moving to 100% clean energy for everyone. Kelly is an expert in clean energy business development, policy and community organizing. Kelly led a 130 person outreach team at... Read More →
avatar for Sean Hamilton

Sean Hamilton

General Manager, Sterling Municipal Light Department
Sean Hamilton is the General Manager of the Sterling Municipal Light Department (SMLD) with almost 40 years in the public power industry. Sean began his career in 1979 as a lineman and advanced to his current position. During his career he has been instrumental in bringing utility... Read More →
avatar for Patrick Roche

Patrick Roche

Director of Innovation, New England, Good Energy, L.P.
Patrick Roche is the Director of Innovation, New England for Good Energy, L.P., a leading municipal aggregation (community choice aggregation) consultant that has both pioneered and brought to scale green aggregation in Massachusetts. At Good Energy, Patrick manages the development... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 9:00am - 11:00am EDT
Alumni Center

9:00am EDT

Crazy Good: Show me the Money - Creative Financing for Farmers and Food Producers
Limited Capacity seats available

Every small business owner knows the challenges of securing capital.  This proves even more challenging for farmers since lenders often don’t “get” farming and see their businesses as riskier. Thankfully, this view is starting to change as more lenders get on board with lending to the agricultural community.  This workshop will highlight several innovative financing opportunities for farmers and food producers, including a new farm-focused credit union—the first of its kind in the nation, a community loan fund that offers business planning services alongside its lending products, and a “slow money” model that allows community members to invest directly in local farms and food businesses.  

avatar for Rebecca Busansky

Rebecca Busansky

Program Manager, PVGrows Investment Fund
Rebecca Busansky is the Program Manager for the PVGrows Investment Fund which provides financing and technical assistance to farm and food entrepreneurs located primarily in Western Massachusetts through community investments. She has worked for PVGrows since 2013, and joined the... Read More →
avatar for Scott Budde

Scott Budde

President, CEO, and Co-Founder, Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union
Scott has 30 years of experience in investment management, banking and consulting with a focus on impact and community investing strategies.  He is currently Project Director of the (MHCP) where he is working to create specialized credit union focused on small-scale sustainable agriculture... Read More →
avatar for Charlene Andersen

Charlene Andersen

Farm Food Lender, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
Charlene Andersen is the Farm Food Lender at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, a nonprofit that turns investments into loans and education to create opportunity and transform lives across the state. In this role, she advocates for farmers, fishers, food producers and value chain... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 9:00am - 11:00am EDT
Historical Society of Cheshire County 246 Main Street Keene, NH 03431

11:00am EDT

Lunch Downtown
Friday September 20, 2019 11:00am - 1:00pm EDT

11:15am EDT

Magical History Walking Tour - East Side
Join us for a Magical History Walking Tour of the East Side of Main Street, beginning with the Keene Sentinel Mural and ending at the Jeannie B Powers mural. We will stop to eat lunch along the way, so bring your picnic lunch or plan on choosing a place on Main Street. Hear the stories behind many of those beautiful Wall Dogs murals in downtown Keene.  Learn some of the amazing but true stories of the people, places and businesses that have contributed to Keene’s rich history and character.    

Friday September 20, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm EDT
Old Cheshire County Courthouse 33 Winter Street Keene, NH 03431

11:15am EDT

NH Commission on Rural Affairs (RSA 9-A:5) Listening Session
Join us and listen in on a NH Commission of Rural Affairs Session. During this session, the Department of Economic Affairs for the State of New Hampshire will give an update on progressive access to broadband. The Commission will then lead a session on how to function as a conduit between the citizens of New Hampshire and Legislature. 

Friday September 20, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm EDT
Old Cheshire County Courthouse 33 Winter Street Keene, NH 03431

11:30am EDT

CreativeGround Mixer with NEFA
Limited Capacity seats available

***** REGISTRATION REQUIRED Click HERE to Register *****

Rural communities have vibrant arts and culture that can be under the radar. Join representatives from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) for a presentation on CreativeGround, NEFA's free directory of New England artists, cultural nonprofits, and creative businesses. This workshop will explore ways that you can use CreativeGround to grow and show your creative network online as well as access powerful resources through NEFA’s performing arts grant programs including New England States Touring (NEST), and New England Dance Fund.

In addition, you’ll learn how to use CreativeGround to:
  • Create a free public profile and promote yourself or your New England enterprise's activities, connections, and services to a broad audience.
  • Find potential collaborators and resources in the New England creative community using the Search and Explore functions.
  • Explore and quantify the creative spaces, enterprises, and artists at work in your community.
This event is offered as part of the Radically Rurual Conference, and is open to the general public.
Professional artists and creatives, cultural nonprofit staff, creative businesses and those who want to connect with them might find the content of this information session to be particularly useful.

Important Information: Radically Rural Conference Lunch
Please plan to pay for your own meal during this mini-mixer.

Friday September 20, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
Luca's Mediterranean Cafe

11:30am EDT

Relate to Your Plate: Working Lands Lunch
Limited Capacity seats available

Chef Jordan Scott and Machina Kitchen have a passion for high quality food and cultivating strong relationships with the local farmers and food entrepreneurs that produce it. Scott will share his perspective on the role of a chef in the local food system and how nationwide chefs are creating change in communities. Stonewall Farm, a vendor of Machina Kitchen and also the newest New England Savory Hub, will be highlighted. Scott is a board member of this educational working farm and he will shed some light on their land management efforts - demonstrating the connections of rural land conservation, and culinary enjoyment, to the economic vitality of a community.


On the Menu:
*Each option is served with a mixed greens salad, garden veggies, and a balsamic vinaigrette.

- Cubano Sandwich with VT grown mojo marinated pork loin, North Country Smokehouse ham, stone ground mustard, and pickles
- Roasted Butternut Squash Sandwich with goat cheese, thyme aioli, arugula, and caramelized onions

About Chef Jordan Scott
Partner & Chef Patron, Culinary Director

Jordan Scott is a classically trained chef with a passion for globally inspired seasonal food made with local ingredients. Jordan has described his wine dinners as a study in simplicity. He finds great joy in creating simple, elegant dishes built on a foundation of technique and with care given to each ingredient. His dishes delight the most sophisticated palate, balancing rustic charm with an innovative and artistic twist. Jordan has a great deal of respect for the traditional French style of cooking and uses that as a foundation from which to explore modern and progressive methods and flavors. Jordan cares deeply for our local community and has been a passionate advocate for local foods and has worked tirelessly to build long-term relationships between our restaurant community and our local farms.


Friday September 20, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
Machina Kitchen & ArtBar

1:00pm EDT

Bridgeable Gaps: The Fuel for Rural Change
Limited Capacity seats available

Throughout the world, rural communities are lagging behind urban regions in their economic development. Historically, many of these areas are tied to agriculture and development of natural resources, but they lack the infrastructure and connectivity to participate in advances in other elements of economic growth. Some people have argued that we should just allow this trend to continue unabated as it is the natural evolution of the modern economy. 
As the sixth director of the IC² Institute, Art Markman respectfully disagrees with that argument.  Instead, to help meet this rural challenge, the Institute is returning to its roots as a source of new research and programs that address key unstructured problems by shifting their focus to entrepreneurship in rural regions and small isolated cities.
Diversifying the economies of these regions requires rethinking the way that business ecosystems develop to acknowledge the challenges of educating and retaining talent in remote areas and integrating people, expertise, ideas, and capital. A broad-based program of research on this topic will have to explore new ways for business, government, and the education sector to collaborate.
IC² is connecting with groups around the country and around the world to share ideas and to push research forward. Markman believes that rural regions and small cities have a crucial role to play in the economy in Texas, in the United States, and around the world. He will share research and observations about the exciting future rural communities envision, gaps between the current reality and the vision, and how to bridge the gap. Markman maintains that it is the perception of bridgeable gaps that provide the motivation for rural communities to move forward and will share observations and a framework for ways to lessen the gap.
The IC² Institute was founded in 1977 as a “think and do” tank to test the belief of its founder, George Kozmetsky, that technological innovation can catalyze regional economic development through the active and directional collaboration among the university, government, and private sectors.  IC2 has been instrumental in Austin’s growth as an innovation and technology center and has brought the “Austin model” to over 40 countries.

avatar for Art Markman

Art Markman

IC² Executive Director, The University of Texas at Austin
Art Markman, PhD is a professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin and Executive Director of the IC² Institute. For the past 10 years, a key area of focus for him is on the human side of business. He was founding director of the Program in the Human... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 1:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
The Colonial Theatre 95 Main Street, Keene, NH 03431

3:00pm EDT

Saturday, September 21

11:00am EDT

Keene International Festival
Keene International Festival
It all started in 2017

In 2017 a team of educators and some local civic leaders met to establish a Keene International Festival. The first event, held in 2018, drew in over 500 people from around southwest New Hampshire and beyond. In 2019, the city of Keene's Human Rights Committee became a partner of the event.

Come Join us for Keene International Festival on September 21st, 2019
@ Keene Recreation Centre  (11am-2pm )

Celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the greater Keene community at the 2nd annual Keene International Festival on Saturday, September 21, 2019. This free, family-friendly celebration will feature international performances,  multicultural arts, crafts, games and activities will be on offer for all to experience and enjoy!

This event is organized to show everyone that Keene is a welcoming place to live, work and raise a family and is special because of its diversity.  The schedule of events is a reflection of that diversity, as community members volunteer their time to showcase their own cultural heritage. 

KIF Team and Volunteers are excited to put this event together, so please come join us in celebrating the cultural diversity of Greater Keene Community and around. 

Visit our website to find out the latest updates on KIF2019 Event at https://keeneinternationalfestival.org/

For information, visit the Keene International Festival Facebook page or contact keeneinternationalfestival@gmail.com

Saturday September 21, 2019 11:00am - 2:00pm EDT
Historical Society of Cheshire County 246 Main Street Keene, NH 03431
Filter sessions
Apply filters to sessions.