Museum invites community members to reimagine Carter County’s future

September 3, 2021 |

Carter County has been selected to participate in the 2021 Reimagining Rural Virtual Gathering that is designed to bring some fresh ideas about how to create a vibrant future for rural communities across Montana. It has been a challenging year and organizers hope to help local volunteers and leaders reset and reimagine a bright future for their community by bringing them together to hear some positive research and success stories about rural communities.

Reimagining Rural Virtual Gathering was created for local volunteers and leaders who are passionate about creating vibrant, robust rural places, growing local capacity, learning about new ideas, connecting with others and leading local change. “We are excited to bring these great stories about successful, vibrant rural communities to small towns across the state” said Tara Mastel, Community Development Program Leader for Montana State University Extension. “We will share new research about why people are moving to rural Montana communities as well as inspiring and positive stories of successful rural community projects. We hope it helps folks get excited about what is possible for their small town.”

Reimagining Rural Virtual Gathering includes three statewide sessions, broadcast virtually to groups of local leaders gathered in-person in rural communities across the state. Sessions begin with talks by rural experts or local leaders of successful rural community projects. Following the talks, people gathered locally will have the chance to discuss the ideas shared with the help of a local, trained facilitator.

The first night speaker, Ben Winchester of the University of Minnesota Extension, will share research on the rural “brain gain”, including new research by MSU Extension about who is moving to rural Montana communities and why. The second night includes community volunteers from Montana towns who have created such great local projects such as a summer concert series, a community-wide tourism and branding strategy and a non-profit childcare center using an abandoned school. The final session will feature members of the Winnett community who have brought about a remarkable revitalization of their community which included a beef to schools program, a new community center and a housing project.

Reimagining Rural is made possible through support from MSU Extension, the Burton K. Wheeler Center, Montana Community Foundation, First Interstate Bank Foundation and the WE and OP Edwards Foundation. The event is hosted locally by Carter County MuseumCarter County Chamber of Commerce, and Carter County Community Foundation.

The sessions are set for September 13 and 27 and October 3. Each session will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Community members interested in joining this great statewide discussion can participate by attending the event at Carter County Museum. For more information contact Sabre Moore at

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