Organizers for "The Big Rural Brainstorm" are hoping to bring new energy and action steps to issues facing rural Kansas.
This one-of-a-kind event was inspired at the "Kansas in Question" Symposium held recently in Wichita. One of the symposium breakout sessions did just enough to whet the appetite for a larger and more in-depth discussion about grassroots efforts that could help renew rural Kansas.
An organizing team from around the state is planning the brainstorm for February 3 and 4 at the Meridian Center in Newton. Headed up by Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, the committee is made up of people in education, economic development, small business, environment, music, housing, telecommunications, and community foundations.
The goal of the Big Rural Brainstorm is to bring people together from every aspect of rural life and create innovative solutions that are achievable, especially by volunteer-led communities.
Registration is open to anyone who lives or works in a rural community and wants to be part of a solution; good rural advocate thinkers and people who can see the big picture; PowerUps (21-39s who are rural by choice); PowerOns (40+ who are still passionate about rural living); representatives from all aspects of rural life; and, especially, representatives from volunteer-led communities.
Kansas Sampler Foundation director Marci Penner said, "Rural communities need to hear that they are an important component to a thriving Kansas. It is profoundly important that we create an atmosphere of hope, energy and opportunity at this Brainstorm. The common bond with everyone will be a shared passion for rural Kansas. We plan to have action steps in hand when we leave."
The times for the Brainstorm will be Friday, February 3 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, February 4 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $40 and people can register online at kansassampler.org or call 620.585.2374.