The Storytelling Advantage

2024 Investing in Rural America Conference Storytelling Workshop
Photo credit: The Richmond Fed, Joseph Minick

It’s true. Storytelling can jumpstart economic growth. But before that can happen, rural communities need to find, amplify and measure their stories. 

During the 2024 Investing in Rural America conference, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in May, Letterpress highlighted the crucial role of storytelling in rural communities through our post-conference workshop. Facilitated by Letterpress Founder Ilsa Loeser and Creative Director Alex Veatch, the session featured insights from panelists with diverse regional perspectives:

Each panelist shared a storytelling case study, showcasing how they’re narrating their community’s unique story and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Interested in their work? Explore the case studies below.

"Small towns need to tell their stories. The last few years opened a door. Workers seem to increasingly value what small towns offer — space, affordability, the outdoors. And of course, remote work frees workers to live anywhere. But open doors don’t guarantee new workers will walk in. Each town is now competing with every other small town. That’s where the story comes in."

— Tom Barkin, “In Rural America, ‘Those Who Can Supply the Talent Will Be the Winners’” 

Natalie Hodge and John Provo at the 2024 Investing in Rural America Conference Storytelling Workshop
Photo credit: The Richmond Fed, Joseph Minick
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