Spillway is an initiative supporting artists, culture-bearers, and local organizations in their expression of the diverse cultures, communities, and histories of the Upper Mississippi River region.  

The stories shared here were created through a collaboration between non-profit organizations Art of the Rural and Engage Winona, and they represent the beginning of a partnership to support local storytelling, creative projects, and cultural exchange in Winona, Minnesota, a town located along the Mississippi River in Dakota Homelands. With these values, this work is an extension of Public Launch, a community collaborative space operated by these two organizations from 2016-2020. 

We are grateful to the creators and leaders who shared their work: 

Through longterm support and storytelling, Spillway works to create the conditions for collaborations that honor diverse lived experience, deepen regional relationships, and build networks of knowledge-sharing and exchange.

Through this process, Spillway seeks to create opportunities for artists, culture-bearers, and organizations to thrive and to connect with new colleagues and audiences. We believe such relationships, cultivated over time, increase the quality of life and cultural wealth of our communities -- and amplify the possibilities for both greater equity and economic opportunity. 

Spillway is organized by Art of the Rural, with additional community collaborations with Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center in Hannibal, Missouri; the Crossings field school in St. Louis, Missouri; and The American Bottom Project in the East St. Louis region of Illinois.

A full Spillway site, with further partner announcements, will launch in the fall of 2022.

Art of the Rural is grateful for support for Spillway from The Chicago Trust, McKnight Foundation, and Minnesota State Arts Board.
Spillway is an initiative supporting artists, culture-bearers, and local organizations in their expression of the diverse cultures, communities, and histories of the Upper Mississippi River region.  

The stories shared here were produced through a collaboration between Art of the Rural and Engage Winona.


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.