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Crossroads: Change in Rural America

April 21, 2022

Johnson County Central Striv Class' video production for the Smithsonian's Crossroads: Change in Rural America project. 

JCC Striv students shot, produced, & edited two videos featuring Jim & Kyle Dieckgrafe, of Cook, Nebraska; and James Johns, of Tecumseh, Nebraska. Produced from January 2021 to October 2021, this video premiered at the Johnson County Museum on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021. 

JCC students included Phillip B., Houston B., Evin Z., Cameron D., Miguel O., & Kaita B.

Johnson County Crossroads production was developed by Johnson County Central High School Striv as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Coming Home Program. National Assistance is provided by the Midwest Assistance Program a member of Rural Community Assistance Partnership.

This program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. The views expressed in this film do not necessarily reflect the views of Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

Local assistance provided by Johnson County Nebraska Historical Society.

JCC Striv Presents: Change in Rural America - featuring Jim & Kyle Dieckgrafe (2021)

JCC Striv Presents: Change in Rural America - featuring James Johns (2021)

Link: https://www.sites.si.edu/s/topic/0TO36000000aR1sGAE/crossroads-change-in-rural-america

Crossroads: Change in Rural America

Welcome to rural America, a crossroads of change in a vast land. American Indians who were already here, those who came in search of a better life, and people who were forced to move all contributed to the development of rural America.

Throughout the 19th century, the majority of Americans lived in rural areas. They built their lives around the work of harvesting what the land could produce-the food, fuel, fiber, ores, and minerals crucial to a growing nation. They built communities at rural crossroads-small towns that became centers of commerce, politics, and culture.

However, conditions favorable to robust rural communities changed. Early in the 20th century, growing urban populations shifted economic investment and political influence from the counties to the cities. Since then, the pace of rural change has accelerated.

Today, rural communities are at a new crossroads-a meeting point of ideas where they can chart their own future. With their innovations and creative spirit, rural Americans are helping to define and shape the future of the country.