Laura Romaniello / Art Director

Haleigh Patch

Equinox Staff

The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship is partnering with the Keene Sentinel to host the annual Radically Rural summit on Sept. 27 and 28.

The event will consist of workshops and expert speakers on various topics.

The Hannah Grimes Center will be hosting a special event called the PitchFork Challenge. This event will run as a competition as contestants pitch their own business ideas.

It gives them a chance to connect with investors to make their small local businesses successful. The award consists of two prizes: $1,000 and $10,000 and will be given out at the networking event, CONNECT on Sept. 27.

There will also be a workshop called “Crazy Good” on the first day as well from 10 a.m. to noon which will explain how good business practices affect the community. “Rural Renaissance and Digital Parity” will be held on Sept. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. This workshop will focus on rural communities and how they can benefit from technology.

One of the topics will be on community journalism. There will be a “Fake News: Keeping News Real in Rural America” workshop on the first day of the event from 10 a.m. to noon. The guest speakers will talk about how important local journalism is and how they can build trust and maintain accuracy.

The next workshop will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. called, “Energizing and Growing Rural Journalism.” It will include information on how small town newspapers can revitalize themselves to keep local journalism relevant even though it may be a struggle.

On the second day there will be a program called, “Building Today’s Newspaper – You be the Editor!” from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m..

This will give participants an idea of how the Sentinel works while giving them the opportunity to roleplay as newspaper editors along with a  tour of the Sentinel building at the end.

Arts and culture will be another topic and learning track. “Work in Creative Placemaking” will be held on Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon. This session will be about the arts and how it can affect an entire region.

The second workshop, “Evolving Business Models for Artists” is from 2 to 4 p.m on learning how new technology trends affect artists and their ability to use online markets. The last workshop is called “Arts and Social Change” on Sept. 28, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. This panel will be about two artists and how they use their work to contribute to social change.

There will be Main Street events happening as well. “Tactical Innovation for Small and Rural Towns” will be on Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The guest speaker Deb Brown, a pioneer in radical community development, will be talking about how main streets can be improving and filling empty buildings. “Community-Driven Main Street Events with Lasting Economic Results” will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and will focus on different events that will benefit a community and bring it together.

Lastly, Working Lands is another topic being covered. “Live the New Forest Future” is held on the first day from 10 a.m. to noon. It is about what is to come with traditional uses of forests and opportunities that may arise. “Changes on Tap: Challenges and Opportunities to Growing Rural Food Businesses” is the next workshop from  2 to 4 p.m and will be primarily focused on entrepreneurs and how they expand their markets and consumer base.

“The New England Food Vision” on Sept. 28 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m will explain the steps needed to preserve the environment along with how local food production can be increased.

This two-day event is comprised of five learning tracks that teach strategies on how to improve business tactics and help economically in rural areas to make it thrive.   

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