Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Rural Studies






School of Arts and Humanities


Potter, E., Johanson, K., & Molan, D. (2024). Activating rural infrastructures in regional communities: Cultural funding, silo art works and the challenge of local benefit. Journal of Rural Studies, 106, article 103239.


This article examines the issues involved in publicly funded regional arts initiatives, through two contrasting examples of art works that creatively repurpose grain silos in rural Australia: the Silo Art Trail in north-west Victoria, and the silo art practices of the small town of Natimuk in the same region. Via desktop analysis supported by observation and interviews, we consider these initiatives in the context of a turn to arts-led regeneration and creative place-making in rural and regional development approaches and the role of public cultural policy within this. With the majority of public funding for cultural and creative projects in regional communities coming from urban-based governments in Australia (eg federal and state governments), decisions tend to be informed by urban-centric frameworks. Public cultural funding programmes often expect to develop projects that create jobs and generate market demand for creative products that will ensure creative enterprises are economically sustainable. This overlooks broader economic impacts and non-economic values that arts activities bring to rural and regional places, resulting in a misalignment between funding intention and outcomes. A lack of equity inherent in the relationship between urban-generated cultural funding approaches and regional priorities suggests a need for a rethink, to better understand and develop policies for creative practice in the regions that are driven by and responsive to regional priorities and capacities.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.