Towns and cities nationwide are today’s incubators for ideas that will tell the modern story of American renewal. From the arts to education, from civic engagement to sustainability, from craft beer to river walks, people are experimenting in innovative ways that drive progress. We share their stories here.
The Our Towns Civic Foundation is an IRS-certified 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, founded in 2020 on the idea and belief that the sources of American renewal are mainly at the community level.
The purpose of the foundation is to make the success of a renewal era more probable. Toward this end we will report on and share the stories of local innovators; distill and share the lessons of their successes (or failures); promote connections among like-minded people around the country, in virtual and real-world venues; encourage new journalistic models (and technologies) to cover local stories and their implication; and in other ways to help now-disconnected innovators and reformers realize that they’re part of something larger.
The ideas behind the foundation draw from Deborah and James Fallows’ reporting and writing about towns around the country since 2013; from their 2018 book, Our Towns: a 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America; and from the 2021 HBO documentary, Our Towns, based on the book.