Reports From America

Real People. Real Stories. Real America.

Towns and cities from coast to coast are today’s incubators for ideas driving the modern story of American renewal. From the arts to education, from public policy to sustainability, from craft beer to river walks, people are experimenting in innovative ways that drive progress. We tell the stories of what they’re doing here.

ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY

A Delicate Balance – Marrying Recreation and Preservation in Iowa

Local climbing coalition and authorities found a way to collaborate and keep access to a popular climbing area and preserve the environment.

PODCAST

Inside Our Towns: Allen Carroll and Story Maps

Evan Sanford explores the origin and evolution of Esri’s story maps with the innovative storytelling tool’s creator, Allen Carroll.

EDUCATION

‘We Fly,’ in Indiana

It’s time to judge colleges by their contributions to the economic and civic life of their communities. Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, passes the test brilliantly.

EDUCATION

A Student Newspaper Takes on Community Responsibilities

The Ball State Daily News has filled a local journalism gap.

ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY

Turning the Tides

Turtles, and people — a connected story, with an outcome you might not have guessed.

EDUCATION

‘When Gown Embraces Town’: Two Stories from Indiana

What is happening in the ‘Middletown’ of Muncie, and why it matters.

JOURNALISM & CIVIC NEWS

What Happened at Chautauqua, and Why It Matters

Friday, Aug. 12, an assailant rushed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution. He stabbed Salman Rushdie in the neck and abdomen. Rushdie was not the only victim in this attack.

ARTS

An Outsider Works with Insiders: Examples from Akron and Cleveland

Mac Love, who has spent much of his life outside Ohio, uses new technologies to bring community residents and college students together. That collaborative approach is now helping citizens’ voices be heard and is driving meaningful change in their neighborhoods.   

BIG LITTLE IDEAS

Inside Our Towns: Project Fighting Chance

Evan Sanford and James Fallows talk with Ian Franklin and Terry Boykins about Project Fighting Chance — a boxing gym that is more than a boxing gym in San Bernardino. They discuss how it got started, how it has grown, and an immediate challenge it faces today.

ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY

‘Mapping Common Ground’: What I learned this summer in San Diego

New reason to “think globally, and act locally.”

RURAL & REGIONAL

A Dining-room Meeting Begins a New Chapter in One Town’s Story

As Isaac and Heidi Tucker saw it, there was no use in waiting for their town to improve itself. Instead, they took action, and are rallying renewal efforts in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania today.

WATER

Past, Present, and Future on the Water: Using StoryMaps to Explore Bucksport, Maine

What does a mile-long stretch along the Penobscot River tell the walker about Bucksport, Maine? As it turns out, a lot.