Revitalization in Rural America: A Case Study of Millheim, Pa

Open Access
Mothersbaugh, Leah Rhian
Area of Honors:
Community, Environment, and Development
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Timothy Wayne Kelsey, Thesis Supervisor
  • Theodore Roberts Alter, Honors Advisor
  • Revitalization
  • Rural America
  • Millheim
  • Arts Based Development
  • Social Capital
The case study aims to determine whether or not the rural town of Millheim, PA has experienced a revitalization over the past several decades based on the perceptions of varying social groups in the community and if so to identify what may have been the catalyst for this process. Additionally, the study analyzes the role of the arts in development by looking into how the local arts and cultural scene may have contributed to, or encouraged, the recent changes in Millheim. The first part of the case study is composed of a community profile used to analyze historical data and trends in secondary demographic data for Millheim, PA. The second part of the study summarizes the findings from key informant interviews conducted with business owners and residents from varying social groups. Information acquired through this case study can be used to help assist other rural communities in the revitalization process, particularly through implementing social capital and arts based development strategies.