Community Studio

From Classroom to Community

Community Studio is an interdisciplinary, community-centric project engaging students in civic action in their rural towns. Community Studio aims to foster critical thinkers and mindful citizens who play an active role in the civics that shape their rural communities. The program works within the classroom to provide a platform for small town revitalization through youth empowerment.

Community Studio began in 2013 in rural Northeast Nebraska. In collaboration through the senior government class at Lyons-Decatur Northeast school in Lyons, Nebraska, students design and implement self-directed projects to positively affect either the Decatur (pop. 462) or Lyons (pop. 851) community.

Hands-On Engagement

Students learn the basics of place-based practice, understanding local government, concept development, fundraising, public speaking, and time and project management. By providing these necessary tools to turn their ideas into reality, students apply these skills within hands-on initiatives. Their projects mimic the processes integral to effective civic action, preparing students for post-graduation citizen engagement.


Student Projects

2019-20 Team

2018-19 Team

2017-18 Team

2016-17 Team


Lyons Literary Night and “Community Dialogue”

I have endeavored to create community-centered events aiming to empower community members to think beyond their limits, understanding how their voices can truly make a positive impact from their small Nebraska town. My events, collectively titled “Rural Voices”, have included Lyons Literary Night and Community Dialogue.  Lyons Literary Night was focused around having individuals share literature and […]

Film Project

Our project is to create a movement for beginning film enthusiast around the community. We created a workshop to describe how stop motion works. We also planned on having the film enthusiast create a stop motion video with legos that we had brought. We also had free food and drinks that we gave out at […]

Gazebo For Us

I, Bow Whitley, and my partner Trystan Vink decided to do the gazebo down at the town park. After hard work and dedication we finished working on the Gazebo. This process was very strenuous. We repainted and added bench along with cleaned up some of the weathered wood work. After this whole project was done the […]

1st Annual LDNE Career Fair

Our project was to create the first Career Fair at Lyons Decatur Northeast. While doing this we gained a lot of experience from contacting people to come and speak to our students to setting up the layout for this large event. We have achieved this goal with hard work, dedication, and work ethic. Our process […]