For decades, "downtown" was the hub of the economic and social lives of rural residents across North Dakota. But today, these same downtowns are struggling to maintain their vitality and in some cases even their sense of identity.
As the rural population declines and the state's agriculture-based economy struggles, boarded buildings and empty storefronts now dominate once prosperous streets. Seeking to reverse years of decline, some local organizations are taking steps to revitalize their communities. Across the state, community groups and entrepreneurs with vision are rehabilitating old buildings and putting them to new uses, helping small towns preserve their identity and quality of life. The 60-minute documentary Old To New: Remodel, Restore, Revitalize will showcase the history of change affecting small town economies, explore the reasons why so many rural business districts are failing, and examine some of the new ideas being implemented today and their implications for community leaders.