Immaculate Conception church, across from the historic plaza in Ajo, Arizona, as it looked a few weeks agoJames Fallows

Early this month we kicked off Season 3 of our American Futures travels with west coast reports, starting with Fresno. There's more to come about Fresno and several other California cities, but today I'm writing to point out two new areas of coverage we are undertaking.

One is Ajo, Arizona, an isolated one-time mining center that has conceived a plan for rebuilding its economy, via the arts and intensive civic-engagement plans. In a first installment, Deb Fallows sets out the predicament the people of Ajo faced when a mine that had been their main source of employment suddenly shut down. Later she'll explain some of the surprising answers.

The other is Boulder, Colorado, which is hardly in the struggling-community category but which has built part of its civic fabric out of an unusual conference series. John Tierney will attend that conference this year, and in this post he explains its significance.

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For more about the connection between these latest reports and the opening seasons of our coverage, please see this post, by me from last fall. It also includes information on signing up for our weekly newsletter.

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