Archived Story

Local arts enthusiasts gather at Capitol during Minnesota Arts Advocacy Day

Published 12:32pm Thursday, March 10, 2011 Updated 12:33pm Thursday, March 10, 2011

This week the arts community gathered at the MInnesota State Capitol for Arts Advocacy Day. Several Fergus Area folks also attended. Here are some of the stories we left behind.

A couple of stories from Fergus Falls. Examples of state dollars for all ages and abilities through the arts.

Artful afternoons and AM’s

When Kaddatz Galleries (a visual arts gallery) and A Center for the Arts (a performing arts center) team up they’re not just opening their doors to the public —they’re bringing the art they present and produce to folks who aren’t always able to come downtown. Located in the heart of downtown Fergus Falls, Staff from both organizations realized that there was a huge population who couldn’t participate — the seniors who lived in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Through collaborative efforts they wrote a grant to the Lake Region Arts Council.

This past winter they have brought artists and performers into eight different facilities to work with seniors in photography, pottery, dance, music, and painting.

The nine-month project will culminate in a community wide celebration the weekend of May Day. Small exhibits and performances will be open to the public to show the work of these seniors.

There will also be hands-on arts projects that will involve many generations working side by side. Thanks to continued support from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the groups will be able to provide continued arts access to this population for at least another year — meanwhile garnering continued community and organizational support from the seniors they serve. Collaborations become amazing tools for furthering opportunities for all abilities and ages.

James

Sewell Ballet

For two weeks in February, thanks to funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board through the Legacy Amendment, A Center for the Arts was able to bring dance and music to schools, seniors and community members in four separate communities —Fergus Falls, Battle Lake, Breckenridge and Barrett. First- and second-graders were introduced to the art of dance and the physical stamina and poise and control possessed by dancers through their daily work.

A piano trio (violin, cello, piano) were also a part of this interactive program which included performances for the public in Fergus Falls, Battle Lake and Barrett.

In Breckenridge dancers and musicians performed and filed questions from students at the high school in an hour long session that included original choreography, a look at the day in the life of a dancer, and a conversation about how dancers and musicians collaborated to make this performance possible.

Only a handful of the students had ever been exposed to a live dance performance and many had not had the opportunity to hear and see a small string chamber group up close. Community members, as well, commented “How were we able to receive such a high-quality, first-class performance out here in the middle of nowhere?”

These grants through Minnesota State Arts Board Programs and Regional Arts Councils are reaching every corner of our state and providing opportunities for collaborations, education and outreach and a joining of ages of abilities through arts programs and experiences.

Rebecca Petersen is the director of A Center for the Arts in Fergus Falls.

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