[UPDATED]Published 4:17am Monday, July 22, 2013 Updated 6:22am Monday, July 22, 2013
Springboard for the Arts in Fergus Falls was awarded $75,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant to support creative placemaking and community storytelling in town.
The money will support Imagine Fergus Falls, a year-long initiative that will engage artists as community leaders and lead to the creation of dozens of artist-led placemaking projects in service of the historic preservation and economic improvement goals of Fergus Falls.
A major focus of Imagine Fergus Falls will be the history and future of the Regional Treatment Center. The building presents a unique opportunity to leverage the area’s strong arts community as a catalyst for cross-sector innovation and collaboration.
“We are excited and honored to receive the Our Town grant for Imagine Fergus Falls,” said Laura Zabel, Springboard for the Arts executive director. “This support comes just after the success of the Rural Arts and Culture Summit, which demonstrated the power of community imagination and storytelling, and the need for building future models of engagement.”
Springboard for the Arts will hire artist Naomi RaMona Schliesman as an Artist Organizer to lead engagement and development projects around the Kirkbride building. Schliesman, of Fergus Falls, exhibits work nationally.
“With the growing interest of artists from both inside and outside of the Fergus Falls community on the historic preservation issues here, it is more important than ever to equip our local artists with the tools to thoughtfully engage the community and learn the best practices in creative placemaking,” said Harold Stanislawski, executive director of the Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission.
The grant to Fergus Falls was one of 59 awards totaling $4.725 million and reaching 34 states. The NEA received 254 applications for Our Town this year. Grant amounts ranged from $25,000 to $200,000 with a median grant amount of $50,000.
Springboard’s work in Fergus Falls is supported by the McKnight Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Bush Foundation, Surdna Foundation and the Lake Region Arts Council.Tags: RTC task force