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Arts advisory council to assist Park Rapids

An Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission has been established in Park Rapids.

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council expressed interest in forming the commission initially to be able to apply for grant funding from the state. The funding could be used to assist the city in incorporating arts events in town.

The purpose of the commission is to advise the Park Rapids City Council on artistic and cultural matters, sponsor arts programs/activities and encourage partnerships that further the awareness of the arts in the community.

"I think it would be useful to utilize this for other needs in the city," said Paul Dove, president of PRLAAC.

PRLAAC members and city planner Dan Walker met with Region 2 Arts Council executive director Terri Widman in December to discuss what it would take to receive a grant to engage the public in seeking proposals for a public arts event. One of the requirements for the grant is the establishment of an official arts advisory committee.

The deadline for the grant is March 10 and if the application is successful the city will receive a $10,000 grant. The grant is from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment funding from the state.

The Region 2 Arts Council serves Hubbard, Beltrami, Clearwater, Mahnomen and Lake of the Woods counties. Region 2 Arts Council can only select one city per year for the grant. If Park Rapids doesn't receive the grant in 2011 it can apply again in 2012.

Dove said PRLAAC members would be willing to do the legwork on submitting the grant so city staff wouldn't need to dedicate much time.

PRLAAC works toward the support and organized interaction between arts related groups in north central Minnesota.

Fundraising contributions from citizens, businesses and city grants help PRLAAC work for the growth of Park Rapids and the surrounding lakes as a vibrant artistic center.

The newly formed commission is comprised of six council appointees: five recommended by PRLAAC and one from the council or city administration to serve as the liaison to the council.

Duties will include:

Consulting with residents and/or targeted stakeholders on various issues or future opportunities and activities.

Review draft policies that will support the effective and efficient delivery of arts and cultural programs and services.

Provide advice and guidance on annual arts and cultural projects and initiatives.

Provide input on the development and/or implementation of arts and cultural programs, services and events that facilitate community participation.

Establish and/or strengthen effective community partnerships.

Provide input on various marketing and communication strategies for arts and cultural activities.

Members of the committee are Paul Dove, Dawn Kast, Denise Gulbanson, Nathan Luetgers, Aaron Spangler and Sue Tomte.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561