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Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council celebrates 10 years

The band Unpolished performs during the Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council 10th anniversary celebration held Saturday at Armory Square in Park Rapids. (Kevin Cederstrom/Enterprise)

A leader in the local arts scene celebrated its 10th anniversary this weekend with a program at Armory Square.  Ten years after the Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council (PRLAAC) held its first meeting in 2005 to explore the idea of establishing a community center, PRLAAC is working with the city to develop the Upper Mississippi Center for the Arts at Ar-mory Square in the heart of downtown.   

“The most important contribution that PRLAAC has made is setting up communications and a forum for arts organizations and arts leaders,” said Paul Dove, who convened the first meeting in 2005.  “PRLAAC gives arts organizations opportunities to share information on their programing activities.”  

An arts calendar helps to ensure that arts events would not have to compete for public support, Dove added.  The collaboration serves as an umbrella organization for 16 arts and cultural organizations in the Park Rapids area. Art Leap, a tour of artists’ studios and other cultural destinations, was held over the weekend featuring 18 sites. The event began in the fall of 2006 tied to the Headwaters 100 bike ride.  PRLAAC brings to the community the Noon Hour Concerts, which also began in 2006, as a way to offer live music to summer tourists and business people during their lunch break.  Friday’s PRLAAC evening program featured performances by the band Unpolished, the Jackpine Writers Bloc, Northern Lights Dance Acadamy and Northern Light Opera Company.

In celebrating its 10 years, PRLAAC advocates for the Upper Mississippi Center for the Arts and development of Armory Square as an events center.  

“The 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Arts was successful in getting arts organizations together on one event where each could offer something on stage or on display where their individual talents and successes could shine,” Dove said.  He noted, collaboration in the Park Rapids arts community makes the arts and the community stronger.