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Arts Legacy Funds benefit Beltrami County

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Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 to create dedicated funding for conservation and the arts.

Through Arts Legacy grants from the Region 2 Arts Council, residents of Beltrami County are starting to experience benefits from the amendment.

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The Region 2 Arts Council has announced that in the first year of the new amendment, $116,085 in grant money has come to Beltrami county in the form of Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants, Community Arts Support Grants and Artist Mentor Grants.

Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Mask and Rose Theater, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra and Hope House are Beltrami county nonprofits benefiting from the new funding. Aaron Tank, Jon Romer, Jacque Tinsley and Kristin Majkrzak are area artists whose funded projects will be creating access to art and opportunities for art education not only in Beltrami county, but also region-wide.

- Headwaters School for Music and the Arts (HSMA)in Bemidji received Arts and Cultural Heritage funding to help defray the costs of bringing former Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins to Bemidji for a weekend in September. Events included readings and a free writing workshop led by Billy Collins.

Janet Brademan, Executive Director of HSMA said holding the events in Bemidji provided opportunities for high caliber writing instruction, exposure to fine poetry, as well as economic impact to the area.

"We had people travel from as far away as Winnepeg, Canada, Bayfield, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Duluth and Warroad, Minn.," she said. "All of these people rented rooms at Bemidji hotels and ate at Bemidji restaurants. The economic impact of this event is real."

- Peacemakers Resources of Bemidji, a nonprofit dedicated to positive conflict management and creating cultural understanding and respect, used an Arts and Cultural Heritage grant to assist in the coordination and implementation of performances enhancing their Cultural Connections Day. More than 700 people attended the event, which showcased nine musical performances as well as Native Story-telling.

Barb Houg, executive director of Peacemakers Resources, said Cultural Connections Day attained the goals organizers had set.

"It was clear this event provided a way for people to learn from each other, and feel good about being together," she said. "We saw people from different cultures, different age groups, and different socio-economic backgrounds talking together, playing together, creating art together, and enjoying music together."

Region 2 Arts Council Director Terri Widman said, "The Legacy funding, along with other public and foundation funds, has leveraged a large economic impact in our local communities. A statewide study conducted four years ago revealed that non-profit arts organizations and event related spending by arts audiences in our five-county region generated $1.9 million annually in local economic activity. The economic and cultural impact in the communities we serve is now significantly enhanced with the Legacy Amendment. R2AC has discovered, through the Legacy grant requests we receive, that there are a multitude of needs for arts education and arts activities in our region that we were not able to fund in the past. Thanks to the Legacy funding we now have the ability to assist local communities on several levels."

R2AC is one of 11 Regional Arts Councils around the state who partner with the Minnesota State Arts Board to serve citizens in every Minnesota County. The Region 2 Arts Council was established in 1980 to serve Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen counties. This five county region received Legacy funds of $244,800 this year to support nonprofit organizations, schools, communities, and individuals. For information about the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, go to http://www.cdf.leg.mn/arts-cultural-heritage-fund.

Beltrami county arts projects have received a total of $170,639 in both Legacy Grants and other grant opportunities available through the R2AC in the past year. For a complete list of Region 2 Arts Council grants and awards, visit www.r2arts.org. Visit the grants and deadlines page at www.r2arts.org/grants for information on applying for the upcoming Jan. 19 grant round.

Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 to create dedicated funding for conservation and the arts.

Through Arts Legacy grants from the Region 2 Arts Council, residents of Beltrami County are starting to experience benefits from the amendment.

The Region 2 Arts Council has announced that in the first year of the new amendment, $116,085 in grant money has come to Beltrami county in the form of Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants, Community Arts Support Grants and Artist Mentor Grants.

Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Mask and Rose Theater, Bemidji Symphony Orchestra and Hope House are Beltrami county nonprofits benefiting from the new funding. Aaron Tank, Jon Romer, Jacque Tinsley and Kristin Majkrzak are area artists whose funded projects will be creating access to art and opportunities for art education not only in Beltrami county, but also region-wide.

- Headwaters School for Music and the Arts (HSMA)in Bemidji received Arts and Cultural Heritage funding to help defray the costs of bringing former Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins to Bemidji for a weekend in September. Events included readings and a free writing workshop led by Billy Collins.

Janet Brademan, Executive Director of HSMA said holding the events in Bemidji provided opportunities for high caliber writing instruction, exposure to fine poetry, as well as economic impact to the area.

"We had people travel from as far away as Winnepeg, Canada, Bayfield, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Duluth and Warroad, Minn.," she said. "All of these people rented rooms at Bemidji hotels and ate at Bemidji restaurants. The economic impact of this event is real."

- Peacemakers Resources of Bemidji, a nonprofit dedicated to positive conflict management and creating cultural understanding and respect, used an Arts and Cultural Heritage grant to assist in the coordination and implementation of performances enhancing their Cultural Connections Day. More than 700 people attended the event, which showcased nine musical performances as well as Native Story-telling.

Barb Houg, executive director of Peacemakers Resources, said Cultural Connections Day attained the goals organizers had set.

"It was clear this event provided a way for people to learn from each other, and feel good about being together," she said. "We saw people from different cultures, different age groups, and different socio-economic backgrounds talking together, playing together, creating art together, and enjoying music together."

Region 2 Arts Council Director Terri Widman said, "The Legacy funding, along with other public and foundation funds, has leveraged a large economic impact in our local communities. A statewide study conducted four years ago revealed that non-profit arts organizations and event related spending by arts audiences in our five-county region generated $1.9 million annually in local economic activity. The economic and cultural impact in the communities we serve is now significantly enhanced with the Legacy Amendment. R2AC has discovered, through the Legacy grant requests we receive, that there are a multitude of needs for arts education and arts activities in our region that we were not able to fund in the past. Thanks to the Legacy funding we now have the ability to assist local communities on several levels."

R2AC is one of 11 Regional Arts Councils around the state who partner with the Minnesota State Arts Board to serve citizens in every Minnesota County. The Region 2 Arts Council was established in 1980 to serve Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen counties. This five county region received Legacy funds of $244,800 this year to support nonprofit organizations, schools, communities, and individuals. For information about the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, go to http://www.cdf.leg.mn/arts-cultural-heritage-fund.

Beltrami county arts projects have received a total of $170,639 in both Legacy Grants and other grant opportunities available through the R2AC in the past year. For a complete list of Region 2 Arts Council grants and awards, visit www.r2arts.org. Visit the grants and deadlines page at www.r2arts.org/grants for information on applying for the upcoming Jan. 19 grant round.

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