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NWA honors BAAE for philanthropy

Mike Tangen, president of the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, accepts an Al Belleveau sculpture presented by the Northwest Minnesota Foundation. Submitted Photo

The Bemidji Area Arts Endowment has received a $1,000 Community Philanthropy Award and a commemorative sculpture from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation to recognize the organization's efforts to raise awareness and funding for the arts.

Foundation Chair Eric Bergeson made the presentation Sept. 17 at the BAAE's annual Oompah for the Arts event at the Bemidji Town & Country Club.

The sculpture was commissioned and created by Bemidji area artist Al Belleveau.

"The Foundation is pleased to recognize the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment for its work in delivering on its mission, establishing additional funds for music, visual arts, theater and arts education, among others," Bergeson said. "The advisory committee is to be commended for its success and we are happy to donate $1,000 to your endowment for the Community Philanthropy Award."

Bemidji Area Arts Endowment President Mike Tangen accepted the award and sculpture.

"This sculpture artistically depicts the value of keeping the arts deeply rooted in our community," Tangen said. "We can think of no better way to express the Endowment's mission than by Al's artistic representation. The gift of $1,000 from the Ruth Edevold Endowment for Excellence Fund is also greatly appreciated. It will allow us to increase the dollars we award during our annual grant rounds. Your recognition will inspire us to do more in the future to further our goals."

The goal of the Oompah event is to show appreciation to those who donate to the arts through the 11 private funds under management of the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment (BAAE) and to acknowledge the role each gift plays in helping maintain the artistic growth and livability of Bemidji.