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Arts awareness project helps raise funds for theater

DETROIT LAKES - The colorful mobile that hangs in the lobby of the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes is a work of art in itself, but it's much more than an interesting display.

The nearly 1,500 paper cowboys and cowgirls hanging from it represent area school children that have been affected by art and the Historic Holmes Theatre.

Students in grades K-6 at Rossman, Roosevelt, Holy Rosary and Lake Park-Audubon elementary schools decorated each of the "cowkids" with everything from fabric and yarn to glitter and gemstones. They were asked to describe their favorite art experience or favorite experience at the DLCCC on the back of each one.

A list of their "favorites" accompanies the display. Many of the students cited kid-friendly shows that have been at the Holmes in the past such as "Junie B. Jones," "Willy Wonka," "Let's Go Science," "Frog and Toad," "Wetland Advenutres" and more.

The project was the brainchild of local graphic artist and theater volunteer Lori Lindquist. She is the owner of Atheneum Graphics in Detroit Lakes and a member of the planning committee for the Historic Holmes Theatre's annual "Motion" fundraiser.

Lindquist wanted to find a way to increase awareness about the arts and the Motion fundraiser, as well as give kids a chance to actually create art. The cowboy cutout was chosen to fit with the fundraiser's western theme. The mobile welcomed more than 100 to the fundraiser on Saturday, March 1, and helped the theatre raise nearly $30,000 at the event.

The proceeds will benefit children's programming at the Holmes Theatre. Each year, the Holmes Theatre presents 4-6 children's shows and offers reduced rate tickets to more than 7,000 kids. Touring groups have come from as far as Washington, D.C., and New York City to perform on the Holmes stage for young audiences.

Special thanks to Coleen Froke, Rachael Wentz, Hanna Brady, Grace Lindquist, Shelly Gilson, Patty LaBarre, the Motion committee and the principals, teachers and students who participated in this community art project.

The Historic Holmes Theatre is a beautifully renovated 837-seat theater providing music, dance, theater and visual arts for the residents of Detroit Lakes and surrounding communities. The theatre brings local, regional, national and international performances to the Holmes stage. Previous shows have included the New York Theatre Ballet, Canadian Brass, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, America and Lorie Line as well as many local performers who have participated in local talent shows, dance and piano recitals and stage shows. The theatre will wrap up its 07-08 performing arts season with singer/songwriter John McAndrew on Sunday, April 6 at 2 p.m., and the acrobatic feats of "The Tweaksters" on Friday, April 18 at 7 p.m.