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Lake Region Arts Council announces Legacy grants

Recent Legacy grant recipients include (front, left to right) Maureen Kelly Jonason and Davin Wait (HCSCC), Sharon Thalmann (AAAA), Alan Davis; (back row) Betsy Ostenson (LRAC), Jon Solinger, Gretchen Boyum (Kaddatz), Gay Ekberg (for Gordon Eckberg), Deb Parrot (LCMS), Dan Broten (Landmark Center), Maxine Adams (LRAC). Not pictured: The Rourke Arts Gallery Museum, Ulen-Hitterdal School and New York Mills Cultural Center. (Submitted photo)

The Lake Region Arts Council, Fergus Fall, is proud to announce the final results of the Fall Legacy Grant Round held on Nov. 15: A total of $13,590 was awarded for Legacy Individual Artist Grants, and $47,724 for Legacy Organization Grants.

Legacy Individual Artist Grant Program

Alan Davis - $6,500, Clay County: Alan will be working on his fourth collection of stories based on the concept "clouds are the mountains of the upper Midwest". His project includes writing, sharing both through publication and public performance as well as through workshops. The stories are designed to celebrate place in all of its subtlety and to explore the cultural, emotional and psychological conflicts that define it.

"Perspective, that is, is everything, whether a character is facing aging, illness, and dislocation or living off the grid but attempting to stay in touch with those who mean the most to her," says Davis.

Gordon Ekberg - $3,820, Grant County: Gordon has been a writer and storyteller all his life. His manuscript "Between the Cattails and the Bulrushes" will be edited and self published. The book will feature his adventures and stories told in his unique style. Gordon will present author's talks about writing and read excerpts from his book at various locations in Grant County.

"The stories will stir memories, evoke conversations, and portray a range of elements/emotions that artistically affects the sense of beauty," says Ekberg.

Jon Solinger - $3,270, Otter Tail County: Jon developed a new traveling exhibit based on the Working Land project. The exhibit will include 20-25 of his photographs along with text panels that build a richer context for the images using both words and hand-drawn maps and diagrams made by the portrait subjects. It will tour the LRAC region as an exhibit at public libraries. Jon will present artist talks at each installation, providing insight into his process and cultural influences.

"Seeing beautifully considered images of a farmer in work clothes or against a fertile landscape or a "portrait" of a machine elevates the idea of the everyday rural workplace," says Solinger.

Legacy Organization Grant Program

Alexandria Area Arts Association - $11,700, Douglas County: The AAAA will present Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in April 2017. In addition to the two week run of public performances, there will be two full days of performances and interactive workshops for area high school students. The workshops will include stage combat skills, mask making, and acting for a Shakespeare production. Experts will lead students in full day of hands on learning.

Henning Landmark Center - $4,000, Otter Tail County: Landmark Center will be sponsoring three week artist residency in January 2017 with fiber artist Kristi Kuder.

She will teach hand-stitching techniques to students and adults during two 2-day workshops, incorporating digital printing on fabric. Participants will be invited to participate in a 3-week open studio at Landmark, producing a 4'x7' quilt work titled "Homecoming."

Henning students will participate in producing a documentary video of this process, using photography, video, and audio of participants stitching and discussing the theme "Places that Formed Us."

An exhibition of fiber work at the Henning Landmark Center, with a reception on Jan. 30, including the completed "Homecoming" project, stitched works by students & workshop attendees, and work by other fiber groups within the community.

Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County - $6,684, Clay County: HCSCC will continue to develop and expand audio describing services for the region. The project's focus will be to continue their work by developing audio described touch tours with written and recorded scripts and to hire Ms. Shirek to edit a-d scripts and provide advice and guidance.

The goal is to design accessible museum exhibits and artifact displays by setting up an environment that is high contrasting with objects placed in a way that enriches the experience of people with vision impairments, developmental and neurological disabilities including dementia. In addition, the grant will fund the creation of a website specifically for the use of arts and cultural organization staff and patrons with disabilities and their families.

Kaddatz Galleries - $3,180, Otter Tail County: The Kaddatz will present three upcoming exhibits with educational opportunities for the public.

First, "The Trophy Wife Collective" will be Jan. 4-Feb. 11. Second, Michael Weatherly, printmaker, will exhibit Feb. 16-March 30, with a one week artist residency. Michael will work closely with a group of students, teaching them various printmaking techniques. Third, Barbara La Valleur, photography and photojournalism, will exhibit April 6-May13. Barbara will offer a salon talk during the time of exhibition.

Lakes Chamber Music Society- $13,830, Douglas County: Lakes Chamber Music will be celebrating their 25th anniversary year in 2017. The number of concerts will be expanded to honor the occasion. The Festival of the Lakes 2017 event begins on Aug. 1 and will conclude on Aug. 30. Concert dates are Aug. 5, 9, 11, 13, 17, 23 and 27. All concerts will be held at the Alexandria United Methodist Church. The grant will cover additional expenses for marketing and producing the month long celebration.

Rourke Art Museum - $3,590, Clay County: After a successful pilot project, the Rourke Art Academy will return in 2017 with more lectures, workshops and classes for the public. The Rourke Art Academy was built around three primary goals; to celebrate the history and the future of the arts in our region, to connect the community to artistic traditions through contact with regional artists and professors, and to provide a free or low cost, educational space available to the community's academics, musicians, poets, writers, designers, architects, and visual artists as a venue to share their work, vision, craft, and dreams with the LRAC region.

New York Mills Cultural Center - $1,050, Otter Tail County: The New York Mills Cultural Center will sponsor the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, (GCO), a band whose eclectic style has been compared to "King Crimson and Bela Fleck, with a touch of John Coltrane and Jeff Beck," for a concert in the Center's intimate performance space.

GCO will offer an interactive performance in which the band, after soliciting requests from the audience, conclude by asking the audience to comment on the personal significance of the lyrics. When playing at venues in rural Minnesota, songs frequently requested are those written by Hank Williams and John Prine, with audience reaction surfacing in heart-felt emotions. The performance will be April 28.

Ulen-Hitterdal School - $3,690, Clay County: Ulen Hitterdal Public School will sponsor an artist residency with Kat Perkins, a former contestant on NBC's "The Voice," at Ulen-Hitterdal School on May 12-13. Perkins will conduct a choir residency program with senior high choir (70 students) on techniques of performance. The students work with Perkins on her song ''Fearless'' and they will be backing her up during a general public evening performance on May 13.

Twice a year, LRAC awards Legacy Arts & Cultural Heritage Grants to provide art access, art education and cultural heritage to the nine county region. The LRAC Spring Grant Round will be awarding over $177,700 in two funding pools, organizations and individual artists.

Arts organizations, public institutions such as schools, community educations, colleges, libraries, museums, and non profit organizations are all eligible to apply for Legacy grants to fund projects that will increase access and participation in the arts. The pool of funding for organizations will be approximately $120,400.

Individual artists living in the LRAC nine county region could also apply for Legacy Arts & Cultural Heritage Grants with the same focus of providing arts opportunities in the region. The individual artists pool of funding will be approximately $57,300.

A Spring Legacy Grant Writing Workshop for individuals to learn about how to make an application for a Legacy Arts & Cultural Heritage Grant applications is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the LRAC office in Fergus Falls. The workshop is free, but registration is required for attendees. To register go to

The deadline for the LRAC 2017 Spring Legacy Grant application will be midnight, Tuesday, March 7. The LRAC Legacy Arts & Cultural Heritage Grant Guidelines and a link to the LRAC online grant application are available at the LRAC website: Project start dates must be after the Legacy Grant Review, Tuesday, April 18.

For more information: contact Betsy Ostenson, Grant Manager, Lake Region Arts Council, 133 Mill Street S, Fergus Fall, MN 56537-2562, Phone: 218-739-5780 or 800-262-2787 Email:

LRAC is a nonprofit art organization that provides grants, resources, and services to the nine county region of Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties. Its mission is to encourage and support the arts in West Central Minnesota.