Forecast Public Art and Minnesota’s Regional Arts Councils Launch Online Public Art Toolkit

Working in partnership with Region 2 Arts Council and eight other regional arts councils in the state, Forecast Public Art, a St. Paul-based nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen and advance the field of public art, has launched an on-line “toolkit” for people who want to create more public art, but aren’t sure how to get started.

The 20,000 square-foot terrazzo floor at the Sanford Events Center in Bemidji is one of three examples of public art case studies highlighted in the Forecast Public Art Toolkit. Using the Sanford Center as an example, artists, organizations, and businesses interested in proposing a public art project can gain insight into the process from start to finish.

The toolkit also includes a glossary of public art terminology, a gallery of public art images and videos, and other educational resources, including media clippings, contract templates, and links to other good resources.

Forecast will periodically update the Toolkit content in response to the needs of its users.  The Toolkit can be accessed through Forecast’s website or through the Region 2 Arts Council website

This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Arts and Cultural Heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with mone from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

The Region 2 Arts Council Welcomes Four New Members to the Board of Directors

The Region 2 Arts Council’s ten-member Board of Directors is comprised of two representatives from each of the five counties in Region 2.  This fall, we are pleased to welcome four new members to the Board of Directors:

Steve Ballard of Leonard, representing Clearwater County, received Bachelor degrees in Technical Illustration, Graphic Design, Arts Education and Special Education.  He is currently teaching K-12 art classes at the Clearbrook-Gonvik Schools. Steve is a visual artist who won the Artist Mentor award in tenth grade. His background includes businesses in custom airbrushing and graphic design.

Steve Prenevost of Park Rapids, representing Hubbard County, received a B.S in Elementary Education and is a teacher in the Park Rapids Area Schools.  He is an arts appreciator, advocate and consumer who appreciates people with artistic talent, and enjoys the opportunity to attend art activities.

Leah Prussia of Waubun, representing Mahnomen County, received a B.A. in Psychology and a M.S.W. in Social Work.  She is currently a faculty member at the White Earth Tribal and Community College in Mahnomen. Leah is involved in the arts as a contributor, appreciator and advocate. She participates in community theater, plays the flute and writes poetry.

Nancy Cole of Williams, representing Lake of the Woods County, holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and is a member of the Borderland Community Orchestra, playing viola.  She is a piano teacher, and has worked with string students and the string mentor program. She has an interest in crafts, dance and theater and is an arts advocate.

All four board members expressed the need to support and advocate for art in their counties, and to make art more accessible to the public in our region.


Free Grant Writing Workshops for Native American Artists

Jim Jones working on his birch bark canoe

Over the next three weeks, the Region 2 Arts Council is offering free grant writing workshops to discuss grant writing tips and procedures with individual artists interested in applying for an Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Grant.

The Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Grant is open to individual Native American artists residing in Region 2’s Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen Counties, as well as artists living in nearby Roseau, Itasca, Cass and Becker Counties. Native Artists in all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Artists can apply for grants up to $1,000. Grant Deadline is October 6, 2011.

Location: Tribal Council HQ Building, Red Lake
Date: Thursday, August 25, 2011
Time: 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Location: Region 2 Arts Council Office, 426 Bemidji Ave, Bemidji
Date: Thursday, September 1, 2011
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: Leech Lake Tribal College
Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

ADVANCE REGISTRATION is required.  To reserve a place in a free workshop or for further information, please call 218-751-5447 or 1-800-275-5447 or email

September/October Grant Deadlines Just Around the Corner!

Applications are available for the following Grants at the Region 2 Arts Council Office, 426 Bemidji Avenue, Bemidji, MN  56601 and are also available for download. Just click the links below.

Arts Project Grant
Deadline: September 14, 2011
Download application: pdf or word document.
Open to any non-profit organization, school (including community education offices), and units of government.  These grants offer funding for a variety of art projects including costs related to performances or exhibitions, engagement of guest artists, and artists-in-residence. Organizations can apply for grants up to $1,500.

R2AC/McKnight Career Development Fellowship
Deadline: September 14, 2011
Download application: pdf or word document.
Open to established artists in all disciplines who show a commitment to their career. This 18-month fellowship provides the opportunity for career development experiences that will add depth and advancement to any artistic career. Two $6,000 fellowships will be awarded per year.

Individual Artist Grant
Deadline: October 5, 2011
Download application: pdf or word document.
Open to artists in all art disciplines.  These grants offer funding for costs associated with the exhibition, performance, or production of a creative work; purchase of materials or equipment necessary for a creative work; educational opportunities; mentorships; and proposals for career-enhancing projects or opportunities. Artists can apply for grants up to $1,000.

Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Grant
Deadline: October 6, 2011
Download application: pdf or word document.
Open to individual American Indian artists in all disciplines. These grants offer funding for costs associated with the exhibition, performance, or production of a creative work; purchase of materials or equipment necessary for a creative work; educational opportunities; mentorships; and proposals for career-enhancing projects or opportunities. Artists can apply for grants up to $1,000.

Projects funded through R2AC’s grants programs should have primary impact on and accessibility to residents of Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, and Mahnomen Counties. The term “arts” refers to music, creative writing, dance, visual art, theater, and other forms of creative expression. We would be happy to discuss your ideas with you, help you locate an artist, or assist you in completing the application form. Call 751-5447, toll free at 1-800-275-5447, or e-mail

Cocktail Hour, Dinner, and Readings by LouAnn Shepard Muhm and Kathryn Kysar

Beagle Books and the Y-Steak House in Park Rapids have teamed up for a very special event on Sunday, August 28th:  an evening of good food and poetry readings by LouAnn Shepard Muhm and Kathryn Kysar.  Tickets are $30 and available at Y-Steak House and Beagle Books, or by calling 218-732-4565.  All tickets must be purchased in advance.

Kathryn Kysar is the author of two books of poetry, Dark Lake and Pretend the World, and she edited Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers. She has received fellowships from Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Kysar recently served on the board of directors for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and teaches at Anoka-Ramsey Community College and the Loft Literary Center and lives with her family in St. Paul.

LouAnn Shepard Muhm is a poet and teacher from northern Minnesota.  Her poems have appeared in a number of literary journals, including Dust & Fire, The Talking Stick, North Coast Review, Alba, Red River Review, Eclectica, Poems Niederngasse, and CALYX, and she was a finalist for the Creekwalker Poetry Prize (2007) and the Late Blooms Postcard Series (2007). Muhm was the featured poet in the Minnesota State Arts Board’s “What Light” series in February and June, 2008 and was a recipient of the 2006 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in Poetry.  She has received multiple grants from Region 2 Arts Council.  Her chapbook, Dear Immovable, was published in 2006 by Pudding House Press, and her full-length poetry collection Breaking the Glass ( 2008, Loonfeather Press) was a finalist for the Midwest Book Award in two categories: Poetry and Cover Design.

Mudsong Performed at Bemidji State Park on Saturday August 20th

Come to Bemidji State Park on Saturday August 20th to hear Mary Overlie and company  perform Mudsong-a swawp tale sung in the blues, a story about
loons, otters, mallards and a muskrat who guide the way through the wisdom of their words. 

To hear a song from Mudsong and get more details, go to

This activity was made possible, in part, by a Region 2 Arts Council Individual Artist Grant Award with funding from the McKnight Foundation

National Cherry Blossom Festival Seeking Groups to Perform

2012 marks a special anniversary for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  The organizers of this event have contacted Senator Al Franken’s office to spread the word that they are looking for at least one instrumental and one vocal ensemble from each of the 50 states to perform in various venues throughout the nation’s capital during the festival.

2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the City of Washington honoring the friendship between the United States and Japan. To honor this anniversary, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is planning a five-week, city-wide Festival from March 20-April 27 – an unprecedented tribute to the Festival’s history, complemented by world-class events.

The organizers of this Festival are looking for outstanding choirs or instrumental ensembles (orchestras, symphonic or marching bands) from each of the 50 states.

These performers can be from a variety of levels, including but not limited to, youth, university, community and professional groups. Ensembles will perform at least 2-3 times in venues associated with the Festival during a 3-4 day period.

If a group is interested in pursuing this opportunity, please contact Katherine Blauvelt in Sen. Franken’s Saint Paul Office as soon as possible but no later than September 8, 2011.  She can be reached at

Youth Art, Music to be featured Aug. 18-20 in Park Rapids

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council will showcase the artistic talents of area youth during Youth Music and Arts Showcase III Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18-20 in downtown Park Rapids and at the outdoor pavilion at the Jokela Rodeo & Auction Grounds on Highway 34 east.

The showcase provides young musicians with an opportunity to perform downtown Friday, Aug. 19 and play in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Rodeo & Auction Grounds outdoor pavilion. The concert will feature reggae band, Make the Most, with Josh Prendiz, lead vocalist, on guitar; Brandon Prendiz on drums; and Roger Fenzel, back up vocalist, on bass. Other performers will include local singer/guitarist Alex Ziemann and singer/songwriter/guitarist Cole Randall. Tickets for the concert sold in advance at Beagle Books and The Good Life Cafe and at the door are $5 for adults, $20 for families and children under 5 free.

Student artists’ works, including paintings, photography, sculpture and pottery, will be shown at businesses in downtown Park Rapids. A panel of judges will view the students’ works. Four $100 scholarships will be given to high school and older students and four $25 scholarships to middle school age students. A schedule of the young artists and venues will be available to guide people to all locations. Day care providers and parents of preschoolers are invited to do chalk art on downtown sidewalks Friday morning. Free chalk will be available at Wildwood Enchantment, 209 South Main Ave.

This activity is made possible, in part, by a grant provided by the Region 2 Arts Council through funding from the Minnesota State Legislature.

Sign Up Now for a Woodcarving Class with Wayne Hankel

Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center in Park Rapids announces well known wood carver and carving instructor, Wayne Hankel, will be teaching a three day wood carving class on August 22nd, 23rd and 24th at the gallery located at 311 Main Ave. S. in Park Rapids. The class projects will utilize carving cut outs pre-cut by the instructor. Class time will be 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day.

Wayne Hankel has conducted classes in wood carving for over 20 years. His primary interest centers on realistic wildlife carving but he also does chip carving and relief carving. Wayne is the recipient of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 NCCA Apprenticeship program to serve as Master Carver in teaching wildlife subjects.

Participants will learn proper wood carving techniques and should be able to carve 2 or 3 realistic wildlife carvings during the three day class.

To register or for information on cost, contact Jerry Wegenast at 218-847-3519 or or check the BCG website

Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center
P.O. Box 721, 311 Main Ave. S.
Park Rapids, MN 56470   PH: 218-237-2770

Minnesota State Arts Board Grant Program Information Session

Anyone who would like to learn about the recently announced upcoming Minnesota State Arts Board grant opportunities and deadlines is invited to attend a free session at the Bemidji Public Library on Wednesday, August 17th:

What:  MSAB  Grant Program  Information Session
Where:  Bemidji Public Library, 509 America Avenue NW
When:  Wednesday August 17,  5:30-7:30pm

In the first 60 minutes of the Grant Information Session, all grant programs will be reviewed. In the second 60 minutes, the Artists Initiative grant will be discussed in detail. Individuals do not need to stay for both hours.

This workshop is free of charge, but advance registration is strongly encouraged.  Register by contacting the Arts Board by phone (651) 215-1600; (800) 866-2787, MN Relay 7-1-1; or online at

 When you register, we need to know:
1.  Your name
2.  Your e-mail address and telephone number
3.  Which information session (by city) you will attend

The list of dates and locations for the other Minnesota State Arts Board workshops can also be viewed in the Deadlines/Calendar section of the Arts Board Web site:

The Minnesota State Arts Board is a state agency dedicated to ensuring that all Minnesotans have the opportunity to participate in the arts.  Funds for Minnesota State Arts Board programs are provided through an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.