Minn. arts organizations receive outside help

Seventeen small arts groups in northern Minnesota and the Twin Cities have been selected to participate in a three-year training and development program.

The ArtsLab program is a $1.5 million collaborative project funded by five different foundations. It is aimed at helping established arts groups plan for the long term.

ArtsLab chose eight small, arts non-profits in northwest Minnesota and nine in the Twin Cities as participants in the three-year project.

Program Director Sharon Rodning Bash says the groups were picked for being visionary and important to their communities.

"The hope is that, first of all, out of the three years will emerge individual leaders for the creative future. The second is, of course, more sustainable arts organizations. And the third is to have the arts embedded in community," Bash said.

Among the groups chosen for the program is the Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork. Center president Patricia Feld said the ArtsLab program will help strengthen the future of the regional arts facility.

"We're going to get organizational help with our board development. Help us plan strategically. Show us everything that's known about good preparation for letting our group grow and continue. They're going to teach us to fish instead of giving us fish," Feld said.

Other groups selected for the ArtsLab program include Theatre B in Fargo-Moorhead, St. Paul's Forecast Public Art, and the One Voice Mixed Chorus in the Twin Cities.

The project begins later this month and runs through August 2011.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.