Category Archives: Chat Topics

Public Transformation Highlights Impact of Rural-Based Artists

Public Transformation is a cross-country documentary art project highlighting the work rural-based artists and arts organizations are doing to make their communities a more vibrant, healthy, connected place to live. Ashley Hanson took on a mobile artist residency of sorts to document and share stories of the work being done in rural communities with a national audience and to further connect rural practitioners across the country to each other.

About the Public Transformation Exhibition

The 2016 presidential election revealed major rifts in our country – most notably, a profound disconnect between urban and rural life. Theater artist Ashley Hanson, whose large-scale public performances put rural life at their center, was curious how other artists working in rural areas were contemplating the geographic (and psychological) divides of the Trump era. In January 2017, she bought a little yellow school bus and set off on a high-paced fact-finding mission, calling it Public Transformation, visiting 20 states, 24 communities, 42 organizations, and 127 individuals over 6200 miles.

The Public Transformation artists – Ashley Hanson, Randi Carlson, Ellie Moore, Hannah Holman, Mary Rothlisberger & Nik Nerbern – will present a month-long exhibit at The Outpost collaborative space in Winona, MN from October 20 – November 17, 2017. This multi-media exhibition will present a snapshot of lives, work, stories, themes, artifacts and questions the artists discovered while visiting 24 rural communities (all with populations under 10,000) across the country and will facilitate discussion about the successes and challenges of making art in rural America. The exhibition will feature images and objects from the Public Transformation journey and work from its mobile artists-in-residence. Opening weekend will include workshops, panels, and conversations led by rural-based practitioners across the region.

Public Transformation is supported by Springboard for the Arts, Art of the Rural, and individuals across the country. This Outpost exhibition is made possible through the support of the McKnight Foundation.                        

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Accepting Board Nominations

Nominations for MCA’s Board Now Open

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts is looking for new Greater Minnesota members for their Board of Trustees. Terms begin December, 2017 and will last for two years.

What makes the arts strong in Minnesota? We have great, talented artists. We have world class museums and orchestras. We have thriving arts communities in every corner of the state. And we have a higher level of arts participation than most of the country. Minnesota Citizens for the Arts is a statewide, grassroots political organization that works to increase support for the arts in our state. MCA lobbies the legislature and congress on behalf of the non-profit arts and also produce research to support arts advocacy.  MCA created and passed the arts portion of the Legacy Amendment with many legislative partners that now funds the arts across Minnesota. Learn more at and

The full MCA Board meets four times a year in addition to holding an annual Arts Advocacy Day at the State Capitol in St. Paul. All members serve on committees that meet primarily by phone.

Interested? Fill out the form below and return it by November 1, 2017 by email, fax, or by snail mail to the address below. MCA’s bylaws ensure that board representation comes from all over the state. Half of MCA’s 36 board members must come from the Twin Cities metro area, and half from Greater Minnesota.


MCA seeks board members who:

  • Have mix of party affiliation, and provide balance in terms of the size or type of organizations represented on the board (large, medium, small, arts education, individual artist, etc.)
  • Provide other balances in terms of representing the state or the arts community (ie diversity in terms of age, race, etc).
  • Are people with political connections, political strategists, and people with an understanding of the political process, or are willing to learn.
  • Have clout within their organizations and/or peers, and have the ability and willingness to communicate about the need for arts advocacy.
  • Have a willingness to work, volunteer and join at  meetings.

FYI, your nomination to the board is more likely to be successful if you are a paid member of MCA and if you have previously been a part of Arts Advocacy Day, the Legacy campaign, or volunteered for the cause in some other way.
***(Please do not nominate someone else unless you have discussed it with them first, and they have provided an answer to the question “Why do you want to be on the MCA board?).***

Successful applicants will be notified in November, 2017.

For further information, please download the Board of Directors Nominations Form and feel free to contact them with any questions at (651) 251-0868 or

The Perpich Arts High School

Do you love the arts?

Are you, or do you know, a student who’s really into the arts?

Is it time for a creative challenge?

Did you know there’s a public school designed to develop the thinking artist?


Perpich Arts High School is a tuition-free public high school for Minnesota high school juniors and seniors.

The Arts High School offers rigorous, college-preparatory academics with intensive coursework focused in six art areas: dance, literary arts, media arts (photography/cinema), music (voice and instrumental), theater (includes musical theater) and visual arts. At the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN, dedicated teachers inspire students to take risks, work hard, and develop their unique voice.

Students from outside the Twin Cities area can live in a supervised dorm, with plenty of guidance and support, plus exposure to the arts culture in the metropolitan area.

There are a number of information sessions across Minnesota. Visit for dates and locations. Or contact Anne Johnson, Admissions Coordinator, 763-279-4195, Below are ones in our region.

2017-2018 Statewide Perpich Information Sessions

10/9 3:30 pm   Baudette, The Baudette Depot

7 pm   Roseau, Bear & Bean Coffee

10/10 3:30 pm Thief River Falls, TRF Public Library

7 pm        Crookston,  Crookston Library


Questions: Contact Anne Johnson, Admissions Coordinator 763-279-4195,

Interested in Becoming an Artist-in-Residence?

Would you like your name and photo and school residency experience included in our Teaching Artists Roster?  Would you benefit from training in developing and refining the residency that you will offer students?

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is offering a Teaching Artist Roster Program. This program is a six-session training designed to support artists in refining and developing skills for conducting collaborative, in-depth arts learning experiences in organizations, community settings and schools.

Up to six artists will be selected to participate in this first training series from Oct 2017 – Dec 2017 in Warren.  Applications due Sept 25 for this first group.  A second group of artists will start in the Spring, maybe even two groups if we have enough interest.  Deadline TBD.

Artists who complete the program are listed on the NWMAC Teaching Artist Roster and are eligible to apply for residency funding through the Teaching Artist Grant program.

Artists who complete the Teaching Artist Roster Program:

  • Value themselves as artists and understand what they offer as teaching artists
  • Expand the ways they apply their craft
  • Understand the essential role arts play in a complete education
  • Belong to a network of fellow teaching artists who serve as resources, mentors and peers
  • Are ready to employ and lead assessments that involve personal reflection for continuous improvement
  • Understand how the roles of artist and teacher intersect
  • Are able to develop a residency plan
  • Are familiar with the NWMAC Teaching Artist Grant application process
  • Employ strategies that contribute to success as a teaching artist

For an example of what this roster will look like, visit and click on Artist Teaching Roster.  The value of the training is 20 CEU credits and approximately $600.00 per participant if taken elsewhere.   Performing, visual, and creative writing artists (and other disciplines) who are chosen to participate in this program will receive small group and one-on-one training to prepare them to be Artists- in-Residence.

Applications are due by Monday, September 25.

The application and guidelines are in our NWMAC on-line grant system.  Login to your already established Username or Create a User for yourself within the the Login page.  Then begin your application for the Teaching Artist Roster Program by hitting Apply.  Call our office 218-745-9111 or email if you have problems.

Would you like to learn more at an information session?  We recently conducted an information session in Thief River Falls and will be offering two more on the following dates:
* September 12 in Warren at the NWMAC Conference Room  5 – 6:00 p.m.
*September 13 in Greenbush at the Community Room that is attached to the library 5 – 6:00 p.m.

(RSVP is essential by Monday, September 11 to for the September 12 and 13 meetings.)

Questions?  Jane Anderson at or Mara at

Please see the Program Guidelines here  (Note: this copy is a bit messy due to website formatting.  You can view the Guidelines in the on-line application in a Preview mode also.)

Request for Bids from Graphic Designers for 4th Artists of NW MN Booklet

Request for Bids from Graphic Designers

4th Edition of the Artists of Northwest Minnesota Booklet

Bid Deadline: September 15, 2017

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is looking for a design/layout artist to complete the 4th Edition of our Artists of Northwest Minnesota booklet.   This contract will start October 1, 2017 and complete in April 2018 or earlier.  We anticipate that the project will take about 40 hours of time.  Specialists with NWMAC are paid no more than $25.00 an hour.  Our budgeted amount to spend on this contract is $1,000.00.  This is a guideline.

The booklet will be a half page glossy publication, similar to version 1, 2, and 3 to date.  Look to our 3rd version to see the accepted design layout.  Pitch your concept for color, font, page design, cover design to the selection panel.

Letters of interest should be accompanied with mock ups of your proposed design; examples of your past work and qualifications as a designer.  Address in your letter your ability to do the job in a timely manner and stay to the timeline, referencing successful projects within the last five years. This project involves back and form communication with artists to check their submitted info and make revisions through email and phone calls.  The designer will work with the print shop selected to provide a high quality file for printing.  Designer will create a hyperlink active pdf suitable for our website.  Note:  a great example is on our website for the 3rd edition. Preference will be given to local designers.

Approximate time for work activities                                      hours

  • Learn about project/Finalize Design                                   4
  • Data Entry/Design Artist and Org Pages, links            20
  • Design Covers & Interior Pages                                               6
  • Info check w/artists                                                                         5
  • Revisions                                                                                               3
  • File Export/Organize/Delivery                                                2

Here are the terms of the contract for the designer: 

  1. The Designer will return a signed copy of this contract by October 15, 2017.
  2. The Designer will conceptualize the design and provide an example to the Arts Council by November 15, 2017.
  3. The Designer will enter data and design all cover and interior pages.
  4. The Designer will work with the Arts Council Director and the printer to complete the Artist booklet by March 1, 2018 in the format suitable for the printing shop.
  5. Prior to submittal for printing, the Designer will check all information contained within, with the individual artists and the Arts Council staff in the months of January and February 2018.
  6. The Designer will create a pdf for the entire booklet suitable for our website and give an electronic copy of the booklet to the Council.
  7.  The Designer will submit to the Arts Council a completed evaluation form.  The form will be provided by the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and must be returned at the completion of the booklet project.

Thank you for your interest.  Please call our office if you have questions 218-745-9111 or email