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Artists of Northwest Minnesota Promotional Booklet — Submit your application Today!


The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is updating our Artists of Northwest Minnesota booklet and will be printing 3,000 copies of our 5th edition this winter. This is a marketing booklet that will be distributed throughout our region.

We are looking for a variety of creative people and artists to provide information for this booklet, but we’d love to include bands, musicians, performing artists, or writers. The cost for a listing for individuals is $20. In addition to the listing you will receive 20 booklets, which makes the listing practically free!  The booklet helps those who are listed reach out to the general public and is a means to help the public “get in touch with them” to purchase art, book them, or have them provide a service. The booklet will include visual artists, fine crafters, performing artists like musicians, dancers, actors, creative writers, fine art photographers, creative videographers, serious graphic artists, interior design artists, landscape artists, journalists, screenwriters, history writers, editors, artistic architects, very unique artsy floral designers, theater directors, choreographers, accompanists, bands, folk musicians, and more.

While our approach will be inclusive, criteria will be applied related to selection.  Things like tattoo, taxidermy, kit crafters, pre-existing patterns from a book crafters, and purchased ceramics that are just painted don’t fit as nicely unless they are over the top excellent in technique or if they are preserving a fine artistic tradition like Rosemaling, for instance. Please contact us if you have questions.

Arts organizations, dance studios, stores with local art, local suppliers of supplies and materials for artists, coffee shops that have open mic or live bands often, etc. will be included in the back of the booklet.

If you would like to be listed, please print out an entry form, fill it out and mail to us. Here is the form:

There is also an entry form for businesses. It also costs $20 for businesses/groups that want to have a logo or picture in the booklet. Here is the form for businesses: NWMAC Groups Application form 2017 edition.

We are also considering briefly listing very artistic local festivals in this edition. These festivals would need to have a very strong history of existence – since we print every three years + an “arts budget” of a certain amount to qualify.  If you think your festival qualifies and you are interested in being listed, please contact Mara at

To see the 4rd edition booklet that was published three years ago, click here.

Please spread the word to other creative and artistic residents in our region!


Minnesota state Arts Board Seeks Grant Application Reviewers

Open Call for Remote Grant Application Reviewers

The Minnesota State Arts Board seeks generous involvement of Minnesota citizens – like YOU – to review new grant program applications remotely, ongoing during the months of September–December 2020. Receive a modest financial stipend for your time providing feedback on assigned applications and help determine which will be recommended to receive funding.

The Minnesota State Arts Board seeks generous involvement of Minnesota citizens – like YOU – to review new grant program applications remotely, ongoing during the months of September–December 2020. Receive a modest financial stipend for your time providing feedback on assigned applications and help determine which will be recommended to receive funding.

Public funds belong to all Minnesotans, so a broad spectrum of perspectives and experiences is vital to our grant making process. When selecting reviewers, the Arts Board will give special consideration to geographic representation from throughout the state, ethnic and racial diversity, and a balance of those with previous experience with people who will bring new perspectives to the grant review process.

To learn more about the opportunity, visit:

“It’s inspiring and motivating to see what other people are working on. It gives me hope for the future.” – previous reviewer 

Selected reviewers must:
– be a Minnesota resident;
– have access to a computer with Internet connection; and
-have a background in at least one art form or artistic tradition;
-or have knowledge of or experience with nonprofit organizations.
Contribute your perspectives

Questions? Contact Jenea Rewertz-Targui, advisory review panel coordinator, at (651) 539-2657 | (800) 866-2787 

The Minnesota State Arts Board is a state agency that stimulates and encourages the creation, performance, and appreciation of the arts in the state. It works to ensure that all Minnesotans can participate in and benefit from the arts. 

FAST*FEST 2020 Minnesota Assn of Community Theatres offers workshops

FAST*Fest 2020
Saturday, August 22, 2020

Bad Mystery Suspense Science Fiction Theater 2
Bad Mystery Suspense/Science Fiction Theater (NKBProductions)
Stephen Greenhalgh as Pemberton the Butler

On Saturday, August 22, the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres (MACT) will offer energizing workshops, ten short plays in a virtual setting with live guided discussion after each performance, and an evening social hour.

Due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus, FAST*Fest had to be reinvented for a “live online” experience in just a few short weeks. Players who never dreamed of filming their work for a festival learned how and did it successfully. The back of the house this year is entirely virtual and is being accomplished with aplomb on a shoestring budget.

You can participate in this amazing effort of your fellow community theatre artists by attending the virtual workshops and watching the plays in a new way for just $25 for the entire day. Individual workshop and play session pricing is also available.

Tickets can be found online at

The entire FAST*Fest schedule is listed below:

MACT FAST*Fest 2020 – Program
Saturday, August 22, 2020   

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“Virtual FAST*Fest 2020” participants & attendees will convene using Zoom.  Details for connectivity testing and joining the festival will be provided to all prior to the event.

Festival Staff:

Co-chairs: Amy Hunter and Jon Terrill
Technician: Darren Beecher
MACT Board of Directors
Discussion Moderators: Mary Beth King and Julianna Skluzacek

9:00 a.m. – Welcome and Introduction

9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Hannah Holman, Director of MN Theater Alliance – “Ensemble Based Creative Process”

10:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. – Joanna Schnedler, Executive Director MN Music Coalition – “Front of the House/Box Office Management”

11:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. – Greg Abbott, Director of the Minnesota Shorts Festival, Mankato, MN – “Writing a One Minute Play”


Afternoon Session of Short Plays

1:30-1:40 – Welcome and Introduction

1:40 – Intro to first play

1:42 A Minnesotan Soap Opera

(or The Cold and the Uff-da-ful)

County Seat Theater Company

Written and Directed by Greg Anderson

Matt: Sean Biskey
Amanda: Mimi Effinger
Mom: Sam Lorenz
Trevor: Jason Vandervort
Mysterious Stranger: Josh Effinger
Support Staff: Ruthie Breur, Joel Soukkala
Setting: Someplace in Minnesota You’ve Probably Been.
Time: Oh, Round Suppertime I S’pose.
Performing at the Encore Performing Arts Center in Cloquet, MN

1:52 – Discussion of first play

2:00 – Intro to second play

2:02 Will(ful)(ly)

Ole Olson Onstage

Written and Directed by Jon Skaalen
Narrator: Kip Shane
Miltie: Dan Reiva
Mourner: Don Cosgrove
Setting: A murder was, or may have been, or will be, committed. Was it, or will it be, willful? Will the resolution be willfully accepted by the victim, the perpetrator and we, the virtual jurors? Find out on OOPS, 2020 on your radio dial or online at OOPS. argh.
Theatre Info:
Based in Stillwater, Ole Olson Onstage explores stories, issues and opportunities facing people of all abilities in their communities.

2:22 – Discussion of second play

2:32 – Intro to third play

2:34 Bonnie and Clod

Marshall Area Stage Company

Directors: Bob Schwoch and Maureen Keimig
Camera and Video editing: Cory Klamper
Bonnie: Maureen Keimig
Clod: Bob Schwoch
Time and Place: Suppertime in a low rent apartment, 1930’s.

2:40 – Discussion of third play

2:50 – Ten minute break

3:00 – Intro to fourth play

3:02 The Wild

Merlin Players, Faribault, MN

The Wild is an adaptation from Jack London’s novel White Fang.
Adapted by Caleb Wagner
Directed by Caleb Wagner
Videographer: Caleb Wagner

Henry: Grant Fitzgerald
Bill: Tristen Sima

3:22 – Discussion of fourth play

3:32 – Intro to fifth play

3:34 The Aunt and the Sluggard

Little Theatre of Owatonna

The Aunt and the Sluggard is a dramatic interpretation of a P.G. Wodehouse short story.

Characters: Bertie Wooster, Rocky, Ms. Rockmetteller, and Jeeves
All characters performed by Jon Terrill
Camera Technician: Zackery Knapton

3:52 – Discussion of fifth play

4:02 – Afternoon session wrap-up

Meal Break on your own

Evening Session of Short Plays

6:30-6:40 p.m. – Welcome and Introduction

6:40 – Intro to sixth play

6:42 Match Dot Bomb

Taken For Granite Players, Richmond, MN

Written and co-directed by James H. Leinen
Co-directed by Amy L. Hunter
Camera operator: Andrew Libbesmeier
Continuity: Anissa Wilke
Sound Effects, Editing, Graphics: Brad Busse

Veronica: Karla Reichel
Barista: Jennifer Wirz
William (Bill): Brad Busse

Time and Place: 2019 in a suburban coffee shop.

6:57 – Discussion of sixth play

7:07 – Intro to seventh play
7:09 In A Time of Masks

Pargeter Players

Written and directed by Greg Bastien
Corey Allred, Greg Bastien, Coral Bastien, Connor Burell, Helen Collins, Selma Petterson
(Cast members play multiple roles)
Theater Info:
Pargeter Players theater group is based in Minneapolis and they also have performed in St. Paul, St. Cloud, and Cloquet.

7:21 – Discussion of seventh play

7:31 – 10-minute break

7:41 – Intro to eighth play

7:43 Slimm, Jim, And The VI…

Mindless Mirth Productions

Written and Co-Directed by Lawrence Ripp
Co-Directed by John Gottskalkson
Filming: Hamil Cassidy
Slimm: Lawrence Ripp
Jim: John Gottskalkson
Setting: In the conversational style of Mamet, two friends cope with the pandemic of this time.
Theatre info:
Both John and Larry are Twin City acting veterans who have many years of acting and many shows under their collective belts. They have also produced and directed shows here and elsewhere and have done a number of shows for the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

8:00 – Discussion of eighth play

8:10 – Intro to ninth play

8:12 Scenes from Twelfth Night

Classics Lost N Found Theater

Director: Greg Bastien
Camera Person: Katie Holmes
A performance of two scenes (back-to-back) from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
First scene cast:
Viola (disguised as Cesario): Helen Collins
Olivia: Selma Petterson
Second Scene cast:
Malvolio: Corey Allred
Feste: Don Larsson
Theater Info:
Classics Lost N Found Theater’s performance space is Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church in South Minneapolis.

8:30 – Discussion of ninth play

8:40 – Intro to tenth play

8:42 Bad Mystery Suspense/Science Fiction



Director: Noreen K. Brandt
Camera Person: Katie Holmes
Bad Mystery Suspense:
Narrator / Pemberton, the Butler: Stephen Greenhalgh*
Inspector Gidget: Daniel L. Dyke 
Mrs. Oodlesbottom / Percival / Hastings: Candy Dyke*
Fifi / Miss Stenophono / Lola: Selma Petterson*
(*plays multiple roles)
Bad Science Fiction Theater:
Sci-Fi  Narrator: Don Larsson
The Evil Emperor: Corey Allred 
Space Princess Zena: Katie Holmes
Space Princess Zooma: Matt Amenda  
Space Inspector Terry: Helen Collins
Theater Info:
NKBProductions is an offshoot of our old theater company, Corcoran Park Players, and is based in South Minneapolis.

9:01 – Discussion of tenth play

9:11 – Wrap up, Thank Yous

9:15-10:00 p.m. – Guided community theater social networking


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Of the Year Award Winners Announced

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is Pleased to Announce
Of the Year Award Winners

Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our seven county region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. Many times people serve in both roles. Of the Year Award winners were nominated by area residents.

2020 Of the Year Award Winners include:

Rob Burkel of Thief River Falls will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award for theater arts. Rob has been involved in theater in the Thief River Falls area for 30 years. His dedication and talent is well known and admired. Our Artist of the Year award can be given to any discipline artist including visual, performing, or creative writing who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. It is a cash award of $500.00.

NW Artist of the Year Rob Burkel in The Boys Next Door

Bruce Piersol of Red Lake Falls will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. Mr. Piersol is a musician and a strong advocate for the arts. He has performed and organized numerous musical groups bringing music to people who otherwise might not be able to experience it. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

NW Arts Advocate of the Year Bruce Piersol

Joe Wavra of Red Lake Falls will receive the Northwest Star Award. Mr. Wavra is a self-taught wood carver, creating life-size animals, Vikings, and trolls with a chainsaw. His carvings can be found throughout the area. This award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once as a lifetime achievement award.

NW Star Award Winner Joe Wavra

These awards will be presented on Tuesday, August 18 in Red Lake Falls. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our celebration of these wonderful artists and leaders in our area will be limited to close friends and family.

Funding for Northwest Star and Northwest Artist of the Year comes from The McKnight Foundation. Funding for Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.

NWMAC Stands Against Racism

NWMAC Stands Against Racism

The unrest that has unfolded in the wake of yet another tragic loss of a black person’s life has turned into a movement for an end to systemic racism across the nation and across the world. Northwest Minnesota Arts Council stands with and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.  

Racist violence is unfortunately a part of our history, of society, and it must stop. We must not tolerate racism towards people of color, indigenous groups, Latinos, or any minority group held back and held down by systemic injustices. We pledge to fight racism wherever it appears. 

For more than two years, the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council has been working on issues of equity in how public dollars are distributed for the arts, how arts groups can affirm equity as a core principle, and how we operate as an organization.

It’s only the beginning of a long journey that will require us to listen to more people, to probe deep-set biases, and to question many aspects of our operations. 

We’ve changed many of our practices in the past two years, including adding an Equity Task Force and diversifying our board members and hosting focus groups, but still know we need to do more.  If you would like to join us in this work towards justice and equity for all in our region, please feel welcome and appreciated for what you bring to the table. 

Additionally, we know people need art now more than ever to express ourselves and cope with the many emotions we have all been feeling. We will be sponsoring a virtual art workshop and exhibit in the near future on this theme so please stay tuned for more information.  


Board of Directors and Staff

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council