Category Archives: Event News

Virtual Arts Advocacy Day February 16-19, 2021

Why Virtual Arts Advocacy Day?

JOIN YOUR FELLOW ARTS ADVOCATES FROM ACROSS MINNESOTA TO CREATE ACTION FOR THE ARTS, FEBRUARY 16-19th.

Minnesota’s premiere arts gathering has moved online! You are needed to help “rally the troupes,” recognize this community’s resilience, and make our voice heard at the State Capitol.

With your action – online and as part of Zoom calls with legislators –  we can help legislators understand the importance of the arts to guarantee funding at this critical time. We may be at our own computers this year, but we can still connect and work together to advance our community. (And hey, we won’t need to worry about the annual Advocacy Day snowstorm!)

MCA is a recognized national leader is arts advocacy. Arts Action Week helps to preserve our Legacy Amendment and state grant funds.

Attend Arts Advocacy Day and help protect the arts funding you love.

What is Arts Advocacy Day/Week?

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts works to increase arts funding by bringing arts advocates together with their legislators about the importance of the arts to our lives and our economy. Every year about 500-1000 arts advocates join together for a rally at the Minnesota History Center Auditorium in the morning, split up into teams with experienced leaders and walk together to legislator offices to educate them about the arts in their communities and ask them to support arts funding. Because of Covid, we are expanding the day to a week (to give us more time to set up zooms) and will be completely online with a short rally, brief trainings, and then zoom meetings with legislators.

Who Goes to Arts Advocacy Day?

Attendees include painters, tenors, dancers, cellists, French horn players and other artists of all kinds, arts administrators and representatives from every arts organization statewide from the big organizations to the smallest all volunteer choir on the northern border, joining together to show the strength of Minnesota’s arts community. Where else could you go to be with 500-1,000 people who agree with you?


Why Should I Go?

Through this big day, we show the strength of Minnesota’s statewide arts community. Previous Arts Advocacy Days have resulted in significant increases in state arts funding (that goes out in grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils). The Legacy Amendment, which tripled arts funding in 2008, was passed on Arts Advocacy Day! Past participants have repeatedly shared their favorite parts of the day:

  1. They feel empowered by gathering together with like-minded people.
  2. They say that Arts Advocacy Day is the best arts networking event of the year, as it’s the only time that arts lovers of all kinds come together in one place.

What are the Important Issues This Year?

Covid has hit the arts harder than almost every other sector. At the same time the state of MN has a budget deficit so we will be fighting off cuts to arts funding.

Legislators need to hear about the importance of the arts to their districts and the impact the MSAB and RAC grants are having in their hometowns.

Minnesotans overwhelmingly approved the Legacy Amendment in 2008, passing it by 56%, which created four new dedicated funds for land, water, parks and arts. In the last several years arts advocates and supportive legislators had to fight off legislative suggestions that the Legacy Arts & Culture Fund be diverted away from the arts. With this uncertain political climate and increased polarization, we need to show a unified front to ensure that arts funding continues to be protected.

What is the Typical Arts Advocacy Day Like?

Watch a video from a previous Arts Advocacy Day.

Watch the video from the Lakes Regional Arts Council about their experiences at Arts Advocacy Day.

How do I join this year?

  1. Sign Up for Arts Action Week Here
  2. Attend/Watch the Opening Rally Webinar. (Info to watch live or on-demand will be emailed to you closer to the event.
  3. Attend meetings with your legislators. (Info for those meetings will be sent to you the week of the event.)

Can’t attend this year? Send your legislator a message about the importance of arts funding.

Arts Action Week Schedule:

Download Last Year’s (2020) Arts Advocacy Day Handbook

Roots of the Red River Valley Through the lens of Russell Lee

Roots of the Red River Valley
Through the Lens of Russell Lee

January 9 – March 21, 2021
Heritage Hall

Hjemkomst Center
202 1st Avenue North
Moorhead, MN 56560

Roots of the Red River Valley offers an intimate look at one of the region’s economic pillars in this photographic history of Polk County’s 1937 sugar beet harvest. The exhibition includes 84 images from acclaimed photographer Russell Lee, taken primarily near Fisher, Crookston, and East Grand Forks. In Roots of the Red River Valley, Lee’s images are ordered into three distinct categories highlighting the role of the farmer, migrant worker, and factory. The exhibition invites viewers to ponder the lives of rural and migrant laborers, particularly their relationships, families, and homes.

Russell Lee was born in Illinois in 1903. He attended Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in chemical engineering. He left his work in chemical engineering to take up painting, which in turn, led to his keen interest in photography. During the Great Depression, Lee was employed by the federal Farm Security Administration on a photographic documentation project. He joined a team under the direction of economist and photographer Roy Stryker that also included Dorothea Lange and Arthur Rothstein. Lee documented the human stories of segregation, the Great Depression, WWII, internment camps, and much more. His work with the Farm Security Administration brought Lee to the Red River Valley in 1937. Following his work with the FSA he enlisted in the military and served as a photographer with the Air Transport Command. He finished his career as the first instructor of photography at the University of Texas.

Roots of the Red River Valley: Through the Lens of Russell Lee is sponsored by American Crystal Sugar.

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Roots of the Red River Valley: Through the Lens of Russell Lee was produced and designed by UMN Crookston‘s Ken Mendez, Megan Beck Peterson, and Lauren Wallace.

Peonies & Players: A Photography Exhibition Featuring the Work of Kathryn Rynning and Scott DCamp

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce Peonies & Players: A Photography Exhibit featuring the work of Kathryn Rynning and Scott DCamp.

This exhibit allows you to follow Kathi’s life changing trip through the People’s Republic of China in search of peonies and experience athletic moments through Scott.

The exhibit is open from Wednesday, January 13 until February 28 at the NWMAC Gallery at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls.

Scott resides in Thief River Falls. His years as an athlete and of professional photography work are evident as he captures the perfect moment in his series of athletes in action. He explains, “Photography goes hand-in-hand with my career as a print journalist and it has been a part of my life for more than 20 years. What began in college as a required class in black and white photography has evolved into a passion. I have an appreciation for all types of photography, but I truly love sports.”

Scott’s photos in this collection were all taken since 2017, when he was promoted to sports editor of the Thief River Falls Times. These photos represent a sampling of his work during his first four years as sports editor.

Photographer Scott DCamp — Walkoff Celebration

“For this show, I chose photos that show emotion and action. 
There are challenges that are unique to each sport such as depth of field and lighting. Much like the athletes competing, I improve as the season moves along and do my best work in the postseason. “

Photographer Kathryn Rynning

Kathryn lives in Kennedy, Minnesota. When asked about how this collection came to be Kathryn explained, “this photo exhibit was the culmination of a lifetime of desires. As a child I admired my grandmother’s peony garden and helped her care for it. I also read many books by Pearl S Buck about China and thought I could go there as a missionary, like my mother’s cousin who served in Nepal. Well, that didn’t quite work out, but….”

About her photography journey, “Of my parents 6 children, I was the one most often wanting to take photos on the family brownie camera, a dinosaur next to my camera of today. I am in retirement with a little more time to go back to those desires of my youth. I have a lovely camera with a micro lens, and printer, so I am in control of the color, size, cropping, etc. of my work. My passion for flowers is satisfied as a volunteer gardener for my church and our community garden and of course my flower gardens at home. Thus, I often grow my photo subjects. I have been very fortunate to travel, and always wondering what is over the next hill, has given me many subjects as well. Thus, a journey to China/Tibet to look for peonies in the wild was a fulfillment of many dreams.”

You won’t want to miss this photography exhibit!

The NWMAC Gallery is located at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. The gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30-5 PM and at other times when events are held at the college. Enter through Door A. Visitor parking is free and at this time in the large end lot.  

For more information about our exhibits look to our website at www.NWArtsCouncil.org, or if you are an artist interested in exhibiting a body of work with NWMAC, please contact Trey Everett at (218) 280-4917 or email NWArtsCouncil@gmail.com.  This exhibit is made possible with funding from The McKnight Foundation. Please sign up for our e-newsletter on our website home page to see the latest news and grant announcements.  Email director@NWArtsCouncil.org or call 218-745-8886 to reach our office during regular business hours.

Tending the Creative Soul “the connection between Kindness and Creativity” Wednesday Jan 13

This month’s Tending the Creative Soul topic is “the connection between kindness and creativity. “

When? Wednesday, January 13 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm

We will be discussing and exploring how kindness to ourselves releases creativity. Your own experience how kindness has impacted you and or your creativity are welcome. If interested, let Trey know by email and he will send you a Zoom invite a few minutes before the meeting.  Bring a snack and drink if you would like.

This is a friendly informal gathering. Questions? Email Trey at treyeverettcreates@gmail.com.

Black Lives Matters Art Exhibit at NWMAC Gallery

In Honor of MLK Day and Black History Month 

Black Lives Matters Original Artwork Exhibit

at

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Gallery at NCTC in Thief River Falls

January 13 – February 28, 2021 

Black Lives Matter Exhibit NWMAC

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is pleased to announce an exhibition of artwork that honors Black Lives Matter. Our country, and much of the world, is aware of Black Lives Matter. In honor of Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month, it is especially timely that we have come together to create art that reflects the spirit of Black Lives Matter.

Artist Gail Ose

This exhibition features a variety of 2-d and 3-d art, including paintings, collage, song lyrics, pen and ink and poetry from regional, as well as Twin Cities artists. In addition, there are a series of 12 x 12 canvas pieces created by young and old in our region.

The art installation is open from January 13 through February 28, 2021 at the NWMAC Gallery at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls.

Therese Masters Jacobson


Inspired by blacklivesmatter.com. “Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported. We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities. We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people. We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.” This exhibit is in response to recent racist violence, long-time systemic racism and the unrest this has spurned. We know people need art right now more than ever to express ourselves and cope with the many emotions we’ve all been feeling.

Can’t make it in person? Visit the exhibit virtually here.

Black Lives Matter Exhibit

Some of the art included in the exhibit includes

Heidi Danos, watercolor “Minnesota Sad”

Dale Jacobson, poem
Therese Jacobson, 4 pen and ink images

Aliza Novacek-Olson, felted art

Kim Hruba, Collage

Lisa Arnold, Masks, Minneapolis 

Cindy Kolling, title: “Unconscious Racism: If the Profile of a Bear…”

Karli Chadbourn, Bloomington, MN

Artist Aliza Novacek-Olson

The NWMAC Gallery is located at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. The gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30-5 PM and at other times when events are held at the college. Enter through Door A. Visitor parking is free and at this time in the large end lot.  

For more information about our exhibits look to our website at www.NWArtsCouncil.org, or if you are an artist interested in exhibiting a body of work with NWMAC, please contact Trey Everett at (218) 280-4917 or email NWArtsCouncil@gmail.com.  This exhibit is made possible with funding from The McKnight Foundation. Please sign up for our e-newsletter on our website home page to see the latest news and grant announcements.  Email director@NWArtsCouncil.org or call 218-745-8886 to reach our office during regular business hours.