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Rosemount arts council has an impact

Taking stock of what the Rosemount Area Arts Council has done over the last year it's easy to look at the numbers. But for volunteer Jeanne Schwartz, the more meaningful part of what RAAC does is the stories that come out of each event -- the human element.

"The numbers are only part of the story," said Schwartz.

RAAC held 29 events in 2012. More than 4,000 people attended those events, which shared the skills of 614 artists.

The stories that come from those events, though, show the breadth of the impact an active arts group can have in the community. Schwartz said residents young and old have had the chance to learn and grow through arts programming. RAAC recently partnered with Rosemount United Methodist Church to host a ukulele workshop. Schwartz said participants ranged in age from 8 to 80.

The impact goes beyond a fun afternoon. Last year RAAC provided a grant for an artist to work with girls at risk of suicide. Through the program the girls were taught a healthy way to express their feelings.

Schwartz said RAAC also has tried to boost the local economy. Besides spending money in Rosemount, the group has partnered with several businesses to host events. Examples include partnering with Celt's Pub on a series of bluegrass Americana family nights and with Rudy's Red Eye Grill on a classic movie event.

"We think we are making an impact," said Schwartz.

So far RAAC has started 2013 with similar enthusiasm. The organization has more than 30 events planned, including a number of new ones. Volunteer John Loch said the programs will cover a wide range of interests.

Some of the new events and programs coming this year include a graphic art exhibit, a community art project, a quilt exhibit and a music series in the park.

Another project RAAC volunteers took on this year was opening Rosemount's Front Porch. The Front Porch offers a visitor's center in the Steeple Center. RAAC volunteers staff the Front Porch.

Residents and visitors alike can get information about events, businesses and resources in the community. Loch said they have averaged 40 to 50 people a month.

Mayor Bill Droste said he has been astounded by what RAAC has been able to accomplish in a short period of time.

"I'm just in awe of what (RAAC's) done as an organization. The richness (RAAC) brings to the community," said Droste.

Council member Kim Shoe-Corrigan said she appreciates that RAAC has made an effort to include a variety of age groups.

To learn more about the Rosemount Area Arts Council visit their website

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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