Community can share impact of arts with Sen. GerlachMeeting, sponsored by the Rosemount Area Arts Council, aims to express the importance of arts in Dakota County
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
The Rosemount Area Arts Council has worked hard over the last several years to advance the arts in the area. To help fund those efforts the volunteer group has received a number of grants through the Minnesota Clean Water Legacy Act.
Part of the act allocates money to the arts and thus far the money has gone to communities in all 87 counties in the state. However, there have been talks in the legislature of reallocating the money to projects such as a new Vikings stadium.
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts’ Josh Wise said the organization doesn’t like that idea, so the group has set up meetings statewide to talk with legislators about the impact the funding has had on the arts.
MCA is a statewide advocacy organization that organizes the arts community to lobby the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress.
“Over the last three years there have been a lot of interesting projects come out of (Clean Water Legacy Act) funding,” said Wise.
Some of those projects include ones put on by RAAC, which is why the two entities will partner to host a listening session with Sen. Chris Gerlach at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Steeple Center.
RAAC member Jeanne Schwartz said the informal meeting will be a chance for residents to share with Gerlach what arts programming means to them. Schwartz said they have asked people from arts organizations around Dakota County to attend.
“It’s an opportunity to talk about the importance of arts in our community,” said Schwartz.
Wise said the meetings are friendly and the aim is to make sure arts are being represented at the capitol. He said Gerlach has the ability to influence other law makers about how the funding is spent.
“We want to make sure the arts community is visible,” said Wise.
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council program director Bob Burns said RAAC has been active over the last several years and will provide a good view of what the arts can do in a community. MRAC, which distributes legacy grants, has provided several grants for RAAC. Most recently the organization granted RAAC $5,000 for the Bluegrass Americana Festival, which will be held during Leprechaun Days.
“It’s citizen advocacy at work,” said Burns of the meeting with Gerlach. Burns plans to attend the meeting.
The meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend. For more information call Jeanne Schwartz at 612-272-0997 or Josh Wise at 651-251-0868.