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Cultural center wins grant

The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center was awarded a grant of $37,750 to support the NY Mills Arts Retreat.

The funds will provide free and accessible performing arts and arts learning activities to 1,500 low-income residents at three area fairs next summer - the East Otter Tail County Fair, the Wadena County Fair and the Todd County Fair.

This project is intended to renew the tradition of the county fair as a showcase for arts and culture in rural communities.

The grant is one of 48 grants awarded by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the Arts Access Program. The grants, which were approved at the Arts Board's Nov. 7 meeting, will distribute nearly $2.8 million statewide.

Funds will help arts organizations identify underserved communities, identify the barriers that keep them from engaging in the arts, and develop and implement strategies to reduce or eliminate barriers.

Another area arts organization, Springboard for the Arts, was also awarded Arts Access grant money. Springboard will use its $20,000 grant to hold a Rural Arts and Culture Summit at the University of Minnesota in Morris this summer.

Springboard for the Arts is based in St. Paul but has a satellite office in Fergus Falls that serves nine counties in West Central Minnesota in partnership with the Lake Region Arts Council.

Arts Access grants are funded from the state's arts and culture heritage fund and general fund. Recipients report to the Arts Board on the outcomes, achievements and benefits that projects provide for Minnesotans.

The Arts Board is a state agency dedicated to ensuring that all Minnesotans have the opportunity to participate in the arts. Additional information about the Arts Board can be found online at