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Registration open for Rural Arts and Culture Summit

Registration is now open for the first-ever Rural Arts and Culture Summit, which will be held June 8-11 on the campus of Minnesota Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls.

Arts, cultural heritage, history museum organizers, artists, art educators, volunteers, board members and supporters are invited to participate in this event, which will help further develop the quality of life in rural America. Summit participants will learn about growing trends and share best practices of building sustainable communities through arts and culture.

"Artists play key roles revitalizing our communities economically and spiritually, especially in tough economies," said Vickie Benson, arts program director at the McKnight Foundation. "Gathering arts leaders from across the country to share new ideas, challenges, and successes will greatly strengthen our own regional efforts to foster creative, vibrant places to live and work in Minnesota."

A roster of nationally renowned speakers will deliver keynote addresses each day of the conference, including:

Bill Cleveland, founder and director of the Center for the Study of Arts and the Community, will share his 30 years of experience in building caring and capable communities in the United States and across the world.

Anne Katz, executive director of Arts Wisconsin will discuss local, statewide, national and global trends and issues in cultural development and education for the 21st century.

Donna Walker-Kuhne is acknowledged as the nation's foremost expert in audience development by the Arts & Business Council and has devoted her professional career to increasing access to the arts. Walker-Kuhne will provide summit attendees with insights and strategies for engaging new and diverse audience and participants in rural arts and culture organizations.

In addition, more than 60 breakout sessions will be led by professionals exploring specialized topics in such issues as: Building Collaborations and Networks; Building Sustainable Communities Through Arts and Culture Ventures; Marketing and Public Relations; Development/Fundraising; Board and Volunteer Development; Outreach and Advocacy; Evaluation and Assessment; Arts Education; CREATE -Opportunities to create with professional artists and Film Screening and Director talks.

A pre-conference, "The Minnesota Legacy Amendment: Living Out the Trust of the People's Investment" will occur on Wednesday, June 8 prior to the start of the full summit. Participants will have a chance to hear from and talk to legislators, state arts leaders and each other about pressing issues related to the Legacy Amendment.

The summit will close with the Great American Think-Off, the annual philosophy competition sponsored by the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center.

Continuing Education Units (CEU's) will be provided through Minnesota State University, Moorhead for no additional charge.

For more information, or to register, go to