With more entries in its second year, the judges of the Photo Essay competition produced by the History, Arts and Cultural Association had some tough decisions to make.

     First, second and third place winners have been decided, and the winners will be announced via a special display at Pioneer Fest on August 22.  In the meanwhile, the public is invited to view all the entries in the HACA Art and Events Gallery at 805 W. Main in Perham.

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     Entries were evaluated on how images and a supporting caption portrayed this year’s theme, “What Freedom Means to Me.” HACA's artistic program committee is led by Chuck Johnson, an accomplished photojournalist who is the former editor of the Perham Focus. Three honorary judges, Mayor Tim Meehl, Melissa Swenson, publisher of the Perham Focus, and Nikki Werner of United Community Bank, joined Johnson to review the final 11 entries. Each entry was evaluated by the judges separately on a point-scoring system, with the final points tallied to decide the winners.

     “We were very impressed with the overall quality of this year’s entries,” said Johnson.

     The first, second and third place entries will be on display in the café building during Pioneer Fest at Pioneer Village. The festival runs from 10am to 10pm on August 22, with the photo display open until 4 p.m. Pioneer Village is located less than a mile from downtown Perham on County Hwy. 8.

     The photo essay competition is sponsored by the Perham Focus, United Community Bank of Perham, Photo Magic and Lakes Radio, as well as annual sustaining sponsors, KLN Family Brands and Arvig.

     The History, Arts and Cultural Association of East Otter Tail County is 501c3 nonprofit comprised of the ITOW Veterans Museum and HACA Art and Events Gallery, the History Museum and Historical Society of East Otter Tail County and the Pioneer Grounds, centered in Perham, MN.

     HACA has a regional focus of East Otter Tail County, but our programs serve visitors from around the state and around the globe with a mission to unite humanities, art, community and culture.

     HACA is supported, and this arts program is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through

grants from the Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

     For more information, please contact Darla Ellingson, hacaeotc@gmail.com.