Good Value

An update from my home town: The Rock County Star Herald reported last week that the arts, defined as the Tri-State Band Festival, the new Rock County Historical Society Museum, the Herreid War Museum, the Brandenburg Art Gallery, the Green Earth Players (a local acting company that performs at the historic Palace Theatre), the Beer Fest, and various performances at the high school and at other venues, brought $2,000,000 into Luverne’s economy last year. I think that is pretty remarkable for a town of 4500 people so far from the Twin Cities.

If the arts can have such a big economic impact, why are they often viewed as expendable?  How have the arts impacted your life? What good news have you heard lately?

36 thoughts on “Good Value”

        1. Wait…you bought something from a photographer other than me? I am shocked, simply shocked. (I hope you know I’m kidding.)

          At this point I’m planning to come and I look forward to seeing the photo!

          Liked by 2 people

  1. i saw last week wayzata high school made it to the national science finals in washington dc
    the news report went on to say that the top 16 teams in high school and jr high school are all awarded $1000 dollars each as a gesture to validity their success.
    i thought about the cost of shoulder pads and helmets offered at every school on an ongoing year in year out basis
    the arts have been proven to make your brain work better
    musicians whose brains are measured alongside non musicians come out looking really good
    art and stimulation along a cross type of thinking is good for you
    congrats to your home town area for noting the benefits on the $ side of the equation
    makes it easier to find an excuse to grow it


  2. The community also passed a bond issue this fall to provide many millions of dollars for a new theatre space and other major upgrades at the high school. Rock county is a GOP bastion, so ideology doesn’t seem to be a factor in how the arts and schools are funded.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is AWESOME!

    one of my jobs is the ‘Auditorium Supervisor’ for Community Education. Any non-school related event that comes through the public school auditoriums I coordinate the tech staff.

    Last night I’m in one of the auditoriums. More than 1/2 the stage lights are burned out. Because maintenance thinks it should be the drama club’s job and money to replace them. course Drama club isn’t the only person using the space. and then things all just fall apart, covered in red-tape.

    Another auditorium, half the house lights are burned out. Improvements get buried in bureaucracy. Those lights haven’t worked in years. I’m low man on the totem pole and while my boss lobbies for improvements it goes up a paygrade from him and dies while waiting in some dark corner.

    It’s frustrating to all involved.
    And there’s the key. I haven’t gotten the right person, high enough up the chain, involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We always kinda joke “it’ll get fixed if it’s a safety issue.”
      I’ve tried to convince a couple kids to become the ‘subject’ and I tell them It won’t kill them, I just need them injured a little bit.
      They won’t do it.
      Darn kids.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Luverne is truly lucky to have such community support, Renee. At the same time that Winona arts scene sees to be thriving, it is dismaying to learn that Winona Area Public School Board has dropped 5th Grade art for the coming year “in order to make more time for learning intervention for all students… Nearly 60 percent of fifth graders need intervention in reading and/or math, according to two testing scores used”. Looks like it’s to improve test scores. At least they left music in place, but I’m sorry to see art losing out..

    I took all the music courses that were available as I grew up, but by 7th grade Art was an elective, and since I didn’t consider myself artistic, I didn’t go there. Now I wish I had – I go to art events (the Art exhibit at the State Fair, too) and am amazed at what “ordinary” people around me can do. Wonder if I could have been artistic…

    Let’s see, what was the question?


  5. Listening to an MPR Presents about a North Mpls’ Juxtaposition Arts: a “nonprofit youth art ed. program, teen-staffed art & design enterprise, locally rooted cultural development center”. It’s been in existence since 1995, I lived in that neck of the woods, was even involved with an alternative high school (admittedly in suburban Robbinsdale) and I wasn’t even aware of it. I wish we would hear more about places like this, and less about gang violence in N. Mpls.


  6. Several Minnesota small towns have turned to “the arts” as an aid to restoring commercial districts. I can’t tell from what I have heard if this is a really common thing, but it isn’t rare.

    An article listing 100 small towns that have done this successfully lists three in Minnesota: Stillwater, Grand Marais and Lanesboro. Studying the list suggests that towns with strong tourist appeal do well with these arts programs (which is sad in a way, since there are not many towns already blessed with tourist traffic). Some observers believe Minnesota leads the nation in this use of the arts to invigorate small towns.

    Many small town business districts were hollowed out by the creation of malls. Now it seems many malls are failing, which raises the question of what will become of the abandoned downtowns of so many small towns.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rise and Shine way after Noon Baboons,

    I love this topic.

    I think the disconnect about arts is due to the abstractness of the gains. It is hard to document how playing the piano might improve the academic performance of a student over a 5 year period. So, because it is abstract, people think they can ignore it, then make bad decisions like the Winona District just made.

    50 years ago I was one of the students participating in the TriState Music Festival. There were abstract, long-term, long-lasting benefits for me. I have also been to the Brandenburg Museum where I purchased a photo that is on my office wall.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Best news for me recently is that when my mom fell in her kitchen on Saturday and suffered a very bloody head wound and was taken to Regions ER by ambulance, she was never in any pain and still has no pain even though she has a goose egg on the back of her head and 2 staples. We think maybe her severe neuropathy has spread to her head! ER did a CT scan and EKG and everything looked normal (or at least no more abnormal than a few months ago). Because she is safely in assisted living and feeling as fine as a 93-year-old with arthritis and neuropathy can feel, I feel comfortable enough that she will be safe and watched over, that we will leave town for a planned week of being nowhere near the Super Bowl shenanigans.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I just read that the Cleveland Indians will stop using the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms beginning in 2019. It’s about time, but it’s good news, nevertheless.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. One art show I like to go to, when I can, is the annual Artability show and sale, put on by a nonprofit called People Incorporated. It’s an organization that helps people dealing with mental health issues express themselves creatively.

    Food, water, air, shelter, art. Life’s necessities.

    Liked by 2 people

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