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Grand construction progresses

Community, cultural center plans gallery, offices, studios, practice rooms

March 4, 2013
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - A $2.1 million renovation project is under way at the Grand Center for Arts and Culture (GCAC) in downtown New Ulm.

The project will create a community and cultural center including space to display art work plus create music and art including space for local actors and musicians to showcase their talents plus classrooms. Construction is expected to be completed this summer.

The project is funded by donations and grants from the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS), Mardag Foundation, New Ulm Area Foundation and Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council. In addition, there are $450,000 in state and federal tax credits. Heymann Construction of New Ulm is general contractor.

Article Photos

Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Grand Center for Arts and Culture board members from left, Lynn Heuchert, Anne Makepeace, Lee Weber and Chad Bemmels stand behind the Grand Hotel building that is undergoing a $2.1 million renovation project. Construction includes state-of-the-art gallery space, office, studio space, practice rooms, a three-story elevator and ADA accessibility. Construction is expected to be completed this summer.

When completed the center will include state-of-the-art gallery space, offices, studio space and practice rooms. A three-story elevator is included and the completed building will comply with ADA (American Disabilities Act) accessibility standards.

"We're got just $200,000 left to raise," said Grand Center Founding Director Anne Makepeace. "We're doing construction on all four floors of the building. It will really be beautiful."

Current programming offers beverages and a variety of music including bluegrass, country, jazz, rock and Celtic on Fridays and Saturday nights. Gallery shows currently take place at the adjacent Kiesling House. An in-house restaurant, Artisans at the Grand, offers lunches, dinners and, most recently, Sunday brunch.

The Grand is accepting solo show applications for the 2013-14 season. To be among the first to show in the brand new art gallery, visit and click on the link under Future Shows on page 3.

Nicollet native Lisa Knaak was recently hired as executive director at The Grand, which is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

The former Grand Hotel building was recently donated by Anne Makepeace's family to the non-profit organization.

For more information, visit

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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