Arts grants given to three Brown County organizations

Photo submitted Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council awarded $160,435 in Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants to 24 area arts organizations, community groups and schools. Three Brown County groups received $17,150 in arts grants. Representatives from those groups are pictured, left to right: front row: Grace Hennig and Bethel Balge of Summit Avenue Music Series Martin Luther College; back row: Cheryl Neidt, Springfield Community Theatre; Michael Koester, State Street Theater Company; and Brenda Byron, PLRAC Executive Director.

NEW ULM — The Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council (PLRAC) awarded grants to three Brown County organizations at the end of September.

A total of $17,150 in arts grants from PLRAC were awarded to: Springfield Community Theatre, State Street Theater Company (SSTC) and the Summit Avenue Music Series.

“Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants were awarded to each of these twenty-four non-profit organizations (in region nine) ranging from $2,975 to $8,000 for a total of $160,435,” PLRAC Executive Director Brenda Byron said in a press release.

Springfield Community Theatre received $3,150 to present “A Christmas Carol: the Musical” Nov. 17-19 in the Springfield high school auditorium.

“The show is a really big show, so we are elated that we were able to (get) 90 percent of what we asked for it and so we are really thankful for that,” Board Member Cheryl Neidt said.

The money will help pay for a professional choreographer, New Ulm-native Gary Sassenberg. Springfield needs Sassenberg for his skill in tap dancing, Neidt said.

The grant will also cover costuming and new lighting devices including spotlights used in conjunction with mirror balls and a device for projecting spirals and other effects to heighten the appearance of the ghosts, Neidt said.

SSTC’s $7,200 grant will support upcoming shows as well as programs such as “Something Artsy” that the theater company sponsors.

“The majority of the money awarded is planned to go to next summer’s musical (roughly $6,000 of the $7,200),” President Kent Menzel said in an email. “Before publicly announcing the title of the show, we do have to pay a portion of the rights to the show, which we hope to square away soon .The remaining money helps to sustain other programming, for instance the Children’s Theater Camp which was this past August, hopefully another SyttendeDeutsche variety-type show.”

The three-part Summit Avenue Music Series at Martin Luther College received $6,800 to support the artists who perform chamber music in the series.

“We are extremely pleased that we received this grant,” Balge said. “It is a nice endorsement of our series.”

Summit Avenue’s second season kicked off with The Altino Duo Sept. 17. The upcoming shows include the Bekesh Trio, Feb. 18 and Pianist Ralph Votapek April 8.

PLRAC uses funds from the Arts and Culture Heritage Fund created by The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008.

The organization is dedicated to supporting, nurturing and expanding the arts. The deadline for the next round of applications for non-profit arts organizations, community groups and schools is Feb. 1, 2018.

The two upcoming deadlines for small art projects of up to $2,000 are Nov. 1 and Dec. 1. More information available at plrac.org.



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