Grand Center undergoing renovation work

Staff Photo by Gage Cureton Anne Makepeace, executive director of The Grand Center for Arts and Culture, examines a piece of paper printed by the building’s new printing press Thursday. The printing press is one of The Grand’s newest additions while undergoing renovations. See more photos on page 8A.

NEW ULM — The wooden floors and brick walls of The Grand Center for Arts and Culture have grown quiet as the gallery and performing arts center prepares for renovations and new additions to the building.

“One of the things we’re doing is we’re starting a letter press and printmaking program in the basement because we received the donation of a press,” executive director Anne Makepeace said. “So we needed to add a ventilation system with electrical and a fan.”

Makepeace said the ventilation system was installed Thursday and a new electrical system will be added soon.

But the basement isn’t the only portion of The Grand receiving renovations or redesign.

“On the third floor we have an apartment that’s been rented by an artist consistently,” Makepeace said. “And we wanted to start an artist-in-residence program where artists could rent for short periods of time.”

She said the apartment will accomodate artists who wish to stay anywhere from a week to a month.

They can teach varying art or music classes within the building and return to a comfortable living space only a few strides away.

“It’s just to add some new programs and help artists,” she said. “When its not being used as an artist-in-residence we’re going to rent it out as a VRBO, like an AirBnB.”

When the new apartment isn’t being used as an VRBO or by artists, those attending music performances may stay as well.

“There are people who come on a Friday night to hear music,” Makepeace said. “So it would make sense they could just stay here.”

Much of the building will also receive simple maintenance and renovations such as fresh coats of paint and carpet shampooing. New decorations and works of art will also be featured in The Kabaret and throughout the building.

The Grand reopens Jan. 18 and will resume normal operations.