ArtPlace America announced this week that it will award a $313,000 grant to Lanesboro Arts Center for the Lanesboro Arts Campus, the vision of engaging a rural region and its visitors in the arts while simultaneously promoting economic development.

The Lanesboro Arts Campus project was chosen from over 1,200 applications as an exceptional example of creative place making, or putting art at the heart of a portfolio of strategies designed to revitalize communities.

ArtPlace America is a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies committed to accelerating creative place making.

Lanesboro Arts Center, working in partnership with the city of Lanesboro and the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce, will be able to use this grant support from ArtPlace America toward the development of the Lanesboro Arts Campus. The Lanesboro Arts Campus vision stems from the belief that the arts have the power to transform spaces and define communities.

Lanesboro Area Chamber director Julie Kiehne describes the project and the importance of the arts in the Lanesboro community, saying, "We have partners at the city level, at the chamber, at the school, within the arts, the outdoors, and agriculture, with the arts acting as a thread that connects all of those different aspects of our community and bringing Lanesboro to a greater place."

For a rural community like Lanesboro and the region of southeast Minnesota, the Arts Campus vision has the potential to significantly affect its cultural and economic sustainability.

More specifically, the Lanesboro Arts Campus will integrate poetry and arts into public spaces, encourage pedestrian activity in Lanesboro by implementing an artful way finding system. The funds will also be used to renovate the St. Mane Theatre and update its second level to create an Artist Residency Center, and stimulate the economy by supporting creative entrepreneurship.

The Lanesboro Arts Campus project will also position Lanesboro as a dynamic national model of 'town as arts center', strengthening economic development, fostering community cohesion and increasing the city's vibrancy.

Lanesboro Arts Center executive director John Davis is excited about the timing of the ArtPlace funding. "This national ArtPlace America grant comes at an opportune time for the Lanesboro Arts Campus Capital Campaign, bringing our total to-date fundraising efforts to more than $650,000 of our $1.1 million goal. It provides us with significant momentum to continue seeking support from regional individuals and businesses to complete this exciting project."

About ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America provides grants and loans, supports research, and conducts outreach and advocacy. This is ArtPlace America's third cycle of grant awards.

ArtPlace America also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.

About Lanesboro Arts Center

For more than 30 years, the Lanesboro Arts Center has been fulfilling its mission to serve as a regional catalyst for artistic excellence and educational development in providing diverse art experiences for people of all ages.

Year-round programming includes two galleries featuring work by over 90 artists; music, film, theater, literary and community events at the St. Mane Theatre; the Lanesboro Residency Program, bringing artists to Lanesboro each year to further their work and engage with the community; the annual Art in the Park Father's Day Festival; Kids Create family art activities; the Picture Parade elementary art-in-the-schools program; iron pours and sculpture workshops; partnerships with area schools; culinary arts events like The Art of Cuisine; and the annual Swingsation gala fundraising event featuring art and live music.

For more information, one may call (507) 467-2446; email info@lanesboroarts.org or visit the website www.lanesboroarts.org.