A musical event at the Lanesboro Art Center is just one example of the many cultural opportunities provided in Lanesboro, which also supported the community's designation as one of America's top small-town ArtPlaces.
A musical event at the Lanesboro Art Center is just one example of the many cultural opportunities provided in Lanesboro, which also supported the community's designation as one of America's top small-town ArtPlaces.
Lanesboro was among the top 12 small-town ArtPlaces named by ArtPlace earlier this week. ArtPlace is a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies committed to accelerating creative placemaking - putting the arts at the heart of a portfolio of strategies designed to revitalize communities.

ArtPlace director Carol Coletta said, "Earlier this year, ArtPlace announced America's Top 12 ArtPlaces in major metropolitan areas - vibrant communities identified as being exceptionally successful in combining the arts, artists and venues for creativity and expression with independent businesses, restaurants and a walkable lifestyle. It is equally important to recognize and celebrate dynamic small-town ArtPlaces and the unique qualities that make them well worth the journey to explore and enjoy."

The 12 communities had the highest concentrations of arts non-profits, core arts-oriented businesses, and workers in creative occupations among smaller towns in the United States, according to data analyzed by Impresa, Inc., a Portland-based firm specializing in the study of regional economies.

In addition to Lanesboro, other top small-town ArtPlaces were Eureka Springs, Ark.; Crested Butte, Colo.; Ketchum, Id.; Vineyard Haven, Mass.; Boothbay Harber, Maine; Highlands, N.C.; Taos, N.M.; Marfa, Texas; Stowe, Vt., Eastsound, Wash.; and Saratoga, Wyo.

America's Top 12 Small-Town ArtPlaces is a new annual ArtPlace initiative recognizing smaller communities in the country where the arts are central to creating the kinds of places where people want to live, work, and visit.

In its analysis, Lanesboro was described as a town of fewer than 800 residents, located on the Root River in the southeast corner of Minnesota. It features numerous arts and culture offerings including the Lanesboro Arts Center whose programming reaches over 28,000 visitors each year and includes concerts, artist residencies, educational outreach, independent films and showcases work by local and regional artists in two galleries. In June, the town hosts its annual "Art in the Park" festival which brings more than 90 fine arts and craft exhibitors to town. Lanesboro is also home to the 25-year-old Commonweal Theatre Company, which moved into a new facility in 2007 and produces five professional plays each year.

The 2013 Top 12 Small-Town ArtPlaces comprise arts-centric communities in single-town zip codes in non-metropolitan areas and metropolitan areas with a population of 100,000 or less.

The selection was based on three factors - per capita numbers of arts-related non-profits, arts-related businesses and people working in creative occupations. The scores were normalized on a percentile scale (100 being the highest score and zero the lowest) and multiplied. The towns selected had the highest scores in the country.

For more information about ArtPlace, visit http://www.artplaceamerica.org