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Photo by Cara Newberry. Vickie Chepulis, Michele Anderson and artist Kent Scheer discuss the possibility of integrating the CFTA into the MState and WDC settings.

Center for the Arts prospects

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business Wadena, 56482
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

The Wadena area now has a newly-designated space for artists to meet, learn, teach, display and sell their designated arts interests.

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The Center for the Arts has just begun its initial stages in the 4,000 square foot lower level of the Bernauer building, located on Jefferson Street.

Owner Rowland Joiner along with wife and co-owner Carol Spearman are heading the development of the Center, an idea they say has been brewing for some time. This initial meeting for the Center was a brainstorming session with a tour of the new location. With ideas from art enthusiasts and members of various arts programs such as the Greater Wadena Arts League, Madhatter's Community Theatre and Five Wings Arts Council, the start of the new Center for the Arts already has roots planted in creative thinking.

The vision for the Center is a place for all modes of art to create a learning experience and economic boost to the community. There will be classes offered like drawing and photography. However, the Center will not be limited to only visual arts, and will include dance, theatrical, culinary, poetry and writing classes as well. To unite the generations through artistic means, they will also offer children's interests and legacy arts like knitting, sewing, and gardening. While the Center for the Arts is merely beginning in the lower level of the building, the very top floor will also be utilized.

Once a Masonic Lodge in the 1960's, the space holds many possibilities for those looking to stretch their creative muscles. Areas for classrooms, theater rehearsals, and even a kitchen for culinary classes is available to future members. The Center for the Arts has also been working with Michele Anderson, Program Director of the newest rural office in Fergus Falls for Springboard for the Arts. Springboard for the Arts has a goal of helping to build capacity for artists to make a living, engage creative expression in our rural area and contribute to community development issues that are unique to the region. In partnership with the Center for the Arts, the program will be working to bring Springboard's developmental workshops, arts classes, and grants to artists in Central Minnesota. These are also goals for the Center for the Arts, as well as to create a self-sustaining ecosystem within our own community. Support from local businesses is also helping the Arts Center, like discounts for members on art supplies at Ben Franklin and An Open Book, and even a discount for members at Harvest Thyme Bistro. The Bistro is a Community Supported Agriculture advocate, and the new Center for the Arts will be a Community Supported Arts advocate.

The next six months will be important ones for the the up and coming Arts Center, as art supporters are encouraged to claim a temporary membership and be part of forming this ground-breaking community based project. The Center for the Arts, Stage Two, Grand Opening is planned for late this summer. For further information, contact either Sue Rocheford (612-385-9657) or Carol Spearman (320-594-7196), rowlandandcarol@yahoo.com.

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