Wadena County Historical Society receives $5,000 grant to expand BookEnds

Five Wings Arts Council recently awarded the Wadena Historical Society with a grant.

Historical Society BookEnds.jpg
An impromptu filming of BookEnds.
Wadena Pioneer Journal file photo

WADENA — Five Wings Arts Council has recently awarded the Wadena County Historical Society a $5,000 grant to help expand BookEnds, a public program that was started six years ago as a way to connect readers with authors. Each month a different author was invited to the community to talk about their books. Jerry Mevissen, the host for BookEnds, would often wine and dine them at his home.

Several years ago, WCHS took on the responsibility of managing this program. During the pandemic, BookEnds made a transition to BookEnds Online Edition and continued to meet each month via Zoom. Some of the authors included Gretchen Anthony, a best-selling novelist, David Larochelle, an author of popular children's books, and RJ Kern, a National Geographic photographer.

Ross Gay, who appeared on a Zoom program in August, is now a selected author for the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program. BookEnds and other programs hosted by the Wadena County Historical Society have broadened access to the arts for the people of Wadena County and the surrounding communities. 

This grant from Five Wings Arts Council will support the costs of hosting six authors from January to June. Working with Sara Langworthy of DeveloPlay, WCHS hopes to expand the reach of BookEnds through the increased use of digital tools. For more information, email .

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