#82: Arts as an economic development focus

"Small towns with aging populations throughout rural Minnesota are searching for ways to bring new blood and new ideas to their communities. [...] Cathy Anderson, director of the Granite Falls Economic Development Authority, said efforts have built on work already done by the city’s Arts Council. 'They really are waking up our sleepy little town with art,' Anderson said. 'I was sort of banking on health care [for economic development], and then the arts kind of took me by surprise. But as an economic development person, I’ll take growth wherever it comes from.'

"YES House occupies a previously vacant building on Prentice Street, the town’s main drag, that housed a variety of retail stores in its lifetime. The building was donated to Hanson’s group by its owner... Renovation is underway, funded by a combination of city money, grants and community fundraising — as well as a lot of volunteer effort.... Mayor Dave Smiglewski said the City Council has strongly supported the effort. 'We’ve got an underutilized building that’s going to be repurposed and turned into something that’s going to be an interesting place to launch new ideas,' he said. 'Should be fun to see how it goes.' ".

Read more here.

Granite Falls, MN. (Star Tribune)

Granite Falls, MN. (Star Tribune)

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