arts alert: State Arts Board Still Shutdown But RACs Open For Now

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
2233 University Ave. W. #355
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-251-0868 fax 651-917-3561
staff at
Arts Action Center 

July 12, 2011

1. State Arts Board Shutdown, But RACs Open for Now

2. Winona’s Legacy Weekend July 15-17

1. State Arts Board Still Shutdown; RACs Open for Now

The Arts Board shut down with most of the rest of state government on July 1, 2011, temporarily laying off all staff and stopping all functions of the office, including grant panels, grant approvals, and board activity. As long as the state government is shut down, the staff will be out of work and grant payments will be delayed. It is upsetting for all of us that the Arts Board staff was laid off and we hope they will be back in their offices soon.
In contrast to the dark offices at the MSAB, I am pleased to report that, for now, almost all of the Regional Arts Councils are able to stay open using funds from other sources. The RACs are continuing their services and grantmaking process’, although grants cannot be provided for the new fiscal year, as the legislature and governor did not make appropriations to them yet. However, if the shutdown goes on very long some of them will have to cease operations until new appropriations are made for their operations.
(More information on how this affects the arts community can be found on the website There is also additional information on the shutdown at the state’s official site direct link at
Where did the arts stand at the end of session?
Arts funding is in limbo, as the bills that would have appropriated funds are tied up in the overall budget dispute and did not pass. We are in two bills:
After a long struggle, MCA managed to reduced the cuts to the arts in the General Fund from 20% to 15%, in line with the state budget deficit of 15%. The General Fund bill was passed by the legislature and sent to the Governor but he vetoed it, so they will have to re-introduce and re-pass the bill when ever they convene in a Special Session to pass the final budget agreement.
A filibuster prevented the Legacy bill from passing the House floor, it also will need to be re-introduced and re-passed in a special session. There is about a $2 million increase for the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils in the current version of the Legacy bill.
What do we do now?

There will continue to be a lull as the DFL Governor and GOP legislative leadership continue to negotiate the budget resolution. We will have to wait and see how it goes. However, the longer it goes the more likely it becomes that Regional Arts Councils will have to shut down and State Arts Board operations and grant payments will be delayed even further.


2. Winona Legacy Weekend July 15-17

The river city of Winona is the next Minnesota town to organize a Legacy Weekend to celebrate the ways that the Legacy funding preserved the local landscape and brought greater access to the arts. Along the banks of the Mississippi, water influences nearly everything.
Visit Winona, the Great River Shakespeare Festival, Winona County  Historical Society, MN Marine Art Museum, Pickwick Mill, Frozen River  Film Festival and the City of Winona, will celebrate the arts, historic  and outdoor heritage of Winona.

Check out these fun events:
  • The Great River Shakespeare Festival is offering three productions over three days; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Saturday, July 16 at 8:00 pm), Henry IV: Part 1 (Friday, July 15 at 2:00 pm and Sunday, July 17 at 2:00 pm), and The Fantasticks (Friday July 15 at 8:00 pm and Saturday, July 16 at 2:00 pm). There  will also be Festival Morning Q and A at the Acoustic Cafe on Saturday  at 10:00am and the Shakespeare Symposium at Winona State University on  Sunday at 10:00 a.m. For information and tickets contact 507-474-7900 or  visit
  • The Winona County Historical Society is displaying two exhibits at the Winona County History Center, Steamboats Models of the Mississippi and Minnesota on the Map. There  will beFamily Gallery Activities all weekend and a FREE performance by  the Songs of Hope International Choir Concert on Saturday, July 15, at  2:00 p.m. $1 off admission
    to the Museum. For more information, contact  507-454-2723 or visit www.winonahistory.or
  • The Frozen River Film Festival is sponsoring an Iraqi  Art Exhibit; “Navigating the Aftermath” at the Winona County History  Center featuring Iraqi artists with an opening reception on Saturday  from 4:00 pm- 7:00 p.m. The film “The Unreturned”, produced by the Iraqi  and American Reconciliation Project, will be shown for FREE at the  Winona County History Center at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 17.
  • The City of Winona Park and Recreation Department is offering FREE watercraft rental at Lake Lodge at Lake Winona. Friday: 4- 8pm and Saturday/Sunday from 1-6 pm.
  • Pickwick Mill is offering FREE admission on Saturday  (10 am – 5 pm) and Sunday (11 am- 5 pm). For more information contact  507-457-0499 or visit
  • The FREE Wild River Family Fest on July 16 from 10:30 am-1:00pm is  offering outdoor and indoor family activities provided in partnership  with the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Upper Mississippi National  Wildlife Refuge, Whitewater State Park and the Winona State University  Geology Department. The Minnesota Marine Art Museum displays historical  Marine Art, Hudson River School paintings, Impressionism and regional  contemporary exhibitions. $1 off admission Friday-Sunday. For more  information contact: 507-474-6625 or visit


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