WRIGHT, MCLEOD, CARVER, MEEKER, MN - Although perhaps best known for the Crow River Singers, artists of all kinds, from across McLeod, Meeker, Carver, and Wright Counties find the resources and support they need through Crow River Arts (CRA).
The non-profit organization provides education, entertainment, and platforms for community participation across a vast canvas of art-related events.
Along with sending its members information about various opportunities, the CRA works with grants to carry out many of its projects. Music concerts and exhibits allow musicians and artists to gain exposure, network, and gain experience.
Voice, guitar and keyboard instructor Leslie Korngiebel-Zeiss teaches summer classes in Winsted and other surrounding cities and has found CRA to be a great resource and a worthy cause.
“They have been so gracious to me,” Korngiebel-Zeiss said. Currently, CRA provides her with free access to advertising through its newsletter called ArtBeat because of her membership.
Networking between artists is an important part of membership through the CRA.
Korngiebel-Zeiss got involved with CRA when she was new to the area and searching for artistic support. She now has 20 students.
Artist Robert Wilde of Dassel is among the many artists who benefited from his involvement with CRA.
“Their art shows were some of the first places I was able to show my work,” Wilde said. “It was beneficial for me as a local artist to be involved. I developed my skills and resume,” Wilde said.
Over the years, Wilde has also taught drawing and sculpture classes through the CRA. He now has his own studio in Dassel called RWilde Studio.
Carol Lundeen from Dassel is the current CRA’s featured artist. Her work was displayed during the 34th annual Hutch Arts and Crafts Festival in September where she gained a lot of exposure. She also performed art demonstrations during the festival.
CRA is still looking for growth through volunteers and membership. Many members are arts supporters rather than artists themselves, but support local arts through their membership.
“If people use the organization for what its meant for, it can be a big benefit to the community,” Lundeen said.
Lundeen also enjoyed her volunteer work at CRA’s former gallery, where she met a lot of other artists.
“We need volunteers and people can volunteer a little or a lot,” CRA Chair/Treasurer Laurie Vasko said.
She explained that volunteers are often used for things such as ticket sales, or helping with fundraising events. “CRA provides an outlet for the creativity, talent, and imagination of area artists as well as providing opportunities for all individuals to share new cultural experiences, learn new skills and be entertained.”
The organization is constantly growing and changing, and looking for new ideas, members, and resources, according to Vasko.
For more information about membership or involvement, visit www.crowriverarts.org