By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN It’s official. Winsted now has a formal arts council in place, promoting all forms of the arts.
New 2010 officers were appointed at the Feb. 14 meeting, and the arts council already has its first event planned.
It is an “evening of reading short stories” Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Winsted City Hall Vollmer Room.
In addition to four officers now serving on the arts council, there are nine board members.
The president of the Winsted Arts Council is Mary Neff, who is pleased with the number of arts council members who represent a “broad section of the community” all committed to making the council a success.
It’s one of the critical requirements the council was told was needed for success Nov. 14 by speaker John Davis, who is the founder of New York Mills Regional Cultural Center in rural Minnesota.
Because Davis’ regional cultural center had been recognized as a national model for rural communities, the arts council had invited him to Winsted to learn more about the process of setting up an arts council.
“Davis said to go slowly, make sure you have your ducks in a row, and don’t over commit to too many projects,” Neff said.
Right now the council is focused on the project of grant writing, since it learned from a recent seminar about the large amount of money available for the arts.
One of the grants the arts council is applying for is a planning grant through Forecast Public Art.
“If we get the grant, we will hire a facilitator to help us organize and plan for fundraising,” Neff said.
The new Winsted Arts Council has applied for its nonprofit status.
Neff said, “We will be independent of the city, so we will not be draining any local budgets.”
Plans have been drawn up and renovations are currently in progress for the arts center, which is to be located in the old Winsted Farmers Co-op Creamery building, owned by Greg Gehrman and Katy Born, at the corner of Second Street and McLeod Avenue.
The buildings were originally built in 1927, by a group of area farmers to use as a market for their milk.
Both Gehrman and Born are incorporating pieces of history into the building like the beam installed in the ceiling, which was taken from the Winsted water tower.
A handicap accessible railing was created using designs familiar to Winsted’s landscape such as a windmill, wheat, and a pheasant.
Winsted Arts Council officers
The following are the 2010 Winsted Arts Council officers:
• President, Mary Neff;
• Vice President, Katy Born;
• Secretary, Emily Lynch;
• Treasurer, Marie Cummings;
• Official photographer, Petie Littfin.
On the board are Becky Condon, Nancy Fasching, Julie Guggemos, Greg Gehrman, Charlotte Laxen, Petie Littfin, Yvonne Maus, Jason Telander, and Mary Wiemiller.
An evening of readings in Winsted March 6, featuring John Jodzio
Winsted Arts Council is hosting an evening of readings by local authors Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m. in the Vollmer Room at Winsted City Hall.
The evening will feature author John Jodzio, a Watertown-Mayer High School graduate and the son-in-law of Francis and Becky Condon of Winsted, who is a 2009 winner of the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers, Loft Awards in Creative Prose. His stories have appeared in “One Story,” “Rake Magazine,” “The Florida Review,” “Opium” and in a number of anthologies and web journals, including “McSweeney’s” and “Pindelyboz.” He has won a Minnesota Magazine fiction prize, and the Opium 500 Word Memoir competition.
A collection of his short stories titled, “If you Lived Here, You’d Already be Home” will be published by Replacement Press March 2010.
In addition to Jodzio, authors from area schools will take part in the literary event. Maddie Neumann, a junior at Holy Trinity High School will be reading five pieces of poetry; and Emily Brisse, English teacher at Watertown-Mayer High School will be reading a short story.
Snacks and coffee will be served by the Roadhouse Coffee Shop.
At the end of the evening, Jodzio will be available to answer questions.
Everyone is welcome.