East Central Regional Arts

East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has board of director positions open in Chisago, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties and I want to invite you to apply.

As the ECRAC board chair and a resident of Pine City, I am amazed at the talent and support the arts receives in our region. We have strong high school music programs, community and high school theatre performances, photography clubs, arts organizations, and individual artists in every corner of the region who share their talents with us all year long.

The Arts Council’s mission is to support the arts and bring the life enhancing values they afford to all Region 7E residents. We are one of 11 arts councils across the state that work to bring arts to our community. Region 7E comprises Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, and Mille Lacs counties in East Central Minnesota.

ECRAC supports artists and organizations through our leadership development and grant writing workshops, we give out grants across the region, and we hold events to highlight talented artists across east central Minnesota.

This past month ECRAC held the 32nd annual arts show. We had 155 entries from residents in our five counties. The show had amazing drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture, weavings, and jewelry. During the opening and judging evening, we had over 300 people attend and view the art. Also, during the two weeks the show was up in our office we had over 600 residents come view the art. I want to personally thank the residents who are involved in the arts for enriching our lives. Your work was amazing and you made the decisions of our judges and public very difficult.

This board does not run without great staff, great volunteers, and a talented board of directors. Our board is comprised of residents of all five counties. The board members are small business owners, artists, economic developers, teachers but also committed residents of the region. ECRAC gives out grants to individuals and organizations, including schools across the region, to engage residents in the arts. These grant programs are funded in part by appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund and its Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund. This fund was created by a vote by the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4th, 2008. These programs are also funded in part by the McKnight Foundation.

We are committed to being good stewards of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund dollars we receive in our region. As board members, we help lead the organization’s financial management and governance policies, give guidance to or staff and advance the mission of the organization. We also review and fund grant proposals. If you love the arts in our community and want to help ECRAC support artists across the region and all the life enhancing values it brings to our communities, please consider joining our board. We currently have openings in 4 counties.

As we head into the summer months, I hope you are able to take in one of the many concerts, art shows, or youth enrichment programs in the region funded through ECRAC by the Arts and Cultural Heritage dollars. I also hope you consider joining our board. If you are interested or have questions, please visit our website at www.ecrac.org or call phone: (320) 396-2337 x 3. The board application is available online.

Alana Petersen, Board Chair, East Central Regional Arts Council

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