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April is Art Month in New Richmond

At its Feb. 10 meeting, the New Richmond City Council voted to proclaim April as “City of New Richmond Art Month.”

At the meeting, Five Loaves Food Shelf & Fundraising Coordinator Tia Bismonte read a list of local events relating to the arts that are happening in April. According to Bismonte, Art Month would never have gotten off the ground without the help and support of VFW Ladies Auxiliary president Mary Simonds.

“We were talking, and I said that since this community is so appreciative of artistic expression -- all the children sing, all the kids draw and they are not cutting back on the arts programs at the schools from what I can see -- we should really focus on what’s going on in this community around the arts at some point in the year,” Bismonte said. “Mary said it would be nice if we (the Ladies Auxiliary) could be the sponsor since we have the scholarship contest every year and use that as the kickoff. That’s how the conversation started.”

After her conversation with Simonds, Bismonte went to New Richmond City Administrator Mike Darrow and began talking with him about setting up Art Month. For Bismonte, the month of April seemed like the ideal time because of the high number of art events already going on.

“There are a lot of creative people here who could benefit from some more exposure, and I think this town has a lot to offer,” Bismonte said. “I think the ‘Year of the Plan’ is a great time to start launching targeted efforts every month on something special about New Richmond. With the support of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Mike Darrow and the City Council, we pushed it forward.”

Bismonte and others involved in Art Month are hoping that next year will be even bigger.

“We are hoping people will become excited about it, want to participate and that each year we will see the month more and more encompassing,” Bismonte said. “Hopefully we can start coordinating with other entities within the community to get more things planned for the month of April in the coming years.”

Calendar of events:

- April 4: Young American Patriotic Art Awards ceremony, 6 p.m., at Community Commons. The event is sponsored by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

- April 5-6: New Richmond High School Spring Play, in the high school auditorium. The New Richmond High School Drama Department presents “Two One Acts: The Lottery with scenes from The Crucible.” The play will have two showings, Friday, April 4, and Saturday, April 5, at 7 p.m. General admission is $5. The play is not appropriate for young children.

- April 10: This year’s Empty Bowls event will be on Thursday, April 10, from 5-7 p.m. at the Community Commons. All proceeds from this event go to Five Loaves Food Shelf and the Happy Kids Backpack program in New Richmond. The event is sponsored by Community Education.

- April 14: New Richmond High School spring band, orchestra and choral concerts in the high school auditorium. The band concert will start at 6:30 p.m. with the choir and orchestra concert at 8 p.m.

- April 16: Sip, Paint & Create at the Space for Creativity. At the Sip, Paint and Create workshops an instructor will walk you through step-by-step directions to create your very own masterpiece. The event goes from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and costs $27.50 per session. For more information, visit the

- April 25: St. Mary School spring program.

- April 27: The St. Croix Art & Culinary Show, at the R&D Catering Banquet Hall, is sponsored by the New Richmond Rotary Club. This year’s event is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. The show features area artists displaying, demonstrating and performing their skills and samples of local chefs’ culinary creations.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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