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Visibility of the Arts in the St. Croix Valley to be reviewed this weekend

Improving the Visibility of the Arts in the St. Croix Valley: a Workshop for Stakeholders will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis.

It is presented by ArtReach Alliance in partnership with Gallery 310, Seasons on the St. Croix, The Tamarack Gallery, The Art Guild Gallery, The Stillwater Public Library, and the Phipps Center for the Arts.

When it comes to the arts in the St. Croix Valley:

• why do people choose to show up?

• why do they stay home or go elsewhere?

• what are they looking for?

• how do they find it?

• what's their opinion of the quality?

• what brings them back?

ArtReach Alliance and its partners will explore the answers to these and other questions as the results from a comprehensive survey of arts participation in the St. Croix Valley are unveiled.

ArtReach Alliance believes the St. Croix Valley can be a nationally recognized destination for the arts. Research shows that working toward such a vision builds audiences for artists and the arts, increases local arts participation, and has a positive financial impact on the community.

This survey of more than 1,300 St. Croix Valley residents, visitors, and artists, as well as arts groups and businesses, provides some of the key information needed to make this a reality.

The survey results will be presented during a half-day workshop designed to develop a unified message and shared strategies surrounding arts participation. In a keynote address, Michael-Jon Pease will share his experience as a leader in transforming Lanesboro from a sleepy Minnesota town into a bustling cultural center; Carlos Cuesta of Creation in Common will report the findings from the comprehensive arts survey; and Stevie Ray, a nationally recognized speaker and trainer who has worked with corporations and non-profit organizations for 20 years, will facilitate participant suggestions and priorities for moving forward.

Bill McCarthy, ArtReach Alliance Board Chair, stresses that the intended audience for this workshop includes business owners, civic leaders, and residents with an interest in the arts. "We want input from all stakeholders, not just artists and arts organizations."

Funding for the survey was provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and the St. Croix Valley Community Foundation.

The event is free; however registration is required.