Think about the times you’ve been involved in changing or developing something that’s important to you. What were your motivations to commit your time and effort? How did the progress make you feel? What impacts on others’ lives did you see? Bottom line is — such work is rewarding!

In 2008, a small group began meeting to discuss development of an arts organization in Winsted. Several of us participated in the Blandin Leadership Training in October 2007, and came back with a vision for the Arts in Winsted. The group has morphed and grown and in early 2010, we officially formed the Winsted Arts Council (WAC), complete with Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, a Board of Directors and Officers, and a federal ID number. We are registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State and since we are not yet an independent non-profit organization, we have hired the Springboard for the Arts as our fiscal sponsor. This means that tax-deductible donations can be made to the Winsted Arts Council through the Springboard for the Arts.

The Winsted Arts Council has sponsored some fun events such as: Art in the Park in 2009 and 2010, Books and Bars in 2010 and 2011, and our March 2010 Evening of Author Readings. All of these activities have been funded by donations and grants. Two major grants requested and received have been: 1) $2,404.00 from the Southwest Minnesota Arts & Humanities Council (SMAHC) for the 2010 Art in the Park event; and 2) $1,600.00 from the SMAHC for Strategic Planning.

On June 4, 2011 the WAC Board of Directors and other interested parties attended a day-long workshop in the Vollmer Room at City Hall. The workshop was for the purpose of doing strategic planning for the Winsted Arts Council and was paid for by a grant. During the workshop, we further clarified our Purpose, Values and Vision.

-Mary Neff, WAC President