New Creative Arts Center Established for Residents and Visitors
For over 50 years, Art of the Lakes has sponsored the visual arts in the community surrounding Battle Lake. Now the organization has launched a new quest: to reach and benefit even more people through the power of art.
Leveraging their recent $100,000 Blandin grant, Art of the Lakes has signed a lease for its new Creative Arts Center in Battle Lake. The Creative Arts Center, housed in the former Lutheran church building at 112 Main, allows Art of the Lakes to grow beyond their current visual arts footprint to add experiences in performance, digital media, culinary arts, and more. “Our existing art gallery and events have been a vital part of Battle Lake’s quality of life,” said Kristi Swee Kuder, President of Art of the Lakes Association. “With this expansion, we’re able to broaden our vision of what art is all about, and serve even more people in the community.”
Art of the Lakes builds community in Battle Lake and Otter Tail County in several ways.
Economic Boost and Tourism Beauty and recreation surround Battle Lake, drawing visitors and making tourism and hospitality major forces in the local economy. Art of the Lakes’ programs are an attraction as well. Just one of their events, the Art & Craft Affair, is attended by over 5,000 people every year. These visitors spend money buying art and visiting local businesses such as restaurants and shops, benefitting the entire lakes area.
In 2018, MN Citizens for the Arts reported that, “the total annual economic impact of Otter Tail County’s non-profit arts and cultural organizations, their audiences, and its artists and creative workers is $6.9 million.” Art of the Lakes is an expanding part of that impact. “With our growing series of programs, we expect to draw even more visitors - and their pocketbooks - to the community,” said Kuder.
Artist Impact Art of the Lakes currently works with over 120 local artists, giving them a platform to showcase their talents. This support helps artists gain recognition and income, making their careers more sustainable. MN Citizens for the Arts found that in 2018, Otter Tail County had “close to 600 artists and creative workers who alone drive an economic impact of $2.3 million annually.”
As Art of the Lakes expands and promotes a wider array of artforms, they expect to help even more creators make a living, a win-win for both artists and the community.
Human Connections Art has always had a unique power to bring people together. Art of the Lakes' programs create opportunities for people to connect, regardless of cultural differences. This sense of belonging and connection enhances the community's well-being, and is an important part of the local fabric.
Community Development Together, arts and culture can revitalize and reshape a community. Art of the Lakes’ contributions to the arts make the region more vibrant and attractive, drawing in visitors and residents who are proud to call it home.
“It’s no accident that our new Creative Arts Center is located near Battle Lake’s new Hatchery Row housing and retail project,” according to Kuder. “Both ventures envision a more vibrant community. Both will help anchor downtown and make this an even better community in which to live, work and play.”
“More than ever, we’re dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts to ensure our area’s growth and vitality.”
"With this expansion, we're able to broaden our vision of what art is all about."
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