The pandemic did not stop the arts | Local

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Hutchinson residents are no strangers to pivoting with the pandemic, and the Hutchinson Center for the Arts did just that in 2020.

A report to Hutchinson City Council for its October 26 meeting spoke of the changes the center has undergone to continue its mission in uncertain times. For example, when she was forced to close while the annual Youth Art Show was underway, the exhibits were moved to windows to allow viewing from the outside at all times. The lights were left on to attract viewers. In 2021, the exhibit returned to in-person viewing.

The series of visual arts exhibits continued during the pandemic with the gallery open as long as safety protocols were followed. The planned artist receptions became discussions of the Zoom gallery. Through three calls, 70 people were able to meet artists, including an Australian participant.

“An experience that probably wouldn’t have happened in our pre-Covid world,” the report said.

The Art Kids Drop-in Days and summer studio programs were not able to continue in their usual form, but were transformed into weekly free art kit programs. The kits were delivered to young people eager to share their artistic talent. Almost 1,000 kits were delivered to children in the area from late April to December 2020. The McLeod Emergency Food Shelf and McLeod Alliance also offered pickup sites.

One of the Centre’s most important events, the Annual Night of the Arts, has been canceled. It represents 10% of the operating budget.

“The financing of CARES through Hutchinson (Economic Development Authority) and a loan forgiveness agreement (Paycheque Protection Program) from Citizen’s Bank helped reduce the financial loss of this important fundraiser. of funds, ”the report said. “We look forward to when we come together again for an annual updated and reinvented Night of the Arts. “

In addition to ongoing programming, the Center for the Arts acts as a partner to other groups through Hutchinson.

“We are a hub for other arts organizations,” said Jill Springer, chair of the Center for the Arts Board.

The Arts Center acts as a tax agent for grants and fundraising, provides insurance coverage, marketing and public relations, as well as a physical location. Organizations such as the Crow River Area Youth Orchestra, Crow River Singers, Historic Hutchinson, Hutchinson Photography Club, Hutchinson Theater Company and the No Lines Improv Troupe are all supported.

Executive Director Molly Rivera said on Friday that in the future, the Hutchinson Center for the Arts is focusing on its adult programming and working to create a sense of community.

“Right now I’m working on trying to strengthen our adult workshops and adult classes,” she said. “I feel our children’s program has been top notch and very popular. There is a desire in our community to have more adult programs.

Coming in 2022 is a new open studio program.

“I just received a grant from the Hutchinson Community Foundation,” Rivera said. “Every Saturday for three months we will have a studio open.”

Residents are welcome. Materials will be provided for projects such as drawing and painting.

“People can bring their own project to work on. My goal is to create a sense of community around the arts, and I know a lot of people want to get involved, ”Rivera said.

The series of exhibitions will continue, allowing anyone from the Hutchinson area to exhibit in the gallery space.

Overall, the Centre’s financial statement, ending December 31, 2020, shows revenues of $ 110,719, the majority of which came from grants ($ 42,261), city funding ($ 15,000), donations ($ 13,693) and banner sales ($ 17,000).

Expenses were $ 91,088, the highest of which were salaries ($ 39,844) and rent and utilities ($ 29,129). The net income was $ 19,630. The expenses of the banner project will be realized in 2021.

The report to city council also noted that the total government revenue generated by the arts sector in southwest Minnesota was $ 3.13 million. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences spent $ 2.2 million in Hutchinson, according to the report, while artists and creators spent $ 1.7 million in McLeod County.

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