Land of 10,000 artists

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May 6, 2011
By: Andre Eggert
Andre Eggert
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but early results from the state art board’s census find “Land of 10,000 artists” might be just as apt.

The Minnesota State Arts Board, under the direction of the Legislature, is conducting the census to better gage the needs for future grants and the use of Legacy Amendment art funds.

The early results showed 8,135 solo artists, 652 groups and 1,687 people who indicated being both solo and group artists, according to the Arts Board. The count runs until May 31.

The art count paints a broad brush on the definition of an artist. It is not limited to those who are professionally. Anyone involved in creative expression — including those in garage bands, sing in church choirs or people who paint for their own enjoyment — are included as well.

“[We’re] charged with providing art access to all Minnesotans,” said Brian Strub, communications director for the Arts Board. “All Minnesotans are part of the legislature appropriations. … This is a state asset.”

Strub said the Arts Board was working diligently with groups throughout the state to spread the word about the census.

People interested in participating can complete the census form online or call a toll-free number to request a paper copy. In addition to English, it is available in Somali, Spanish, Hmong, Lao and Vietnamese.

Once the count is done, Strub hopes the department will have a better understanding of the art community in Minnesota.

“We hope it will show a broad appreciation for the arts and arts funding around the state,” he said.

To complete the arts survey, go to the board’s Art Count page online at mnartscount.com or call their toll-free number: 1-800-748-3222.

Additional information about the Minnesota State Arts Board can be found at its website: arts.state.mn.us.