Utilities building will get its first taste of art

Published 4:20 pm Saturday, April 28, 2012

For the past few months, I have been working hard with a group of dedicated community members led by Bonnie Reitz and Belita Schlinder in organizing the first Austin Artworks Festival.

It will take place in the decommissioned downtown Austin Utilities Building. This two day event on Aug. 25 to 26 represents a major investment in the culture of Austin, Minn.

It will be a citywide celebration of the visual, performing, media and literary arts, and will be the first opportunity for the public to see this building.

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Re-purposing the Utilities Building was just announced last week as one of the top 10 ideas for Vision 2020. Our goal with this festival is to highlight potential uses of the building as it relates to arts and cultural activities while featuring artists with ties to Austin, whether they still live here now or they lived here in the past.

The Hormel Foundation has graciously donated funding to help make this festival a reality. We have also requested support from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

This Festival is just the start of the possibilities with the building. If you are interested in helping shape the future of the building, attend the Vision 2020 Taking the Next Step informational meeting.

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, anyone interested in helping make one of the visions a reality can meet at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre at Riverland Community College.

It will be the first official committee meetingfor the ideas.

Whether you are interested in working on the Utilities Building project or one of the other nine fantastic ideas, attending that meeting and participating in a committee is the only way we will change the shape of Austin in 2020.

For more information about Vision 2020 visit vision2020austin.com.