$11M Annex project an investment in us all

Published 3:37 pm Saturday, February 3, 2018

Consider this enthusiastic kudos for  the $11 million renovation and construction plans for the Austin High School Annex.The Hormel Foundation, MacPhail Center for Music and Austin Public Schools are partnering on this project.

We want to thank everyone who has contributed to developing this vision and is guiding it to reality. This will benefit area musicians and this community for years to come.

The Hormel Foundation Chairman Gary Ray struck the clearest note when he spoke of the “strong culture of music within our city that has touched the lives of many individuals” and of keeping that culture “alive at a new level.”

According to a 2017 study by Creative Minnesota, Mower County was home to 369 creative workers, or 19.34 creative workers for every 1,000 workers.

“These creative economy workers make an average of $19.24 per hour,” the group reports. That puts Mower County 19th among the state’s counties in terms of highest creative worker wages.

Aside from simply employing those people, however, their efforts impact their communities more than you might suspect. On a statewide accounting, Creative Minnesota’s 2017 study says the state was home to 104,148 artists and creative workers whose efforts supported an additional 17,500 jobs and generated $83 million in government revenues.

The study also noted that the 1,601 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations  supported 47,146 full-time jobs and generated $139 million in government revenues.

In total, these creative workers and organizations delivered a $2 billion total economic impact on the state.

When you are opening the door for more creative people and the energy they bring, you open the door to new opportunities for so many others. This investment in the music culture of our community is a worthy and exciting investment in us all.