The Minnesota State Arts Board recently awarded the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center a $15,000 operating grant.

Now in its third year, the grant has awarded Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center $15,000 increments each year. A final $15,000 is scheduled to be awarded next year, for a total of $60,000.

The grant funds are important for the program, director Patrick Spradlin said in a news release. It helps offset the cost of the Children's Theatre Workshops, the cost of bringing in guest artists to perform for all second-graders in the school district and helps produce in-house productions for kids. Additionally, the grant helps fund the cost of designers, directors and choreographers in other productions.

"It allows us to do things we couldn't otherwise do by ourselves," Spradlin said. "The grant is especially important for small, rural arts providers like us. It has a big impact."