Regional Arts Celebration set May 1

LITTLE FALLS--The Five Wings Arts Council will honor a Crow Wing County resident and business at the region-wide Celebration of the Arts on Wednesday, May 1, at Great River Arts in Little Falls.

Lisa Jordan, The Crossing Arts Alliance.

LITTLE FALLS-The Five Wings Arts Council will honor a Crow Wing County resident and business at the region-wide Celebration of the Arts on Wednesday, May 1, at Great River Arts in Little Falls.

Sue Gens, executive director of the Minnesota State Arts Board, will present the Outstanding Community Arts Leader awards to Brainerd artist and arts administrator, Lisa Jordan.

The Outstanding Community Arts Leader Awards are given to individuals whose leadership and promotion of the arts has enriched their community. In all cases, the recipient has contributed their time, energy and resources to make the arts accessible to all. These award recipients continually encourage artists in the creative process, support education in the arts and frequently are personally involved with creating and producing some form of artistic discipline.

Jordan is the executive/artistic director of The Crossing Arts Alliance, a 500-plus member arts organization in Brainerd. Jordan provides leadership to the artists, arts enthusiasts and interested community members who comprise TCAA, working with them to inspire and enrich the community for those who create, and those who appreciate the arts, a news release stated. Under her leadership workshops and exhibits from artists around the globe are made available to the residents and visitors to the region.

In 2017, Jordan spearheaded moving the 19-year-old organization from its longtime home in Franklin Arts Center to Laurel Street in downtown Brainerd. In doing so, membership has increased, foot traffic has grown, and community enthusiasm has swelled.


Jordan also is an accomplished artist and creative entrepreneur who owns Lil Fish Studios, which specializes in her beautiful nature-inspired creations in felted wool. She has earned the reputation of being one of the most accomplished artist /business owners in the region, competently navigating and using social media to sell her artwork, according to a news release. Jordan recently was asked to instruct at the new Watermark Arts Center in Bemidji, and is being sought after as an instructor at other centers in the upper Midwest as well. Sprout Minnesota recently selected Jordan as one of four artists for their A la cARTe project, an initiative that supports the development of a mobile arts studio that is used to bring arts to people who would not otherwise be able to experience it.

"Lisa Jordan is much beloved and deeply respected by anyone who has the opportunity to work with her," said Vicki Chepulis, grants and program coordinator for the Five Wings Arts Council, in a news release. "She's not only very competent as an arts administrator but an inspiring visionary who has devoted herself to serving artists and residents of and visitors to the Brainerd lakes area. She is most deserving of this award."

Lakes Printing, Brainerd, a business with a long and deep track record of supporting arts ventures throughout the Brainerd Lakes area will be recognized with the Outstanding Business Support of the Arts Award.

Scott Lykins, executive/artistic director of Lakes Area Music Festival, stated: "Every nonprofit, especially an arts organization, relies on quality printed materials to tell the vibrant story of their work. At the Lakes Area Music Festival, our posters and pamphlets give notice of upcoming events; program books present information about the music and musicians featured on our programs; mailing services help us maintain connections with our list of supporters. For over 30 years Lakes Printing has served as a supportive local print shop for many of the organizations and events that make our region so great, and we are grateful to them for their generosity."

FWAC will present additional Outstanding Community Arts Leadership Awards for the other four counties of Region Five, its service area. The recipients of the Outstanding Community Arts Leader for Todd County are Mary Dye Moen of Wadena, musician, music teacher and director of the Central Minnesota Boys Choir and Colla Voce Girls Choir; and James Ruiz of Long Prairie, artist and community leader.

Nancy Ratzloff of Little Falls, an artist, art educator and Kathy Braud of Little Falls, water media artist, will receive the awards for Morrison County. Artist and educator Dawn Rossbach of Menahga and Lina Belar of Wadena, executive director of the Wadena County Historical Society, will receive the awards for Wadena County.

Fred Rogers of Walker, artistic director of Minnesota Folklore Theater and Jennifer and Isaak Anderson of Pine River, educators and theater artists, will be bestowed the awards for Cass County.

Delina White, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Native Apparel Designer and Beadwork Artist from Onigum will be presented with the 2019 Gilded Feather Master Artist Award. The Master Artist distinction is given to only one artist every three years. In order to qualify, the artist must have created an extensive body of artwork, which reflects maturation of their personal creativity, demonstrate a high aesthetic level of artistic ability, with a strong consistency of expression over the course of his/her career and have made a significant impact on their community, region, state, and/or nation as demonstrated by respect and recognition of peers and community, contributions to excellence and public appreciation of the art form through teaching, preserving and/or advocacy. The award will be presented by Sarah Lovan, program officer of the McKnight Foundation, which also funds grant associated with this award Lisa Kajer of Staples and Mary Noska of Browerville, dubbed "The Barn Quilt Ladies" have been chosen to receive the Outstanding Regional Arts Advocate/Leader Award in recognition of their work to create and promote the Central Minnesota Barn Quilt Trail. Given every three years to an individual or organization who has served over and above the call of duty to promote the arts as a way to improve the economy and well being of the region, this award heralds the actions and words that have led to the creation of a new attraction and means of creative engagement in our region, the Central Minnesota Barn Quilt Trail. The award will be given by the executive director of the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Sheila Smith.


The Outstanding Arts Organization award will be given to the St Francis Music Center, Little Falls. This award is given every three years to one organization that exemplifies excellence in community arts programming, access to the arts and high-quality organizational management, a news release stated.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, St Francis Music Center employs 17 professional teachers who serve more than 320 students each week, ranging in age from preschool to 90 years old or older. The center offers private and group instruction in piano, organ, guitar, orchestral strings, voice, band instruments, preschool piano, and percussion. Classes in dance, gymnastics, preschool music, theory, composition, and music therapy are also available. Five Wings Executive Director, Mark Turner, states "The work of St Francis Music Center is one of our region's finest example of a well-run organization that is clear about its mission and, through it, is transforming lives each and every day."

Kent Scheer, Wadena, designed and hand-crafted the one-of-a-kind livery collar-style Gilded Feather Master Artist Award of brass, aluminum, and abalone shell. Steven Weagel of Weagelworks, Pequot Lakes, created hand blown studio glass platters to serve as the Outstanding Community Arts Leader awards.

The public is invited to attend this event and can make reservations by calling at 877-654-2166 or emailing . Tickets are available online through the Five Wings Arts Council Facebook page.

As one of 11 regional arts councils in Minnesota, the Five Wings Arts Council encourages and promotes arts creation, appreciation, and education through grant programs and technical assistance to enhance the quality of life for Minnesota residents in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena Counties. For more information, visit , email or call 877-654-2166.

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