Arts Learning

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Bemidji State University AKA Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference
Recipient Type
State Government
Start Date
June 2013
End Date
July 2013
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Crow Wing
St. Louis
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2011, First Special Session, chapter 6, article 4, section 2, subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Education

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

We will increase the quantity and types of arts learning available to writers in northern Minnesota and beyond by reviving the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference. Once we have brought talented, successful writers to our rural, traditionally underserved region and run a successful writers conference we will use written evaluations from participants and faculty to assess our level of achievement of our goal. 2: The writers’ conference is accessible to more Minnesotans because a financial barrier is addressed. We will know we've achieved our goal by awarding three need/merit-based scholarships to Minnesotans to lower the financial barrier with the goal of encouraging more Minnesotans to attend the conference and engage in this unique arts learning opportunity.

Measurable Outcome(s)

The main outcome was to increase access to a high quality literary experience, appreciation for the literary arts, and access to and awareness of award-winning writers from the national literary scene. Based on responses to questionnaires 27 out of 31 respondents felt that the quality of the workshop they attended for the week was excellent and the remaining 4 felt it was good, the next best response. In regards questions about the quality of the Craft Talk and Conversation with Ron Carlson and the quality of the Evening Reading Series 27 out of 31 respondents felt that their quality were excellent and only 3 others responded to these questions, but their responses were good. The Craft Talks and the Workshops positively impacted the participants' knowledge and awareness of creative writing. When asked how much has the conference increased your understanding of creative writing? 12 participants responded with 5, 11 with 4 on a scale of 0-5; 0 being none and 5 being very. 2: With the goal of attracting more Minnesotans to attend this conference in the Outstate in order that they could engage with nationally recognized writers from outside the state in this unique arts learning opportunity, we offered 3 need/merit-based scholarships to Minnesotans to lower financial barriers to Minnesotans’ participation. We intended for the conference fee to be affordable, and 28 of the 31 respondents to our questionnaire felt that the fee was excellent or good. We had 42 workshop participants, the majority of them Minnesotans; we had participants from 14 counties in Minnesota. And our evening reading series, which was free and open to the public, attracted a number of people from Bemidji and the surrounding area.

Description of Funds
Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Recipient Board Members
Larry Swain, Robert Griggs, Lynn Johnson, Susan Hauser, Rose Weaver
Project Overview
Arts Learning
Project Details
The Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference offers intensive five-day workshops with well-published writers who are also excellent teachers. The workshops, capped at thirteen participants, become intimate learning communities for writers at all levels.
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Bemidji State University AKA Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference
Street Address
1500 Birchmont Dr NE Ste 23
Zip Code
(478) 454-8362
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Judson Bemis Jr.: Actor, arts administrator, founder and principal of Clere Consulting. Secretary, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Ardell Brede: Mayor of Rochester, elected 2002.; Peggy Burnet: Businesswoman, art collector, and community volunteer. Chair of the Nominating Committee, Smithsonian National Board. Trustee, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Michael Charron: Dean of the School of the Arts, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Sean Dowse: Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.; John Gunyou, City manager, Minnetonka.; Benjamin Klipfel: Board member, Minnesota State Arts Board. Executive Director, Alexandria Area Arts Association, Inc. Director and arts educator.; Ellen McInnis: Director of Twin Cities government relations, Wells Fargo. Member of Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Pamela Perri: Executive vice president, Builders Association of Minnesota.; Margaret Rapp: Former educator, Saint Paul Academy and Summit School. Officer at-large, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Anton Treuer: Professor of Ojibwe, Bemidji State University.
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Scott Bean: Retired elementary art teacher; practicing artist; Camilla Berry: Artist and educator; Gita Ghei: Sculptor and arts educator; Bernadette Mahfood: Jewelry and glass tile artist and educator; Laura Meyer: English teacher, Big Lake Schools; Rebecca Meyer-Larson: Theatare arts, language arts and speech communications teacher, Moorhead High School; Gretchen Pick: Artistic director, Young Dance, Twin Cities
Conflict of Interest Disclosed