Arts Tour Minnesota

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Citizens for Backus / Alexander Baker, Inc. AKA Backus Community Center
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
May 2013
End Date
April 2014
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2011, First Special Session, chapter 6, article 4, section 2, subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

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

Backus will present two artists with the goal of broadening our audience demographic and increasing audience attendance by 20%. Success will be determined by the number of new audience members and by reaching 75% of the county's students through pre-concert outreach. Surveys in event programs and results will help improve marketing efforts and attract new audience members. 2: Staff will visit historic theatres studying current sound, lighting, staging, accessibility, marketing, assessment, and audience building strategies. Success will be completion of 6 site visits, a report to the Backus board illustrating lighting, sound, staging, seating, accessibility and technology adaptations. A strategic plan for the Backus auditorium and marketing strategies will be developed.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Backus presented two artists with the goal of broadening our audience demographic and increasing audience attendance by 20%. Average attendance rose by 68% from 2013 to 2014 using strategies such as: season ticket with five artists, promotion, comp tickets and school outreach. We reached 66% of the K-12 students in the county through outreach efforts (goal was 75%). Surveys in audience programs and post-performance question/answer or talkback sessions were held after all performances. Both artists conducted meaningful talk back sessions with all audiences. THE MILL elicited the most discussion with Representative David Dill taking part also. Audience surveys were employed with all five performances in our series and information gathered regarding first time attendees, quality of performance, age, marketing and arts preferences. 2: A goal of six site visits was met with staff/board visiting fourteen theatres over nine months. Extensive notes and photos were made of each visit with an illustrated report shared with the board of directors. Changes were made in our strategies/methods following the first five visits with more planned as we continue to develop a comprehensive plan. These include improved marketing, stage lighting, accessibility, programs and revenue-generating methods. An overall stage lighting plan has been developed. In addition a 2014-15 performing arts series has been developed with six artists including two dance companies. A wine/beer license has been secured to increase revenue. Our arts and programming committee is following through with further strategies for developing a more professional look for our marketing materials.

Description of Funds
Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Recipient Board Members
Kay Arnold, Patti Ballan, Julie Bartkowski, Tyler Borgen, Marcia Bringedahl, James Bujold, Wesley Davis, John Faith, Donna Frederickson, Sherrie Lessard, Beth Lowthian, David McKee, Pastor Steve Olson, Beth Nelson, Elizabeth Ward
Project Overview
Arts Tour Minnesota
Project Details
Backus Community Center will present two diverse performances as part of its 2013-14 season, including music by Chris Koza and Rogue Valley, and The Mill, a play by Jeannine Coulombe.
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Citizens for Backus / Alexander Baker, Inc. AKA Backus Community Center
Street Address
900 5th St Backus Comm Center
International Falls
Zip Code
(218) 285-7225x 21
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
Jeffery Amundson: Executive Director, Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale; Adrienne Dorn: Director of Development, The Cedar Cultural Center; Stephanie Eichman: President of the Board of Directors; Minnesota Dance Ensemble; Christine Gradl Seitz: Executive and Artistic Director, Duluth Playhouse; Andrew Maus: Executive Director, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona; Margaret McCreary: Puppeteer, artist/educator; James Scott: General Manager, Guthrie Theater, contracts and negotiations; Iris Shiraishi: Artistic Director, Mu Daiko; taiko drumming/music; Robert Thomas III: Associate Director of Development and Company Manager, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Winona
Conflict of Interest Disclosed