Historical Exhibit for Olmsted County Fair
The project will develop and install an educational exhibit on the history and significance of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Olmsted County and throughout MN. As the regional headquarters of both of these depression-era economic programs, the Olmsted County Fairgrounds was integral to their local activities and played a role in the development of agricultural and civic infrastructure that continued to serve southeastern MN for decades. The fairgrounds, itself, still bears the imprint of these agencies through the presence of several structures built and used by their workers-though their work largely has been forgotten.
The exhibit will be installed on the mezzanine of a fairgrounds building originally constructed by the WPA as an art and agricultural exhibit facility dedicated to 4-H youth. Though the display of historic photographs, artifacts related to the regional CCC and WPA projects and workers, and interpretive text, it will explain the social and economic context that gave birth to these programs and show examples of their lasting influence.
These amounts are appropriated to the commissioner of agriculture for grants to county agricultural societies to enhance arts access and education and to preserve and promote Minnesota's history and cultural heritage as embodied in its county fairs. The grants shall be in addition to the aid distributed to county agricultural societies under Minnesota Statutes, section 38.02. The commissioner shall award grants as follows: (1) $700,000 each year distributed in equal amounts to each of the state's county fairs to enhance arts access and education and to preserve and promote Minnesota's history and cultural heritage;