Minnesota's Legacy

Southeastern Libraries Cooperating Legacy Grant SFY 2018 - SFY 2019

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$236,971
2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$236,971
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Recipient
Southeastern Libraries Cooperating
Recipient Type
Libraries
Status
In Progress
Start Date
July 2017
End Date
June 2021
Activity Type
Digitization/Online Information Access
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Fund Administration
Grants/Contracts
Preservation
Research
Counties Affected
Dodge
Fillmore
Freeborn
Goodhue
Houston
Mower
Olmsted
Rice
Steele
Wabasha
Winona
Dodge
Fillmore
Freeborn
Goodhue
Houston
Mower
Olmsted
Rice
Steele
Wabasha
Winona
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2017 Minnesota Special Session Laws, Chapter 91 - HF.No 707, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 5
Appropriation Language

These amounts are appropriated to the commissioner of education for grants to the 12 Minnesota regional library systems to provide educational opportunities in the arts, history, literary arts, and cultural heritage of Minnesota. These funds must be allocated using the formulas in Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355, subdivisions 3, 4, and 5, with the remaining 25 percent to be distributed to all qualifying systems in an amount proportionate to the number of qualifying system entities in each system. For purposes of this subdivision, "qualifying system entity" means a public library, a regional library system, a regional library system headquarters, a county, or an outreach service program. These funds may be used to sponsor programs provided by regional libraries or to provide grants to local arts and cultural heritage programs for programs in partnership with regional libraries. These funds must be distributed in ten equal payments per year. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.28, the appropriations encumbered on or before June 30, 2019, as grants or contracts in this subdivision are available until June 30, 2021.

2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$236,971
Other Funds Leveraged
$81,714
Direct expenses
$65,081
Administration costs
$5,938
Number of full time equivalents funded
0.35 FTE
Measurable Outcome(s)

Total number of activities, programs, and/or events: 215 
Total participation/attendance: 14,960
Total number of partnerships: 237 

Description of Funds
Four local libraries, Lake City Public Library, Pine Island Public Library (Van Horn Public Library), Plainview Public Library, and Wabasha Public Library, brought award-winning author Kent Nerburn to Minnesota to discuss his spiritual journey and the influence of Native American culture on his writing. This was done through Community Reads Grant with the four libraries partnering to make this possible. Each library did their own activities to enhance Mr. Nerburn's visit. Lake City held a stone carving event. Other libraries provided lists of books and movies on Native American culture or showed the movie "Neither Wolf Nor Dog." This event was well received in every community. There were 364 participants who attended the 8 distinct program events that occurred as part of this Community Reads grant partnership.

Comments from participants-
"Kent Nerburn, one of my favorite Minnesota writers, visited the Plainview library this afternoon. His book, Neither Wolf Nor Dog, truly resonated with my spiritual knowledge and connection with the Minnesota landscape. I was honored to sit and learn from this author." "The experiences definitely exposed the audience to witness the cultural differences expressed in his writing." "You have to relearn history after reading Kent's book." "(We) were unaware of the Native American boarding schools in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota." "I was not previously aware of psychiatric institutions like the Indian Asylum in South Dakota where experiments were conducted." "I did not know that many Native American children were forced to give up their language and customs, which prevented them from exploring and living their culture."

Community Collaboration Grant - Houston County History Hunt
In early 2018 Ashley Dress, Director of Caledonia Public Library, teamed up with four other Houston County public librarians to orchestrate a self-paced scavenger hunt designed to get individuals and families out and exploring the historical and natural sites their area has to offer, including the five public libraries which are accessible to everyone. Joining Caledonia were the following public libraries: Hokah, Houston, La Crescent, and Spring Grove. Together they chose 26 sites from around the county for their historical or natural importance. The five librarians created a concept for exploration bags that included a map of the sites, crayons, and a book, that were given to families or individuals. These bags provided booklets with information about each site as well as blank pages on which to make rubbings. The librarian team also developed a concept for placing a tile marker at each site that participants had to locate and make a rubbing of in their booklets. The team consulted with various partners who helped implement the placement of the markers for the project.

The goal of the project was to increase participants' knowledge of the historical and natural sites around the county. The target audience was young families with children ages 6-18. Permission and assistance from host sites and community groups was needed first in order to proceed with creating the History Hunt goal markers - the posts and/or tiles for each of the 26 locations selected. Each of these additional partners were excited to participate, and they welcomed the opportunity to see additional visitors to these sites. To support the active work of the hunt, and spread word of it to county residents and visitors, the librarians worked with a graphic designer to create a special website, information booklet for participants, posters and postcards, and a map with all marker locations on it. The website was included on all promotional materials and was linked on all of the libraries' Facebook pages, so anyone interested could learn more about the Hunt. Each marker post/tile also included a QR code that linked directly to the website, so those who may just have been out and about could learn more about the project too.

At the conclusion of the program, the librarians all agreed that the project had exceeded their expectations. The community came out for the Hunt, and many people tried to get to all 26 sites and document their experiences by making rubbings in their booklet or on sheets of paper. For some families this meant a mad-dash around to the sites to get all of the tiles recorded in their booklets by the August 31st deadline!

Many people responded to the survey at the end of the History Hunt, saying they learned a lot about the features in the Houston County area, and that they learned about things and places they never even knew existed in the county. A few parents mentioned that they were glad they got outside with their kids to see these local sites even though the kids said they were 'too tired' or 'too hot.' Several people commented that it was great to learn about the history of places they've driven by without even noticing before. A great illustration of this is a story from one participant, "I learned of historical places in the 'neighborhood' I did not know existed. We ran into people we knew at the Stone Church and they gave us a personal tour and little oral history of the place. Very delightful experience." And, one of the favorite remarks shared on the survey was "Our family learned how great other community libraries are."

Special Legacy Project - James Bowey's "When Home Won't Let You Stay"
Documentary artist James A. Bowey shared stories and photographs from "When Home Won't Let You Stay," his traveling exhibition about refugees in Minnesota with twenty SELCO regional libraries. As part of this project, he discussed how current refugee policies and attitudes reflect the state of empathetic imagination in civic life. This compelling talk explored how each person can bear witness in a contentious world, and awaken their imagination to the possibilities of diversity and human connection. A goal of this project was to have participants walk away with a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper appreciation for photography, creativity, and how empathy is an essential mindset for contemporary education, business, and democracy.

Special Legacy Projects are partnerships between SELCO and an artist, author, or other provider of Arts and Cultural programming who we feature through a special tour of regional libraries interested in sharing the program topic with their patrons. Mr. Bowey had presented another, similar themed program at two member libraries previously. His solid reputation for presenting thought-provoking images along with mindful conversations of the arts' themes, as well as requests from libraries to bring him in, compelled us to create a special tour.

Attendees overwhelmingly expressed gratitude for bringing this visual artist and speaker to their library to have a meaningful, and at times difficult, discussion on refugees and their stories. People found the photographic images to be starkly beautiful, poignant, and exquisitely selected. In addition to learning more, and more detailed accounts of people's experience as refugees, many people appreciated Mr. Bowey's guidance on approaching listening and communicating in new ways. In general, people opened themselves to viewing issues presented in the session through a new perspective.

Several people shared that they hoped to continue this type of open dialogue around this topic with others in their community. And, several people shared their personal accounts of either being a refugee or working with this population directly. One person shared this as their experience with refugees in Minnesota, "As a retired ELL teacher, these stories brought back so many memories of my students, especially the Hmong and Somali (children). When I began teaching, the Hmong kids were all refugees. At the end of my career, I was teaching grandchildren of refugees. I witnessed so much hope and change.”
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2017 Minnesota Special Session Laws, Chapter 91-HF.No 707, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 5
Appropriation Language

These amounts are appropriated to the commissioner of education for grants to the 12 Minnesota regional library systems to provide educational opportunities in the arts, history, literary arts, and cultural heritage of Minnesota. These funds must be allocated using the formulas in Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355, subdivisions 3, 4, and 5, with the remaining 25 percent to be distributed to all qualifying systems in an amount proportionate to the number of qualifying system entities in each system. For purposes of this subdivision, "qualifying system entity" means a public library, a regional library system, a regional library system headquarters, a county, or an outreach service program. These funds may be used to sponsor programs provided by regional libraries or to provide grants to local arts and cultural heritage programs for programs in partnership with regional libraries. These funds must be distributed in ten equal payments per year. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.28, the appropriations encumbered on or before June 30, 2019, as grants or contracts in this subdivision are available until June 30, 2021.

2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$236,971
Other Funds Leveraged
$11,051
Direct expenses
$49,919
Administration costs
$5,914
Number of full time equivalents funded
0.2625 FTE
Measurable Outcome(s)

Total number of projects: 19
Total number of programs and/or events (if different than total number of projects):46 
Total attendance/participation: 3727
Total number of partnerships: 60

Description of Funds
Community Collaboration Grant - Cannon Falls Library Teen Mural Public Art Project
Cannon Falls Library collaborated with the Cannon Arts Board to hire artist Kelli Bickman to work with local teens to create a removable indoor wall mural for the Young Adult section of the Cannon Falls Library. The project was developed in direct response to the library's Teen Advisory Board request for opportunities for teens in Cannon Falls to create meaningful art in the community.

The Cannon Falls Library decided to work with Kelli Bickman because of her success as a professional artist, and also because of her ties to Cannon Falls as her hometown. Bickman had a deep understanding of the community, and she had extensive experience working with youth to create public art projects like the mural proposed at the library. A total of 15 youth worked on the mural, from creating concept drawings and sketches on wood panels to painting the panels according to their collective vision for the art. The group took four days to create and install the mural, and then the library held a Mural Unveiling.

At least 70 community members came to Cannon Falls Library for the Mural Unveiling on the day following the mural's completion. As the library had projected, and surveys confirmed, the mural was very well received by the community. In terms of goals for the youth artists, the library hoped the teens would become more confident in their art abilities, learn from the experience, feel positive about the project, believe that the project contributed to the library's image and mission, and express that the project benefited the community. Nearly every youth artist believed they had grown their artistic abilities, and they were proud of the work they had done. They learned how to express themselves in a new way, and appreciated the teamwork involved in the project. One teen artist commented, "I think that it makes the library more bright and approachable." Another expressed that they learned, "different ways to express myself and put a new light on literature and art".

The library also hoped that the community members attending the unveiling would feel positive about the project and confirm that it added to the library's image and mission, and that the mural would benefit the community.

Positive comments filled the survey pages! Comments like, "looks great", "impressive", and "I love it!" were jotted down in high numbers. Everyone agreed that the mural was a positive contribution to the library- its image and mission. And, the named benefits to the community were numerous. Some selected comments include, "It's great that members of the community, the kids especially, can say they are part of something. They have a story to tell!", and "I think it is appreciated by the older people and it's an inspiration to the younger ones to do a similar project.", and "Visitors can see aspects of life in Cannon Falls. More people will come to see it."
Project Overview

Minnesota's twelve regional library systems, which encompass more than 350 public libraries in all areas of the state, can benefit from a portion of the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Through State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, each regional library system is eligible to receive a formula-driven allocation from the annual $2.5 million Minnesota Regional Library System Legacy Grant. Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) is a federated regional public library system with central services located in southeastern Minnesota. SELCO has thirty-five member public libraries located in eleven counties: Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona. With Arts and Cultural Heritage funds, SELCO and its member libraries present an array of arts, cultural, literary, and Minnesota history programs in collaboration with arts and cultural organizations, independent artists, historical societies, and community organizations. Projects contribute to the cultural vitality of the region and build a lasting legacy.

Project Manager
First Name
Krista
Last Name
Ross
Organization Name
Southeastern Libraries Cooperating
Street Address
2600 19th St. NW
City
Rochester
State
MN
Zip Code
55901-0767
Phone
(507) 288-5513
Email
kross@selco.info