Minnesota's Legacy

Viking Library System Legacy Grant SFY 2018 - SFY 2019

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$88,519
2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$88,519
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Recipient
Viking Library System
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
Douglas
Grant
Otter Tail
Pope
Stevens
Traverse
Douglas
Grant
Otter Tail
Pope
Stevens
Traverse
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
$88,519
Other Funds Leveraged
$33,420
Direct expenses
$79,918
Administration costs
$4,425
Number of full time equivalents funded
0.35
Measurable Outcome(s)

Total number of projects: 38
Total number of programs and/or events (if different than total number of projects): 100
Total attendance/participation: 4714
Total number of partnerships: 36

Description of Funds
Secondary school students from the Fergus Falls Public Library and Pelican Rapids Public Library traveled by coach bus to Chaska High School to attend the 2018 Twin Cities Teen Lit Con. The feedback was tremendous. Very few, if any, of these students would have been able to travel to the event without the sponsorship from Legacy funding. All of the students met authors or had books signed, and the students gained a much deeper understanding of the writing process from contemporary authors of young adult literature.

Children's Art Workshops with Fiber Artist Torri Hanna and Printmaker Michael Weatherly
In two-hour workshops held in six libraries over the 2018 MEA school break, fiber artist Torri Hanna and printmaker Michael Weatherly led school-aged children in artmaking endeavors. During classes on Thursday and Friday, Hanna taught children the skill of finger-knitting to make scarves in Wheaton, Elbow Lake, Alexandria, and Morris. On Friday, Weatherly traveled to Perham and New York Mills to instruct participants how to create mono-prints with natural objects. While the workshops were targeted to youth, a small number of adults were able to take part as space permitted.

Participants learned specific creative skills. A child unfamiliar with finger knitting wrote, "[I liked] learning something new [that] I can do at home, too." A young printmaker wrote, "I like painting the [printing) plates and then pressing it, too!" The step-by-step and personal instruction transformed all participants into artists regardless of skill. A 6-year-old wrote, "I like to finger knit. Still learning. Fun." A participant of the printmaking class wrote, "[I liked] all of it. [Printmaking] was fun. It was kind of hard but this is so cool!"

Hiring local artists was a priority in the planning process: Hanna lives in Fergus Falls, while Weatherly resides in Elbow Lake. The artists worked well with children. A child in Wheaton wrote, "[I liked] the good teacher, fun, and learning how to finger knit. I would like [Torri] to come again." Indeed, the New York Mills Public Library director was so impressed with Weatherly's skill and ability to work with children that she hired him for an Urban Printmaking event held outside the library during a community summer festival.

Patrick Scully in "Leaves of Grass - Illuminated"
Minneapolis actor and playwright Patrick Scully presented a one-man, original theatrical production revealing the complexity of the life and times of Walt Whitman, the nineteenth century American poet. The performance at Fergus Falls Public Library blended literature, history, and theatre, featuring readings from Whitman's published works and unpublished letters.

As one respondent noted, Scully was "a great entertainer and historian." The event was described by another as "Excellent!" Attendees learned "a lot about the backgrounds behind [Whitman's] work" and "really got a feel for Whitman's surliness to create and also be true to himself." Another wrote,"I wasn't aware of his connection to figures like Thoreau, Emerson, Lincoln, etc."

Access to a program of this caliber in western Minnesota was significant, as the librarian hosting the program explained, "It was a treat to have this event [in March 2019] before it shows at the Guthrie this summer. Attendees were very pleased with the event, and people who didn't have a chance to attend were still impressed that we offered a program of this quality."
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
$88,519
Measurable Outcome(s)

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

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. Viking Library System (VLS) is a federated regional public library system with central services located in central western Minnesota. VLS has eleven member public libraries located in six counties: Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, and Traverse. With Arts and Cultural Heritage funds, VLS 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
Erin
Last Name
Smith
Organization Name
Viking Library System
Street Address
1915 Fir Avenue West
City
Fergus Falls
State
MN
Zip Code
56537
Phone
(218) 739-5286
Email
esmith@vikinglibrarysystem.org