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Red Wing to pilot public art initiative

Red Wing, along with four other cities in southern Minnesota, was chosen to participate in the Public Art and Placemaking Tools for City Planners program, developed by Forecast Public Art and the American Planning Association. The program runs through 2018. Other selected cities include Austin, Mankato, Rochester and Winona. The National Endowment for the Arts and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation are funding the program.

The first year focuses on providing training to city staff and other local partners. In 2018, the ideas learned will be applied during planning or community engagement projects.

The program goes beyond simply incorporating public art into planning. The chief goal is to explore how public art can help solve issues related to health and wellness.

"Healthy cities boast a quality of life that helps attract and retain talent, businesses, industry, as well as cultural vibrancy," said Tim Penny, president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

The local organizations involved highlight the intersection between health and public art. The Sheldon Theatre, Red Wing Arts Association, Anderson Center, ArtReach, Downtown Main Street, Goodhue County Historical Society and Live Healthy Red Wing will all be involved. The executive directors of the Sheldon and the Red Wing Arts Association, Bonnie Schock and Mary Lee, will join city staff on the local project team as well. Brian Peterson, special project manager for the city, is spearheading Red Wing's effort.