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Community invited to 'Meet Me on Main'

Sheldon Theatre Executive Director Bonnie Schock helped bring about the collaborative “Meet Me on Main: Where Art, History and Commerce Connect” after the two-year construction disruption in downtown Red Wing. Photo courtesy of the Sheldon Theatre

"Meet Me on Main," a collaborative project that brings together local arts and theater groups, historians and downtown advocates, aims to involve the entire community one way or another next week.

The event offers a full schedule of entertainment and enlightenment — from street corner dances and art exhibits to school workshops, an architectural scavenger hunt and a huge finale involving projection of cell phone camera images on some downtown buildings.

Just about every activity or event is free. The exception is the Arena Dances performance of "The Main Street Project" April 27 at the Sheldon Theatre — the show that was the inspiration for "Meet Me on Main."

At the heart of the collaboration is Bonnie Schock, executive director of the Sheldon Theatre. The local theater was a partner in getting a grant for Arena Dances to take its Main Street show on the road.

She thought about how highway and street reconstruction in recent years has affected Red Wing and realized, "The issues that are in this piece are absolutely here in this community."

The collaborative "Meet Me on Main: Where Art, History and Commerce Connect" grew out of that realization. The Sheldon, Red Wing Arts, ArtReach, Goodhue County Historical Society and Downtown Main Street got together to plan a week for all ages.

Schock is especially excited about an event that is tucked into the schedule at midweek. "Creative Main: A Community Conversation," from 5:30-7 p.m. April 25 at ArtReach, 436 W. Third St.

Presented by the Sheldon and Downtown Main Street, it will be what Schock described as "a creative visioning moment." In simpler terms, it's an opportunity for the community to talk about Main Street and what it could become.

To begin, a small panel of creative people representing different disciplines — including Mathew Janczewski, who created "The Main Street Project" for Arena Dances — to briefly offer their thoughts and impressions about Main Street.

Everyone will have a chance then to offer their own comments.

"One of the things the arts does better than anything else," Schock said, "is invite us to "It should be fun, and we hope it leaves us with some creative ideas."

Involving the community is important, she added, because "it's an opportunity for listening and looking at issues through a different lens."