giveMN Best in America Seal of Excellence

KSMQ goes OFF 90 and finds

the "Barn Bar"

The Rochester Arts Council past Board Chair, Bob Sanborn, has been busy these past 5 seasons quietly creating, with a little help from his friends, a YouTube phenomenon in his barn.

The secret is now out as KSMQ showcases Barn Bar, the strangest bar since Star Wars.

If you want to see what the buzz is about, and catch sight of some people you might just know frequenting this place, go to Barn Bar.


Did you know?.......

The Rochester Arts Council is eligible to receive matching grants through the IBM Matching Grants Program. We want to thank all the current employees and retirees who not only donated to us, but completed the matching grant form. If you are a current or former IBM employee, and a donor to the Rochester Arts Council, please consider the matching program. Funds received will help defray the costs of ARTigras.



Since there is always too much to do in Rochester, our

Events Calendar has been color-coordinated.

Fundraisers are in green, events in red and auditions and gallery showings in blue. We hope this central location will assist arts organizations and others in planning their own activities, such as fundraisers. As well as letting everyone know when that high school or college play is being performed, or the season schedule for your favorite performing arts group. But this interactive website is also only as good as those who use it- so submit your events and refer to the calendar and Events section for all things Arts.


SEMAC Awards Operating Grant*!

The Rochester Arts Council is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of an operating support grant for 2013 through the Southeast MN Arts Council. Receipt of this grant allows your Arts Council to designate other funds to the services and programs that benefit you and our community.

*This activity is funded by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council through the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota state Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Dancing for the Arts-Take III           was a sell-out event on Saturday!

$86,000 was raised to support youth arts education and the programs and services of the Rochester Arts Council.

And the DFTA-Take III Trophy was awarded to the team of

Dan Litzinger and Katy Jablonski

We're not saying anything but that's the third year in a row that a jock has won- Was it the magic hand-me-down shoes?

Taking home the Judges' Choice Trophies was the team of

Jen Koski and John Vitek

Rave reviews are being given to the celebrity dancers who really did a fantastic job learning their dance routines under the tutelage of Gary and April Dahl of Dahl Dance Center and their professional dancers.

BUT It could not have been accomplished without your support of the celebrity dancers of the Class of 2014. So once again.......

Who were the celebrity dancers for Take III?

Audrey Betcher- Executive Director of the Rochester Public Library

Carolyn Piepho- Director of Development and Marketing, Season Hospice

Jennifer Koski- Associate Editor, Rochester Magazine and Post-Bulletin columnist

JoAnn Stormer- President of the Rochester Area Foundation

Julie Jones-102.5 The Fox radio personality (and former DFTA judge)

Aaron Benike- President, Alvin E. Benike, Inc.

Al Mannino- Vice-president of Communications, Home Federal

Dan Litzinger- General manager, Rochester Honkers

Larry Guse- Chief  People Officer, Think Mutual Bank

Steve Books- Musician, Booker Mini Band, BookerMini Foundation

The professional dancers representing Dahl Dance Center are April Dahl, Gary Dahl, Tim Horn, Joel Ray, John Vitek, Calvin Behling, Katy Jablonski,

Christine Miller, Amanda Ruggeri and Julie Sobolewski.


Dancing for the Arts-Take III

Youth Arts Education Grant Application Forms

                                will be available soon.

Deadline is June 1st



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                                    Dancing for the Arts-Take II

                              Youth Arts Education Awards Granted!!

On April 13th, 2013 ten local Rochester celebrities went toe-to-toe paired with professional dancers from Dahl Dance Center to raise money for youth arts education.


The Rochester Arts Council’s “Dancing for the Arts-Take II” sold-out event raised $78,000 through pre-event and event voting monies combined, and a generous post-event donation by Al and Sharon Tuntland. All voting monies for the celeb/pro teams were designated by the Arts Council board to benefit youth arts education.


Of the net proceeds, twelve nonprofit arts and humanities organizations, more than double the number last year, were the 2013 recipients, as determined by an independent panel of funders:


Hambone Music Festival- $1000 for a professionally-led percussion workshop culminating in a main stage performance with The Swamp Kings.


Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota- $1000 to support the “Sharing Music in the Schools” outreach program that brings choral music into Rochester schools.


Minnesota Ballet Theatre- $2000 for an original holiday theatrical/dance production with a diverse cast and assistance in underwriting the cost of busing elementary school children to performances.


Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester- $1500 for early childhood interactive arts education programming in the Classroom.


Rochester Art Center- $500 to provide equipment for Tastes Like Paint’s

video project creating individual interpretations of diverse experiences in Rochester.


Rochester Civic Theatre- $1500 to assist in disseminating the “AWARE” Anti-Bullying Educational Theatre piece in the community. 


Rochester Irish Fest- $1000 for youth workshops in musical instruments,  Irish dance and storytelling, culminating in showcase sessions.


Rochester Public Library- $2000 to assist in the purchase of furniture, equipment and supplies to create a teen art space.


Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale- $1500 for “Playing with the Pros” which will provide unique access for young musicians to perform as soloists with a professional orchestra.


Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, MN- $3500 for a new program to provide age-specific “art to go” totes with art activities for children when at appointments, undergoing treatments or inpatient at the hospital. 


Sing Out Loud- $2500 to expand the pilot project Bella Fiore, a choral training program for 6th-8th grade girls.


Words Players Theatre- $1500 to assist in production of a new work that will incorporate the paintings of James C. Christensen.


The community will have another opportunity to contribute to youth arts education on April 12, 2014 when ten more local celebrities and their pro partners dust off their dancing shoes for “Dancing for the Arts-Take III”.

And........check out this video testimonal from Dancing for the Arts 2012.



How Fortunate We Are To Live In Minnesota With Our Legacy Amendment!

Ann Arbor City Officials Disappointed by Rejection of Public Art Millage

A property tax millage to fund a more comprehensive public art program has been rejected by voters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, disappointing city officials there, the Michigan Daily reports.

At a cost of about $11 a month to the average homeowner, the tax would have generated approximately $450,000 annually to provide direct funding for public art projects in the community. The millage had been proposed as an alternative to the current funding mechanism for public art, a program called Percent for Art that receives funds from different city departments and is restricted to permanent art installations on specified government properties. The millage would have included funding for temporary art projects. Although there are proposals to modify the Percent for Art program, none calls for including temporary art.

Public art administrator Aaron Seagraves noted that unfamiliarity with the new model of funding as well as a lack of awareness about the proposal, which was added to the ballot two months before election day, could have contributed to the measure's defeat.

Mark Tucker, art director of the University of Michigan's Lloyd Hall Scholars Program and founder of FestiFools, an annual parade of papier-mâché puppets created by students and members of the community that would have benefited from the millage, said he was disappointed but not surprised by its defeat. "I'm not completely surprised because it would be unusual for a community to come out in strong favor of wanting its tax dollars to go towards public art," said Tucker. "But I think it probably has to do with education in terms of how much the public art millage committee had time to get out the information."



Arts & Economic Prosperity IV Study Results are in!

The Arts are Big Business in Rochester!

The Rochester Arts Council's commissioned study to determine the economic impact of nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and their Audiences in the City of Rochester has shown that the Arts brought $38.2 million into the City of Rochester, and added $3 million to the state and local tax coffers.

And these numbers do not take into account the earnings of our individual artists, so the actual number is undoubtedly higher.

A big THANK YOU is in order for all those who participated in the gathering of the information and especially to the audience members who took the time to complete the survey.

A project of Americans for the Arts, the Arts Council was chosen to be the representative for the state of Minnesota, as well as commissioning a customized study for Rochester thanks to generous partnerships with the City of Rochester, University of Minnesota Rochester, Mayo Clinic and Home Federal Savings Bank.

In addition to the Rochester Arts Council, participating organizations included Bella Voce Young Women's Choir, Children's Dance Theatre, Children's Museum of Rochester, Choral Arts Ensemble, Diversity Council, History Center of Olmsted County, Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, Mayo Civic Center, Mayo Clinic Center for Humanities in Medicine, RCTC Drama Club, Rochester Aria Group, Rochester Art Center, Rochester Chamber Music Society, Rochester Civic Music, Rochester Civic Theatre, Rochester Dance Company, Rochester Downtown Alliance, Rochesterfest, Rochester International Film Group, Rochester Male Chorus, Rochester Music Guild, Rochester Music Men Barbershop Chorus, Rochester Public Library, Rochester Repertory Theatre Company, Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, Southeastern Minnesota American Guild of Organists, Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestra, St. John's Block Party and Vertigo Theatre Factory.