FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
pARTicipate Hutchinson, A community mural project,
receives $40,000 Blandin Foundation Leadership Boost Grant
Hutchinson, Minn. (November 15, 2022) – pARTicipate Hutchinson will use a $40,000 Blandin Foundation Leadership Boost Grant to create several murals in Hutchinson.
Leadership Boost Grants were launched to encourage Minnesotans living in rural and Tribal communities to be visionary and creative as they move their communities forward after two years of snowballing challenges.
“The last two years of complex crises have taken a toll on leaders across rural Minnesota,” said Sonja Merrild, director of rural grantmaking at Blandin Foundation. “In times like this, of great challenge and opportunity, the resilience and fortitude of rural people and places shines through. Yet, we recognize the critical need for more resources to move small communities from where they are to where they want to go.”
More than 300 Letters of Interest were submitted for funding, far more than anticipated. Based on the type of requests received, Blandin Foundation opened three grant rounds for Community Planning, Capital Projects in small towns under 3,000 people, and Creative Placemaking. To better support the many strong requests, the total amount of funding available increased from $1 million to $5.5 million after Blandin Foundation’s board approved an additional $3 million in June and a $1.5 million grant was secured from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.
“Rural and Tribal places simply don’t get their fair share of funding and resources,” said Merrild. “When we see stats like only 5 percent of philanthropic dollars and 10 percent of federal small business loan funds go to rural, this creates resource roadblocks to future opportunity. While the leaky pipes intended to bring resources into rural communities need a complete overhaul, Leadership Boost Grants are one way we can spark energy and action toward sustainable rural futures.”
pARTicipate Hutchinson was invited to submit a full application for a Creative Placemaking grant.
Partnering with the Hutchinson Center for the Arts, Public Arts Commission, Hutchinson Public Schools, private businesses, muralists, and the chamber/tourism, the goal of this project is tri-fold. Create beautiful stop points in our community, build pride of place for our residents, and bring our community together with art. This is meant to include anyone who wants to participate. Murals and building owners will be matched, while future muralists learn the details of taking their idea from paper to walls. The dollars granted and raised will go toward supplies, paint and education.
“As we looked to other communities for inspiration, we learned pride of place was an incredible driver for many residents,” said Mary Hodson, president of the Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce &Tourism and the Chamber Foundation. “We will be engaging anyone who wants to design, prep, paint, and/or host a mural on their building. This grant will help us start very strong; we hope others in the community will consider giving toward this project as well. We’re grateful the Blandin Foundation sees our vision of placemaking through art, and of course, Hutchinson collaboration.”
Anyone interested in more information on this project as an artist, building owner, or supporter, are encouraged to reach out to Mary Hodson.
For more on Blandin Foundation’s Rural Leadership Boost Grants, and to see other grantee projects, visit https://bit.ly/RuralBoostGrants.
Hutchinson Chamber Foundation
Mary Hodson, President
Jennifer Bevis, Senior Rural Advocacy Associate