It’s so exciting to me that as a regional community foundation, Southwest Initiative Foundation can play a role in lifting up many great and different assets in our area.
This week, I was back in Willmar for a special event at the Barn Theatre. Southwest Initiative Foundation made a grant to support The Barn Theatre’s renovations. They are one of only a few community theatres throughout the country to have their own building. And, they’re currently celebrating their 50th season!
I love community theater! It played a huge part in helping me feel at home in southwest Minnesota when I first moved here back in 1981. I auditioned for an old fashioned melodrama put on by the community theater in Hendricks and snagged the lead role. By closing night, I made friends and a place for myself in the fabric of the community.
I think this grassroots, community approach is what makes our rural arts scene so special. We have performance centers and arts associations in so many of our communities—Dawson, Hutchinson, Pipestone, Redwood Falls, and Litchfield just to name a few. We have unique historic places like the Lake Benton Opera House and Palace Theatre in Luverne. We have wonderful music from the Worthington Area Symphony and Crow River Youth Orchestra. We also have the Meander Arts Crawl that covers the northwest corner of our region. There are just so many talented groups and artists!
We embrace the arts and cultural experiences because they create the sense of community that is so important to us.
What’s your favorite arts experience in southwest Minnesota?
Check out our “Best of Southwest” conversation on Facebook to share and learn about community theatre in our region!