ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Playhouse, Art Institute awarded $20,000-plus from Depot Foundation

Both the Duluth Playhouse and the Duluth Art Institute were awarded grants of $20,000 or more from the Depot Foundation last week, said Carla Charlton, executive director of the foundation.

Both the Duluth Playhouse and the Duluth Art Institute were awarded grants of $20,000 or more from the Depot Foundation last week, said Carla Charlton, executive director of the foundation.
The foundation awarded a total of $77,000 to arts and cultural capital projects and programs to member organizations of the St. Louis Heritage and Cultural Center.
The foundation's board was excited to be able to fund the proposals, she said.
The grants included $6,000 to the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra to buy new percussion instruments, $3,702 to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum to record an oral railroading history and $5,250 to support the Minnesota Ballet's "Dance Explorations," an educational program to introduce school children to ballet.
The foundation also awarded $2,000 to Matinee Musicale to support the spring performances of Kim Souvin and Anne Leek. Both musicians plan to conduct two college-level master classes and expand Matinee Musicale's educational outreach program to include high school quartets.
The Children's Museum received $6,000 to help pay for a "magic carpet" pathway on the museum's first floor.
"We're going to be replacing the carpet on the first level, down by the tree," said Bonnie Cusick, director and curator of the museum. "One of the things we wanted to do is introduce a multi-colored pathway. It will be based on the theme we've used on our Web page and will help children follow their way to different exhibits."
The Arrowhead Chorale also received a $5,000 grant to purchase digital audio recording equipment to enable the choral group to make CDs of its concerts and sell to the public, said Kristine Osbakken, general manager of the chorale. "It's exciting. We have always recorded our concerts, but now we'll have our own equipment to do it on," she said.
The big ticket items were the grants to the Duluth Playhouse and the Art Institute.
The playhouse received two grants -- $15,000 to support the acquisition of dedicated space for the Children's Theatre Arts Program as well as expansion of the program.
It also received $14,000 to purchase a Genie lift and new ropes and line sets for the theater.
"It was very needed, all of it," said Christine Gradl Seitz, managing director of the Playhouse. "We're very thankful to have (the foundation's) support."
The Children's Theatre Arts Program has outgrown the limited space at the Depot. "We had to turn kids away this semester because we didn't have enough space," she said. The grant will give the Playhouse the opportunity to find a larger space to run the Children's Theatre Arts Program, she said.
The grant for the Genie lift, a personal lift, is also welcome, she said. As it stands now, "we don't have the ability to reach up into our rafters and fix the lighting and work on the grid. Our tech director has to climb a 40-foot ladder to do any work up there."
And the ropes in the theater, which are used to raise and lower sets, are old and frayed. "To our knowledge, they've never been replaced," she said. The grant will also help the theater purchase new line sets, or the poles that run the width of the stage from which sets are hung.
The Duluth Art Institute's grant for $20,000 will be used primarily to complete the renovation of the Lincoln Building's atrium as well as setting up the infrastructure to create a digital imaging lab with connections to the Internet.
"Basically, we're trying to create an imaging station to be available for artists so they can come in and create their own CDs for promotional purposes," said Linda Hebenstreit, education director at the Art Institute. "They'll be able to scan their images, get on Web sites, create brochures. The lab will include a digital camera, scanner and Mac computer connected to the Internet, so they can do all of it from here."
The grant will also help finish the renovation, which will include space to keep the Art Institute's library of books donated by artists over the years.
Presently, the Lincoln Building houses the fiber arts studio as well as a studio where classes are held. The Great Hall, which is being renovated by apprentices with two unions, Carpenters' Local 361 and Painters' Local 106, has been used in the past to create a number of public art works. The Peace Sculpture by Carla Stetson and Almut Heer was created there, as was "Floodwaters," a piece that is at Harriet Island Regional Park in the Twin Cities by Ann Klefstad and Jeffery Kalstrom and "Human Nature," a multi-media piece by Frank Sander which was exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
"We're looking at creating flexible space in the Lincoln Building that can have a variety of uses in the community," Hebenstreit said. "And we're very grateful to the Depot Foundation for their continuing support."

What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.