Pictured from left are Sharon Mansur, Eileen and Larry Wolner, Mary Farrell, Sarah Johnson, Parker Forsell, Theresa Remick, Maria Anholzer, Alessandra Sulpy, Caitilin McCoy, Mayor Mark Peterson, Lee Gundersheimer, and Patrick O’Shea.

Celebrate Winona FAC awards, grants, and creative laureate December 9


At a recent City Council meeting, three exciting creative decisions were announce by the Fine Arts Commission (FAC), awards were announced, and grant winners were awarded. In addition, all the winners will be celebrated at a free public reception on Monday December 9, at the Blue Heron Coffeehouse from 6-8 p.m.

The following awards were presented: Sarah Johnson is the first Winona creative laureate; Mid West Music Fest, Mary Farrell, and Larry and Colleen Wolner are the 2019 Fine Arts award winners; and Farrell, Maria Anholzer, Patrick O’Shea, and Sharon Mansur were awarded FAC grants totaling $3,650.

The first creative laureate, a re-envisioning to the previous poet laureate position to include other creative disciplines, is Sarah Johnson. Johnson will serve a three-year term and act as a creative ambassador for Winona.

As part of the 2019 Fine Arts Commission awards, the FAC honored a highly creative photographer and filmmaker, Mary Farrell; two longtime supporters and producers of the arts, Larry and Colleen Wolner, owners of the Blue Heron Coffeehouse; and one of the signature music festivals, Mid West Music Fest. The purpose of the FAC award is to identify individuals and organizations that should be recognized for their support and/or contributions to the arts in and around Winona.

In addition, the FAC also chose its 2019 grants winners: Maria Anholzer, Mary Farrell (for her second honor of the year), Patrick O’Shea, and Sharon Mansur. The FAC grants program was launched to support creative works about or inspired by Winona. All creative, visual, or performing artists who are Winona residents (or are enrolled as a full-time student at a Winona institution) were invited to apply

The public can congratulate the winners at a special holiday reception to honor all three programs at the Blue Heron Coffeehouse on December 9 from 6-8 p.m. with light food, a cash bar, and live music from the Wabasha Street Trio.

The FAC exists to promote, educate and facilitate efforts concerning the performing, literary and visual arts in the Winona area. The commission serves as a resource for the community, artists, and art organizations, and serves in an advisory capacity to the City Council on arts and humanities initiatives.

For additional information about the FAC and these award and grants winners, contact city of Winona Arts and Culture Coordinator Lee Gundersheimer at lgundersheimer@ci.winona.mn.us or 507-457- 8255.


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