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Up With People Coming this Fall
Arts Connection is excited to announce its partnership with the international organization Up with People and their upcoming visit to Woodbury!
Up with People is a non-profit global education organization focused on bringing the world together through service and music. The current cast is made up of 100 young people from 19 different countries who range in age from 17-29 years old. They're arriving in Woodbury on September 12 for a one-week stay to take part in a variety of community service projects (including one with Arts Connection) get to know all of you and the great Midwestern culture!
As a friend of Arts Connection we would like to give you the first opportunity to get involved with the international cast that's arriving in September. There are a few ways that you and your family can get involved:
- See the Up with People Show: 'A Song for the World'
- Loft Stage, East Ridge High School on Thursday, September 15 at 7:00 PM
- Show proceeds benefit Merrill Community Arts Center!
Purchase a ticket through the Woodbury Community Theatre website!
The following document has complete information on how you can participate in this exciting event: Up With People
Merrill Community Arts Center Comes to Life
Arts Connection is happy to announce the first phase toward creating the Merrill Community Arts Center - the opening of their Rivertown Campus. This 8,000 s.f. facility at 380 Rivertown Drive in Woodbury will include space for theater set design building, costume and props production and storage, visual art design and display, administrative offices and meeting rooms, and space for rehearsals and gatherings to support the craft of arts in our community.
Arts Connection will continue to complete designs for the construction of a Black Box Theater to be attached to the Loft Stage at East Ridge High School, scheduled for construction starting in the spring of 2012. The East Ridge Campus will serve primarily as a rehearsal and "green room" facility for community arts groups as well as East Ridge High School, thereby maximizing the Loft Stage as a premiere performance facility. It will also provide a venue for smaller performance opportunities for theater, music, dance, literary and visual arts.
The decision to separate the "back end" arts functions from the performance facility was made after construction bids revealed special challenges and costs associated with building on to the existing Loft Stage venue. In order to move forward, a new solution was required to meet the budget, function and timeline needs of the project. This solution has resulted in the purchase of an existing off-campus facility to house those functions not used by the school district, to be combined with an on-campus Black Box theater. Together, these facilities will meet the full needs of the art center within the budget.
Arts Connection will continue to raise funds to strengthen the endowment available to support the ongoing operations of the Rivertown Campus. The East Ridge Campus operations will be supported through fees secured by event ticket sales and through outside rentals of the Black Box Theater. The long term use agreement already approved by Arts Connection and South Washington County School District #833 will be modified as needed to govern the mutual use of the Loft Stage and Black Box Theater facilities.
In 2005, Mayor Bill Hargis brought together leaders from Arts Connection and School District #833 to discuss the development of a community arts center, as part of the districts's desire to construct a third high school. This partnership was formed and in 2006, Arts Connection's members provided leadership and support for the school's bond referendum, and served on both the Architect Selection Committee and the Design Committee. The Loft Stage was opened in 2009 as a high school and community performance facility. Arts Connection proceeded with its fundraising efforts for the Center, and secured a major gift of over $2 million from 40-year Woodbury Resident Dorothy K. Merrill. A design and long term use agreement for the Merrill Community Arts Center was approved by the school board and City of Woodbury in 2011.
Download the Press Release
Take your seat ERHS Students and Staff at The Loft Stage!
East Ridge High School students and staff can now take advantage of the opportunity to sponsor a seat in the Loft Stage at a special contribution level. Between now and June 30th, print the attached form below and bring it to Amanda Hestwood at East Ridge or mail directly to Arts Connection in order to reserve your seat. Your contribution will help to build the Merrill Community Arts Center and the Performing Arts booster clubs at ERHS.
For more information contact Amanda Hestwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 768-2334.
Download the Student Seat Pledge Form
Download the Staff Seat Pledge Form
Welcome to the Arts Connection website!
Your one-stop connection to current performance and visual arts events in our community! Arts Connection is a non-profit community arts organization with a mission to connect the community through the arts by creating and promoting opportunities for people to learn, participate, and appreciate all forms of art.
Arts Connection is proud to serve the communities of Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park and Woodbury - though everyone is welcome to enjoy the arts in our community! More information on our history and current mission under Who We Are.
Help us create a Center for the Arts in our community!
A Center for the Arts is being planned as part of the new East Ridge High School being built in South Washington County School District #833. The center will include a black box theater, a community theater center, and an art gallery and studio. It will also include access to the mainstage 948-seat theater and auditorium. Get more information on the Center for the Arts and how you can get involved in helping bring it to life.
Please, Take Your Seat!
Get YOUR name or that of a loved one on a seat in the mainstage theater! Make your donation to the Center for the Arts Capital Campaign today! Click here for more information .