Around Cook County
Cook County is awash in artists, artisans and crafts people, joyfully so. It's a good bet we have more creative folk of assorted varieties than any other county in Minnesota.
While most celebrate this fact of North Woods life, few stop to think about what it means in economic terms – households sustained, careers fashioned and jobs created directly and indirectly by the application of art and craft skills. Fewer still have any reason to think deeply about what it could mean for county life if this sector of the economy were further developed.
Four people with extended, first-hand experience in arts and crafts economics will offer their views and visions on “Growing the Cook County Arts and Crafts Economy” at a gathering May 13 from 4-6 p.m. at Cook County Higher Ed. All are welcome, and there is no charge.
Come hear Greg Wright of North House Folk School, Amy Demmer of the Grand Marais Art Colony, Jan Sivertson of Sivertson Gallery and Jay Andersen of WTIP share their perspectives on what arts and crafts mean to the county – and what they could mean if the community united behind a program to grow and sustain them further.
Given Cook County's need for new economic vitality, there are all sorts of good reasons why the arts and crafts sector should be further developed: It builds on what we already do well; it enhances the existing character and culture of Cook County; and it adds another economic arrow to the county quiver, one that is related to tourism but has its own independent center of economic energy.
This is the first in a number of presentations on the projects and plans growing out of work by the Cook County Go Team and supported by the newly formed Cook County Chamber of Commerce.
The Cook County - Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) housing program has been working on residential rehab projects for several years now, improving the living conditions of low income homeowners and giving building contractors the opportunity for repair and renovation work. For contractors who would like to learn more about working with the EDA, there is a Building Contractors Informational Meeting at Grand Marais City Hall on Tuesday, May 14 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
If you would like to learn more but are unable to attend the meeting, contact Steve Grabko at (218) 398-2473 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cook County High School Band earned high praises from the judges at the Section 7A State-Section Band Festival in March for their performance of Gustav Holst’s First Suite in Eb. The band’s Jazz Ensemble also performed at the festival, playing Adele’s Skyfall.
The next Cook County High School band performance is Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m. and will feature the music of The Beatles. The community is invited.
The Cook County Community Center Steering Committee met on Monday, May 6, 2013 with Cook County Family YMCA Project Manager Wade Cole of ORB and architect Dan Miller of JLG Architects. After considerable discussion about elements of the design, there was consideration of the name of the facility.
Steering Committee member and County Commissioner Sue Hakes stated that the facility would still be a community center despite the fact that it is being called the Cook County Family YMCA. Current Community Center Director Diane Booth said that if the new facility will be a community center, then the current Community Center building would need to be renamed.
Newly hired YMCA Branch Executive Director Emily Marshall said that the YMCA has some facilities that are called Ys and others that are called community centers.
City Councilor Jan Sivertson wondered if the new facility could be called the Cook County Community YMCA. Some non-traditional families might prefer that the word “family” not be used, she said.
Diane Booth said having the Cook County Community Center, Cook County Community Education, and a Cook County Community YMCA would be hard for people to keep straight.
Executive Director Marshall said she would find out if the name could be changed at this point. There will be discussion of the facility name at the Tuesday, May 14 County Board meeting at 11:35 a.m.
A tour of the construction site was held Friday, May 10 for elected officials and some community members. Future tours are planned for the public and will be announced.
Jazz it up this May by joining your friends and neighbors in the "Move It in May" event. Community members are "moving it" Highway 61 to the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans. (The community has done the Lake Superior Circle Tour, so everyone is invited to jazz it up to Move It to New Orleans!
New this May will be weekly Thursday brown bag noontime presentations at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic lower level classroom, beginner and advanced bike safety rodeos, a chat box on the website, a printable tracking form for logging miles for large groups, and....a party!
Join your fellow Movers on May 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. for a New Orleans-style party at the 4H log building. All participants are invited to attend, and there will be prize drawings, blending smoothies on the blender bike, and dancing to sweet jazz tunes. And, you can finally meet your Move It competitors and comrades face-to-face.
Registration is available online now at www.sawtoothmountainclinic.org or for more information, contact Kristin at the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, 387-2330.