Summer Vacation Edition – Volume VII, No. 7
Deb is on college tours with the kids; Ann is in Dublin, Ireland; Jane is waiting for the next vacation day!

Share Your Community Pride at the 2009 MN State Fair!
Just over one week remains to enter your community or community project in the 25th Anniversary Minnesota Community Pride competition. All participants will be showcased and the winners will be announced at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair on September 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Carousel Park stage near the Grandstand. The contest is sponsored by the Minnesota State Fair,, the Blandin Foundation and MRP, Inc.

Contest details are available at Entry deadline is July 17; cash awards will go to the top winners in each category. You can also email or call 651-303-5263 if you have questions.

To help celebrate this first-time event at the State Fair, singer-songwriter Charlie Maguire will share his special brand of grassroots music, and Minnesota Trivia contests and community pride discussions will highlight both our affection for and concerns across the state.

“The State Fair has always been a place and time for Minnesotans to showcase, recognize and share creative ideas and innovations. It’s the perfect venue to spotlight communities that are helping our state be the best we can be,” said lifelong State Fair fan Jane Leonard, one of the contest organizers. “It’s one of the few places left where we all come together as Minnesotans.”

The competition lifts up and publicly recognizes the energy and ingenuity of Minnesota’s communities in both overall community and economic development achievement, and innovations in specific disciplines, such as education, broadband deployment and application, health care, entrepreneurship support, arts & culture, and public finance and more.

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Starting this week: “Recession in Minnesota,” a special series by Sharon Schmickle which focuses on the impact of the current economic downtown in six different regions of the state. Special thanks to the Blandin Foundation and Otto Bremer Foundation for their support of the coverage of Greater Minnesota.

The series begins with three stories, and will continue with occasional pieces later in the year. Here’s the link to today’s story. 

To get a great weekly summary of Greater MN news, sign up for the free weekly email, which is sent out on Tuesday afternoons to 2,400+ subscribers.

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Workshops this month on the 2010 round of the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) grants through Minnesota’s Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) office. The program’s primary objective is to “develop viable communities by providing decent affordable housing and a suitable living environment by expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low-and-moderate income”. Applications for the grant are due by Thursday, September 3.

These are the dates and locations that are confirmed for the Training Sessions:
Location: Date:
Country Inn & Suites
1900 Premier Drive
Mankato, MN 56001

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Session: 9 a.m. – noon
Holiday Inn Express
2422 Ridgeway Ave NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Session: 9 a.m. – noon
Holiday Inn
5637 Highway 29 South
Alexandria, MN 56308

Thursday, July 23, 2009
Session: 9 a.m. – noon
All Workshops are free and open to the public.
If you have any questions, please contact Gloria Stiehl at 651-259-7462 or


The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota has issued a statewide Request for Proposals to apply for multi-year grants through its Social Change Fund. Through the Fund, the Women’s Foundation awards multi-year grants to nonprofits working to increase equality for women and girls in Minnesota by changing attitudes and behaviors, or shifting institutions and policies. Grants are awarded for up to three years of funding, renewable each year based on evidence of satisfactory progress toward goals and outcomes. Information about the grant, the application process, required forms, and link to apply online are available at the Foundation’s website. The grant application deadline is October 1, 2009.

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MacRostie Art Center and OutFront Minnesota invite entries for an art exhibition to heighten awareness and education about issues affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Minnesotans. The exhibition will be used to encourage thoughtful discussion about ways in which we can make our state safe, fair and just for GLBT people.

Artists are encouraged to submit work addressing their vision of GLBT equality or illustrating discrimination GLBT people face in Minnesota. Submitted works may include drawings, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, photographs, or mixed media. MacRostie Art Center must receive all entry materials by August 3rd, 2009 (

The exhibit will open in October 2009 at the MacRostie Art Center and travel to additional art galleries in Greater Minnesota. Several pieces in the show will also be exhibited at the Minnesota State Capitol during the winter in 2010.

If you have questions about the exhibition or the entry process, please contact: Paula Brandel,, 218/326-2697

We’ll have a full Round-Up published in August. Send any announcements, notes, comments, etc., by August 7 to get into the August 11 Round-Up.

Jane Leonard
Minnesota Rural Partners
1533 Grantham St.
St. Paul, MN 55108
phone (651) -303-5263