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Online giving for the Cultural Center

Investing in the Cultural Center

Like what we’re doing? Click below to donate! We are a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, so your donation is tax deductible.

We depend on the support of individual and businesses to continue our programming and to help us achieve our mission of being a hub for creativity, community vitality, and lifelong learning in the arts. THANK YOU for helping us continue to connect people to artists and great cultural experiences in rural Minnesota!

donatenowlogo2Just click on this button for Network for Good on the left.  You will be directed to the Network for Good website featuring the Cultural Center (our legal name is “New York Mills Arts Retreat”).  Thank you for your support!

Sustainable memberships are a fantastic way to offer regular support to the Cultural Center in a way that is easy on your budget too. Sustainable memberships may be on a monthly (minimum $10/month), quarterly or annual basis, and is payable through your bank account (checking or savings) or a credit card (VISA or MasterCard).  Please contact us to set up your sustainable membership today (218-385-3339)!


Why Knit? Why Knot? 2.0

Two Tuesdays June 14th & 21st

Knifty Knitters Knitting Class

yoga mat class poster

There is nothing in the world like creating something with your own two hands…except maybe creating something with your own two needles!

Join these Knifty Knitters in their 2-session knitting class on Tuesday June 14th and Tuesday June 21st. The $20 fee covers both sessions. You’ll learn to make your own yoga bag or beach tote bag!

This class will be taught by a regular of the Cultural Center’s Tuesday night Sit-N-Stitch, member Shelly Johnson. She is self-taught knitter who is an expert in crochet and a variety of fiber art forms.

Knifty needle tools will be checked out by class participants and yarn will be covered by the class fee. Each participant will complete a knit tote bag. Concepts to be covered are: casting on, the knit stitch, forming a doubled edging, decreasing, and completion with casting off.


Dates: Tuesday, June 14th AND Tuesday, June 21st Yoga Bag
Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm
Cost: $20.00
Ages: 10 years old through adults

Sign up by Monday June 13th ~ $20 for 2 Classes!

Limited spots available so reserve your place today by calling the Cultural Center at (218) 385-3339.

Art in Your Park

park nature2016 Art in Your Park Schedule Announced!

Art in Your Park is back again! Fun art activities are offered on several dates at several times in several parks of several towns! Join us at YOUR park to get in on the good times!

Art in Your Park is open to all youth aged toddler through entering 7th grade. Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult or high school-aged sibling. All materials are provided and Art in Your Park is completely free, thanks in part to a grant from Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s “Operation Round-Up” program, as well as support form our local and regional business and individual donors. Thank you to LREC and all donors!

CulturalCenter_006Hosted by Cultural Center staff and volunteer, Pam Robinson, Art in Your Park provides an outlet for kids to get some creative and mental juices flowing during the long and lazy days of summer.

Themes for the creative activities this summer are (not in this specific order):

Where Science and Art Collide!

  • Egg-citing adventures in engineering
  • Super signage with science concepts
  • Getting our bearings – sun dials and compasses

Celebrating Our Natural World!

  • Bird-brained mask making
  • Ice fishin’…in the summertime?
  • Buds, bugs and bikes
  • Stroke of genius-reinventing painting

The Art Of Music Making!

  • Keeping the beat instrument creations

New York Mills Art in Your Park Summer Schedule

Tuesday, June 14th – Smith Park
Wednesday, June 22 – Southside Park
Thursday, June 30th – Lund Park
Friday, July 8th – Cultural Center dance studio (during Fish House Festival!)
Tuesday, July 12th – Country View Playground
Wednesday, July 20th – Smith Park
Thursday, July 28th – Southside Park
Friday, August 5th – Lund Park

Each date will have two sessions: 10am-noon and 1-3pm.

Perham & Wadena Art in Your Park Summer Schedule

Thursday, June 16th – Tapley Park, Wadena
Thursday, June 21st – Perham Public Library @2pm
Thursday, July 21st – Tapley Park, Wadena
Thursday, August 18th – Tapley Park, Wadena

Each Wadena date will have two sessions: 10am-noon & 1-3pm.

Perham session will be 2pm-4pm.

All Art In Your Park activities are free and open to all children aged toddler through entering 7th grade. Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult or high school-aged sibling.
Pre-registration is not required, but please be aware that participation is first come, first served, and a maximum of 20 children will be able to participate at any one 2-hour session.
Same-day activities will differ at two sessions (morning and afternoon), so feel free to attend one or both! Call the Cultural Center with any questions: (218) 385-3339

Haaga Folk Machine in Concert

Haaga Folk Machine

Sunday, June 5th @ 7pm at the Finn Creek Museum

tero-300x300The Cultural Center and Finn Creek Museum proundly present Haaga Folk Machine in concert!

Haaga Folk Machine (HFM) is a Finnish folk trio from Helsinki. Influenced by Finnish folklore, bluegrass, jazz and rock music, the group performs Nordic folk music with outstanding groove and twist.

“Haaga Folk Machine is a virtuous folk trio–of three young men–at its best. The trio of fiddle, harmonium, and guitar (with vocals) traverses Celtic melodies, Western Finnish fiddle tradition, and rock music grooves in a blink of an eye. “

-Tero Hautamäki, Pohjalainen – Magazine (Translated)



HFM consists of Tero Hyväluoma (fiddle), Anssi Salminen (guitar/vocals) and Sami Kurppa (pump organ). These young and Sibelius Academy-educated musicians are known from many top-notch Finnish folk music groups. The band composes their own music but also performs some arranged versions of traditional Scandinavian tunes and acoustic versions of rock classics. Most of their repertoire is instrumental music but includes some songs with vocals too.

Trio was founded 2012 and has toured in Finland, Estonia and Germany. Besides playing concerts, the group also does workshops (instrument teaching, Scandinavian folk music workshops etc.) and collaborations with other performing arts groups. HFM’s second album was released in April 2015.

The concert will be held on the stage in the main building of Finn Creek Open Air Museum. A free will donation is asked to attend the concert. Presented by the Cultural Center in conjunction with Finn Creek.

Anssi-300x300HFM album cover


2016 Regional Art Show Reception

Race Hoglund Sax BnWFriday, June 3rd


Featuring the brass and string stylings of the jazz trio, Jazz Committee, the Reception for the 2016 Regional Art Exhibit happens on Friday, June 3rd. Join the Cultural Center in meeting and greeting the regional artists at this soiree. Refreshments will be served and artists will be available for introduction. Light entertainment and ambiance provided by Jazz Committee.

Race Hoglund on saxJazz Committee, led by Race Hoglund on the tenor saxophone, is a jazz trio from Fargo-Moorhead. Blending new sounds with old techniques, this jazz group provides fun and funky tunes for events throughout the region. Jazz Committee plays original work written by Hoglund. Musicians and instrumentalists extraordinaire, the members of Jazz Committee each play multiple instruments as well as sing. Enjoy their tunes, grab a glass of wine, and chat up a local artist!

Free to attend and open to everyone! The reception will be held in the main gallery of the Cultural Center in New York Mills. Made possible with a gift from Dennis Anderson.

2016 Elementary Art Show

Birch TreesGreen ChompPoinsettiaWeave


Red Swirl DotsMay 11th-28th

Regional Elementary Art Exhibit

This annual show, which features the work of elementary students of all ages from five regional school districts, opens on May 11th for public purview. Exceptional works selected by art teachers adorn the walls of the main gallery at the Cultural Center. Over 200 pieces are represented here. Is there a budding young Van Gogh in our midst? Is one of your children poised to follow in Monet’s footsteps? Come check out the show & decide for yourself!

Van Gogh's Sunflowers

All are invited to this show’s Reception Open House on Saturday, May 14th from 10am to 3pm. Vote for your favorite artist in the People’s Choice Awards. Open to all. Free to attend. Refreshments will be served.


White Head Black Eye


20th Annual Regional Arts Show – June 2016

Call for Artists! Submit your work and be a part of our Annual Regional Art Show at the Center.  Everyone is welcome, all media are accepted, and this is a non-juried show.

Wednesday June 1st – Saturday July 2nd, 2016
Open to all artists working in any medium
Reception for artists Friday, June 3rd from 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Submit up to two works in any medium for inclusion in this non-juried art show.  Bring your work to the Cultural Center on Thursday May 26th from 10am-7pm, Friday May 27th from 10am to 5pm or Saturday, May 28th from 10am to 3pm.  Need a special drop off time?  Call 218-385-3339.

Entry fee for one piece is $15, or $20 for two pieces.  This includes membership in the Cultural Center for one year.  This modest  fee helps the Center keep its gallery space available to regional artists.

Work must have been completed in calendar years 2014, 2015, or 2016.  You may choose to make your work available for purchase.  Please note that the Center charges 30% commission on all gallery sales; please price your work accordingly.  All work must be ready for presentation.  For example, photographs must be matted and framed.  Paintings must be prepared for gallery hanging. Attach a completed entry form (click on form below) firmly to the back or underside of each work submitted and another on the front or top.
There will be a $50 “People’s Choice” award announced at the conclusion of the show.  There will also be four $50 “Best in Category” awards given at the reception on June 3rd.  Categories will be established after submissions are complete and will be based on the number of submissions in each medium.

Please click on the entry form below to print the submission guidelines and the entry form.  Thank you for entering this annual people’s art show June 1st to July 2nd, 2016.  Reception Friday June 3rd, 7-9pm.

To open this call sheet and print it, click here.


2016 Great American Think-Off Finalists

ThinkOffPoster2016The Cultural Center in New York Mills proudly announces the four finalists for the 2016 Great American Think-Off! These four individuals will travel to New York Mills this June to go head-to-head in three rounds of debate to settle the issue: Income Inequality Threatens Democracy. Join us on

Saturday, June 11th at 7pm

for the great debate.

All the essay entries were read, re-read, and judged by our panel, resulting in the following four finalists (in alphabetical order): Sam Dennison from San Francisco, CA; Kim Larson from Moorhead, MN; Alex Liuzzi from St. Paul, MN; and Alice Obrecht from Wheaton, IL (currently residing in London).

Representing the position that income inequality DOES NOT threaten democracy are Kim Larson, a writer; and Alex Liuzzi, a Teacher Education Specialist for the Minnesota Board of Teaching.

Representing the position that income inequality DOES threaten democracy are Alice Obrect, a researcher (humanitarian aid) and Sam Dennison, a former educator who is now employed by Faithful Fools, a non-profit dedicated to building community through art, education, advocacy and healing.

Click here to visit the Think-Off website for more information about of all four finalists.

Now in its 24th year, The Great American Think-Off is an exhibition of civil disagreement between powerful ideas being explored by every day people. Designed to bring philosophy down from the ivory towers of academia and make it accessible for all, the contest has received national acclaim including coverage by C-SPAN, the New York Times, and The Today Show.

The debate will be held in the James Mann Center for the Performing Arts at the New York Mills School on Saturday, June 11th, 2016 at 7pm. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door and can be purchased in advance online at Brown Paper Tickets (click here) or by calling the Cultural Center at (218) 385-3339.

May Artist of the Month!

The Cultural Center Gift Store proudly presents its “Artist of the Month” program, in it’s second month, which will feature a new Gift Store artist each month with special deals and activities. The program’s intent is to bring attention to the myriad of talented local and regional artists and specialty product makers who enhance the assortment in the Cultural Center’s Gift Store. Additionally, the program provides an opportunity for members of the community to come and connect with the featured artist or maker, participate in a class or observe a demonstration, and take advantage of special discounts on artist-made creations. The Cultural Center is committed to featuring a new artist each month and offering special events and an opportunity to meet the artist and purchase their artwork with special discounts.

Friday, May 6th 7pm

Artist of the Month, Mark Munger Reading and Discussion

AuthorDMMeet the author of historical novels, Suomalaiset and Sukulaiset. These novels explore themes of Finnish immigration to Minnesota and the Finnish experience during WWII.

Mark Munger is a lifelong resident of Minnesota; born in St. Paul, and raised in Duluth. After practicing trial law for nearly twenty years, Mark became a District Court Judge in 1998 and serves a four county region of Northeastern Minnesota.

Mark, his wife Rene’, and the youngest of their four sons live along the banks of the wild and scenic Cloquet River north of Duluth. His work has been published in Writer’s Journal, the Hermantown Star, the Duluth News Tribune, the New World Finn, and other periodicals. Mark’s essay “Leaving Mayo” was a finalist for the 2000 Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Writing Award. His most recent novel, Sukulaiset: The Kindred was a semi-finalist for the 2012 Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Writing Award and was awarded a Finlandia National Foundation grant. He has written 9 books, including 6 novels, 1 collection of short fiction, 1 biography, and 1 collection of essays.

SukuNewSukulaiset: The Kindred, a historical novel set in WWII Estonia, Finland, and Russia was released at Finn Fest in Minneapolis in September of 2014. He is a frequent lecturer and workshop leader on writerly topics as well as the winner of numerous writing contests.

Mark is also a member of the Advisory Board of Rural Lit R.A.L.L.Y. a joint project of Buena Vista University and Buffalo State College, a blog-driven effort to preserve late 19th and early 20th century novels depicting rural life in America. He is a member of the Lake Superior Writers and the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop.  For five years, Mark was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Superior teaching Environmental Law, Paralegalism and Ethics, and Criminal Law.

9780972005067Mark is currently at work on his seventh novel, Boomtown, a courtroom drama/mystery set in Ely, Minnesota on Minnesota’s Vermilion Iron Range.

Discussion and reading led by author Mark Munger. Light refreshments will be served.

Free to attend and open to all.

Held in The Gallery of the Cultural Center in New York Mills.