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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)!


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.

Soap-making Class THIS WEEK!

Only a few days left to sign up! Register by

Thursday, April 28th.

In this hour and a half class, April Artist of the Month, Christa Perala teaches you how to make your own bars of soap! Each participant will leave with over a pound of their very own hand-crafted soap! Christa uses all natural ingredients without any harsh chemicals in her products. Have some fun, learn an artisanal trade, bring home happy & healthy soap for your family to use.

Class is Saturday, April 30th 1-2:30pm at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. Fee is $50.


Open Youth Night at Center

DSCN7598Wednesday April 19th


Join us for our third Open Youth Night on Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at the New York Mills Cultural Center.

Based on the success of previous Youth Nights, the Center will once again be open to all area 7th-12th graders for studying with friends, playing games, art/craft activities, checking out the art gallery and relaxing with friends.

DSCN7578Flavored coffees, cappuccinos, cider, tea, water, bars, cookies and candy will be available for purchase for $1.00 each. There is no cost to attend.

During the other Youth Nights, there was a great mix of kids and activities including studying, quizzing, coloring, gallery cruising, games, snacks, Keurig drinks, music, conversation…plus some fun brainstorming for upcoming events!DSCN7587

Please feel free to stop by anytime on Wednesday, April 27th between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., and invite all your friends!
Free to Attend. Held at the Cultural Center in New York Mills.



2016 MN State High School League Art Show

Cubist Face YellowCubist Face Two WomenCubist Face OrangeCubist Face Two Men

Giraffe with ArtNow through May 1st

In The Gallery

The Gallery at the Cultural Center in New York Mills eagerly presents the Minnesota State High School Visual Arts Exhibit for the 6A Region. Opening on Saturday, April 23rd and running through Sunday, May 1st, this exhibition features about 140 students from twelve high schools in the region.

Flowers 3DThis exciting exhibit features the work of students in grades 9 through 12. The pieces of art will be judged on skill with medium, aesthetics, and creativity, among other things by 7 art professionals.

The week-long exhibition will culminate with a Visual Arts Festival for the students. This all-day event includes workshops with 5 art professionals and an awards ceremony.

Paper BusinesswomanAdmission to The Gallery is free and open to all.

In The Gallery April 23rd-May 1st. The Cultural Center hours are Wednesday & Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-5pm, and Saturday 10am-3pm. The Center is closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.



Fabric Sailboats on Blue6 Color HarvesterFace Sculpture DetailAngels EnflamedRainbow Sand TurtleMosaic Koi


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.


Open Mic 2nd Thursday

OpenMicAprMayJun2016Open Mic Night at the Center:
2nd Thursday of the month

Back by popular demand! On most 2nd Thursdays, the main gallery of the Cultural Center is transformed into a venue for local musicians and spoken-word artists to present their latest or favorite performance work.

The audio system will be hooked up, and a crowd may amass due to the ‘jams’ floating out the doors.

7-9 pm. Free and open to the public.

Upcoming date: Thursday, May 12th, 2016 

NEW ~ Artist of the Month!

The Cultural Center Gift Store proudly announces its new “Artist of the Month” program 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.

cc8April 2016 Artist of the Month!

 Christa Perala of Papuus is the Cultural Center’s premier Artist of the Month! Congratulations, Christa! Christa creates artisanal body and bath products including homemade soaps, liquid soaps, shaving accoutrements, lip balm, solid perfumes and colognes, and products for mom and baby!

Born in Winnipeg, Christa hadn’t considered making soap until she tried a melt and pour kit for family Christmas gifts. Three years later, she made her first batch of cold process bar soap without any of the chemicals found in store-bought soaps and even those melt and pour kits.  From those humble beginnings, Christa has grown to be a local artisanal supplier of all-natural products including over 30 soap recipes!  cc9 Christa knows exactly what ingredients are in each batch of her products and you and your family can trust her products are useful, healthy, and contain no harsh chemical products. Christa now lives in Frazee, MN with her husband who hails from New York Mills.

Christa says, “I love knowing what is in the products I use on myself and my family, and I feel good knowing that others enjoy my products as well.” Her products are for sale at the Cultural Center in New York Mills and Red Poppy in Fosston, MN.  She also offers them online via Etsy.

For any questions or custom orders, email Christa at papuus.everyday@gmail.com, check out Christa’s Etsy page at Papuus, and like Papuus on Facebook!

Saturday, April 30th

cc2 NOON: Artist of the Month, Christa Perala, at the Artist Meet & Greet at noon-1:00pm! This event is free and open to all.

1-3:30pm: Following the Meet & Greet, Christa will be teaching a soapmaking class at 1:00-3:30pm. Each attendee will go home with a pound of homemade soap. The class fee is $50 and pre-registration is required. Call the Cultural Center at (218) 385-3339 to reserve a place in this fun class!

ALL DAY: Christa’s artisanal products are available for purchase at 10% off! This discount will be valid for the full month of April 2016.

All events on Saturday, April 30th will be held in the main gallery of the Cultural Center in New York Mills.


Kids’ Mothers Day Make & Take Class

Saturday May 7th Noon-1:30pm

Artist of the Month Event

cc4Artist of the Month, Christa Perala is offering a second class to make all natural body products! Called “Mother’s Day Pampering Make & Take Class for Kids,” the class offers an exciting project for kids. This time she’ll teach children to make a body scrub and lip scrub which can be given to Mom for Mother’s Day.

Each student will create and then take home a 4 oz. Sea Salt Body Scrub with label and a small Lip Scrub with label–both are ready for decorating! Each participant will also receive 1 Papuus lip balm and a gift bag to decorate for Mom.

This class is open to children ages 6 years and up. Children ages 4 or 5 may attend with an older sibling or adult to assist them.

This class will be held on Saturday, May 7th, 2016 from noon-1:30pm. The class fee is $20 per person; $2 discount for members. Class will be held in The Gallery at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. It is offered through the Cultural Center’s Continental Divide Folk & Fine Arts School.

Call the Cultural Center to reserve a place in the class by May 5th. (218) 385-3339

Instructor Christa Perala lives in rural Frazee, MN with her husband who hails from New York Mills. She has been home crafting artisanal bath and body products for three years. Learn more about Christa and her company by clicking here.