Online giving for the Cultural Center

Giving to the Cultural Center – easier and quicker than ever

Just click on the button for Network for Good below.  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!


Visiting Artist March 2015: Dave Mondy

DaveMondyJoin us Monday March 23rd at 7:30pm for a Reading & Reception for Dave

Inhabiting the retreat house for several weeks in March is Dave Mondy, a Creative Nonfiction Writer from Tucson, AZ.

Dave has been lauded for his work in multiple genres: food writing (Best Food Writing 2014), travel writing (four national Solas Awards), sports writing (2015 Iowa Review nonfiction prize, selected by David Shields), experimental memoir (Iowa Review Awards finalist), radio (A Prairie Home Companion and other public radio programs), and storytelling (national tours and festival awards). He writes a feature-length column on sustainably-sourced beer/wine/liquor for Edible and (unrelated to the previous) also teaches university classes in creative writing; he recently served as Randolph College’s 2015 Writer-In-Residence and looks forward to his residency at the New York Mills Arts Retreat. He also greatly enjoys speaking of himself in the third person. Dave is currently working on a book about the narratives and characters behind famous sports photos.

During his residency, Dave plans to work on a couple of projects, including on a new chapter of his book about famous sports photos, plus a bit of experiential journalism wherein he spent over 36 hours straight on the premises of the Mall of America, in order to experience every single store on site.

All are invited to the Cultural Center on Monday March 23rd at 7:30pm for a Reading and Reception for Dave. This is a great chance to hear some of Dave’s work and have the chance to connect with him. This is a free event and open to all. The Cultural Center is now open on Mondays from 5-8pm, so come early to check out our Gallery, Gift Store, Sit & Stitch fiber arts group, or attend Yoga from 6-7pm.

Yoga with Mel – Spring 2015

sculptyogaSculpt and Vinyasa Flow classes on alternating Monday evenings

Come to the Cultural Center on Mondays at 6:00pm for Yoga with Mel. On alternating Mondays, Mel will offer an upbeat Yoga Sculpt class and a more gentle Vinyasa Flow class. A description of each follows.

Yoga Sculpt
A fun class that combines yoga and strength training. Set to fun upbeat music in a slightly heated room. For all levels. Whether you’re just starting or an advanced yogi this class will compliment your regular practice.
BYOM/W (bring your own mat and weights)

yogaVinyasa Flow
Starting out with a quiet meditation following a gentle flow that moves your body and clears your mind. Designed to bring a sense of balance and well-being into your life and practice. This class is for all levels. BYOM

Cost is $11/Class or $90 for a 10 class punch card. Drop-ins welcome.

Click here to check our calendar to see which class is coming up next.

About the Instructor: Melissa Lepper received both her 200 hour and sculpt training through Core Power Yoga in Minneapolis. She has found a real passion in sharing yoga with people. Other than spending time on her mat, she enjoys living around all the lakes, and being with her husband Matt, and their son Rex.


Apply Now! Artist Residency Deadline April 1st

tractorFREE Artist Residency Opportunity!

The New York Mills Arts Retreat is currently accepting applications for July – December 2015 artist residencies. The Arts Retreat program offers self-funded 2-6 week solo residencies for selected artists in ALL disciplines.

A small house and studio access are provided, along with dedicated time for creative development and exploration in our rural Minnesota setting. Just one artist is on residency at a time, providing a great opportunity to focus on your artwork.

Click here to apply online. Application must be submitted by April 1, 2015 to be considered for residencies during July – December 2015.


Art in Your Park Summer 2015

Art in Your Park for Summer 2015 dates will be announced soon! Stay tuned for dates in New York Mills, Perham and Wadena


Spring Folk School Classes

A list of the upcoming and recently completed folk school classes

Gardening for pleasure and for health

  • Saturdays, March 7 (Transplants), March 14 (Nutrient deficiencies), and March 28 (herb gardening) at 11 am.  (Patrick Kilby of Sugar Creek Woodworking will teach a companion class to build a wooden herb garden.  Information to be announced.)
  • Taught by Kathy Connell of Red Fern Gardens
  • Fee:  $10 per session
  • at the Cultural Center gallery March 7 and 14 and at the Mills Trade Show (held at the Mills High School) on March 28

Introduction to Screen Printing

  • Monday, March 16 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
  • Taught by Christa Perala
  • Creating a simple screen frame and printing images
  • Screen print your own canvas tote bag to take home
  • $40 per person includes all materials

Slovakian Egg Decorating  Slovakian egg decorating

  • Demonstration at the Mills Trade Show noon-2 pm at the Center’s booth
  • Taught by Pam Robinson on Tuesday, March 31 from 6 – 9 pm
  • $15 per person includes all materials
  • Watch a video about last year’s class

Writing the Short Poem presented by the Loft Literary Center

  • Saturday, April 25 from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.  There is an online component to this session as well that will continue through May 29.  A reading of the work by participants will be held at the Center on Friday, June 5th from 5-6:30 pm.  Additional details at the Loft website.
  • Taught by LouAnn Shepard Muhm
  • Fee:  $227.50.  One scholarship of $100 is available.  Info at Lake Region Writers Network
  • at the Cultural Center gallery

One of the characteristics that makes poetry poetic is the compression of language. In this class you will read and discuss, practice cutting, and generate new poems with an emphasis on concision as well as exploring a variety of short forms as well as concise free verse.

Senior/gentle yoga resumes

Ann Pate returns to the Cultural Center with yoga classes this winter/spring

Senior/Gentle Yoga

Instructor Ann Pate is a certified yoga instructor.  Classes will be held Wednesday mornings  from 9 – 10 am beginning March 4th and continuing through April 29th in the Center’s gallery space.  Practice yoga among the art works.

A gentle journey building strength and flexibility through yoga and core yoga flows.


Please bring your own yoga mat.

Beth Wood and David Stoddard Concert

Saturday, March 7th at 7:30 pm

David Stoddard and Beth Wood, accomplished singer/songwriters, will appear at the Cultural Center on Saturday, March Beth Wood7th at 7:30 pm.  Call 218-385-3339 for ticket reservation.  Advance sale price is $12, or $15 the night of the concert.  Student admission is $5 and anyone who brings a donation for the Mills Food Shelf gets a buck reduction in the admission price.

Dave is known to many here as he hails from Fergus falls. He has appeared at the Center several times for the Longest Night Music Festival.  We are really happy to have him back as a headliner along with Beth Wood, his Oregon-based friend and musician.  He and Beth write songs, play multiple instruments, and sing with power and musicality.

Dave StoddardDave plays mostly house concerts and concert venues, and also spends time promoting the work of independent singers and songwriters through his radio program, Northern Roots Radio. He’s a pretty good cook.

He’s played at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, for example, and at the Kerrville Music Festival in Kerrville, Texas. He’s shared the stage with people like Juice Newton, Leon Russell, Rik Emmett, Lou and Peter Berryman, Michael Smith, and Pat Donohue. He has won the Kerrville New Folk award, as well as songwriting awards at the South Florida Folk Festival, the Minnesota Folk Festival, and others.

With grandiose dreams of becoming a musician, a baker, or a cowgirl, Beth left west Texas to study voice and piano at Brevard College in North Carolina.  A detour from her classical studies led her to Austin, where she picked up a degree in literature and a guitar.  Beth began writing her own songs and quickly discovered a feeling of musical freedom that she has been hooked on ever since.  Fifteen years, thousands of shows, nine albums, three cars, and numerous awards later, Beth has never looked back.  Beth’s exceptional musicianship, crafty songwriting, and engaging, energetic stage presence have been winning over audiences from coast to coast.

“Sometimes Love,” Beth’s ninth album, was produced by singer-songwriter and producer wunderkind Tyler Fortier in Eugene, OR. This project was born out of Beth’s Song-of-the-Month Club and features collaborations with multi-instrumentalist Tyler Fortier, guitarist Peter Perdichizzi, bassist Milo Fultz, drummer Merlin Showalter, and vocalist Erin Flood-Fortier, among others. The Eugene Weekly says “Sometimes Love” is…”strong and engaging pop-country; her soulful alto occasionally recalls Dolly Parton and her songwriting brings to mind the iconoclastic folk singer Patty Griffin.”

John Piepkorn, finding the beauty in the abandoned

Wadena native mounts photographic show

Hey Over ThereJohn was born in Wadena and his exhibit of “the abandoned” will be on display in the Cultural Center main gallery from March 4th through April 11th.  A reception, slide show, and presentation by John will be held on Saturday, March 14 between 6-8pm.  Slide presentation begins at 7:00pm.

I have always been intrigued by abandoned buildings. Each one is a bit of a mystery and I’ve felt compelled to document as many of these old schools, churches and homesteads as I can. Even though these places are sometimes pretty bleak, it’s my intention to capture what I think is a beautiful image of what most people don’t necessarily think of as a beautiful subject. One of my photographer friends calls it, “Finding the Beauty.”

My images are digital photographs captured on Nikon Cameras. A majority of the images are printed on Kodak ENDURA Metallic VC Paper, which gives each image a striking, distinctive metallic eye-catching look. A number of images have also been printed on aluminum in order to give me some alternative presentation options. You will see some rustic looking frames throughout the exhibit which have been crafted with reclaimed wood.

Two of my images are encaustic pieces, which is a technique that involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments Elgin School Houseare added, and then applied to the photos that are pre-mounted on Baltic birch.

About the artist:

I was born and raised in Wadena, Minnesota. Educated at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. I have been a photographer for a cataloging company for 18 years in Plymouth, MN and currently live in Minnetonka, MN with my wife Ann and my two boys, Anders and Gunnar.