NYMRCC Celebrates 30 Years on Main Avenue in New York Mills!
Gallery Exhibit Nov 9 – Dec 3, 2022
Celebration Event Sat, Nov 19th
All are Welcome!

We’ve come a long way since opening our doors in 1992!

All are invited to join us in celebrating THIRTY YEARS in our historic building with a special gallery exhibit from November 9-December 3, 2022: “A Look Back: NYMRCC Celebrates 30 Years on Main Avenue” plus a special celebration on Saturday, November 19th, 2022 from 4 – 7 p.m.!

Do you have a story to share about the Cultural Center’s early days?

We want to hear all about it! We are inviting everyone to come and share memories at our Community Celebration Event on Saturday, November 19th, 2022. Founder John Davis will join us for storytelling and more, and local musician Ben Ranson will wrap up the evening with live music from 6 – 7 p.m. All are invited to attend, share memories, connect with old and new friends, and help us celebrate this milestone. Food, drinks & merriment for all!

Need another incentive to join us on Saturday? Each attendee can enter to WIN a $30 gift certificate to a local business!  Our generous Board of Directors donated money for us to buy local gift certificates to give away… just as a way to say THANKS to the local businesses and individuals that have supported us along the way. Cheers to 30 years!

The gallery exhibit is packed with glimpses into the Center’s history, including original floor plans, news articles, posters, the work of past visiting artists, including the art of the very first artist-in-residence who came to New York Mills, and more.

The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center is located at 24 Main Ave N in downtown New York Mills. The building was built in 1885 as a General Store, and later housed Karvonen Furniture for many years, before becoming the Cultural Center in 1992.

Taking a step back to 1990, the New York Mills Arts Retreat was founded by John Davis as an artist residency program on an old farm outside of town. The original plan was for artists to stay in the renovated barn. Davis, an MCAD graduate who left the Twin Cities seeking a life in the arts in rural America, was a visionary who painted houses and ended up getting to know the locals when they invited him in for lunch or supper when the painting was done. During these shared meals and conversations, Davis discovered that many local citizens were interested in the arts, and his vision grew from the original residency program to a multidisciplinary art center located in downtown New York Mills.

When Davis heard the “old Karvonen building” might be torn down after the furniture business moved to Perham, he approached the Karvonen family, who donated the building, and city officials, who decided that instead of spending the money for razing the building, it would be invested in remodeling and rebuilding as an art center. With a dedicated team of volunteers and backers, in 1992, the building opened its doors to the public.

The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center has been woven into the fabric of the community ever since, providing high quality arts opportunities that are normally only found in much larger cities. These days, more than 180 events take place at the Center each year, with more than 6,500 visitors enjoying Cultural Center programs annually. These include music of diverse genres and origins, local, regional, national and international visual artists, workshops, theater performances, authors, the nationally-renowned Great American Think-Off, community festivals and events, a sculpture park, gift shop, artists in classrooms & community, and the artist residency program that was the beginnings of the Cultural Center and has remained active for more than 32 years.

In 2011, President Obama brought national attention to New York Mills in his appropriations request for the new “Our Town” program of the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts). He said,

“In communities across the Nation, investments in the arts have made a profound impact. You don’t have to take our word for it – just look at the facts. New York Mills, Minnesota is a rural community with a population of less than 1,000. In 1991, the City of New York Mills invested $35,000 to renovate a downtown building into an arts and cultural center in order to reverse a trend of economic decline. Within five years after this investment, 17 new businesses opened in town creating 210 new jobs – representing a 40% increase in the number of jobs in this community.”

The Center continues to be a leader in arts and cultural programming in rural Minnesota to this day.

The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center invites everyone to join the celebration on Saturday, November 19th from 4-6 p.m. at a reception honoring founder John Davis and all the early supporters and volunteers whose hard work and dedication resulted in that grand opening back in 1992. Attendees can share stories, view memorabilia from the past 30 years, and help us look ahead and dream about the future of arts and culture in rural MN. Refreshments and bar available. Free to attend and open to all!

The Cultural Center Gallery is always free to see and open to the public. Gallery Hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am-7pm, Fridays 10am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-3pm. Private viewings can be arranged anytime by calling Cheryl Bannes at 218-385-3339 or emailing cheryl@kulcher.org.

Questions? Call us at 218-385-3339 or email info@kulcher.org.

These activities are made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through an operating support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.