One year ago, members of the Pine City community came together for an informational meeting at Pine Technical College to discuss a simple but important question: Is there regional support for a center that could make Pine City a destination for artists and art lovers?
The answer was a resounding “yes,” but organizers knew that starting a major non-profit, booking events and classes, and finding a home for it all wouldn’t be easy. But in the year since that first meeting, Pine City has witnessed the growth of an important and influential grassroots organization now known as the Pine Center for the Arts.
While many members went right to work developing a mission, business plan, and articles of incorporation, others went right to the task of building a website and booking top-notch performers, as was seen by the phenomenal success of the sold-out concert by Boston-based, a cappella group ‘Ball in the House’ last November.
The group was instrumental in lobbying the City of Pine City to purchase the old courthouse in downtown Pine City. Members of the group want to see the building put back into public use, with the eventual goal of housing Pine Center for the Arts activities in the historic downtown building.
Pine Center for the Arts has gathered a Who’s Who of Pine City leaders to help guide the project. The Board of Directors consists of business leaders such as Bob Thompson, owner of MINPACK, and Patrick Schifferdecker, the director of the Northwest Company Fur Post. The board also has the expertise of Mary Jo Mettler, former administrator at Pine Technical College and local artist and educator Laurel Martin.
According to PCA leaders, the next step is a simple but important one: get more people directly involved in the formation of the Pine Center for the Arts. To help achieve this goal, the Board of Directors has announced a gala event on May 7 at the Pizza Pub in Pine City.
There will be wine and beer tasting, pizza and appetizers catered by Pizza Pub and Java Joe’s, a silent auction, and live music from 5-7:00 P.M. Members of the planning committee and Board of Directors will be on hand to answer your questions and help area residents to learn more about how a community-supported arts center would not only bring a wide variety of cultural events to the area but also help to revitalize downtown Pine City and the entire region.
Anyone who is unable to attend the event on May 7 can learn more about the organization and how to donate by visiting www.pinecenter.org.