FERGUS FALLS, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded Springboard for the Arts with a $50,000 grant to create an artist-designed, interactive sculpture at the future trailhead of the Central Lakes State Trail. The grant is part of the 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, a year-long effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.
The interactive sculpture will promote physical activity and encourage families to get out to the trail to bike, walk and hike the state trail. To design the sculpture, over 250 local youth have participated in Creative Placemaking workshops with Springboard for the Arts at Cleveland Elementary, Prairie Wetland Learning Center, Kennedy Secondary School, and the Area Learning Center. Artists who apply to design the sculpture will incorporate elements of student ideas into their design. The workshops will also engage students about the importance of physical activity and healthy eating.
At an event today to celebrate the grant, students from Fergus Falls Public Schools decorated bikes and rode in a bike parade nearby the trailhead where the sculpture will be built. Fergus Falls Mayor Ben Schierer, representatives from Springboard for the Arts, PartnerSHIP 4 Health, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the MNSBHC Legacy Fund were on hand to help celebrate the grant.
“We hope the trailhead sculpture is an example to our visitors on how communities can affect change in public spaces,” said Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts. “The opportunity for our children to be part of the process to make this new attraction a reality, should give this community of young people a sense of pride and ownership in Fergus Falls.”
Thousands of local families and kids and visitors to the region hike, bike and walk along the Central Lakes Trail every year.
“One of our organization’s core principles is ‘equity equals vibrant communities,’” said Michele Anderson, Rural Program Director, Springboard for the Arts. “Our goal is to address systemic and structural inequities in communities. The creative place making workshops we have been hosting over the last few weeks have gotten our kids involved in civic engagement – ensuring that their voices are heard in this unique community planning process.”
The project is a joint effort with PartnerSHIP 4 Health and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The sculpture will be the property of the DNR, and the three organizational partners will create a plan to maintain and sustain it to ensure the sculpture stands to benefit the community in to the future.
“The organizations creating this interactive sculpture are developing a work of art that will also encourage kids and families to be active and spend time together outside in Fergus Falls,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund. “We are excited to help fund this project as part of our 52 Weeks of Giving campaign.”
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.