Artspace will bring good things to A.L.

Published 8:40 am Tuesday, November 4, 2008

After more than 30 years as a professor of art and art history I decided two years ago to retire in Albert Lea. My wife and I moved into our home here in Albert Lea at the end of July, 2007. We had explored most of southern Minnesota in May of 2006. We were struck by the sheer beauty of the landscape here as well as the beauty of Albert Lea. We also found then, and certainly still, the people to be good-natured and remarkably good-spirited. We have generally been met with such remarkable kindness by people throughout this little city. 

We were elated when we learned that Albert Lea’s Community Development Department had been awarded with two grants to cover the costs of a team from Artspace Projects Inc. to visit this little city. One grant was from the Blandon Foundation, the other from the National Endowment for the Arts. Our elation was due in greatest measure because I have been aware of Artspace for many years. It has, over many years, proven to be a very successful organization in every community it has invested in. By investing as it has, all the risks, of whatever nature, have been incurred by Artspace rather than citizens. They are clearly amazingly competent and will be mutually advantageous to Albert Lea’s best interests as they have been in other communities. As they are confident in Albert Lea, citizens of this community should also be confident in the very good things Artspace will do for Albert Lea. I have confidence in that organization especially since I have been aware of the good things they have accomplished over many years through the “grapevine” I had when I was a professor of art and art history.   

Accordingly, the costs of renovating whatever buildings Artspace invests in, will not burden citizens of Albert Lea with higher taxes and the like. This is an issue that will be of tremendous benefit to all citizens here. In other words, folks in the building and renovations trade will clearly profit, as will commerce and trade throughout this little city. Artspace is looking for people in the arts to live in the renovated buildings they invest in. I greatly endorse visual artists in painting, sculpture, printmaking photography, jewelry-making, and the like to come here, as well as artists in creative writing, music, and drama. These folks, as creative people, will inject not only financial investments in Albert Lea, but also be a catalyst for good ideas for everyone to profit from in various enterprises. In other words, this is a place ripe for growth, due to what will be a vibrant local economy and a vibrant quality of life. In all, this will be a community that will attract not only tourism, but people who will arrive here as we have, to remain as residents, to contribute, also finding Albert Lea as one of the very most desirable places to reside througout the Lower 48 on as we do.

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Rick Mammel

Albert Lea