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The first step for Goodhue County to gain parity for the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Legacy Fund is to learn how to apply for this tremendous and unique opportunity.
Here is your opportunity to learn more next Friday (03-19-2016) at the Anderson Center at Tower View.
Back in 2010 when this wacky idea of starting a small business incubator in Downtown Red Wing was just starting to take hold, the realization that we should spend some early money on professional incubation education seemed like a good idea.
We joined the National Business Incubation Association (now called the International Business Innovation Association) and attended two national conferences.
The first conference was a two day crash course in business incubation, the do’s and don’ts of starting an incubator.
The second conference was all about networking with other like-minded incubators.
Here were a few high level takeaways from this education:
This early education was very helpful and it did create some long term relationships in the industry. But there is no substitute for experience and there is no way to gain experience without active business engagement.
Three years ago, the Red Wing Innovation Incubator used the results of the Red Wing Creative Economy Report to establish a concrete focus for the incubator.
This report pointed out that the immediate area was on the wrong side of the bell curve when it came to the size of the local creative economy.
This presented the opportunity. Now we needed a direction.
That was then, this is now.
In 2016 RWii needed a new focus and a new energy. The steering committee kicked around a few ideas and finally settled on the literary arts as the next area of economic focus.
Once you have a focus, things fall into place.
And so it begins yet again.
Minnesota citizens are only now beginning to see the fruits of the Legacy Amendment.
The Minnesota DNR website summed it up best…
“Making Minnesota Better“
“In 2008, Minnesota voters took a bold and historic action by imposing a three-eighths of one percent tax on themselves for 25 years, until 2034, in the name of cleaner water, healthier habitat, better parks and trails and sustaining our arts and cultural heritage. Today, five years later, that tax has generated more than a billion dollars for Legacy projects.”
The Minnesota Legacy Amendment is an amazing success story in which the citizens of Minnesota through direct referendum and overwhelming majority, amended the state constitution to increase a tax upon themselves to pay for:
It took an entire year for the tax to be collected and it has taken a couple of years to work out a distribution system, but the Legacy Amendment will mean $1.2 billion in arts and cultural heritage funded projects and programs over the 25 year life of the tax.
And a billion of anything is a lot.
RWii has not and doesn’t plan to ask for public funding.
We chase private foundations who have plenty of money and they like the idea that they can insist on direct accountability.
We like that too.
We also count on user fees.
But we are most indebted to the hours and hours of donated time by smart citizens.
Flyway was the third RWii tenant and very deliberate.
Flyway was not invited or asked or made to suffer through a PowerPoint presentation.
Flyway was kidnapped. It just simplified things.
The idea was that Flyway would be an anchor tenant for a small video economy in the immediate area.
Since then, Flyway is flyway, which means they do their thing.
And that is just fine. This is how the creative economy works.