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Art grant rewards worthy effort

No education is complete without an appreciation of the arts.” So says state Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne, and to back that up, he presented a $100,000 grant to the Johnson Center for the Arts on Monday. The center, which is part of the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center, will use the grant funds to implement an instructional in-service program to train teachers to integrate the arts into their lesson places. The funds also will be used to produce proper storage materials for an upcoming photography exhibit.

Most important in Monday’s news is the ongoing effort to intertwine arts and education. With city and county public schools facing ever-increasing challenges from proration and funding cuts, grants such as this one help ensure that the arts will continue to be an integral part of the educational offerings at our schools.

After all, the arts are crucial to learning, inspiration and development … And we believe exposure to the arts is crucial to developing well-rounded future citizens.

Since it’s inception, the Johnson Center and the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center have sought to educate and involve our youngest residents in the arts. From the Andy Warhol exhibit offered last year, that exposed hundreds of school children to a slice of American culture that many had never seen, to programs at The Studio and, now, this focused effort to help art teacher develop arts in their lesson plans, the organizers continue to put arts education at the fore of their efforts.

That commitment and effort certainly earned the backing of Sen. Mitchell, and his vote of confidence through funding of this program is rewarding for all involved and for our community.