A portion of Arts and Cultural Heritage funds of the Minnesota Legacy Amendment for Clean Water, Outdoor Heritage, Parks and Trails, and Arts and Cultural Heritage passed in 2008 was appropriated by the Legislature to be distributed to the 12 regional public library systems in Minnesota, including East Central Regional Library.
Through the State Library Services Division of the Minnesota Department of Education, the regional public library systems receive a percentage of the Minnesota Regional Library Legacy Grant through a state formula.
Over the past five years, East Central Regional Library has provided numerous legacy programs throughout its six county-region to enrich the lives of Minnesotans.
It have also allocated funds toward statewide projects such as the Minnesota Book Awards, History Day and programs with the Minnesota Historical Society. The Arts and Cultural Heritage funds have enabled East Central Regional Library to connect with authors, musicians, historians, story tellers and other artists.
Recently East Central Regional Library completed the legacy project, Kids Design Glass. Last summer children ages 4-10 were invited to participate in ECRL’s Kids Design Glass contest. All they had to do was simply draw a picture of anything they wanted and return it to their local East Central Regional Library branch. One winner from each of East Central Regional Library’s 14 branches was chosen to be turned into a glass sculpture by local glassblower, Anthony Michaud-Scorza. Michaud-Scorza spent the fall and winter turning them into exquisite recreations of the kids’ drawings.
The project was a tremendous success and was recently recognized on the Minnesota Department of Education website main page for several weeks. Although no longer on the main page, the Department of Education did add a blog about its Legacy project that showcases all 14 sculptures. You may check it out on their BloggED page (http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Welcome/News/BloggED/).
It was a wonderful opportunity for East Central Regional Library to showcase the program to the entire state of Minnesota and to have the project acknowledged for its creativity and ingenuity.