The Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council (PLRAC) has an opening on the board of directors for a representative from Brown County.

The Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council (PLRAC) has an opening on the board of directors for a representative from Brown County. The deadline for submitting an application is June 28. Interested persons residing in Brown County should contact Brenda Byron, executive director of Prairie Lakes, at (800) 298-1254 or to find out more about the board and an application and a list of responsibilities will be sent. The new board members will be appointed on July 25 and have their first meeting Aug. 22.

The council seeks to appoint people who represent a cross-section of art forms as well as various arts perspectives: artists, art teachers and representatives of arts organizations. Since a primary function of the council is to serve as a panel for arts project applications, members are chosen for their knowledge, expertise and involvement in the arts in the areas of dance, literature, music, theater and visual arts. There is special interest in having dancers or people who are familiar with dance, musicians, writers and visual artists apply for the board.

Board members are appointed through an open nomination process. The board is comprised of 14 members, one from each of the nine counties and one from each city which has over 10,000 population. Board members serve a three-year term with a maximum of two terms. Monthly evening meetings are held the fourth Thursday of the month in Mankato, at Bethany Lutheran College. Board members are reimbursed for their mileage to meetings. Attendance at several PLRAC funded arts events per year is required.

Last year the board awarded 195 grants for a total of $441,748. A variety of activities were funded including grants to individual arts and organizations grants for art classes, exhibitions and festivals; choral concerts; dance performances; literary readings; music concerts; theater performances; etc. The council makes policy decisions and develops the plan for the regional arts program, which is submitted to the Minnesota State Arts Board. The PLRAC serves a nine-county area including Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, LeSueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan. Funding is received from the Minnesota State Legislature; McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis; and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund which was created by the people of Minnesota to support the arts and preserve the heritage. The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, passed by the voters in November 2008, created new resources for land conservation, water conservation, parks and the arts.