Prairie Art & Gifts is Reopening Thursday, May 28 2020 with new hours

 After two months of closure, Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance is announcing its reopening. While we somberly acknowledge the pandemic is not over, the board of directors has decided to implement a COVID-19 Safety Plan so we can safely reopen with limited hours (Thurs.-Sat. 10 am to 2 pm.), in hopes of returning to earning revenue. 

  Our safety plans, which you’ll find below, will emphasize stricter cleaning policies and social distancing measures for our volunteers and customers. While we will not be hosting any in-person events, keep an eye out in the future as we look into taking our organization digital–like virtual exhibitions and online sales!

 As things shift, we will keep you updated. Once again, we are so incredibly grateful and honored by your support of the arts. Please stay safe and be well! We appreciate your support and cooperation as we navigate this new landscape together.

Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance
COVID-19 Safety Plan 2020

The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance & Prairie Arts and Gifts is working to help keep our volunteers and shoppers safe. The new safety procedures include:

  •   Taking in new artwork by appointment only. This will allow time for staff and volunteers to safely process new additions. Cloth/canvas will be stored for 72 hours prior to being placed on the sales floor. Hard surface donations will be sanitized (if possible) before going on display on the sales floor. Artwork cannot be accepted without an appointment.
  •   Increasing cleaning and sanitization, with extra attention to high-touch surfaces such as register area, door handles, display counters and tables, etc.
  •   Providing a plexiglass barrier at the check-out area to enhance safety of staff/volunteer and customer.
  •   Providing hand sanitizer at each entrance and exit as well as on the checkout table for staff, volunteers, donors, shoppers and customer use.
  •   Providing soap in bathroom for staff and volunteers and requiring them to wash their hands for 20 seconds at the beginning and end of each shift.
  •   Requiring face coverings be worn by our staff and volunteers when they are interacting directly with customers.
  •   Ensuring social distancing of six feet or more and limiting the number of people in stores to no more than 10 shoppers at any time.
  •   Altering hours of operation to allow for additional cleaning and artwork processing time.
  •   No in person events, such as classes or in-person receptions.

    updated July 22, 2020

PRCA Announces New Gallery Coordinator

  While there is a lot happening around our community surrounding the pandemic, we are happy to announce some exciting news: this past week, the Board of Directors hired Lori Kurpiers to fulfill the Gallery Coordinator position at Prairie Art & Gifts, previously held by Dawn Poore who is stepping down. The board is eternally grateful for the hard work and dedication that Dawn has devoted to the PRCA for several years as an artist, board member, and Gallery Coordinator. If you’ve ever visited our store or attended one of our many events, you know that Dawn has been an incredible volunteer and friendly face. Sincerest thanks to Dawn, we wish you all the best! 

  Lori Kurpiers is a UMM alum and Morris artist who currently works at the Stevens County Historical Society as the Office and Program Coordinator. As the new Gallery Coordinator, some of Lori’s responsibilities include recruiting, training, and scheduling artists and volunteers, overseeing general office operation, as well as participating in the planning, execution, and promotion of PRCA events. Welcome, Lori, we look forward to working with you!

Dear PRCA members and supporters, 

Our hearts go out to folks everywhere who have been directly affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling in the wake of uncertainty, instability, and loss, and we write today in recognition of the particular hardships our artists and art organizations are facing.

On March 16th, the Governor and the MN Department of Health recommended that all non-essential retail operations suspend business until after March 27. Keeping our volunteers’ and the public’s health in mind, the PRCA Board’s Executive Committee promptly decided to close Prairie Art & Gifts in an effort to help mitigate the spread of the virus in our own community.

We originally announced that we would remain closed until April 1, 2020. However, Governor Walz’s Stay-at-Home Order, effective March 27 at 11:59pm, now extends our closure through May 18, 2020. Regretfully, all previously scheduled exhibits and events have been suspended. We are closely watching how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact our operation and future programming. In making these tough decisions, friends, we encourage you to stay home and protect yourselves and others from potentially contracting and spreading the virus.

What does this mean for the PRCA?
Having to close the gallery and store will affect us financially. Like many local businesses, we are not earning any revenue during our closure. However, through the generous contributions from our community via memberships and donations, the PRCA receives crucial funds to keep operating. 
If your income has not been affected during this Stay-at-Home Order, please consider visiting our website to renew your membership, purchase a membership for a friend, or even make a small contribution of your choice to our organization via PayPal. Every little bit counts!

What should artists be doing during this time?
Artists and art orgs are experiencing unique challenges because of the pandemic. 
We hope you find these resources below to be helpful. Please visit the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)’s website for an extended list of resources including documents, webinars, and blogs. You will find many incredible resources compiled on NEA’s list, as well as through many of the linked organizations’ pages. Let us not forget the sense of strength, pride, and community that art provides us during times of crisis.

Americans for the Arts
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource and Response Center
For Freelance Artists
COVID-19 & Freelance Artists 
Cerf+
Craft Emergency Relief Fund
Howlround Theatre Commons
Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic: Webinar
MN Dep. of Health
Resources to Find Low-Cost Health Care or Health Insurance (pdf)
MN Unemployment
How do I Apply for Unemployment?

As we receive further guidance on this evolving situation, we will keep you updated. Thank you all for your support of the arts. Please stay home, stay safe, and be well!

Best regards,
Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance

Heart of the Arts Fundraiser

Leap Day gala to feature “Battle of the Bands,” art auction

Local musicians will engage in some friendly competition during the PRCA’s annual fundraiser, Heart of the Arts, on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Old No. 1 Southside in Morris. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the music starts at 7:00 p.m.

The Leap Day gala will feature a lively “Battle of the Bands.” Four local musical groups will each perform a set. The music begins at 7:00 p.m. with the popular barbershop harmonies of the Morris Kiwanis Quartet, followed by Alex McIntosh Performs at 7:30 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., Flattgrass Revival plays and sings your favorite bluegrass tunes, followed by jazz combo WSC at 9:00 p.m. 

The audience will have the chance to vote for their favorite bands. (Ballot-box stuffing and vote buying will be encouraged!) The Battle of the Bands is part of a new initiative from the PRCA to showcase local music. 

The Heart of the Arts event will also include an art auction with Kevin Manney as auctioneer. Artwork on the live auction includes two garden sculptures, paintings, pottery, and fine jewelry and glassware by local artists. The auction also includes a garden party for 10 from Vicky Dosdall, and a private home concert for eight with wine and chocolate tastings from Josh Fischer. There will be a special musical performance by Fischer during the live auction.

The gala includes a homemade dessert buffet, as well as a silent auction with many artworks. Cash bar will also be available. 

The Heart of the Arts fundraiser provides a substantial portion of the PRCA’s annual revenue, and helps support the downtown art gallery, as well as a summer arts camp for kids, rotating art exhibits, adult art classes, and other arts events.

Tickets are available in advance at the gallery, Prairie Art and Gifts, 630 Atlantic Ave., Morris, or that evening at the door.

Adults: $15, or two for $25.
High school and college students: $5.
Elementary school kids: free admission.