Can art bring rural and urban together? This woman is going to make it work.

Here’s a great story of making a difference in your own way. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports…

Ashley Hanson responded to last year’s election by buying a little yellow school bus.

In January, she drove it across the country, visiting artists in cities with fewer than 10,000 people. She stopped in 24 towns in 20 states. Talked with 127 people. Trekked more than 6,200 miles. Her goal: to better understand the disconnect, made clear by polls and voting maps, between folks in urban and rural areas.

“As someone who straddles the line between urban and rural very often, I felt that my role had shifted to cultural translator,” said Hanson, 34, a St. Paul-based theater artist and musician.

If you’re near Winona, you can see the work…

This month at the Outpost Winona, Hanson will share the stories people in those small towns told, trinkets they offered and letters they wrote. The exhibition, which also features videos and works by several “resident” artists who traveled with her, opens Oct. 20, with events all weekend. The bus, which Hanson named Gus, will be there, too — despite proving unreliable.

Minnesota Venture Conference – Oct 25

The Minnesota Venture Conference attracts hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs and executives to the Minneapolis Convention Center with the goal of connecting Minnesota’s entrepreneurs with capital.

Each year, participants gather for a day of knowledge-sharing, networking, and pitches from some of Minnesota’s most promising privately-held companies.

Registration fee includes admission for one individual to all sessions, lunch and reception.

Member Rate
Early-bird (register by October 11): $295

Regular: $395

On-site: $445

Non Member Rate

Early-bird (register by October 11): $495

Regular: $595

On-site: $645

Learn more!

2017 Arts Meander September 29, 30, and October 1

Happy to share this invitation from the UMVRDC…

The 14th annual Upper Minnesota River Meander Arts Crawl will be held on September 29th, 30th, and October 1st, 2017. The Meander Art Crawl is a free, self-guided tour of 30 artist studios and just under 40 artists across the five counties. The weekend showcases local artists, small towns and their businesses, and even family farms throughout the region.

The 2017 cover artist is John George Larson who has a studio in Milan. His piece is called “Meander on the Prairie” and incorporates elements from the past meander covers – a great testament to the splendor and longevity of this event. One can see more of his work by visiting the Milan Village Art School during the Meander.

Studios will open Friday September 29th at noon and close at 6pm. That night, there will be a great Meander celebration throughout downtown Granite Falls in the Musical Chairs event. It will begin at 5:30 and go until 10pm. Tickets are available online. For more information contact the Granite Falls Chamber at 320-564-4039 or visit

Saturday, the studios will be open again from 9am until 6pm, giving one plenty of time to explore lots of studios! There will be two events Saturday evening too. The Wild Goose Cloggers will perform with the band, Chicken Sedan, at the Dawson Memorial Auditorium at 7:30. These wonderful dancers are fun for the whole family and tickets are only $15 for adults and $5 for students. For tickets and more information visit or call the box office at 320-312-2311.

Also on Saturday, Midwest Music Hall-of-Famers Don and Lee Kanten will play at the Historic Watson Town Hall. It is sure to be a night of dancing and rock and roll. Admission is free will donation at the door, which will help support Watson Town Hall restorations and future arts events. Visit or call 320-269-8543 for more information.

On Sunday, the final day, studios will open at 9am and close at 4pm.

The Meander has become not only an event for artists to sell the work, but a significant economic development event for the entire region. The surveys show that people travel from at least eight different states and not only purchase art, but spend money in the region on food, lodging, gas, and additional shopping. In 2016, attendees spent around $98,000 in area businesses on top of the $114,000 they spent on art.

Last Chance to Register for AURI’s for a One Day MBA Workshop

Looks like a good opportunity…

There’s only a few days left before the One Day MBA workshop! This is an educational opportunity we feel could make a significant difference in the success of your organization, so we are offering a 66% discount on all registrations between now and Thursday!

This is a special opportunity to receive a hands-on training opportunity covering important topics that can take your business to the next level of success. Also, one attendee will receive a service package from Strategic Marketing Consultants to develop their logo, website, sales support materials and final business plan, valued at nearly $10,000.

Topics will include the importance of mission/vision statements, brand strategy, situational analysis, use of social media, marketing tactics, legal issues, financial analysis, and unique value propositions.

AURI understands the importance of your time, which is why we have made this event as succinct and value-packed as possible, with tangible takeaways and useful resources and tools for your business.

Space is limited, so please register today to reserve your spot!

To register, click on the link below.

Register Now!

I can’t make it

Training Oct 24: Cyber Security For Small and Mid-Size Businesses

What:  The 7th Annual Cyber Security Summit is presenting a half-day event on Tuesday, October 24th, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. that will spotlight the issue of cyber security for small and mid-size businesses.

If your business is not big enough to have dedicated resources to manage security strategies, this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about best practices for keeping your data secure and responding after you’ve been compromised.
Presenters include Nancy Libersky of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Hala Furst from the Department of Homeland Security and Philip Schenkenberg of Briggs & Morgan, P.A.

Registration is available for this standalone event for $79.00.

When:  Tuesday, October 24th, from 1:30pm – 5:00pm

Where:  Minneapolis Convention Center


Save: Enter code SBA17, to save 10% off the Small/Mid-Size Business Event, or any other registration type for the 2017 Cyber Security Summit.

2017 Junior Achievement Event September 14

Here’s the latest from JA…

Each year we honor several individuals for their excellence in business and philanthropy, and for their significant contributions to our community. Their stories will become part of our curriculum to inspire local students to strive for success and encourage their entrepreneurial spirit.


Thursday, September 14, 2017
5:30 – 9:00 p.m.

McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota

Sponsorships, tables and individual tickets available. Contact Emily Halstead at 651-255-0458 or

Women’s Contracting – Training and Opportunities Workshop

Tuesday, August 15, 2017, St. Paul College, St. Paul, Minn.
Registration 8:00 – 9:00 — Sessions: 9:00 – 12:30
Networking with Agencies and Primes to learn how to successfully navigate the federal contracting industry and win federal contracts by knowing the rules and understanding the strategies.

Free event; seating is limited — Registration required

Information is Power!

With this knowledge, you are much better positioned to grow your business and increase your revenue.

Learn more!