Published September 27, 2018
BEMIDJI, Minn. — Watermark Art Center announced a $25,000 grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community on Wednesday. The grant is in support of the art center’s recent expansion and relocation project, which includes the new Miikanan Gallery, a space dedicated exclusively to featuring Indigenous artwork and programming.
“We are so pleased to receive this gift,” said Watermark Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay. “The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s support of this project honors Indigenous artists and their work, placing it in the forefront of art and commerce in northern Minnesota.”
The Watermark Art Center has become a place of cultural exchange since it opened its new facility in December of 2017. Funds from SMSC grant will help insure the longevity of the Miikanan Gallery and bridge cultural disparities by providing exhibit opportunities and sales revenue for Indigenous artists, cultural education for non-Native visitors, and creative inspiration for people of all walks of life.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. With a focus on being a good neighbor, good steward of the earth, and good employer, the SMSC is committed to charitable donations, community partnerships, a healthy environment and a strong economy. The SMSC and the SMSC Gaming Enterprise (Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino) are the largest employers in Scott County. Out of a Dakota tradition to help others, the SMSC has donated nearly $300 million to organizations and causes since opening the Gaming Enterprise in the 1990s and has contributed millions more to regional governments and infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer systems, and emergency services.
Watermark Art Center is a non-profit, member-supported organization dedicated to encouraging the growth and development of art. Located in Bemidji, MN, they feature national, regional and local artists in art exhibitions, author readings and workshops. They facilitate the sale of artwork, and also provide a space to showcase priceless works to the general public. Watermark’s galleries are open seven days/week with free admission, providing convenient, handicap-accessible access to the arts for all people.