Each day in Minnesota, courageous communities and their members work collaboratively to improve their towns and neighborhoods. On Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Minnesota State Fair, 30 such communities and their members will be honored in the 2011 Minnesota Community Pride Showcase, part of the Fair’s Community Pride Day at Carousel Park, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Communities that will be recognized include: Blackduck, Brainerd, Faribault, Fergus Falls, Hennepin County, Itasca County, Lac Qui Parie County, Mankato, McLeod County, Olmsted County, Pine City, Pope County, Ramsey County, Redwood County, Rice County, Rochester, Saint Louis County, Steele County, Springfield and Waterville. Their stories are shared online here: www.InCommons.org/MCPS.
Minnesota Community Pride Showcase kicked off in June when it asked individuals and groups statewide to share “the story of a way that your community is coming together to improve Minnesota towns and neighborhoods.” It’s sponsored by the Minnesota State Fair, MinnPost.com and InCommons, which is hosting the challenge as part of its overall mission to connect and support individuals and groups statewide to solve tough community problems.
In July, a group of judges selected the top 30 entries from the 67 submitted that demonstrated collaboration with the highest combined amount of Partnership, Innovation and Progress. The Minnesota State Fair is providing $15,000 – or $500 each – to the winners to help continue their efforts.
At the Minnesota State Fair Community Pride Day, Carousel Park will transform to celebrate the Showcase’s collaborative projects, with the winning entrants’ work on display at the Community Pride Showcase tent.
Sharon Schmickle of MinnPost.com will host interviews of various winners, providing an opportunity for individuals to tell as well as show their work to attendees. An awards ceremony will take place around 12:30 on the Carousel Park stage and entertainment on stage throughout the day will be provided by:
J.D. Steele and the MacPhail Community Youth Choir
Willie Murphy Band
Ragamala’s Advanced Students
Brave New Workshop
Tom Hunter Band
For a full schedule of the day’s events at Carousel Park, visit http://www.mnstatefair.org/competition/community_showcase.html.
“Time and again we are shown that cooperation among community members is the essential ingredient in solving problems and creating opportunities,” said Jane Leonard, Senior Manager at Bush Foundation and a coordinator for the Showcase. Leonard helped found the original Minnesota Community Pride program 27 years ago and helped revive it for the State Fair as an annual event in 2009. “We’re delighted to honor these communities and their members, and to bring them together to the State Fair not only to showcase their work, but to hopefully inspire attendees with new ideas to improve their own towns and neighborhoods.”
For more details on Minnesota Community Pride Showcase, visit www.InCommons.org/MCPS.
InCommons (InCommons.org) is a community-based, statewide initiative to connect people face-to-face and online to share credible tools, knowledge and resources to solve community problems. For more information, visit InCommons.org.
Eric Davis is a member of InCommons (www.InCommons.org), a community-based, statewide initiative to connect people face-to-face and online to share credible tools, knowledge and resources to solve community problems.