Activate Rural Public Workshop: Southwest Minnesota

by Jessica Stolen
poster advertising event with words

Location: The YES! House, 726 Prentice St, Granite Falls, MN 56241
Date + Time: Monday, May 20, 2024, 9am – 3pm
Register here:

Join the Department of Public Transformation (DoPT) in Granite Falls, MN, at The YES! House for the first of four Activate Rural Public Workshops across the state.

The one-day workshop is designed to offer support, peer learning, and resources to creative entrepreneurs, artists, organizations and small business owners with creative physical places of connection based in rural Minnesota communities and the Native nations that share this geography, with a population of 20,000 or less.

Workshop participants will:
-> Connect with others developing creative physical places of connection for their communities

-> Learn about local, state and federal funding opportunities including private funding sources during a panel discussion moderated by Ashley Hanson, Creative Executive Officer, DoPT, with the following panelist speakers:
– Kyle Haugen, Executive Director, Granite Falls Economic Development Authority
– Jeffrey T VanBuren, Area Director – Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture
– Jeff Vetsch, Community Gift Officer, Southwest Initiative Foundation
– Robin Weis, Deputy Director, Southwest Regional Development Commission

-> Be inspired by two Activate Rural Learning Lab projects located in Southwest Minnesota during a panel discussion moderated by Sarina Otaibi, Activate Rural Program Director, DoPT, with the following panelist speakers:
– Anne O’keefe Jackson, Director of Mni Sota Arts, transforming and activating a former cafe building in downtown Redwood Falls, MN (pop. 5,000) into a creative gathering place for Native artists.
– Elicia Kortus, Director of Reclaim Community, transforming and activating a historic commercial building in downtown Jasper, MN (pop. 600) into a creative regional hub for artists, makers and traditional trades.

-> Take away community engagement strategies to implement in your space with your community from DoPT staff members Luwaina Al-Otaibi, The YES! House Program Coordinator, and Benjamin Domask-Ruh, Activate Rural Program Coordinator

-> Lastly but most importantly, enjoy good food, snacks and have fun in the beautiful community of Granite Falls!

Registration is required, but it is free. There is a limit of 30 workshop participants, so please register early to secure your spot. Food and beverages will be provided including lunch.

– Travel Stipends –
If the cost of travel is a barrier to your participation, you may request a travel stipend for mileage reimbursement when registering for the workshop. The travel stipends are for participants traveling within the southwest region of the state and are on a first come, first serve basis. You must register and request a travel stipend by 5 pm CST on Monday, May 5, 2024.

For workshop and registration questions, please contact Benjamin Domask-Ruh, Activate Rural Program Coordinator, at

Register here:

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