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New art scholarship available

FAIRMONT — There’s a new scholarship available to assist Martin County high school seniors and previous graduates. Provided by the Martin County Preservation Association (MCPA), the scholarship is meant to help those students looking to further their education in the visual and performing arts. Dan Wheeler, Vice President of the MCPA Board, explains.

“The mission of the Red Rock Center and the Preservation Association that oversees it is encourage and provide quality visual and performing arts opportunities for people of all ages in Martin County,” said Wheeler. “One of the key things in this last year that we’ve been talking about is that it’s not enough to just preserve the past but to invest in the future.”

Wheeler said the Association wants to share the blessing they’ve received through peoples’ support. The program will provide two different $500 scholarships each year, which will go to a student who is going into higher education for either a visual arts or performing arts degree at the college level.

“If you look at society, that’s one of the areas that’s being cut back,” he said. “Even since I was in high school things like band, music, theater, even visual arts classes have been cut back drastically.”

Wheeler said the impetus of the scholarship is to foster and encourage students to continue to go into those fields, whether that’s being in the theater, getting involved with music/singing, visual arts such as painting, graphic design, or even becoming an art teacher.

“So we’ve come up with an application for that, with a desire to invest in the future for part art appreciation and part entertainment in Martin County,” Wheeler said.

In order to have funding available for such a scholarship, Wheeler said that the MCPA finances are largely provided by donations. Those donations come from estates, wills, donations toward an endowment and more. People are also invited to give to the association if they so choose.

“We’re actually putting together a giving tree that we’re going to have up in the Red Rock Center for people who have either given already or choose to give in the future,” he said. “It’s a way for people to invest in the preservation of the Red Rock Center and help us engage the community so we can continue to give out more scholarships in the future.”

“It’s not just providing entertainment and opportunities for people to engage in the arts in our community, but investing in our youth as they grow. It’s showing them that we’re not just taking, we’re giving back.”

Those interested in making a donation can call the Red Rock Center at (507) 235-9262 or check out their website at www.redrockcenter.org.

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