By: Natalie Keane, Sprout MN
Since the Summer of 2019, local Little Falls multi-media artist, Heidi Jeub, has been engaging with food producers, distributors, farmers, and the community they serve, to inform and inspire a large-scale mural.
Heidi, who is a painter, book binder, and public artist, uses a combination of research and intuition to gather inspiration. "I approach a piece, not concerned with how it will look, but how I will get there." In previous work with communities, the resulting public art installations have been informed by community discussions, sharing of historic images or documents, and one-on-one interviews. "This process has helped ensure that the end product is a part of the community, serving emotional and aesthetic joy and reflection," says Heidi.
After spending years engaging through the school system as a teaching artist, Heidi began working with community-based public art projects. Her sincere interest in untold histories of her community led her to the Sartell Paper Mill Project. This experience informed her process in designing and implementing projects that are large in scale and impact. Other public art projects that she created includes the "Trunks" Bench-in-the-Round at the Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Caterpillar Bike Rack Project (in conjunction with a design-thinking residency) at the Boys & Girls Club of Little Falls.
Heidi Jeub, painter and public artist, makes progress on Stories Around Food, a painting inspired by conversations with folks in Little Falls, Minnesota.
For this new mural project titled "Stories Around Food," Heidi engaged with a variety of local food stakeholders including producers, nonprofit organizations, food distributors (cooperatives, restaurants, grocers), and a community of eaters. The hope was to seek out any thematic trends to inspire the mural, but also to harvest the community’s attitude around food preparation and preservation, food insecurity, and local agriculture.
To initiate conversations and collect stories, Heidi leaned on her curiosity of food culture. "Food is part of our everyday life, and is essential to all people," says Heidi. "I have found that exploring the complexities of food from production to consumption has very organically brought up social issues around food, including food insecurity, sustainable farming, and healthy living." The end result of the mural aims to reflect the stories shared throughout the process.
While the final product of this project is a new, original mural inspired by conversations about food, the act of sharing stories about food is an age-old tradition. The finished mural is now on view at Sprout MN in Little Falls, Minnesota to continue to promote storytelling in their food hub, shared-use kitchen, marketplace, and event space.
Stories Around Food is led by Heidi Jeub and is a partnership with Sprout MN, funded in part by Five Wings Arts Council and ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
Give to the Max Day is today — a statewide outpouring of support for organizations across Minnesota. There are undoubtedly many needs to address as our communities grapple with our current crises, and this year, GiveMN has curated a list of organizations impacted by COVID-19 and led by and serving Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. Whether you choose to donate today or support your community in other ways, we are proud to witness Minnesotans across the state find ways to creatively connect resources and support each other during this unprecedented time.
Read our "Give to the Max Commitment" below to learn how Sprout is dedicating our donations to increase food access to families in our community.
Our Give to the Max Commitment
Thanks to generous individual donors and grant support, we have been able to provide Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares at no cost to individuals and families with barriers to access fresh, local foods. We currently provide 58 households with regular Winter CSA shares that include a mix of fall and winter produce, local meats, baked goods, farm fresh eggs, and more.
When you donate to Sprout on Give to the Max Day or year-round through our 4giving site, your donation does the double duty of purchasing from local growers and makers and then connecting items to families in our community.
By: Fallon Ryan, Engagement Coordinator, Sprout MN
On a blustery Sunday afternoon, eight women and one brave man, ventured to Boys-N-Berries Farm in St. Mathias, MN. The afternoon was designated to pick the remainder of the squash that was left in the field and donate the produce to local food relief efforts. These strong souls bundled up, put on their working gloves, and groomed the expanse of the frozen ground.
The goal was to find as many undamaged goods as possible, a more difficult task than usual at this time of the year given the early freeze that visited the north. We then dispensed the squash into a wheelbarrow at one end of the field to a trunk of the two car options. Collectively, the two volunteered vehicles were filled to capacity and ready to ride low off the field. The squash were primarily carnival (a variety of acorn that lives up to its name through the portrayal of vibrant colors and patterns) and distributed to Erich Heppner for the Central Lakes College - Food Pantry, and Matt Annand to prepare for the Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen.
The event was organized by 100 Rural Women and had participation from Sprout staff, Region Five Development Commission employees, and other members of the community. In this frigid setting, this group found warmth in the company of each other and the generosity of Boys-N-Berries Farm.
The women of Sprout "care to the core" says founder and director, Arlene Jones. Spot a few of the many women who have supported the development of Sprout through their leadership, creativity, and abundance of other contributions:
Cheryal Hills and Dawn Espe (Region Five Development Commission (R5DC))
Jessie Bavelli, Sena Bergerud, and Natalie Keane (Sprout MN)
Chef Jenna Brower Von Siebolds (Prairie Bay Grill)
Annie Humphrey - Ojibwe singer, songwriter and visual artist
Julie Zupfer Anderson (Hip Nana Quilts)
Lynnel Anderson (Cha-Cha-Chaga)
Mahado Ali and Nasra Aadan
Debby Flowers (Ole Lake Farm)
Chelsey Perkins (Brainerd Dispatch)
Tami & Faith Klucas (Made by Faith)
Esther Endicott (Serenity Now Alpaca Farm)
Lisa Baker (Bakers' Acres)
ScottiJo Meyer (Popped Kettlecorn)
Rachel Sannerud (Pluck Flower Farm)
Jami Nelson (Just Juice)
Sprout is grateful for the connection to all the women who continue to support our vibrant food system.
Created by: Dying to Film
This project is made possible by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
Artist Bruce Jacobson (SpiritWood Fine Jewelry) creates hand-crafted jewelry from selected sustainable hardwoods. Individually selected for distinct grain and features, sustainable hardwoods are shaped and contoured to accentuate the uniqueness and beauty of the wood. Bruce hand-shapes and finishes one-of-a-kind earring deisgns using a variety of woods: Plum, Mulberry, Koa, Ash, Purpleheart, Tulipwood, Blackwood, and more. To view the incredible selection of SpiritWood Fine Jewelry, visit brucejacobson.art/spiritwood
Created by: Dying to Film (www.dyingtofilm.com)
This project is made possible by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
Ole Lake Farm is the home of the Flowers family. Since 1966, the same land has provided three generations of the Flowers family a place to live, work, hunt, and play.
Debby Flowers planned on being a produce farmer until she introduced her goat's milk soap at the farmers market. The soap was so popular, "now, I don't have time to grow produce," jokes Debby.
Depending on the season, Ole Lake Farm offers wheat, flour, corn (for cornmeal), rye, straw, eggs, pork, produce, straw, and of course, goat's milk soap.
Follow Ole Lake Farm's blog for a peek into life on the farm with great stories and pictures from Debby and her family: olelakefarm.blogspot.com.
Created by: Dying To Film (www.dyingtofilm.com)
This project is made possible by ArtPlaceAmerica’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
Created by Dying to Film. This project is made possible by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
African arts, drumming, dance, and storytelling filled the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace in March 2019. Many community members from Central Minnesota participated in dancing and drumming, as well as helping paint a three panel work by artist Valeria Evans.
Janette Yiran of Yiran African Arts & Designs talks with Sprout after organizing the performances at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace as well as Fred Yiran African Arts Day 2019. Janette shares with us the legacy of her late husband, Fred Yiran, a master painter, instrumentalist, carver, sculptor, jewelry-maker, poet, singer, performance artist, and an arts and culture educator. Yiran’s legacy continues to expand knowledge and understanding of African arts and cultures today. For more information on Fred Yiran visit www.yiranarts.com.
Artistic Contributors to the March 2019 Growers & Makers Marketplace Included:
Buddy King studied Community Development at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and is a playwright, percussionist, and teaching artist. As Unit Director for the Roosevelt Boys and Girls Club in St. Cloud, MN, Buddy is engaged in numerous youth arts initiatives in the community and through the Club.
Proskuneo Dance Ministry of Higher Ground Church was established in 2015. The name Proskuneo is from the Greek which means worship. The group is lead by choreographer Keshia Anderson King. This powerful dance expression pulls from a variety of dance forms including sign, mime, lyrical and African movements, to express the gospel through music and dance.
Debra Leigh is a dance artist and choreographer who has been creating dance in Central Minnesota since 1989 when she accepted the position as the Director of Dance at St. Cloud State University. Debra founded the Repertory Dance Theater and the Summer Dance Institute at SCSU, and the Multicultural Children’s Art Connection and the Full House Children’s Dance Company. Debra has choreographed for several shows at GREAT Theater in St. Cloud, including West Side Story, The Wiz, The Little Mermaid, Adams Family, Nunsense, and Ragtime. Debra earned her undergraduate degree at University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and a MFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana in Dance Performance and Pedagogy. Debra was a Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia and has taught at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Janette Yiran is an educator and has a strong passion for community. She has been very dedicated to and engaged in enriching her community and many others over the years through her deep knowledge of symbolic African arts and tales. She loves sharing, and teaching African values through folktales, stories and symbols, to inspire and strengthen communities in our diverse and changing world. As Managing Director of Yiran African Arts and Designs, and the Fred Yiran Legacy Project, Janette is dedicated to the mission of Yiran Arts of connecting with the community by sharing Fred Yiran’s art work expanding the knowledge and understanding of African arts and culture.
Valeria Evans is a visual artist, born in Joliet Illinois in 1979 to Dorothy May Evans, a beautiful southern soulful gospel singer and community advocate. Being the youngest of five children, Valeria spent a lot of time in her imagination. "Since I can remember I have found freedom in the arts. To dance, sing, draw, decorate, stimulate the artistic growth of a peer, indulge in the beauty and or uniqueness of something or someone and to create has always fulfilled me in a way I can’t describe with words." Throughout her school career at SCSU, Valeria participated in the arts at every stage. As a mother of four, she has used the arts to broaden the minds of her children, their peers, and community. Valeria uses art to express herself and to create memorable moments for all who care to see. "After years of unknowingly limiting my artistic ability, I was blessed with an opportunity that opened my mind in many ways. It has ultimately unlocked my gift and shown me a level of potential that I never knew I had. I am blessed and extremely excited at every opportunity that presents itself because I see them with
new eyes and I experience a level of freedom that I for long lost. I find great pleasure in the sharing of my art and from the reactions of all who partake in it with me. I pray to touch the lives of everyone that I or my art comes in contact with. Thanks to everyone who supports my purpose, motivates my growth and shares my gift."
Danielle Daniels has a career that includes a wide variety of theater projects, storytelling programs, and workshops. Her tour shows, The Incarceration of Annie, and The Magic of Laughter, Spirit of Our Ancestors and Connecting through Stories, have been presented at the Southern Theater, Pillsbury House Theatre, Purdue University, Northwestern University, University of Louisville, Southern University, the Paramount Theater, St. Cloud, the University of Minnesota, and in Europe. She is the author of "Ghost of Old Man Willie", a children’s book. Danielle is a recipient of a LIN Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship and Many Voices from the Playwrights’ Center. She has a B.A. degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota, and completed The Kennedy Performing Arts Center’s “Artists as Educator” program through Northern Iowa University. In addition to collecting and sharing stories, Danielle is a teaching artist, helping students of all ages find and develop their own creative voice and style.
Habso J. Mohamud is author of "It Only Takes One Yes!," a children’s book to inspire and ignite passions for positive change, no matter one’s age or background. A proud Somali American and first-generation graduate of St. Cloud State University, she holds a bachelor's degree in Geography Travel & Tourism and a masters in Global Education, Gender & Leadership Development. As a youth champion, social activist, and community advocate, she has traveled around the globe to speak on the importance of women and children’s education.
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – July 1, 2019 – Sprout’s Third Annual Summer Harvest Dinner celebrates the tastes of local food growing this season and creates a platform where expert chefs showcase their gourmet cooking. Three of the five chefs featured at this year’s dinner competed at Sprout’s cooking contest, MINCED: The Finer Version of Chopped. At the Summer Harvest Dinner, the competition will be set aside so that local food can be the star of the show. The five-course meal will be held on Friday, July 26 at Sprout (609 13th Ave NE, Door 8, Little Falls, MN 56345). Each course is prepared by a different chef and features a local food producer who is invited to attend the dinner and speak on behalf of their growing operation.
The Summer Harvest Dinner event begins at 5:00 p.m. with cocktails, followed by a five-course meal of two appetizers, two entrees, and dessert. Each of the courses is paired with wine, selected by sommelier Scott Lindman of Paustis Wine Company. Lindman is also the host of the evening, entertaining the audience with his take on wine tasting education. The ingredients for the meal are sourced through Sprout’s Food Hub operation which works with a network of local growers to supply fresh local produce to schools, hospitals, co-ops, and restaurants. Local growers who supply their product for the Summer Harvest Dinner are invited to the dinner to enjoy the fruits of their labor and share stories of their work with their neighbors, how and why they produce their meat, produce, grains, and other products.
The expert chefs preparing the menu include all three competitors of the intense culinary cook-off, MINCED, that occurred just two months ago in May. The winner of the 2019 MINCED Master Chef title, Mateo Mackbee of Model Citizen the Restaurant (New London, Minn.) will be preparing an Entree for the Summer Harvest Dinner, while MINCED competitor Chef Thomas Kavanaugh, mentor to the Pillager High School ProStart Program will be preparing a dessert. Chef Jenna Brower Von Siebolds of Prairie Bay Grill (Baxter, Minn) who won the 2019 MINCED People’s Choice award says, “I can’t wait to be in the kitchen with Mateo and Thomas again, especially now that we don’t have to compete.” Chef Jenna will be preparing one of the two appetizers of the meal. “I’m planning on doing a new take on tapas, with six different appetizer bites on one plate,” she says.
Two chefs from Little Falls, Minn. will also be preparing a course at the 2019 Summer Harvest Dinner. Ron Lyschik of Zoomski's Midtown Cafe and Tomas Zimmerman of A.T. The Black & White Restaurant participated in the previous year’s dinner and will showcase new local producers in their course this year.
The community is invited to attend the meal by reserving tickets which are $60 per person and available online through www.sproutmn.com/harvestdinner. There is a limited number of tickets available and tickets must be reserved in advance.
This event is sponsored by Region Five Development Commission, ArtPlaceAmerica, and Prairie Bay Grill.
The Summer Harvest Dinner is supported by a grant awarded to Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund. The ArtPlace funds are providing Sprout and partners the support needed to host an expansion of economic opportunities, social and cultural experiences, and learning for local growers, artists, makers, producers, chefs, and the public. Sprout and partners will also build out the Marketplace's physical space over the next three years using commissioned functional art from local artists, with priority granted to Latino, East African, Native American, Amish, grower, and youth communities.
The community is invited to shop the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace vendors selling local food and art on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 26, November 16, and December 14. In the months of July, August, and September, Sprout hosts cooking classes, fundraising events, and educational opportunities for growers, makers, and artists. Interested growers, artists, chefs, community members, and educators who want to learn more, visit www.SproutMN.com and follow Sprout MN on Facebook.
Created by: Happy Dancing Turtle (www.happydancingturtle.org). This project is made possible by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, awarded to Region Five Development Commission.
When is dinner more than just dinner? When stories are told. And connections made.
That's the premise of a new documentary, which focuses on the stories of immigrants and other minorities living in the small towns and rural areas of central Minnesota. "Who's At your Table?" brings together people of widely varying experiences to share a family-style meal and tell their stories - Where they came from, how their cultures shaped them, and how they find life and acceptance in Minnesota.
A big thank you to Sprout MN and Arlene Jones for hosting and facilitating. Also, a big thank you to Region Five Development Commission and ArtPlace provided funding, along with assistance from Lakeland Public Broadcasting for giving us a place to share this piece.
Help us collect our region's stories.