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If you’ve stopped by the Art Center on a Wednesday morning you were probably greeted by a pleasant, multi-tasking woman with a slight British accent. BLCA has been fortunate to have had talented paper artist Mandy Brannan as volunteer Desk Diva and Gift Shop Manager for the past 1 and 1/2 years.

Alas, all good things come to an end—Mandy is leaving us to return to her native land, Great Britain for a year of study. She will be attending graduate school at Camberwell College of Art in London. Ostensibly, she will be “improving” her English and dropping the Americanisms for the year. Not coincidentally, she will be deepening her creative work through a year of intense exploration and further development of her own work in paper and book arts at the prestigious school.

In the meantime, her daughter Christine has been hard at work carving out her own career in the arts. Currently studying and teaching printmaking in Japan, Christine is nearly finished obtaining an arts degree at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISDE) after graduating from Perpich Center for the Arts, this state’s well-regarded arts-focused high school in Golden Valley. 

We will certainly miss Mandy’s presence and bid her a successful, happy and productive time of artistic growth. We hope she will return to BLCA and continue to share her expertise and new knowledge with BLCA students and the local art community. Indeed, we look forward to learning about life as a “reformed” Brit.


Stephanie Metcalf-Lockhart, M.A.

Stephanie Metcalf-Lockhart wants to help people to feel whole again. Mindful of the brokenness of the world we live in, Stephanie recognizes that there are times when our lives reflect that brokenness. She has the tools and the knowledge to help individuals, couples, and families repair the brokenness—the damage to mind and spirit. Damage caused by trauma, stress, major life transitions, and more. Stephanie does this with an abundance of caring patience and encouragement. She helps clients to uncover their strengths and find the hope buried beneath layers of pain and fear. She helps them to set goals and monitors their progress. She helps people to reclaim their health and return to wholeness.

Having earned her Master of Arts in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy from the Adler Graduate School in Minnesota, Stephanie is well informed in a variety of psychotherapy models and techniques. She is skilled at designing an integrated approach to suit individual needs. Stephanie believes that each of us has the answer to our own problems. She knows that clients working with a thoughtful guide who can draw from the vast knowledge of master therapists past and present, will more likely be successful in finding long-lasting solutions to disabling emotional and psychological conflicts.

In addition to her clinical work, Stephanie is a gifted and experienced leader and mediator. She has facilitated a variety of groups on topics including job transition, life skills, counseling, and forgiveness training. She is passionate about working to create a peaceful, equitable society and trained at the International Committee of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes (ICASSI) in both Lithuania and Romania, whose mission is, in part, to eliminate barriers and foster equality for all peoples.

Prior to becoming a therapist, Stephanie served as an organizing coach, assisting clients (individuals, families, professionals, and businesses) to increase emotional wellbeing and comfort in their mental and physical spaces.

Stephanie is adept in helping individuals, couples, and families, manage major life transitions including divorce, blended households, downsizing, relocating, and job changes. She successfully blends real world experience with theoretical therapy.

A primary focus of Stephanie’s work is forgiveness. After completing 3 years of study at the Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training, Stephanie is committed to teaching others how to forgive. She incorporates forgiveness interventions with trauma therapy recovery and regards it as an essential healing component that can result in resilience, openness, and a deeper capacity for joy.

Helping clients move towards wholeness is Stephanie’s life work. Please feel welcome to contact her at Hearts & Minds Counseling in Phoenix, AZ.



Minneapolis, Minnesota.                        Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts is pleased to present a dynamic in-process artistic collaboration conceived by Heid E. Erdrich. The visual art portion of the presentation will be on display in the Art Center galleries from August 25 through September 29. Several activities and events including writing workshops, a reading, a music performance and film viewing will take place throughout the run of the show.

Heid E. Erdrich is an award-winning author, curator, and arts organizer with a mission to create powerful art that presents the lives of women and Native Americans in their current complexity within their historical and present contexts.  “Pilot Car” is a vehicle that, according to Erdrich, is meant to reveal the multiple influences in the lives of artists. Says the artist, “ The rich cross-pollination results in a variety of art forms and the relationships that artists forge across cultures.” Erdrich frequently collaborates with other artists, both Native and non-Native, in order to grow artistically and to reach as broad an audience as possible. Through this collaboration, which will be moving to other venues throughout the state, Erdrich will introduce Minnesota artists to new communities and providing opportunities for Native American and other artists hoping to benefit Minnesotans beyond her own community.

Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibway and grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota. A recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board fellowships, awards from The Loft Literary Center, the Archibald Bush Foundation and elsewhere, Heid E. Erdrich has published three books of poetry and four times been nominated for the Minnesota Book Award, winning the award in 2009 for her book “National Monuments” published by Michigan State University Press. Her most recent publication, “Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems,” is published by University of Arizona Press. She lives with her family in Minneapolis.  

A full schedule of the events and activities related to the exhibition can be found at


American Rug Laundry

A Brief History

American Rug Laundry (ARL) has been in business since 1895. You could say that not too much has changed since its inception: the iconic red brick building, the team of hard working men and women, the family-oriented owners, and its commitment to being good neighbors. These remain the hallmarks of the business.

Jerry Rue began working full time at ARL on May 7,1957 with 4 sandwiches — he was afraid of going hungry—and a steadfast attitude. He didn’t quit his fulltime position until June of 2001 and still worked occasional Saturdays or whenever someone was needed to fill in. Needless to say, Jerry has seen the business adapt to new owners and additional services, new equipment, and staff changeovers. Most notably, as societal attitudes towards women in the workplace changed, so did ideas about women at ARL.

Jerry tells the story about a guy in the late 60’s who, when told he would be working with a woman that morning, climbed into the truck without a word and took off for the job site on his own. By the time he returned, the manager had driven the new hire back to her home. She was offered an apology but no job. Jerry laughs about it now but acknowledges that such disrespect would never be tolerated today. “Thank goodness times have changed,” he says.

So have the Lake Street businesses around ARL. According to Jerry, Lake Street was dotted with car dealerships and a drugstore on practically every corner. Dragon City Restaurant was a lumberyard and houses stood where the Super America is now.

When Jerry started, he said, there were 7 employees inside and 3 women in the office with an office manager. There was a rug repairer and an occasional assistant as well. At that time, they also had a busy blanket washing operation. “People from all over the country sent their blankets to us for cleaning and re-binding,” said Jerry. Another sign of the times that blankets are made of less sturdy stuff now and few require the same type of care.

When Sam and Farzan Navab took over the business in 1997, they made improvements and necessary updates. They imported special rug cleaning equipment from Turkey, and computerized the filing system, for example. But the focus of the business has remained on the expert care and cleaning of rugs and providing excellent customer service. The Navabs are committed to raising the standard of rug care. American Rug Laundry continues to earn the trust and loyalty of its customers as it has done for the last 118 years.


Fine Print Development Company

making your vision concrete

Your nonprofit started with a vision of making a better world through the work that you do. We want to help nourish that vision. We can help you clarify your goals and discover the most effective means by which they can be realized. We can help you raise money for programs and operations. We can help you with short-term solutions and as well as strategies for sustainability. We can help you communicate your passion and your good news. Above all, we can help you get it all done.


ours is a shifting environment that demands flexible, expansive thinking.

forward movement is not a losing proposition.

your nonprofit has what it takes to make an impact.

in working with client organizations who are invested in moving forward with their vision and mission, and who understand their responsibility in sustaining the organization.

the goods                        

we approach all projects with

Fresh ideas

Objective and helpful analysis of needs

Commitment to excellence

Respect for the history and culture of the organization

FPDC offers a full range of integrated development services designed to draw the best from the client organization. We know fundraising is a challenging endeavor. We know time and money are not limitless resources. You have ideas. You have expertise. We can help you add capacity.


•            Audit of current fundraising potential

•            Short and long-term strategy development

•            Case development

•            Individual and major giving

•            Donor stewardship

•            Event planning

•            Board and volunteer development

•            Staff Development

•            Community outreach & visibility campaign

•            Feasibility study

•            Development office management

•            Prospect research


Artistic Quality

concept and design

Ace Art Festival, now in its 14th year, embodies one of the core values of the Bentley Laramie Center for the Arts (BLCA): using art to bring people together. The festival reaches beyond its immediate environs of Dickson and southern Barron County gathering together a diverse array of visual, performing, and literary artists to attract visitors from a wide swathe of the Twin Cities. In 2012, the Art Center will use the festival to celebrate its 33 years as a significant and most enduring source for community arts in the northwest suburban Twin Cities metro area.

Ace Art Festival will take place on Sunday, September 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the historic building housing the Art Center and its surrounding environment, Barron County’s prize-winning Peterson Park. People of all ages and backgrounds will be invited to join BLCA for an arts-infused morning and afternoon of music, performance, art demos, exhibitions, workshops and more. Efforts will be made to make the event a truly accessible one with plenty of nearby parking for handicapped and wheel chair patrons, community officers assisting at street crossings and no admission fee.

Early fall is usually lovely in the park where Rice Creek meets the Mississippi River. Visitors will be greeted by the joyful rhythms provided by the venerable (50 years!) Dickson City Band. Along the main park path, festival-goers can admire and purchase the wares of fine artists and artisans who border the walk as well as watch artists in action throughout the grounds—landscape, portrait and other artists, creating art that may be available for sale at the end of the day. Visitors of all ages interested in creating their own art will find free workshop opportunities throughout day. Book binding, printmaking, poetry and textile crafts are just a few of the possibilities. Workshop artists have not yet been selected but past artists have included Curt Lund, Susan Boeckmann, Kimber Olson, Deborah Splain and poet, Kris Bigalk among many others.

The Art Center galleries will be open for viewing. An art “treasure hunt” will offer kids and families a fun means to examine the work together, helping them to uncover aspects they might not notice with just the usual cursory glance. The exhibition planned for this coming festival is one being created by award-winning poet, Heid Erdrich. Titled, “Cell Traffic-Poetic Collaborations,” the show is meant to explore community linkages, especially those of Native American and immigrants. It will feature multiple disciplines and include the work of Jim Demonie, Mike Hazard, Andrea Carlson and Frank Big Bear among others. A quilt created by BLCA member-artists with a theme pertinent to the Art Center’s history and/or environs will be on display and raffled off. Just outside, on the lawn, a host of community groups including Springbrook Nature Center, Dickson Parks and Recreation, Women of Tomorrow will have displays, encouraging visitors to become familiar with the activities of their organizations and agencies.

artists & project leaders

Past festival performers include Zaraawar Mistry, Mankwe Ndosi, Open Eye Figure Theatre, Mother Banjo, Orkestar bez Miz, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater; Mu Daiko, Jimi “Prime Time” Smith, Marimba Africa, and Julie Johnson and the No-Accounts, to name a few. Writers such as Kate Kysar, Michael Dennis Browne, Jim Lenfestey, Diane Glancy, J.Otis Powell!, Carolyn Holbrook, children’s writers, Dara Dokas and Marie Olofsdotter and many, many more have graced the reading stage at the festival. Performers and artists for 2012 have not been finalized but the planning committee will use the same criteria as in previous years for choosing festival talent: emerging and established artists with ties to the Art Center including instructors, members, and exhibiting artists—particularly those residing within the vicinity of the Art Center; artists who have demonstrated excellence and professionalism in their chosen media and whose work may engage and hold appeal for a broad range of audiences—including individuals and groups who represent the ethnic and cultural diversity of the communities within the perceived reach of BLCA.

The roster of past artists helps to tell the story of what the festival is truly about: diversity in all manner including a range of artistic experience and expertise, a broad spectrum of artistic disciplines and styles and a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Diversity has been, from its inception, an ongoing core value of the festival.

The 2012 Festival Committee thus far, will include BLCA board president Ann Bolkcom, as well as board members, Anne Coldwell, and Chris Spencer. Bolkcom, who also serves on the Dickson City Council, will serve as chief coordinator and has served in this position for the last 10 years. Executive director Lia Rivamonte will serve as co-coordinator. Barron Parks Director John VonDeLinde, Operations Manager Jeff Perry, Parks Maintenance Supervisor Mike Jacobson, and Grounds Manager, Jim Blake will work closely with festival planners to determine facility, equipment and grounds needs.  Barron County Parks helps to provide marketing and PR support in addition to providing the maintenance crew who will assist in the set-up and takedown of tents, tables, portable johns, recycling, trash and seating. The BLCA Writer-in-Resident (currently Gary Dop) will work with the BCLA’s Readings Curator, Matt Rasmussen to coordinate literary presentations. Longtime Volunteer Coordinator, Joyce VanderWyst will help recruit volunteers for the day. An assistant festival coordinator will be contracted to help manage event details during the last few months leading up to the event and help to run the actual event.

Summer intern(s) will contribute to the web marketing effort. Artwork by a member-artist will provide the basis for the poster, cards and bookmarks. Graphic artist and BLCA member, Beth Rasmussen will provide the layout and design. Other BLCA members and board members may wish to join the Festival Committee efforts in the coming month. The work of the committee includes coordinating, planning, selecting artists and performers for participation and carrying out other miscellaneous tasks related to festival planning.


The main goal of the festival is to bring people together to celebrate and participate in the arts. Participation in arts activities can be a stimulus for the imagination, highlight our commonalities and bring joy and delight to a broad spectrum of people. BLCA strives to increase the visibility of area artists, writers, and performers. Time and again, visitors express delight in the discovery of: 1) the art center; 2) the impressive array of arts experiences available locally and; 3) discovering or rediscovering the simple pleasures of a day in the park shared with friends and neighbors. A positive arts experience may lead not only to participation in future programs and events at Bentley Laramie but may encourage exploration of other art venues. The festival builds support and recognition for the diversity of artists in our midst and offers a singular opportunity for access to invigorating arts and provides the means for disparate peoples and communities to come together for fun and a little stimulation of the creative juices.


Dear Friend of the Arts:

You are why we are here. At Best Light Center for the Arts (BLCA) we are proud to make it our mission to provide opportunities for engagement in quality arts experiences for those who not only appreciate the arts and actively participate in making art but for those of you for whom art is an important community-building tool ― a significant contributor in making all of our lives richer. In 2009, over 5,000 community members participated in BLCA programs: exhibitions, classes, gift shop, literary readings and community events. The work of area artists was discovered and valued; persons from all walks of life were given opportunities to participate in accessible art programs; children’s creativity was lifted into the public eye. We are thrilled to be able to ensure that area artists and writers from the very novice to the established are nurtured and given the chance to blossom and you are an important part of this enterprise.

Yes, we are a small organization ― our entire budget would equal the tip of the James Art Center or New York Institute of Art’s fingernail (if that) but it’s what we do with what we have that counts. We can make an impact with very little. Make no mistake, we do dream large: we want to serve more of the community with wider-reaching programs, increased opportunities and expanded facilities. For the moment, however, we will maintain and work to improve our existing programs, communications and infrastructure with focused precision. To do this we need your help. Your $10, $15, $25 dollars may not seem like much but added together will do a lot to ensure that: we continue to provide affordable classes, keep an invigorating exhibition schedule, fairly compensate our teaching artists, support residencies for artists and writers and hold events that spark the imaginations of a diverse, multi-generational community of friends and neighbors in an ever-expanding world.

Every dollar counts. You may have less to spare in these “cozy” economic times but BLCA will be proud to receive your contribution and will only continue to thrive with your partnership and passion for local arts.

We are grateful for your support and thank you, too, for allowing us to serve you. We wish you a creative, healthy and prosperous 2010.

Sincerely yours,