Grant Awards

April 9, 1998

River Falls Sesqui Committee Awards Four Grants

The River Falls Sesquicentennial Steering Committee has awarded four grants totalling $2,325 to organizations for participation in the Sesquicentennial Celebration. According to River Falls Main Street Project Coordinator Janet Olson Halaas, the purpose for the grant program is to encourage organizations and businesses to celebrate this milestone in River Falls history.

There were two major guidelines organizations and businesses had to follow when applying for the grant program. First, the grant's purpose must be directly related to the history of the people, community or culture of River Falls. Second, it must also be beneficial to the River Falls community. According to Olson Halaas, with the four different categories that were selected, the grant program has achieved its goals.

The grants will help to bring the community together and the history of River Falls alive during the Sesquicentennial Celebration. "The four grants represent a good cross-section of the community. Some of the items are tangible that people can collect and keep," Olson Halaas says.

The first grant was given for the production of "Entering the Circle," a play that tells the story of farm wives at the turn of the century. The play is the result of the work of five UW-River Falls faculty members. History department chair Kurt Leichtle is serving as the historical consultant.

Leichtle's research comes from the turn-of-the-century diaries of rural River Falls farm wife Jenny Andrews as well as other Midwestern women.

Journalism department chair Mike Norman is writing the play and plant and earth science department Professor Bob Baker is coordinating the show's planning as well as gathering and organizing photographs to accompany the presentation. Speech communication and theater arts department chair Margaret Swanson will be directing the play and theater arts department Professor Ken Stofferahn is overseeing set design.

A grant was awarded to Gypsy Cab for the publishing of a special edition book titled, "River Falls Remembers." Past and present residents will help to write the book to include memoirs, essays, and poems about the City of River Falls. Captioned photos are to be included in the book. Submissions for the book will be open to anyone. Gypsy Cab plans to visit the elementary schools, River Falls Middle school, River Falls High School, and area nursing homes to help include all members of the community.

A grant was given to the Kinni Enhancement Project for the painting of a large mural. The theme of the mural surrounds the Kinnicikinnic River and its importance and history to River Falls. The mural will be painted on the side of the Hallmark/Ben Franklin building at Main and Maple streets, downtown River Falls. The unveiling of the mural will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26.

The final grant was given to the Quilting Friends for the production of a quilt. Experienced quilters will make the quilt to feature historic landmarks of significance to the City of River Falls. The quilt is to include features such as River Falls' 150 year logo. The quilt will be on display during the month of September.

The presentation of the grant projects are scheduled to take place during the Sesquicentennial Celebration in Sept. 24-26.

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