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Welcome to Fergus Falls! Are you an artist, creative, culture bearer, community leader, or traveler who wants to experience our local arts community? Through the Falls Community Arts Exchange, we invite you to Fergus Falls, Minnesota to engage in the community’s wide range of creative learning opportunities and experiences.

Stewarded by Springboard for the Arts, the Falls Community Arts Exchange is a collaboration of Fergus Falls-based arts and culture organizations interested in fostering artist-led community development and geographic exchange. 

There are two tracks of the Falls Community Arts Exchange:

1. Artist Track: Create, learn, and collaborate 

This career development track is for individual artists interested in deep exchange with rural creative ecosystems, and who are interested in completing a collaborative project that supports local community goals through creative engagement. Visiting artists receive a $4,500 stipend and spend 4 weeks living in Fergus Falls, where they receive support and coaching from Springboard staff, connect with local artists, and work on a modest collaborative project with a local organization. Applications are currently being accepted until March 21, 2024 for stays between July and December 2024. Learn more and apply.

2. Individual Track: Experience, connect, and learn (coming soon) 

This self-designed exchange is for individuals of all backgrounds who are interested in learning from and experiencing the arts community in Fergus Falls. This is a non-competitive, sliding-scale program where visitors select their own dates and choose from a menu of creative experiences to participate in during their stay in Fergus Falls. Stay tuned for more information in summer 2024 for visits beginning in Fall 2024.

About Fergus Falls

Springboard Staff

Rural Program Manager

Rural Program Manager
Watch the Info Session

Get answers to questions around the application, eligibility, Fergus Falls, community partners, and more.

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Fergus Falls is a “micropolitan” town with a population of 14,000 in West Central Minnesota, located three hours north of the Twin Cities, and one hour south of Fargo, North Dakota. Fergus Falls is the county seat of Otter Tail County, which is home to two state parks, Glendalough and Maplewood, and more than 1,000 lakes. 

As a regional hub for the arts, Fergus Falls is home to several arts and culture organizations, including A Center for the Arts, the Kaddatz Galleries, the Creation Shop, Lake Region Arts Council, Fergus Falls School of Dance, Minnesota State Community & Technical College, Otter Cove Children’s Museum, Lakes Area Precious Plastics Lab, Otter Tail County Historical Society, and Springboard for the Arts.

The community is also home to several beautiful parks and bike trails, including Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, and the Central Lakes bike trail. With a thriving artisan business climate that includes two breweries, a local bakery, chocolatier, coffee roasting, and more, Fergus Falls offers a unique blend of small town charm and forward-thinking creativity. 

Like many rural communities in Minnesota where the dominant culture is white, conservative and Christian, Fergus Falls is increasing in diversity every year. Many of its residents are active in promoting equity and challenging the status quo. Since 2018, Fergus Falls has been home to “Ms Lexi D’s Catwalk Parties,” a series of popular drag shows. The local library hosts a social justice book club, there is an active Citizens Climate Lobby group, a Sexual and Gender Alliance Youth Group (SAGA Youth), and more. Those looking for perspective on social justice and equity in rural places will gain important perspective by spending time in Fergus Falls to learn about local efforts, successes, and barriers.

Watch the Info Session

About the Exchange

Entrance to Springboard's office in downtown Fergus Falls

Frequently Asked Questions

The Falls Community Arts Exchange is supported by the Blandin Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.