Three Idea Slam project teams were awarded grant funding at the March 1 event held at the Red Wing Library Foot Room. Friends of the Bluffs was awarded $4,500, Red Wing App/Galleries brochure received $11,500 and Red Wing Creative Economy was awarded $4,000.
Five groups chosen by Idea Slam participants fleshed out business plans and ideas since the Jan. 14 brainstorming event and presented to the Core Leadership Team - a group of community members tasked with distributing $20,000 from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation - Thursday night.
CLT members rated projects immediately after hearing presentations but then weighed and discussed the funding options for nearly two hours in closed session. Two groups received the funding they requested, and the Red Wing App/Museum Brochure project received an extra $1,500. The projects must be completed within six months, and groups will present their results at a fall Community Celebration that will be sponsored by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.
Here are the highlights of the chosen plans:
• Friends of the Bluffs, headed by Jennifer Patterson, aims to create "the opportunity for Red Wing to be branded as a specific active outdoor recreation," the group wrote. The group will promote and market Red Wing's assets, protect, maintain and enhance the public bluff and trail areas and provide education on history, geography, culture and biology of the area. The money awarded this week will help the Friends of the Bluffs group create an eight- to 10-member advisory board and get started on the work.
• The Red Wing App/Museums and Galleries Brochure team, led by Dave Borgen and Ruth Nerhaugen, will "create a tool that will enhance a visitor's experience and positively affect the economic impact to Red Wing." They will develop a free smartphone application focusing on three areas: "active Red Wing," including parks, trails and outdoor activities; "cultural Red Wing," focusing on museums, theater and music; and "shop Red Wing," including lodging, shopping and restaurants. They also will create a printed guide to museums and galleries in Red Wing.
• Red Wing Creative Economy, led by John Becker, Art Kenyon and Emily Nelson, will use its funding toward a feasibility study to create a "roadmap that will identify the current Red Wing creative economic status, identification of creative economic entrepreneurial opportunities and the associated proposed strategies." A creative economy involves industries such as arts, publishing, design and engineering and uses human creativity to create jobs, group members said.