A Center for the Arts, Fergus Theatre

Store Name A Center for the Arts, Fergus TheatreBusiness Type  Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

NAICS Code 71

Location 124 West Lincoln Avenue, Fergus Falls, MN 56537

Nearby Businesses Victor Lundeen Co., Olson’s Furniture

Owner/Manager A Center for the Arts – Non-profit Ogranization

Special Store Activities n/a

Year Opened 1995

Website www.fergusarts.org

Phone (218) 736-5453

E-mail n/a

Community Profile Fergus Falls, MN (Population 13,471, 10-mile radius population 20,297) is located in west central Minnesota, approximately 175 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. The community is surrounded by Minnesota lake country, with around 1,000 lakes in the county. The city’s slogan of “Find Us, Lose Yourself” alludes to the plentiful recreational options among the natural amenities within close proximity. The city of Fergus Falls is home to Minnesota State Community & Technical College as well as several health care facilities such as Lake Region Healthcare Corporation and Fergus Falls Medical Group

Products Sold & Niche Developed

A Center for the Arts sponsors a wide range of programming, including live theatre; independent, foreign, and documentary films; a variety of music; professional and local dance; visual arts exhibitions and festivals; numerous workshops and literary events; and music and arts classes. Events are programmed nearly every day.

Market Segments Served

Due to diverse program offerings, patrons of A Center for the Arts are likewise demographically diverse. The Theatre draws strongest from the retirement community, however music and arts classes are composed primarily from children and teenagers.

Contributions to the Business Community

The Fergus Theatre was built as the Orpheum Theatre in 1921 with seating for 200. The Theater has undergone a series of renovations and historical restoration with the most recent in 1995, opening as A Center for the Arts. The theater now seats 446 with accommodations for 12 wheelchairs. A Center for the Arts also operates The Kaddatz Gallery, a gallery of works by local artists, located in a renovated Hotel across the street.

The downtown of Fergus Falls has transitioned to one comprised primarily of service based businesses from historically retail based businesses. A Center for the Arts provides a stable draw of activity to the downtown through its diverse program offerings. The Center provides free concerts in the park Thursday nights during the summer.

A Center for the Arts’ biggest strength is building relationships with businesses and organizations throughout the community. Their relationship with Minnesota State Community and Technical College has recently resulted in an Arts Academy which has resulted in increased arts and music course offerings during the summer months. The Center also works with local school districts to support arts programs and supplement school offerings.

A Center for the Arts is involved in the restoration of the historic Kaddatz Hotel, built in 1914 and located across the street from the Theatre. After the Hotel was purchased by Minneapolis-based Artspace, A Center for the Arts has supported the renovation activities. The Hotel had been primarily vacant since closing in 1975, and may have been removed in the near future had it not been for the efforts of Artspace and A Center for the Arts. The Kaddatz Hotel will now transition into primarily artist live-work space and 10 market apartments. The first floor has a very visible street front and 4,200 square feet of commercial space. The basement of the Hotel has been renovated to provide programming space for A Center of the Arts. The Hotel also hosts the Kaddatz Art Gallery, displaying works by local artists. The Hotel is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Review by: Joshua Clements, UW Extension CCED