The Edge Center for the Arts’s motto “wildly unexpected,” is appropriate to this exceptional, state-of-the-art theater and gallery located at the “edge of the wilderness” in the village of Bigfork, Minnesota.
Founded in 1992 with gutsy determination, in-kind generosity, and sweat equity, the Edge values cultivating local artistic talent and collaborating with regionally- and nationally-recognized artists. The Edge opened a new home in 2004 and by 2008 they were active participants in ArtsLab, focusing their efforts on developing a strategic plan that would craft a pathway for stronger operations, finance, programming, governance, and audience development. The results of their hard work are apparent in their reputation as a respected regional arts center and a driver of new professional and community collaborations.
“We learned early on—sometimes you can’t reach goals because you don’t have the resources. We’ve had to focus and be patient.”
This case study was part of ArtsLab’s 2014 review of participant organizations, written by consultant and writer Sarah Lutman of Lutman & Associates with research conducted by evaluator M. Christine Dwyer of RMC Research. The full report identifies and describes the common capacities, nurtured through programs like ArtsLab, that can lead to successful, significant change within arts organizations.
Edge Center for the Arts gallery talk. Photo courtesy of Edge Center for the Arts.