SPROUT Free Workshops to Help Growers and Artists Increase Profitability

Artists and growers as small business entrepreneurs are invited to attend free educational workshops to build their business profitability and capacity. The events will be hosted at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace (609 13th Ave NE, Door 8, Little Falls, MN 56345). Throughout the next three years, Sprout will host 14 leadership and business classes and trainings funded by an ArtPlace America creative placemaking grant awarded to Region Five Development Commission.

The 2017 schedule includes (flyer attached):

  • Grant Writing & Evaluation Workshop for Artists, Growers, and Makers with Linda Holliday (Impact Minnesota) and Stacey Stockdill (EnSearch), May 9, 5:308:30 p.m. (Eventbrite registration link here)
  • “The Art of the Entrepreneur: Business Basics for Growers, Makers & Artists” – Business planning with Julie Anderholm, July 11, 5:308 p.m. (Eventbrite registration link here)
  • Marketing 101 for Artists and Makers, presented by Springboard for the Arts, September 23, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Career Planning for Artists and Makers, presented by Springboard for the Arts, September 23, 1:30-4 p.m.
  • Marketing 101 for Growers, November 9, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

The workshops are co-created with artists, growers, and local experts; Sprout is requesting input via a short online survey (link) on the Sprout website to request the type of education needed for artists, growers, and makers to build their businesses. Community participation, as central to placemaking efforts, is encouraged throughout the planning process to ensure workshops cater to their specific needs in Central Minnesota.


To register for a workshop or for schedule updates and additions, visit www.SproutMN.com or the Sprout Facebook page.

In January, Sprout hosted the first workshop “Wellness from the Ground Up: How to Market the True Value of Your Farm’s Products” in collaboration with the Sustainable Farming Association Central Chapter. Tomas Zimmerman, local chef and owner of award-winning restaurant A.T. The Black & White spoke on the ways he incorporates local food purchases into his menu and the ways growers can continue to grow their market share of the restaurant industry.

Workshop goals are to increase access to technical assistance and resources for growers and makers to build their business capacity and profitability; connect and equip local artists to obtain leadership roles that can lead to further placemaking in the region and commissioned work opportunities; develop deeper understanding of good farming practices; fuel succession planning that increases economic prosperity, etc.


Sprout has installed a video booth and launched a shared meal pottery experience to ignite storytelling through food as part of their placemaking strategy. Story exchange will be used as an evaluation tool to show the transformation of the Marketplace and community support over time. The video booth, titled “The Video Barn” is a miniature replica of the barn at the Farm on St. Mathias in Brainerd, which is owned by Sprout’s founding director, Arlene Jones.

Shaping our rural narrative through video The Video Barn can be found at each event occurring at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace. The Video Barn was designed and constructed by local artist, Matt Taylor utilizing reclaimed barn wood and is the first of many interactive art installations to be held at the Sprout facility. The invitation is open to all to sit and share a story of a special meal made by a family member. Participants are encouraged to utilize their first or preferred language to further illustrate the unique diversity of the region.

The activities are funded through a grant awarded to the Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund. Arlene Jones, General Manager of Sprout, explained, “The ArtPlace funds will offer the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace and our partners the support needed to expand economic development opportunities, platforms that encourage social cohesion, and learning for local growers, artists, makers, producers, chefs, and the public. Through a collection of culturally specific activities, we will establish Sprout as a destination where food, art, and culture meet.”

Interested shoppers, growers, artists, chefs, and educators who want to learn more, visit www.SproutMN.com and follow theSprout Growers & Makers Marketplace on Facebook.


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