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Creative Minnesota Report for Big Stone County

Sheila Smith (Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and Chair, Creative Minnesota) presented the Big Stone County Report on March 22nd at the Ortonville Community Center.

Creative Minnesota, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Big Stone Arts Council, Big Stone Area Growth and the Ortonville EDA released a new study indicating that the arts have a large impact on Big Stone County!  “Nonprofit arts and culture organizations contribute to the vibrancy of Minnesota’s economy and quality of life and make our state a magnet for jobs and businesses.  Now we can quantify that in Big Stone County,”  said Sheila Smith “In addition to providing life-changing experiences, educational opportunities and accessibility to audiences of all ages in their stages and museums, arts and culture organizations are important employers and economic engines.

$400,000 = Economic impact of art and culture organizations, audiences and artists in Big Stone County.  To note, the impacts of the arts in Big Stone County do not include the annual Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl which brings a large number of people to our County each year – Becky Stattelman of the Red Barn noted the tracking for 2017 reflects about 1,000 people stopped at their location.  The impacts of the Meander would be reflected in the County that houses the managing organization.  The 2016 Meander Economic Impact report is posted on the UMVRDC website – check it out on this link!

… and thanks to Kristi Fernholz of UMVRDC, here is the 2017 Meander Economic Impacts!

Details from the Big Stone County Creative Minnesota report can be found on the Website:  Link to report

The following video is the complete presentation including the questions & answers at the end.




Music on Main (Ortonville)

The Big Stone Arts Council “Music On Main” continues its twice-monthly jam sessions!

Next session will be Tuesday, April 3rd at 6:30, in the lower level of the Community Center (on the corner of Third & Monroe in beautiful downtown Ortonville!)  They are also meeting on Thursday, April 19th at 6:30.

Lee Kanten notes that “Musicians of all stripes and experiences gather and swap songs and stories for three hours and go home with silly smiles.”  Lee encourages everyone to bring an instrument, a voice, or an ear and join the fun!


MNbump + Facebook – March Analytics

It has been fun to watch the engagement rise on our MNbump Facebook page! I’m hoping that is an indication that you find our posts both helpful and enjoyable. Some might wonder ‘just how engaging is it’ and ‘how many people does this community Facebook page reach’ ??

I’ll just share the actual analytic screenshots for clean review – with one small narrative as a lead-in:  The first capture is the comparable – this is engagement over the last week and how MNbump compares to other sites that have a community or area focus with very similar ‘hopes’ to engage & provide information about their area – A couple notes… Otter Tail Lakes Country is pretty much always the #1 (and with greater numbers than reflected in today’s report) – Artie’s Bait – today’s number is the lowest I’ve seen it and that is likely because we are in between fishing seasons (hunting, etc.) – they are normally second or third on this report (between them and MNbump for the #2 & #3 spot!).  So although this is a 7-day engagement snapshot (as of today), the order of things and numbers are generally within this range.  Of course, there will be days that anyone of us has a very special post and there is a spike – and others that are much lower – this is a good reflection on a steady on-going view.

Let us know if you’re having an event that you’d like MNbump to cover – or if you have an idea on how your business or organization could collaborate with MNbump (we are a Big Stone Area Growth Initiative – click on this link to see who the MNbump bloggers are & what organizations have been instrumental in our MNbump creation!)

Below… and the % of up/down is gauged from the previous 7 day period – so again, that varies based on any given 7-day run.

All of the posts below were posted one time and were not “boosted”.   Generally, the post reach for any given post as a “people reach” of  700 and up.

#MNbump life… Living Rural & Loving it!


Sports & Leisure Show Highlights

It was an awesome weekend at the Sports & Leisure Show!  We’ve put together a few highlights from the show – starting with a quick video to see a few of the vendors as they were completing their set-up before the start of the Show.  Followed by videos of all of the Just for Kix dance groups (for family & friends that were unable to make this performance!), a Pickleball demonstration (very active league in Ortonville!),  highlights from the Tractor Pull and at the end you’ll find a number of songs from the Swing Time Band which is always a favorite!  (I separated the Swing Time band selections by song since there are some that people may want to share individually).  Enjoy (I know I did!)

.. and the Chicken Dance!

MNbump Wellness Challenge

Fun to see all of the interest!  We’ll post links & latest information on this page as we get teams organized and ready to start.

Would you like to be connected with a team in your community?  Please complete this short form & we’ll match you up!

If you’ve put together a team of 10 (or almost 10 & you’re looking for more to complete your team), you can message on Facebook Sara Tollakson or Vicki Oakes or you can e-mail

New!  The Rules have been posted – Contest Details

Our Facebook Group Page has been created!  All of the participants of the Challenge and all of the Business Sponsors will be members of the Group.  The Group page will be an encouragement (and fun!) connection for everyone.  It will provide wellness tips & Challenge updates.  If you’re not participating, you’re still encouraged to follow the page and take advantage of all of the healthy/wellness information that will be provided!  Link to Group Page:  2018 Wellness Challenge Facebook Group

More information will be posted soon!


Two MNbump Area Authors have gone International!

Sandy Hanson with her “A Camel’s Story Trilogy” and now Michael Larson’s “Easter Sparrows” have been translated in both Russian and Ukrainian and published in Ukraine!  They shared their story at a celebration hosted by Living Hope Fellowship Assembly of God in Ortonville and during Sunday service at New Life Community Baptist Church in Ortonville the following day.  You will find the video of the stories shared below.

Bill Arvan of READ Ministries shared his passion for Ukraine.  READ’s motto is “Taking Truth to Tough Places”.  Bill is often referred to as ‘a bridge to Ukraine’.

The first Camel Story was ‘born’ as a puppet play performed at Living Hope Fellowship in 2000 – The play and presentations were held in almost every church in the region over the years.  New Life Baptist has a passion for Ukraine – who knew it would spark a mission for our books to get there too?  So far 14, 350 of Sandy’s Camel stories have been distributed in Ukraine through READ Ministries.  Recently a pastor from southern Ukraine has requested READ to help him place Camel stories in 1,000 schools there.  (His targeted readership is grades 1-5 and he can place a set of the stories in each classroom.  So there are in effect 5,000 classrooms in which the Camel Story trilogy can be placed!)  READ has already committed $3,000 to help him launch his initiative.  More money is needed!  Living Hope Fellowship offered a free will offering and New Life Baptist Church took a special offering to offer support.

Mike Larson has been notified by Smyrna (4th largest Christian publishing company in Ukraine) that his book, “The Easter Sparrows” is set to be released just in time for the Passover season in Ukraine!

Authors Sandy Hanson and Mike Larson would like to express their appreciation to the community, churches, and all who have supported their work over the years.  Special thanks go out to Elaine Gable (as Sandy says she is “the heart of the Big Stone Arts Council) who invited Kristi Delage (Camel Story Artist) and Sandy Hanson to join in the Meander several years ago – (that’s where the two authors first met).  Sandy and Mike are members of the Big Stone Arts Council.

Video:  Author Mike Larson talks about his book (& beginnings)

Video:  The Camel Story in Ukraine (interesting there is a connection to Odessa, MN!)

Video:  And, parting words (& songs!) from Xavier B. Haven (Camel puppet)


and a shout out to Mary Hillman on the awesome cakes that were made for this event!


National Park Service + NDSU Landscape Architecture Program Students in Ortonville!

Dr. Yang Song’s NDSU Landscape Architecture Program students along with Brian Leaders of the National Park Service were in Ortonville on Monday (February 12th) presenting the work they’ve done so far to the Ortonville Park Board along with providing an overview of what they found as they toured the community earlier in the day (splitting the group in half and hitting two of our local eateries for lunch!)

The students have been reviewing the work that was completed by SDSU (see presentation video below) 2016/17 and laying the foundation for their work by utilizing the Big Stone County GIS mapping data (thanks to Terry Ocana and Darren Wilke of the County for facilitating that ability!)… the students then followed that up with a visit to Ortonville and direct discussions with Ortonville Park Board members along with a few community members.  Becky Parker (Ortonville EDA President) commented on what an opportunity it was to have such a diverse group of students evaluating the parks in Ortonville – from Bismark, Madison, Russia, Peru, Buffalo, Fargo, St. Paul++ – providing their perspectives on what they saw in Ortonville and how to connect with the community needs and the work done previously.

Brief history:  The Ortonville City Council, the Ortonville Planning Comission and the Ortonville Park Board had all voted unanimously to support the City’s application for assistance through the National Park System’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program.  The process is intended to guide the long range and comprehensive decision-making process for the creation of a Parks Plan for the City of Ortonville.

Look for more updates on this project in the near future!

Below is a video with final presentations of the 2016/17 SDSU Student work.

…and What About Our Youth!?

They are busy… and adults are so busy making sure that their kids are where they need to be for their next activity that sometimes we forget to stop.  Take a breath… and celebrate their accomplishments and all that they are involved in!  Take this post as an example!  I’ve great intentions to write an article about 4-H –  for quite some time and sent out a request for additional information; however, everyone is busy with that next activity.  So, we’ll give a glimpse into 4-H with some of the pictures and video that we’ve captured.

4-H.  We think “Big Stone County Fair” and many love to head straight to the barns – and watch the horse show, the animal judging – however, we may miss the actual judging of all of projects and accomplishments of the items that are on display in the non-animal 4-H building.  There is so much to take in when you start really looking at the vast opportunities that 4-H provides!  And, really… the fair is a time of show and celebration at the closing of a very busy year for those involved!  (note – a fun fact I recently learned – you do not need to live on a farm for your kids to be involved with the animal portion.  We have some great 4-H supporters out there that lend their animals, their barns/location for the program!)  Below you’ll see a couple of short videos (2017 & then 2016 highlights) from the County Fair.  A Robotics demonstration which I hope you take the time to watch… very impressive!  They demonstrate what they have built and how it can be useful in Big Stone Lake!

Check out what our 4-H youth accomplished at State!
2017 State Fair Results for Big Stone County Participants



Who has not been to the 4-H Milk Wagon!?

Check out the stargazing equipment!


So much involvement, experiences – with dedication and hard work mingled in with lots of fun!  Here is an interesting link to check out Arts-In musical show… a news story about Minnesota State 4H Arts-In, and 4H at the state fair in general. Jason Helgeson (son of Harley & Ellen Helgeson) was a member of the technical crew for Arts-In (this video review), which meant he helped build the set for the show from August 11-18, and then once the sets were built, he was on the crew that ran lights and sound for all the Arts-In shows for the duration of the fair. This same crew ran lights and sound for all performing arts events held at the 4H building throughout the entire fair, including for Share the Fun, County Arts-In shows, performing arts shows for each of the four encampments, etc.  LINK:

Below is a picture of Jason for his performing arts project purple ribbon.  He did a vocal solo, “Shenandoah”.

Learn more about Big Stone County 4-H:
Link! – click here

… for other youth activities, check out our post from a recent 4th grade & younger Basketball Tournament (pretty competitive young folks!):  Link!

Check out our School Websites! 
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley School
Ortonville School

…AND, as long as we’re talking 4-H and the BSC Fairgrounds Thank you to AgCountry Farm Credit Services of Graceville for donating $15,000.00 for the building of a 4-H indoor livestock arena at the Big Stone County Fairgrounds!  There is always room for more donations – contact the BSC 4-H Office!


Life is good, here on the MNbump!

House Fire – If you’d like to help…

So many are offering to help that we thought we’d share a post with links to the various avenues that you can help this family!

Note from Becky Stattelman’s Facebook page:
(and much help from Amanda Tatro on the post with information!)

I’ve taken a few calls asking about our neighbors; the Billy and Dara Gibson family, who lost their home and all possessions in a house fire yesterday. Talked with them last night and they are being brave and thankful for each other. Kids are sweet as ever. Will take a bit to organize thoughts and future. Our good neighbors, Brian and Arleen, have shared a house on our same road so the family has immediate temporary housing. There is a Go Fund Me page set up if you would like to help with getting them back on their feet. If you prefer to help them in another way; cash or check in a card, grocery gift card, bag of groceries, etc. you may certainly connect with me and I will drop it off for them. They are very grateful for any and all support.

Boys are men’s 32×30 and 29×30 pants and size medium shirts and girls size 8-10
Shoe size 4 girls and boys are men’s 9 -10
For adult clothes Billy wears a 36/34 jeans and Xl shirts. Dara is Xl in yoga pants and shirts.  Also, women’s small shirts and size 4 jeans

Link to the “Meal Train” if you’d like to help provide a meal.

GoFund Account has been set up for them.

Drop Location in Ortonville is Radio Shack

Bonnies Hometown Grocery has an account set up for Gibson family for all there grocery and necessity’s so if anybody would like to donate please call the store 320-325-5144
We accept credit cards also
Or mail checks to po box 294 clinton mn 56225

Monetary donations can also be left at First Independent Bank in Beardsley


Basketball Tournament

We take our youth sports seriously – and enjoy a good Saturday morning basketball tournament!  After watching the older teams play with serious reffing, it was fun to watch the refs taking their time and giving some great teaching/coaching pointers to the players… and they continued that help all morning!



I was at the tournament on Saturday not as an MNbump blogger but as an aunt with a 4th grader playing on the Ortonville School team; however, when I noticed that a younger team from the Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley school was also in the tournament, I took the opportunity to video one of their games also so that we could show off some of our MNbump basketball skills!  Enjoy!

(Note:  One video has the crowd cheering – the other has music background… the only reason for that is that my video skills are hit & miss… 🙂  I accidentally turned off the audio on the camera for part of a game!)

Life is Good, here on the MNbump!