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Local artist graduates from Arts Wisconsin program

Arts Wisconsin, Wisconsin’s statewide arts service, advocacy, and development organization, honored River Falls resident, Cheryl Maplethorpe (shown in middle row, far right), a graduate of the sixth annual Rural Arts Management (RAM) Institute on Saturday, April 12, at the Northern Lakes Center for the Arts in Amery.

Maplethorpe is the vice president of River Falls Community Art Base (CAB).

She has lived in River Falls since 1987 and recently retired from running all the state-level student financial aid programs as the director of student financial aid for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education in St. Paul and the executive corporate financial aid director for Globe University in Woodbury, Minn.

In retirement Maplethorpe has taken up her old love of painting and sculpture. She plans to spend more time building the "creative economy" in River Falls.

Some of her paintings are currently on display at the Unitarian Universalist Society and at the Orange Dragon Gallery in Prescott and will be shown in Gallery 120 in River Falls in May.

Maplethorpe said, "I would like to see art as a component of every River Falls event. In addition to making ever event more fun, I think it would draw more tourists to the town."

RAM helps rural creative entrepreneurs increase their personal and organizational effectiveness and sustainability, understand the obstacles and opportunities involved in this compelling community-based work, and develop strong leadership skills essential to succeed now and in the future. In six months of weekend workshops, participants have investigated community-building and organizational issues, planning and evaluation, networking, fundraising and funding issues, marketing and promotion, and the development of a business plan.

Additional participants include: Joann Mundth Douglas, project manager of Fermentation Fest in Reedsburg; Sharyn Friedell, director of Friends of Fred Smith-Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips; Harriet Rice, board member of Burnett Area Arts Group in Webster; Wendy Schaefer-Miles, director of Schaefer/Miles Neo-Impressionistic Oil Paintings in Whitehall; and Katie Schofield, director of The Cocoonery in Reedsburg.

The seventh RAM Institute will begin in October. Check Arts Wisconsin’s website,, for program and registration information.  Contact Anne Katz, executive director of Arts Wisconsin, at or 608-255-8316, for more information.