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Artsminded: Love the arts, join the CAB board or committees

The arts in and around River Falls will be quieter for the next couple of weeks than they were when last this column appeared. The very successful Art Crawl has done its good work for the holiday -- and for the scarecrow season. The first barn dance was a joy for all who came -- hope you can attend the next one.

CAB is doing its annual organizational work: Searching for board members and committee members for the next year -- filling the board for the 2013-2015 season is the next big job.

That means if you like the Art Crawl, Art on the Kinni, the Gala, Music in the Park, you might want to be a part of helping CAB prepare for them. Volunteers who don't want to commit to the board are always welcome and we can always find jobs for them.

Meanwhile, the relative break in events gives us a few moments to consider the bigger picture: The Great Rivers Confluence Project -- a partnership of four cities, three rivers and two states.

About a week and a half ago, right here at the lovely River Falls Public Library -- and in the beautiful river area -- the project had a daylong meeting.

Attending and reporting were River Falls Mayor Dan Toland and the mayors of the other communities involved: Afton and Hastings in Minnesota, and Prescott. We were told of the wonders of this area and its offerings to visitors on ordinary days -- and even more when the communities have events.

CAB was prominent in Toland's comments -- so much so that we might consider a "staycation" right here at home. We heard from many dignitaries knowledgeable about recreations in the area: Jill Shannon of the St. Croix Foundation, both national and local park rangers, Margaret Smith ex-director of the National Heritage Initiative and present director of the Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center.

In the afternoon, attendees took a bus tour of the arts, cultural, nature and, yes, a few commercial enterprises, -- we even saw the "Extreme Sandbox" a Hastings, Minn. theme park devoted to letting adults play with heavy equipment -- with supervision, of course. We visited art galleries, hiking and biking trails, historic house museums, and outdoor art installations.

The purpose of it all was to make sure the four communities know what is available to visitors and residents alike, to provide community leadership with information to help them promote the area -- and to bring arts and culture representatives from the communities together in a joint promotion project.

The most important information about the Great Rivers Confluence Project for the public is the map! With the help of professional web designers, the GRCP is creating an interactive web map that will provide residents, visitors, local promoters and everybody else with the information to find the Great Rivers institutions. It's not finished but it's pretty impressive as it stands. Call the map up on your browser -- Great Rivers Confluence to see how far it's gotten and to see how you might use your time in these lovely fall days.

Upcoming arts events and activities

--To inquire about serving on the board or on CAB committees, contact Steve Preisler, president at 608-698-6508 or or Sue Beckham, 715-425-7143 or Sue Beckham.

--Earth Angels in the Limestone Lounge:

PLUS 1 TRIO, every 1st and 3rd Wednesday Jazz

--Thursday, Nov. 1 8-10 p.m., Acoustic wonder, Joey Grillo

--Saturday, Nov 3, 7:30 p.m.: RADD Jazz Series, UWRF Jazz Ensemble at KFA 131, Abbott Concert Hall

For more university music offerings visit UW Music Calendar