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ArtsMinded column: Holiday giving to the arts

A cornucopia of arts graces life here in the St. Croix and Mississippi River valleys. There's no time like the present to acknowledge the breadth of these offerings and add your support to the efforts that keep our communities strong, creatively and economically.

If you are moved to contribute money, consider the organizations listed below or others of which you may be aware that need a cash infusion to survive and thrive. Your attendance and willingness to volunteer also make it possible for groups to maintain their galleries, offices and programs. If you look into the financial condition of small organizations you may be amazed at how far a dollar stretches in the arts. Having just emerged from the cost of the midterm elections the difference is jaw dropping. By contrast, year after year, the arts generously return tangible and intangible profits to our communities.

So, here comes the gifting season and here are some ideas to consider. Perhaps, this year, you may choose to do a little mixing and enjoy the organizations you've helped prosper locally.

River Falls Community Arts Base, Art's House, 108 E. Maple St.,

River Falls Community Theatre, Art's House, 108 E. Maple St.,

River Falls Public Library Foundation,

UWRF Foundation, (you may designate visual arts, music, stage and screen arts, Chalmer Davee Library, and more)

River Falls Community Education, Check out art courses at

The Phipps Center For The Arts, 109 Locust St. Hudson,

Hammond Arts Alliance,

Orange Dragon Art Gallery, 122 Orange St., Prescott,

Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council, HPAAC, PO Box 370, Hastings MN 55033

ArtReach St. Croix, 224 N. Fourth St., Stillwater, MN, 55082, 651-439-1465

Events and opportunities

• Continuing through Dec. 2, Gallery exhibit, The Phipps Center for the Arts, 109 Locust St., Hudson

• Friday, Nov. 23, 1-8 p.m. River Dazzle, stroll downtown RF

• Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 30, Dec. 1, Dec. 7, Dec. 8, 7 p.m., River Falls Community Theatre "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!" $10 adults $5 students. The Unitarian Universalist Society of River Falls, N8010 Highway 65.

The following UWRF events are free unless noted. For concert info call 715-425-3183, or go to:

• Saturday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., Percussion and New Music, KFA, Davis Theater

• Sunday, Dec. 2, 3 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., Holiday Choral Concert, North Hall Auditorium, (including world premiere of a song by Phyllis Goldin). Tickets at the door, adults/$8, seniors/$5, students/$2, children 6 and under free.

• Tuesday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m., Brass, Guitar, Woodwinds, University Center, Falcon's Nest.

• Tuesday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m., Masquers presents "Play Nice!" KFA Syse Theatre, tickets: 715-425-3114

• Thursday, Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m., University and Symphony bands, UC Ballroom, tickets at the door, $8/adults, $5/seniors, $2/students.

• Friday, Dec. 7, noon, Coffee Concert: Holiday in Sound, KFA, Davis Theater.

• Saturday, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m., Holiday Swing Dance, University Center, Falcon's Nest.

• Tuesday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m., Falcon Band, UC, Falcon's Nest

Other area events:

• Sunday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m., St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra Holiday Extravaganza, Shepherd of the Valley Church, Afton, Minn.

• Sunday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m., St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra Holiday Event, Trinity Lutheran Church, Stillwater, Minn.

• Friday December 7, 5-7:30 p.m. Holiday reception and exhibit. Orange Dragon Art Gallery, 122 Orange St., Prescott,

• Friday-Sunday, Dec. 7-9 and Dec. 14-16, 7 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m."It's a Wonderful Life," Stillwater Zephyr Theatre

• Coming in the new year: Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 21, March 21, April 18, 2019: "Soup, Salad and Science," RF Public Library, free supper and programs that will stretch your knowledge and imagination at the fascinating juncture of arts and science.

This lyric to Bob Franke's song, "Thanksgiving Eve," remains very special to me. Listen to Sally Rogers' beautiful version here:

It's so easy to dream of the days gone by

It's a hard thing to think of the times to come

But the grace to accept every moment as a gift

Is a gift that is given to some

There are sorrows enough for the whole world's end

There are no guarantees but the grave

And the life that I live and the time I have spent

Are a treasure too precious to save

What can you do with your days but work and hope

Let your dreams bind your work to your play

What can you do with each moment of your life

But love til you've loved it away

Love til you've loved it away