Rochester Art Center receives grant from city for day-to-day ope - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Rochester Art Center receives grant from city for day-to-day operations

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

Monday's city council meeting was packed with items to be discussed, as usual.
But one item was a major win for one Rochester institution that's rental numbers have dropped significantly.
Megan Johnston, the Executive Director of the Rochester Art Center, said that ever since the downtown construction has begun, the amount of people wanting to rent out the facility has dropped significantly, especially for weddings, causing a drop in the RAC's revenue.
And Monday, the art facility was granted money from the city, $95,000, to ease the burden of daily happenings.

With Rochester's transformation into a Destination Medical Center, construction is a given.

"There's always some drawbacks to the local businesses and the local people that use that area but it's progressing, it'll be done soon,” said Ed Hruska, a member of Rochester City Council.

One drawback: construction work isn't exactly aesthetically pleasing, and the Rochester Art Center is feeling the burden.

"As you can imagine, if you're dong any kind of construction in your home, or even an addition, things get messy. Things get dirty. Things get muddy. And all of those things had an impact on our front porch, or what we call our front porch, which is really that first walkway up," said Johnston.

Though the RAC has gained 63 new members this past year, it's lost a lot of revenue from a decrease in rentals.

"If you imagine you're planning your wedding or your birthday party or an event of any kind, you want to have a really wonderful place to come up to. And it's prestigious, it's lovely, it's beautiful, but what they're seeing is cranes! And it's dusty, dusty streets and dusty sidewalks that are broken," added Johnston.

To keep up with daily operations, RAC has been granted $95,000 from city council.

A move not approved by all council members.

"The private businesses, if they're going through construction or they have a sidewalk torn up in front of their place for the summer, and they lose revenues, they don't come to the city and say 'Can we have a break?'," said Hruska.

So what's the future looking like for RAC?

"We're really excited for the new plaza, we think it's going to be absolutely fabulous, and the new convention center is going to bring tens of thousands of people," said Johnston.

Johnston said that once construction is complete, she expects revenue to be greater than ever before, as the aesthetics will draw even more people to want to rent out the Rochester Art Center for various events, including weddings. 

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