Vermillion Can Do! project calls for help

Vermillion Can Do! project calls for help by M. Jill Karolevitz Vermillion Can Do! is well on its way to forming discussion groups as it continues the process of idea exchange to ultimately help the community establish a cultural identity for itself.

Vermillion Can Do! is a planning process funded through NEA�s ArtsREACH program, which encourages community development and planning.

Partners in Vermillion Can Do! include the city of Vermillion, Clay County Commissioners, Vermillion Public Schools, The University of South Dakota, Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and the Vermillion Area Arts Council. Each entity has provided matching funds for a $10,000 NEA grant which was applied for and approved last year.

Consultant and facilitator Ruth Brennan of Rapid City met with Vermillion Can Do! coordinators and interested individuals Feb. 16 and 17 to outline the project, which includes structured community-wide fact finding and consensus-building, identification of cultural resources and assessing community needs and opportunities and input/planning actions.

The assessment process will take place from March through mid April, followed by the determination of key issues. In May, task forces will develop goal statements and actions and in June, a draft of the plan will be presented to the steering committee for input and goal prioritization. July and August will be used for draft approval. By October, the plan will be published and distributed.

�We had a good turn-out for the meetings,� said Meg Quintal, president of the Vermillion Area Arts Council and one of the project overseers.

Another meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 29 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Vermillion Public Library. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend.

Quintal listed several groups from which Vermillion Can Do! would benefit with their involvement:

Business leaders from throughout the community, educators, service club members, city and county government representatives, artists, musicians, Shrine to Music, W.H. Over Museum, Vermillion Area Arts Council, Clay County Historical Society, Vermillion Public Library, Girl Scout, Boy Scout and 4-H leaders, PTA members, day care centers, Senior Citizens, USD Emeritus Club and Retired Teachers, farm community members, Ministerial Association and SESDAC, Inc.

�We would like members of these groups to become involved to help lead discussions and be steering committee members,� she said. �But this is by no means a limited list. It�s expanding all the time.�

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