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Morris student helps bring the arts to West Central Minnesota

Posted by Allyce Amidon '12, Falcon Heights, Center for Small Towns on Thursday, Apr. 12, 2012

University of Minnesota, Morris student Jon Braegelmann ‘14, New Ulm, is giving back to the community by working with the Central Square Cultural and Civic Center in Glenwood. Central Square, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community through the arts, is recognized as one of the most unique and valued facilities for live music and theatre between Minneapolis and Fargo. Central Square hosts a variety of world-class performances and productions in its facility throughout the year

Braegelmann is working with Central Square as a student marketing assistant to help promote their 2011-12 concert series. He is primarily writing press releases and designing posters and postcards, but also spends time contacting different organizations that might be interested in coming to events. Now in its tenth year, this annual concert series runs from fall to spring and always features a diverse selection of musical styles and performances. This year the series has already featured a dance performance, a country music singer, a holiday show, and a concert celebrating women of history. On the schedule for spring is a male a cappella group on April 14, and an original play whose storyline is rooted in the history, stories, and memories of Lake Minnewaska as told by people who grew up in the area May 3-5.

This year, Braegelmann and the Central Square Board of Directors hope to attract large audiences from all over the region to their 1,000+ seat auditorium. In addition to performance space, “The Square” also houses an art gallery and a gymnasium. “Without an organization like Central Square to bring the arts into the community, the arts are at risk of being forgotten about,” said Braegelmann, who strongly believes that the fine arts should be a part of everyone’s lives.

Braegelmann was connected to Central Square through a program coordinated by the University of Minnesota, Morris Center for Small Towns. The program helps to connect Morris students with area organizations in ways that will give students real-world experience while they help provide solutions to community needs. Braegelmann feels that the training and practice that go into his marketing work with Central Square will be helpful to him later in life. And, he was interested in a position that was so beneficial to the community

The University of Minnesota, Morris Center for Small Towns is a community outreach program that serves as a point-of-entry to the resources of the University of Minnesota. Small towns, local units of government, K–12 schools, nonprofit organizations, and other University units are able to utilize CST’s resources as they work on rural issues or make contributions to rural society. CST’s mission is to focus the University’s attention and marshal its resources toward assisting Minnesota’s small towns with locally identified issues while creating applied learning opportunities for faculty and students.

For information on the Center for Small Towns, visit them on the web at

For information on Central Square, visit