Announcement of Mardag Foundation grant

Greetings from the Executive Director & Announcement of Mardag Foundation grant


Dear Friends of the Northfield Arts Guild,

I am excited to begin my second week at the Northfield Arts Guild working with the tremendous staff and board of directors to serve the Guild’s artists, members, students, collaborators and community.  I could not have asked for a better introduction to Northfield than last week’s Winter Walk – seeing the Center for the Arts building filled with so many visitors enjoying an incredible variety of performances, artworks and art making activities. If we haven’t had the chance to meet yet, I hope we will at an upcoming Guild event.

Special Opportunity
I am also writing to announce that the Guild has received an extraordinary grant from the Mardag Foundation that will match up to $15,000 in new or increased donations made now through August 31, 2018.

As you know, the Guild provides broad and essential opportunities for regional artists to perform and exhibit their work, youth and adults to gain critical access to arts education and activities, and for our community to engage with the arts and artists of our region. Your donation, doubled by the Mardag Foundation, will have an enormous impact on our continued service to our community.

Specifically, there are three ways you can take part and make your donation go further:

  • If you are a new donor –  100% of your donation will be matched
  • If you are an existing donor – 100% of any additional donation will be matched
  • If you make a pledge for 2018 or 2019  – 100% of any new/extended pledge will be matched

Mardag Foundation, like you, believes in the Northfield Arts Guild and is committed to make your donations go further! Special thanks to Alyssa Herzog Melby for securing this important grant and for all her remarkable work during her tenure as Executive Director.

There has never been a better time to give to the Guild. I hope you will join me and make a donation TODAY!


Tim Peterson
Executive Director
Northfield Arts Guild

p.s. please contact us at 507.645.8877 if you have any questions or wish to make a multi-year pledge!

Tim Peterson Named as New Executive Director

The Northfield Arts Guild is pleased to announce the appointment of Tim Peterson as its next Executive Director. Peterson is a Minneapolis-based independent curator, who most recently served as Chief Curator for the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Museum of Art and Director and Curator of Franklin Art Works (Minneapolis).

As Director of Franklin Art Works, a former Minneapolis alternative space, Peterson managed all operations, administration, budgets and fundraising and oversaw the renovation of the organization’s historic facility. He is also a noted curator, having organized ambitious annual exhibitions programs premiering works by an exceptionally diverse slate of local and global artists.  In addition, Peterson has collaborated with nonprofits, museums and colleges in organizing public programming, engaging youth and adult audiences with artist-led workshops, lectures, panel discussions, screenings and performances.

“As a committed advocate for artists, nonprofits and audiences, I am excited to champion the mission of the Northfield Arts Guild and its service to Northfield and the larger Southeastern Minnesota community,” Peterson said.

This is a wonderful match for the Northfield Arts Guild’s mission-driven board of directors, who are thrilled to welcome him to the staff. Peterson received an M.A. degree in art history from Williams College and a B.A. from St. Olaf College. Please join us in welcoming him into our community.

The Guild staff and board invite and encourage you to meet and greet Tim at Winter Walk between 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7 at the Guild!

Letter to our Community

Dear Arts Guild community,

You have often indulged me in reading my bad poetry and lengthy news updates, so I hope you will indulge me again. It is with mixed emotions that I have put in my resignation at the Arts Guild. I have accepted a position at St. Olaf College as the Assistant Director for Academic Civic Engagement that will allow me to spend more time with my family and to engage more deeply in direct program management.  My last day of full time work at the Guild will be on September 27.

I want to thank you all for your tremendous support over the last two and a half years. I have heard so many amazing stories from members, donors, sponsors, and volunteers about the impact that the Arts Guild has had on them and their families. I feel so proud and privileged to have heard these stories and been a part of creating new creative memories for our community. These moments of working with all of our supporters to keep Northfield vibrant and thriving are moments that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Many of you have probably heard me talk often about finding balance for the organization, and we have sought to create balance over the last few years—between our programming and budget concerns, between needs and wants, between the many different facets of the organization. I hope you will understand then why I needed to make this shift so that I could find more balance in my life for me and my family. There are inescapable stresses and challenges that are attached to leadership positions such as Executive Director, stresses that, despite the amazing support of the Board, staff, and supporters at the Guild, are not conducive for me achieving a healthy balance in my life at this point in time.

Please know that there has never been a day when I wasn’t grateful for the opportunity to serve our beloved community in this capacity within this awesome organization. If you’ll have me, I still very much want be a pART of the organization as a member, donor, and patron (and maybe as an artist, too, if you can convince me to audition J). I’m not leaving town or even truly leaving the organization; I’m simply changing my role, so don’t be surprised if you still see me around!

The organization is as strong as it has been in years, and it is in such incredibly capable hands. The staff members–Heather, Rachel, Megan, and Bridget–are four of the most passionate, dedicated people I have ever met, and the organization is so fortunate to have them. I have no doubt they will continue to move mountains as they work on delivering on the organization’s mission each and every day. The board, now up to 13 members (plus two more joining in September), is robust, engaged, and focused on moving the Guild forward. The amount of governing policies and procedures they have implemented over the past two and half years is just one testament to their desire to keep the Guild operating at its highest level.

I am working with the Board and staff to make this transition as smooth as possible for the Guild. I truly believe that I was exactly who the organization needed at the time, and I am confident that the organization will find exactly who they need to continue the upward trajectory of the organization.

I want to invite you all to the annual Members’ Meeting on September 21 from 6-7 pm. During this time we’ll recap highlights of the year and share more information about the Executive Director search process and timeline. The job posting will likely be up by the end of this week, so please keep an eye out for it and forward onto your networks. In addition, if you have any immediate questions or concerns about the process, please feel free to reach out to Virginia Lorang, Board President, at, or any one of the Board members.

If I may leave with one parting request, if you are able, could you make a gift to the Guild at the end of our fiscal year (August 31) so we can finish the year strong and prepare the organization for the exciting road ahead? Supporting this organization is not about supporting one person or even a group of people. It’s about supporting all of us, wherever we are on our creative journey, as an artist or arts enthusiast. It’s about recognizing that to have a great community to live in, we need the arts to flourish so that each person can imagine and make real the impossible, finding creative solutions to our most pressing challenges. It’s about understanding that when creativity is alive, our heARTS are full to love and share joy—together—as a community.

With unending gratitude,

Alyssa Herzog Melby
Your Positivity Perpetuator

A+ Autism and the Arts to Relocate Programming

The Northfield Arts Guild announces that, effective immediately, the A+ Autism and the Arts programs (A+ Art Club, A+ Holiday Mart, A+ Marketplace, A+ Aspire, and Summer Art Mart) will no longer be a part of the program offerings at the Northfield Arts Guild. Laura Goodwin, the program’s founder and director, has chosen to move the A+ programs to another location (to be determined).

The Arts Guild has been honored to host the A+ Autism and the Arts program since its inception in 2010. The first individual program, the A+ Art Club, began as a weekly art class during the academic year that brings together club members with local professional artists and peer mentors to explore and create art in various mediums.

Based on its success of building community, interpersonal skills, and tangible arts and life skills, the program expanded in 2011 to include the Summer Art Mart program. Participants engage in a six-week immersive workshop which gives participants the opportunity to develop and create artful objects for the marketplace and develop social, business, and artistic skills in a well-structured, safe social environment that empowers them as entrepreneurs who contribute to Northfield’s rich arts scene. Summer Art Mart then expanded in the fall of 2015 to include A+ Marketplace, which takes the idea of art object production to the next level, culminating in a final sale at the annual Winter Walk Celebration.

Lastly, in 2016, after the community requested expanded program offerings, the A+ Aspire program launched as an extension of residency work with the Lifeworks-Hastings group that started in 2013. A+ Aspire takes the A+ model and adapts it to teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities during an eight-week program in the summer.

Sian Muir, Board President of the Guild, shared that “the community that has been built by and through the A+ Autism and the Arts program cannot be underestimated, and the program has verifiably impacted hundreds of lives for the better. It is a shining example of a model that places emphasis on safe environments, collaboration, and community building.”

Executive Director Alyssa Herzog Melby said, “We thank Laura for her vision and the tremendous amount of time, energy, and passion that Laura has put into the program to make it the wonderful success that it is today. We are saddened that the program will not be continuing under the auspices of the Northfield Arts Guild, but we wish Laura and the A+ program the best as it continues to change lives through the creative possibilities of the arts. She has laid a foundation for the Arts Guild to better live its mission of being inclusive to all people in our community, and we are forever indebted to her for that.”

Herzog Melby continued, “The Arts Guild remains committed to welcoming people of all abilities into our programming. We invite participants of A+ back to the Arts Guild at any time to pursue their artistic endeavors, and we hope they know that they will always have a creative home here and be a part of our creative community.”

The Northfield Arts Guild gratefully acknowledges the many individuals who have supported the A+ programs over the course of the last seven years, as well as the many organizations who have given support, such as Women in Northfield Giving Support (WINGS) and the Autism Society of MN.

NAG announces scholarship to graduating NHS senior

Beginning in 2017, the Northfield Arts Guild is proud to honor one graduating senior from Northfield High School with a $250 scholarship (non-renewable) to use during the 2017-18 academic year. The scholarship is available to anyone with demonstrated passion and talent in the field of visual arts who intends to pursue artistic studies at a post-secondary institution. This scholarship is funded in part through sales from the annual High School Honors Art Show held every May at the Northfield Arts Guild. The scholarship recipient will be selected by Northfield Arts Guild staff.

Application Procedure

  • Complete the application below.
  • Attach one letter of recommendation from an arts instructor or mentor (cannot be a family member) who can speak to your passion and talent in the field of visual arts.
  • A completed application is due on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by 6 pm. Please email applications to, or drop them off or mail to: Northfield Arts Guild, Attn: Visual Arts Scholarship, 304 Division St. S, Northfield, MN 55057

Visual Arts Scholarship Application