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Heidi Nelson, Executive Director of the Paradise Center for the Arts told KDHL listeners today she hopes they can hit their fundraising goal of $250,000 by July.  In January the Faribault City Council approved an agreement that provides a $250,000 grant from the city to pay off the mortgage for the downtown art center.

Nelson explained, "Every year since the Paradise opened the Paradise has gone to the city and requested funds.  It's a part of something the city always does. They offer up funding for area non-profits.  So the Paradise has always been a recipient of that.  The amount has varied each year.  But the one that's going to happen with this $250,000 as Mayor Kevin Voracek has explained it's really paying it forward, Now the Paradise Center for the Arts will not be allowed to go to the city and ask for those funds.  I think it's until 2036.  So it's going to be quite awhile that we're going to be on our own but we'll be on our own without a mortgage debt."

"I'm so incredibly proud of the people of this community who've stepped up and said the arts really do matter and they're willing to help us.  We were actually able to pay off our line of credit at the very end of 2020. That was almost $50,000 dollars and that was funds raised by people in this community."  Nelson went on to say, "We are so incredibly appreciative.  The wonderful thing is we were able pay off that line of credit and within nine days we had another almost $40,000 dollars that was to the Paradise Center for the Arts specifically for that debt reduction."

The Paradise fundraising campaign is called the 100 Club.  People donate $2,500 and receive a lifetime membership.  The goal is for 100 of these to be sold to raise the Paradise share to receive the grant from the city.

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