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Sounds to get sweeter at AAAA

The sound of music at the Alexandria Area Arts Association (AAAA) Theatre in downtown Alexandria will be much sweeter soon.

Actually, it won't be just the sound of music, but all productions at the theater will have better sound - once the new digital sound system is installed.

The AAAA was recently awarded a $32,600 grant from the Legacy Act to upgrade the theater's sound system, said the theater's manager, Mary Risner.

She noted that the sound system will be going from analog to digital and that the entire system is being replaced.

"This is the first time in AAAA's history that we are going to have a professionally installed sound system," said Risner. "We are very excited! It is going to make a huge difference."

She added that most of the current equipment has been pieced together from various parts of what she called "garage band" equipment.

AAAA's grant was one of 32 coming from the Lake Region Arts Council, which the Alexandria theater is a part of. The council serves a nine-county area in west central Minnesota.

The application requests totaled $400,580 and 14 applications totaling $167,975 were granted. AAAA's project was number five on the list, said Risner. It was also the largest grant given out during this round of requests.

Risner noted that grant requests can be made four times each year, and that the grant money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (Legacy Act) will be available for 25 years. The money comes from a sales tax increase of three-eighths of a cent, which voters approved on November 8, 2008 as part of the Legacy Act.

The $32,600 in funds the AAAA received should arrive sometime in May, at which time the new sound system should be installed.

Other projects the AAAA hopes to get funding for in the future, according to Risner, includes the installation of "load in, load out" doors in the back of the building and an upgrade/renovation of the basement bathroom.

She is not sure if the funding request for the door project will be ready to go in June or if it will have to wait until September.

Lake Region Arts Council

The Lake Region Arts Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to encourage and support the vitality of the arts.

The council accomplishes this through providing grants to community organizations and individual artists in the region; and by providing a monthly ArtsNews newsletter, workshops and technical assistance.

Lake Region Arts Council serves the counties of Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin.