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Jan Wilson creates a Sami bracelet at Potomac Bead Co. in downtown Alexandria April 25 during the Nordic Folk Art Festival. Alexandrians will get another chance to celebrate Nordic heritage during Mai Fest on Saturday, May 18. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)

Walk for mental illness

Vikingland Community Support, which helps people living with mental illness, is holding its annual Mental Health Walk at noon Friday, May 17. Everyone is welcome, and there is no advance registration.

The walk is at noon at the Vikingland office, 1106 Broadway, and will go to City Hall and back. A light lunch and entertainment will follow. Vikingland helps its clients with grocery shopping, managing budgets and medications and learning interpersonal skills, and with housing and transportation.

Mai Fest brings Nordic food, music downtown

The second annual Mai Fest celebration will take place Saturday, May 18, in downtown Alexandria. It will start at 9 a.m. with a free Nordic design class at Ravnik & Co. and continue from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. with lunch, music and fun at Fort Alexandria for $10.

From 1-5 p.m., look for discount shopping, art demonstrations, guest vendors and Scandinavian food samples up and down Broadway.

Walk to raise funds for suicide education

The Community Suicide Awareness and Education Group will host the third annual End the Silence 1K pet walk and 5K run/walk on Saturday, May 18. Aimed at raising awareness about mental health and suicide locally, it will also raise money for educational efforts about suicide. The event will take place at the Alexandria Area YMCA, with registration at 8 a.m., pet walk at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K at 8:45 a.m. The pet walk costs $10 per pet or $30 per household of three or more. The 5K is $20 per entrant and $10 for those 18 and under. For more information, contact CSAEG.suicide@gmail.com.

Artist grant workshop comes to Alexandria

Artists will be able to learn more about landing a grant that has allowed other artists to release albums, make films and finish manuscripts, among other projects, from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at Grand Arbor, 24403 Pioneer Road SE in Alexandria

That's when the Minnesota State Arts Board hosts a workshop for the state's Artist Initiative grant program, which ranges from $2,000 to $10,000.

Participants will learn about grant criteria and eligibility requirements, and will work in small groups to practice the skill of grant writing, learning some best practices and tips. The goal is to help participants to ultimately develop a successful grant proposal.

The workshop is part of the larger Arts Resource Fair run by the Lake Region Arts Council from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. the same day, also at Grand Arbor. This event connects regional artists and statewide arts organizations.

Registration is free, but those planning to attend must register at www.lrac4.org.