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From Home Furnishing Business

Ashley for the Arts Honors 2018 “Patron of the Arts”

Ashley for the Arts, the nonprofit arm of Ashley Furniture Ind. that supports arts programs, will be recognizing the Great River Shakespeare Festival with their prestigious “Patron of the Arts” award on Aug. 10.

Scheduled to be presented on the main stage before Daughtry’s performance at 8 p.m., the award was created to recognize an individual or organization who has demonstrated extraordinary support for the arts.

Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) is a non-profit, professional equity theater company in Winona, Minn., dedicated to dynamic productions of Shakespeare’s plays, enriching the lives of those in attendance. GRSF is also known for providing extensive education programs to youth and adults alike ranging from summer youth programs, comprehensive theater training classes, and making annual visits to retirement and senior centers.

Co-founded by Mark Ferraro-Hauck, Paul Barnes, and Alec Wild, the GRSF opened its doors in 2004, becoming the Midwest’s newest and largest equity theater.

Now, under the leadership of Artistic Director Doug Scholz-Carlson and Managing Director Aaron A. Young, the festival is celebrating their 15th season. GRSF continues to bring in theater artists from across the country to Winona and has drawn a national audience to the Winona State University campus, where the festival takes place.

With such a variety of offerings, GRSF has inspired a platoon of community volunteers willing and able to provide a multitude of support functions including serving of the GRSF board, transporting actors, and hosting company meals during the intense pre-opening tech weeks.

Now, solidly into its second decade, Winona’s Great River Shakespeare Festival is a unique success story, come to life through a community that was willing to embrace, nurture, and support the value of live theater.

Ashley for the Arts is a non-profit initiative that provides the entire family with entertainment, art, exercise and family fun. It is also one of Wisconsin’s largest charity events, raising more than $425,000 in 2017 for more than 40 non-profit organizations, including participating schools, children’s charities and medical research. This music and arts festival was conceptualized and established by Ashley in 2009. Today, more than 50,000 people attend the event held in Arcadia, Wisconsin’s Memorial Park.

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