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Blanden Charitable Foundation plays vital role in local arts scene

Its partnership with museum enhances quality of life

On the lawn of the Blanden Memorial Art Museum is a playful looking sculpture with a top that actually turns in the wind.

The artwork was made by Robert Craig, a sculptor from Des Moines. It’s made of painted aluminum.

It was not cheap, however. It cost $60,000.

But although the museum is owned by the city, taxpayers didn’t pay a penny for the new artwork. That was possible because the Blanden Charitable Foundation paid for it.

The foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the museum. It raises money through museum memberships and gifts, then uses that money to pay for programs, special exhibits, education efforts, events, publications and work to conserve the art collection.

It will also seek grants and donations to help pay for a proposed classroom addition to the museum.

Fort Dodge is lucky to have both the museum and its supporting foundation.

The museum at 920 Third Ave. S. was the gift of Charles G. Blanden to the community. It opened its doors in 1932.

The foundation is invaluable for its role in financing things vital to the museum that the city government can’t pay for.

Quality of life is a major reason people want to be in a given community. The Blanden Memorial Art Museum is a major contributor to the quality of life in Fort Dodge and Webster County. And the museum thrives because of the partnership between the city government and the foundation.

We think everyone should visit the museum and do so often. There’s a lot of wonderful art there, and it’s all made possible by that public-private partnership.