Fine Arts Commission

The Winona Fine Arts Commission exists to promote, educate, and facilitate efforts concerning the performing, literary, and visual arts in the Winona area. The Commission serves as a resource for the community, artists, and art organizations, and serves in an advisory capacity to the City Council on arts and humanities initiatives.

Members: Nine
Appointment: Mayor, with approval of City Council
Term: Three Years
Meets: 1st Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m., Minnesota Room, 1st Floor City Hall
Staff: Assistant City Manager Chad Ubl
Arts/Culture Recreation Coordinator – Lee Gundersheimer
Agenda & Minutes

WINONArts Website

Member Term Expires
Roger Boulay 5/16/2021
Theresa Remick 5/16/2021
Benjamin Strand 5/16/2021
Rebecca Sims 5/16/2022
Judy Myers 5/16/2022
Alessandra Sulpy 5/16/2022
Sam Zierden 5/16/2023
Eric Heukeshoven 5/16/2023
Carrie Frederich 5/16/2023
Winona Poetry Walk

Celebrating local creatives by placing their words step by step within our sidewalks alongside our local and regional laureate poets, creating a democracy of verse.

The Font being used for each of the poems was designed and built by the winning team Creative Visionaries from the Winona State Art and Design Department and is called WINONA

For a listing of the selected poems, or to enter this year’s competition and more information go to the WINONArts website:

Winona Fine Arts Commission Grant

Winona Fine Arts Commission (FAC) Application Guidelines

The FAC will be awarding grants to create art about or inspired by our fair city. All creative, visual, or performing artists who are Winona residents (or are enrolled as a full-time student at a Winona institution) are invited to apply for grants up to $1,000. Resulting artworks or creative projects will be installed or performed in a municipal space in Winona.  

Grant Application Process
Applications are not currently being accepted. Please check back for more information later this year.

Applications will be reviewed by the FAC. Those requests selected for funding will be recommended to City Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting. City Council members make the final decision regarding the allocation of FAC funds. Projects must be completed within 12 months of the date of the grant award.

Grant Administration

Grant recipients must use funding provided for the specific purpose of the original stated intent. Any major change in an approved project must be communicated to the FAC for approval in advance of making that change. 

The City of Winona will require a signed memo of understanding once the F.A.C recommends funding. The signed memo of understanding must be completed prior to the application being forwarded on to City Council. All recipients of F.A.C. funds will be required to submit invoices monthly to the City of Winona in order to spend F.A.C. funds.  It should be noted that the turnaround for reimbursement is typically two to three weeks.

All projects that receive FAC funds must acknowledge the support of the FAC in all materials distributed about the project (fliers, posters, mailings, etc.), all publicity (press releases, radio announcements, ads, etc.) and at the event, if appropriate.

Reporting Requirements
A final detailed financial and narrative report, including copies of publicity materials, must be presented at a regularly scheduled FAC Commission meeting within two months after the event is held. Any residual funds and/or funds raised on behalf of the FAC are payable to the Commission when the report is made.
Winona Creative Laureate

The Winona Creative Laureate serves as an ambassador for Winona’s creative community and is actively involved in creative pursuits and the creation of work, and maintains an active presence throughout the. The Creative Laureate works in any creative medium or artistic discipline, and is able to demonstrate extensive experience and advancement in their field. The Creative Laureate receives a stipend of $1,000 per year, paid annually and serves a three-year term, commencing upon appointment.

Sarah Johnson was appointed Winona’s first Creative Laureate with a term beginning January 1, 2020. Sarah has lived in Winona nearly 20 years, and has been an active leader in lifting up creativity. Early on she founded and ran the Battle of the Bands for its first five years at Winona Senior High School. She has also had Artist Residencies at WSHS and the Alternative Learning Center and was an organizer in early Handmade Neighborhood annual art sales. She has been an artist in Art Battles and in Chalk On! Earth Day events, and has worked with elementary-age youth as a part of Family Art Day. She has worked with teens on murals at the Bluff Country Coop and has painted Winona history murals in the bathroom of Ed’s (No Name). Sarah has created 3-d pieces for Midwest Music Fest and backdrops for music shows at Ed’s and the Winona Athletic Club. Her band The Old Fashioneds has played for and interacted with students of Riverway Learning Community. A typical Old Fashioneds show involves some sort of audience engagement beyond dancing, such as coloring sheets or paint-by-number banners created by Sarah. More recent creative activities include booking and hosting live music as a part of a winter Really Livin’ Living Room Series which takes place in her home. She offers regular workshops on mindfulness and creativity at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, where she also often help lead or create art for Second Saturday activities. Her most recent creative endeavor was a Third Space funded public art installation, Full Blooms mural on 3rd and Lafayette. For this project she painted during the week and invited Winonans to engage during the process. That project “completely solidified my desire to be an even stronger creative leader in our community.”




Fine Art Awards


Identify individuals or organizations that should be recognized for their support and/or contributions to the arts in and around Winona.


  • Nominee must organize or practice in an art-related field such as exhibits, film festivals, visual arts, music, dance, readings, concerts, cultural events, performances, and theater.
  • Nominee must have contributed to the artistic and cultural life of the Winona area for five or more years.
  • Nominee may be living or deceased.
  • Up to three awards will be given each year.
  • Nominee’s contributions must be benefit the Winona or Winona County area.
  • Presentation of plaques and acknowledgment will be held in September at the regularly scheduled second City Council meeting.


  • June—Bring names to meeting for discussion.
  • July—Decide on nominees.
  • August—Announce the names to the press.
  • September—Award the plaques to nominees at second City Council meeting.

FAC Award Winners


  • Mary Farrell
  • Larry and Colleen Wolner
  • Mid West Music Fest

  • Sharon Mansur
  • Minnesota Marine Art Museum
  • Sheena Gifford-Whitesett

  • Vera and Hugh Miller
  • Dee and George Cipov
  • Harry Michell

  • Jacob Grippen
  • Home and Community Options
  • Lawrence (Larry) Gorrell

  • City of Winona – Municipal Band
  • Cherie Harkenrider
  • Nancy Edstrom-Bachler

  • Frozen River Film Festival
  • Eric Sorensen
  • Jamie Schell

  • Boats and Bluegrass
  • Ed Hoffman
  • Gabby Peterson

  • Sam Brown
  • Chris Livingston
  • Winona Symphony


  • Great River Shakespeare Festival
  • Julia Crozier
  • Peter Flick

  • Mary Burrichter
  • Bob Kierlin
  • Bernadette Mahfood
  • Acoustic Café (Jerry and Lois Heymans, owners)