Inspiring a creative community – MacRostie Art Center grows Community Foundation endowment fund for

MacRostie Art Center (MAC) is a nonprofit arts organization with a mission to ‘inspire a creative community’. Active in the community since the 1960s (then known as the Itasca Art Association), the MAC is a mainstay of the local art scene.

PHOTO: Free Family Art Activities

”We are extremely fortunate to have the MacRostie Art Center. Not only are we a community of small towns, but we are rural, and to have the MacRostie Art Center – or as some people refer to it – the MAC, is incredible! Every month on the First Friday, they have a reception and feature new exhibits, which is great, but the MacRostie Art Center isn’t just a gallery, they are a fully functioning art center,” says Sarah Copeland, the Community Foundation’s Director of Grants and Programs. “Katie Marshall involves and infuses artistic expression throughout the region. She did this really cool project with MDI at their new facility in Cohasset. I could spend hours sharing the many things that MacRostie does, from open studio classes on Tuesdays where anyone can drop in, to pottery classes (Oh, hey, do you know about the Empty Bowls Project?) and the list goes on. MacRostie [is a community art resource] Art Center.”

PHOTO: MAC’s Summer Art Fair MacRostie Art Center provides year-round activities and resources. Summer is especially fun, inside and out, during the Summer Art Fair.

The MAC operates out of a historic building in downtown Grand Rapids. With approximately 9,000 square feet, it holds two galleries, four studio spaces, and an art shop showcasing the work of local and regional artists. As a nonprofit, the MAC is supported through state and private grants, earned income from its education program and arts sales, and contributions from members and donors. One of the ways donors can contribute to the health of the organization is through the MacRostie Art Center Endowment Fund at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation.

“An endowment is an investment in the long-term financial health and stability of an organization,” says MAC Executive Director Katie Marshall. “It can be a challenge to raise funds for an endowment while the day-to-day costs demand attention, but we see the value in both kinds of support. An endowment supports our vision of being a center of art and creativity in the Grand Rapids area for decades to come.”

The MacRostie Art Center Endowment Fund at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation was established in 2002 with an anonymous donation of $1,000. From humble beginnings, the fund grew steadily over the next ten years. It received another boost in 2012 with a successful matching gift campaign that doubled the size of the endowment, which now sits at over $40,000. Throughout its existence, current and former board members have been some of the strongest supporters of the endowment fund. MacRostie Art Center celebrated its 50th anniversary as a nonprofit arts organization in 2016, and the continued growth and development of its endowment is a reflection of the organization’s dedication to serve the community for the next 50 years.

PHOTO: Birch Bark Weaving Class at MacRostie Art Center. The MAC offers numerous art classes and opportunities during the year. Most classes are published in the Community Education booklets. For the most updated offerings, stop by the MAC – there’s always something going on!

“One of the things we appreciate about our fund at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation,” says Marshall, “is that our board has a choice each year about how to handle our disbursements. For the past five years we’ve always reinvested those earnings to continue to grow our endowment, however, in 2017 we chose to take the disbursement so we have the option to use the funds for our major roof replacement project this year. If we meet our roof fundraising goals in other ways, we’ll reinvest the amount of our disbursement back into the endowment at the end of the year. Even though our endowment size is small in comparison to those held by major art institutions, it’s already providing us with added financial security when we need it most.”

PHOTO: Stop into MacRostie any First Friday of the month for new exhibits and refreshments. Meet and speak to local featured artists and other community friends. Everyone is welcome.

The MacRostie Art Center Board of Directors is making plans for an annual endowment fundraising event, and has a goal of eventually having a large enough fund that its disbursements can contribute a meaningful amount to the organization’s annual operating budget and provide long-term financial security.

Anyone can give to an endowment at the Community Foundation, including the MacRostie Art Center. Call the Community Foundation at (218) 999-9100 or click any "Donate Now" button on this website and search at the bottom of the list by typing in "MacRostie".


The MacRostie Art Center makes our communities strong and vibrant by providing all people the opportunity, access, tools, and inspiration to realize their creative potential. Operating out of a historic building in downtown Grand Rapids, the MAC has approximately 9,000 square feet and has two galleries, four studio spaces, and an art shop showcasing the work of local and regional artists.

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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