April 16, 2014

A Carroll County organization seeking to honor military veterans with public art has received a $3,750 Rural Arts Grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Grant funds will support the Carroll County Freedom Rock, which will be painted in June in Manning.

The Carroll County Freedom Rock will be painted by Ray "Bubba" Sorensen of Greenfield near the Hausbarn-Heritage Park: German Hausbarn, historic farm and church, and conference center. Primary goals are to make connections with veterans and families throughout the county using art as the main vehicle, and to bring more visitors to Manning. A local arts tour will also attract visitors to western Iowa.

Of the $3,750 grant, $2,500 will go toward Sorensen's fee, $1,000 will be used for a special, longer-lasting paint, and $250 will go toward brochures listing various displays of art and architecture in Manning. An "Art Trail" is being planned, which will be a brochure outlining a walking or driving tour to various art and cultural highlights of Manning including the Freedom Rock, the Hausbarn and Leetz Home at the Heritage Park, Horizon Equipment's mosaic windows, the Veteran's Wall, Main Street businesses, and the City Park.

"We are excited to have another way to showcase Manning and Carroll County," said Freedom Rock committee member Nancy Stammer. "The funds will help us recognize our veterans and those who help from the home front, plus celebrate other aspects of the community such as the new look to downtown Manning.

"As we considered this grant application, we realized how many places in our community feature art and architecture, and envisioned a way to encourage visitors to stop and see than just the Freedom Rock."

In addition to the Rural Arts Grant, funding for the Carroll County Freedom Rock has included donations and help from many individuals, businesses, and organizations. Fundraisers will continue as other items are added such as landscaping, flag poles, a bench, and a kiosk telling information about the drawings on the rock, showing the art trail, and giving visitors a place to register.

"We are very appreciative of the help and support of the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, which provided the funding for the grant," Stammer said.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state's interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. More information on cultural affairs is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.