Accompanied by beautiful fall weather and colors, the 19th year of the Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl brought art enthusiasts from near and far to the region to browse studios of 41 local artists.
“Throughout its 19 years, the Meander has seen a steady number of event-goers, and it has increased substantially since the early years,” stated Meander spokesperson Krisi Link Fernholz. “That just goes to show how great of a draw the event is, not only for our local artists, but also as it gives a boost to the region’s economy.”
Fernholz works for the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) which serves as the fiscal agent for the Meander’s 41 artists from across five counties in western Minnesota. The annual event offers a chance for the public to meet with the region’s top artists in their studios nestled among the small towns and family farms found in the Upper Minnesota River valley. According to a report issued by the UMVRDC, 86% of customers said their overall experience at the Meander was excellent. This has event-goers already looking forward to the next Meander, with 87% of attendees planning to come back in 2023.
Surveys show that 38% of Meander participants came from within the five-county UMVRDC region, 27% came from greater Minnesota (outside the five-county area), 23% came from the Twin Cities metro area, and 13% came from out of state (9 outside states reported).
On average, each participant spent $166 on Meander art (up from $158 in 2021). Food and gas expenditures and money spent on non-Meander shopping also increased from the 2021 event. On average, each studio welcomed 488 customers. The total amount spent on art reported by the 41 studios totaled $131,357.
To see the full 2022 Meander Economic Impacts report, click the button below.2022 Meander Economic Impacts