Amphitheater is Signature Project - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Amphitheater is Signature Project

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Voters were heard during the Coca Cola America is Your Park campaign following the 2011 Mouse River flood which ensured $100,000 for the Minot Park District.

As plans took the shape of an Oak Park amphitheater, the public was heard once more.

The Minot Area Community Foundation 'listening sessions' last fall led to a second $100,000 grant toward the amphitheater.

Jennifer Kleen tells us how the MACF signature projects are shaping the Magic City.

The act of giving comes from the heart.

For the Minot Area Community Foundation; it's a principle that was clarified after the muddy waters of the flood.

(Ken Kitzman, President Minot Area Community Foundation) "Post flood we really had to step back and say, 'What are we doing? How are we doing it? And what kind of impacts are we having?'"

The foundation went back to its roots: the people.

(Ken Kitzman, President Minot Area Community Foundation) "I would do again in a heartbeat. The last few years we've been doing this Community Listening stuff."

Listening to nearly 100 people from various backgrounds with one thing in common:

(Ken Kitzman, President Minot Area Community Foundation) "Things to do. There's nothing to do. There's nothing to do. There's nothing to do. Not true!"

That desire for a better quality of life in our community directed MACF's next steps in a post-flood, post-boom community.

(Ken Kitzman, President Minot Area Community Foundation) "It's gone from boom to, this is who we are: an industry. How does the community foundation react to that."

Instead of reacting to applications for funds, MACF is approaching 'giving' in a new way: by helping to shape the community in a proactive way with the help of the Listening Sessions.

Built not long before the flood, Magic Smiles was a precursor to the improved mission.

(Ken Kitzman, President Minot Area Community Foundation) "It really stood out from the other projects that we were doing and we said, 'Can we do more Signature Grants?'"

And that they have.

In the past 18 months, over $1 million have been invested back to the community.

Over $500,000 to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

The third rink at the MAYSA, the playground in Burlington.

$50,000 to the Minot Park District for the research toward a possible new recreation center and the most recent $100,000 dollar match for an amphitheater in America's Favorite Park.

(Ken Kitzman, President Minot Area Community Foundation) "In my opinion, we've just begun."

The new amphitheater will seat up to 2,000 people for evening concerts, movies and theater.

And in response to the Listening Sessions' 'things to do,' Kitzman says they've only scratched the surface.

(Ken Kitzman, President Minot Area Community Foundation) "Every gift is important. Think about supporting your church. That's all done with small donations."

When a lot of people give a little, it can mean a big impact for the heart of our community.

In Minot, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.

In the past 14 years, the Minot Area Community Foundation has distributed more than $11 million in local grants.

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