Edina, Minn., Aug. 10, 2023 – The Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) recently presented the Edina Parks & Recreation Department with an Award of Excellence in the “Programming and Events” category for the “Art Together” program.
Minnesota Park and Recreation Association Representative Chelsea Swenhaugen gave the award to organizers Recreation Supervisor Laura Fulton and Community Engagement Officer Emily Jepson at the Aug. 2 Edina City Council meeting.
“In 2022, after the tumultuous years of pandemic and civil unrest, Officer Emily Jepson and I put our heads together and decided we needed more partnership programs that build up our community. Art Together was born from these discussions,” Fulton said. “We have grown the program from 30 community members attending our first event in June 2022 to having over 120 participants at our Art Together event in June 2023.”
Art Together brings children and public safety professions together in a fun and safe environment to build community relationships while participants create art projects. Held once a month in June, July and August at the Fred Richards Park pavilion, Art Together is free and does not require registration.
Initially established as a community event promoting partnership between the Edina Art Center and the Edina Police Department, Art Together has grown to include members from the Edina Fire Department, Hennepin County, Metro Transit Police Department and Minnesota State Patrol.
“On behalf of the MRPA Awards Committee, it is my pleasure tonight to present this Award of Excellence to the Edina Parks & Recreation for the Art Together project. The MRPA Awards Committee would also like to recognize Laura Fulton for nominating this project,” said Swenhaugen. “And from me personally, congratulations on this award and thank you for all of the work that you do for your community and how it impacts the rest of our state.”
The last Art Together event of the summer will be held 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, at Fred Richards Park, 4400 Parklawn Ave.
For more information on the Parks & Recreation or Police departments, visit EdinaMN.gov.