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August 22, 2019

8/9/2019 10:20:00 AM
15 Reasons to Support Shake Rag Alley

Dear Editor:
Shake Rag Alley is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, which is a big thing to celebrate for any nonprofit. There are a lot of reasons why this art school deserves our support; I'm here to share fifteen reasons why:
15. We make magic happen. We never tire of hearing how Shake Rag has made someone's life better, and we have lots of such stories. Each year couples from near and far choose Shake Rag Alley as the setting for their wedding day.
14. Historic preservation is half our mission. It isn't easy keeping up nine historic buildings, the oldest being from 1831, but they provide unique classroom spaces that you won't find anywhere else.
13. Employment opportunities. We employ ten talented people, all local. As with most businesses, payroll is our biggest expense, but our team is worth every penny for what they all bring to the table.
12. We're an economic driver. We've learned that on average, each student spends approximately $162 between lodging, dining, and shopping (not including Shake Rag class fees) among many of Mineral Point's unique establishments. This means that Shake Rag brings in about $243,400 in outside dollars to the local business community each and every year.
11. Our rental spaces are versatile and unique. When our buildings and grounds aren't in use for our educational purposes, we provide a gorgeous setting for any graduation, wedding, reunion, or family celebration. And our rates are hard to beat.
10. We collaborate with other nonprofits in the area, bringing value to other historic and worthwhile destinations outside of Shake Rag Alley. What's good for one is good for all.
9. We give back. Not all of our activities come with a price tag. Our children's Free Arts Camp provides access to exciting courses that may otherwise be unavailable to local kids. Our Winter Writers Series gets more and more popular each year, and our new monthly Driftless Poets workshop attracts around a dozen participants from southwestern Wisconsin. All for free.
8. We better our students' lives. Science can explain what art does for the mind, body, and soul, but we already knew all that based on the hundreds of testimonials we've gotten from a decade and a half of happy students.
7. A darn good curriculum. We offer over 200 adult classes in jewelry making, blacksmithing and welding, creative writing, clay, fiber and rustic arts, assemblage and mixed media, and more. For a full listing of workshops, visit
6. Amazing volunteers. We log thousands of volunteer hours every year. Your donation makes their efforts go even farther. Help them help us!
5. Our Ellery House is dedicated to our Summer Youth Program, which has over 30 classes Not only are we providing a safe place for kids to grow and learn, we are teaching confidence, instilling creativity, and making life-long learners.
4. Creating valuable memories that last a lifetime. I still vividly remember my first steps onto the property in 2002, two years before the school was founded. I was simply spellbound. What are your favorite Shake Rag memories?
3. An immense Shake Rag community. Each year, over 2,000 people teach, take classes, stay overnight, attend special events, and volunteer with us. All of them are connected through their love and appreciation of Shake Rag Alley and Mineral Point.
2. Love flower gardens? We've got them - 20 to be exact. Our grounds are open to be enjoyed year round from dawn until dusk, all for free.
1. We're here to stay. Turning 15 means that we're doing something right. But only your support today will ensure that we'll still be here for our 30th.
For our 15th birthday, we're asking that you make a $15 donation (or more!) to help support this amazing organization. Or better yet, make your donation a recurring gift to show your support year round. You can donate using our Facebook page, or visit our website at and click on Support Shake Rag Alley. And call our office about planned giving at (608) 987-3292.
Mike Christensen
Shake Rag Alley Board President
Mineral Point

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