The numbers are in for the 2013 Meander Art Crawl, and despite cold rainy weather, it turned out to be another successful weekend, according to Kristi Fernholz of the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC).   With 40 of the 45 artists reporting, the total art sales reported were $90,874. "The average sales per artist went up slightly so we can assume that total art sales were similar to 2012." added Fernholz.
According to Fernholz, a proven method has been established for collecting data that helps the UMVRDC gather information about who is visiting our area during the Meander weekend, what they are spending their money on, and the quality of their experience.  The Meander "Passport” based survey is circulated during the weekend to Meander participants and offers prizes if completely filled out and requires each person to visit at least 8 studios. 373 participants completed the passport survey this year.  The reported amount spent on lodging this year went up significantly whereas amount spent on food and gas remained the same.  The results shown below are tabulated from the 2013 artist and customer surveys that were turned in.
Meander results by the numbers:
$90,874––Total reported Meander art sales to customers during the Meander weekend. (40/45 surveys reported) 2012 reported $94,076 with 42 surveys returned

$2,271 –– Average reported art sales per artist. ( an Increase of 1% from 2012).
1100 –– Reported total number of customers that visited studios for the entire weekend.
11 –– Average number of studios customers visited.
3 –– Average number People per travel party.
71% –– of the customers filling out the survey said the quality of the art was excellent
77% –– of survey participants said their overall experience was excellent
53%­­­ –– did NOT attend last year
79% –– plan to attend again next year
20% –– may plan to attend next year
43% –– came from within 5-county area
25% –– came from greater Minnesota (outside 5-county area)
20% –– came from the metro area
12% –– came from out of state
76% –– Of the money raised to organize the Meander through sponsors and artists was spent on products or services (printing, paper, advertising, graphic design, staffing) in the five county area.  The Meander organization spent more than $10,000 on advertising in 2013, which amounted to 26% of the total budget.

Average Expenditures per Customer: (373 reporting in 2013  vs. 387 in 2012)
$112                       on Meander Art ($98 in 2012)
$41                         on Food/Gas ($41 in 2012)
$20                         on Shopping, other than art ($14 in 2012)
$16                         on Lodging ($12 in 2012)
"It is clear the Meander Upper Minnesota River arts Crawl continues to be a driving force for the creative economy in the Upper Minnesota River Watershed," stated Fernholz.  "After 10 years, the event has proven its staying power as a vehicle to create regional identity and economic opportunity for creative people who value where they live," Fernholz added.
For more information on the Meander and the Upper Minnesota River Valley Regional development Commission, contact Kristi Fernholz, UMVRDC Senior Planner:  320-289-1981x6 or
The Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) is a five county development agency providing services to local units of government in Region 6W. Its membership is comprised of representatives of townships, cities, counties, school boards, and public interest groups.  Geographically, the RDC represents the counties of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift and Yellow Medicine. The mission of the UMVRDC is to “enable the region to thrive by assisting local governments


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