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Give to the Max 2022 kicks off!

We have done a lot since November 1, 2021. Thanks to a mixture of community contributions and grants, we have been able to:

👏Offer music and arts scholarships for ALL of our youth programming.
👏Increase our programming capacity by building a wall to separate our pottery and visual arts studios as well as build 2 additional private lesson studios.
👏Afford lighting improvements that both improved our buildings energy efficiency and made our space more welcoming for creative eyes.
👏 Make our space warmer and even more energy efficient with added heating in the pottery and visual art classrooms.
👏 And offer an even wider variety of programming and events for all.

It has been a productive twelve months! In the next twelve months we want to do more of the same. We rely on individual donations and sustaining membership contributions to keep us going, and to help us stay on solid ground as we fulfill our mission to provide opportunities for creativity through instruction and inspire the community through music and the arts.

GiveMN links donors with organizations that are working to make Minnesota a more generous place. This statewide, three week long, giving campaign starts November 1 and wraps up November 17. We invite you to join us for Minnesota’s giving holiday! And, as an added bonus, starting November 1 Schmitt Music commits to a cash match of up to $500 to Headwaters Music & Arts.

We are continually guided by our vision to Seek Music, Engage the Arts, and Build Community. This year we are celebrating 30 years of music and heART and we could not have got here without you!

You can give now here. THANK YOU for supporting Headwaters Music & Arts!

P.s. We are holding a ukulele giveaway through the month of november. The uke was generously donated by Schmitt Music and anybody can sign up to win but when you contribute any amount to Headwaters Nov. 1-17 in person or online you will automatically be added to the list.

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A Note From a Violin Student

To live a life with no regrets is what first brought me through the doors of Headwaters Music & Arts. I had previously received eight years of violin lessons starting at the age of eight, but after I turned sixteen, my teacher moved away, and life became very busy. Over the years, I never found another violin teacher and my practice time dwindled away. As a young teenager, I had been given an old violin by some very dear friends, Don and Vera. Over the past 20 years, as life crowded out the time to play my violin, Don would ask me when I was going to start taking lessons again. He would lament that the old violin was not getting played like it had been before, and that it could sound so good if I took lessons and started practicing again.

I always had something that kept me too busy; school, work, etc., but finally, after all these years; I realized time was running down. With Don and Vera now in their nineties, if I wanted them to be able to hear the old violin sing again, I needed to make the time for lessons and practice. At the time, my old violin had broken strings since I had not picked it up or played it for so long. After getting a new set of strings, and then proceeding to break a few of them with my inexperienced tuning, I was on my way again with Julia as my instructor.

Now, seven months later with lessons and practice, Don and Vera can hear the old violin sing again. It was a challenge resuming lessons as an adult student. Some things take longer to learn than they did when I was a youngster. I also feel a bit more stiff and sore after playing than I remember; however, the joy of fulfilling that long-time wish for my very dear friends has made every minute worthwhile. I will never have to look back in years to come and wish they could have heard me play again. Now they can hear me all the time thanks to Headwaters Music & Arts’ recordings of my playing for their ease of viewing. Thank you, Headwaters Music & Arts! I am eternally grateful and look forward to many more years of music ahead.



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Headwaters Spring Planting Event

Headwaters Music & Arts has been celebrating brighter days with recent lighting projects at their downtown Bemidji campus. Having been the recipient of a 2022 Clean Energy Resource Teams Seed Grant for community-based clean energy efforts Headwaters has been doing their part with automated light switches and more efficient LED lighting throughout their building. In this eleventh round of CERT’s Seed Grants the group says, “CERT’s awarded seed grants to 74 innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects — over twice as many as last round — in communities from Warren to Winona, Morton to Mountain Iron, Long Prairie to Lindstrom."

Headwaters Music & Arts has taken concrete steps to reduce their carbon footprint and be more efficient in the last few years, including the CERT’s funded lighting improvements and their freshly installed mini split pump in the art studios. Headwaters invites the community to celebrate and learn more about these achievements on Earth Day April, 22, 2022 with a public native flora planting event at 4-5:30 pm. The fun, free, and educational event is a collaboration between Headwaters and Mississippi Headwaters Audubon Society that will include equal parts art and planting. Attendees will have the chance to plant native wildflowers and grasses that will be incorporated into Headwaters’ existing non-native perennial flower beds with the goal of beautification while also enhancing food, shelter, and nesting habitat for birds, native pollinators, and other beneficial insects. Participants will also have the chance to take part in a small painting project that day. This event may sound familiar to some who took part in a similar planting event that Headwaters and the Mississippi Headwaters Audubon Society held a few years ago. That successful project created a shady woodland pollinator garden right outside Headwaters’ front door to prevent erosion and offer habitat. Headwaters is excited and happy to create more flora spaces for the local fauna community and are pleased to have the public take part.

Headwaters Music & Arts is an independent non-profit multidisciplinary organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for creativity through instruction and to inspire community through music and the arts. For more information on the planting event contact Headwaters Music & Arts at 218.444.5606.

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We’re Hiring!

Headwaters Music & Arts invites you to join our team! We are seeking a part time bookkeeper as well as part time piano, guitar, violin, percussion and vocal instructors to help us provide opportunities for creativity through instruction and to inspire the community through music and the arts. Headwaters Music & Arts is an independent non-profit music and art program  located in the heart of downtown Bemidji. We were established in 1992 by a small, determined  group of visionaries with the goal to provide opportunities for creativity through instruction and  inspire the community through music and the arts. 

If these roles sound like something you would love to do, please apply by submitting a resume and three references to Executive Director, Tricia Andrews. Submit via email ( or by snail mail (519 Minnesota Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601). If you're not looking for a new role, we'd love for you to forward this message to folks in your professional and personal network who may be interested.

For each of these positions see the position descriptions below or call 218.444.5606 for more details. Thanks for helping us to spread this message! We're looking forward to having new members join our team soon!

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Headwaters Music & Arts COVID 19 Safety Protocol Update

Headwaters Music & Arts COVID 19 Safety Protocol Update

Face masks covering your nose and mouth are required to enter Headwaters Music & Arts.

Adults may meet without wearing masks. Non-vaccinated adults are strongly encouraged to wear face masks while in the building.

Adults interacting with youth must wear masks.

With guidance by Executive Order 21-11, as amended by Executive Order 21-21, other safety procedures for lessons and classes remain in place through May 27, 2021 including:

   • Complete health screening upon entering the building

   • Do not enter the building if you are ill

   • Wash your hands when you arrive

   • Maintain 6 feet distance from others

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Long-sleeve Logo Shirts and Becoming a Member

We have been making good progress improving the inside of our building these last few years, including a new music and art resource library, improved lighting in our art space, and a new performance hall stage. We'd now like to give a little love to the exterior of our building. Headwaters has a goal of $15,000 for outside improvements this coming year. Our main project? A new entrance sign! Our current sign is faded and weathered, and it is past time to update it with our new logo. You can help! We have three easy-peasy steps:

  1. Purchase a Headwaters shirt, hoody or long sleeve tee! We have 5 designs to choose from and will take orders through Sunday, November 29 (they make great gifts!)
  2. Become a sustaining member! Starting at $5 a month, sustaining membership allows us to count on you throughout the year. If you choose to support Headwaters by committing to an annual contribution as a sustaining member this year, please accept a Headwaters pin or black, book bag or t-shirt. We are excited to have our very own “swag” to offer as a gesture of our appreciation. These items are also available for sale on our website. Check them out!
  3. Make a one time donation of any amount. Annual membership donations begin at $50.

Thank you for your support!

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Winners Announced Bemidji Sings! 2020

Headwaters Music & Arts celebrated the musical talents of local amateur vocalists on August 6 with their virtual Bemidji SIngs! Vocal competition. This year was the 3rd annual Bemidji Sings! event which is usually  a live, ticketed, show. In 2019 Bemidji Sings! sold out seats at Bemidji Sate Universitiy’s Bangsburg Hall. However, due to Covid-19 concerns the whole event and auditions were moved online. This event is made possible through the support of their local sponsors, including Paul Bunyan Communications, Dandelion Vault, Dean Bentler Cabinets & Woodworking, Lakes Liquor, Team Industries, Green Mill Restaurant, Norbord, Ottertail Power, We Love Messes, Just Dandy, Keg N Cork, and Supple Studios, as well as Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

This year, vocalists were asked to record and submit a video of themselves singing. Submissions were compiled into a virtual show, hosted and produced by David Eichholz of Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos. The video went live on YouTube, 7pm August 6. Finalists included Helen Bartlett, Traci Djonne Schank, Heidi Fladeboe, Donna Gaston, Kari Grace, Maya Lindquist, Nessa Peters, Aspen Tobin, Doyle Turner, Andrew Hokanson, and Charlotte Saxton. Winners were chosen based on vocal skill, presentation, and the judge's overall impression in two divisions - ages 13-20 and ages 21 plus. Judges this year were Zaq Swank of St. Cloud and LouAnn Dierkhising of Park Rapids.  

Third place prize in each age category is $50, second place is $100, and first place is $500 plus recording time at Supple Studios. The first and second place winner in each category is also eligible to compete at the state-wide Minnesota Sings competition in September. This year Bemidji’s event also introduced a People’s Choice Award, inviting viewers to vote for their personal favorite performance of the night. 

The winners of the 13-20 division were: Charlotte Saxton, 1st Place Champion; Andrew Hokanson, 2nd Place Runner Up; Maya Lindquist, 3rd Place Alternate. The winners of the 21+ division were: Heidi Fladeboe, 1st Place Champion; Doyle Turner, 2nd Place Runner Up; Kari Grace, 3rd Place Alternate. The People’s Choice Award went to Maya Lindquist.

Headwaters Music & Arts, an independent non-profit organization in downtown Bemidji, offers music lessons to youth and adults as well as art and pottery classes for adults and children throughout the day and evening. Funds raised during Bemidji Sings! support HMA’s financial assistance program.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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Letter to our Headwaters Music & Arts Community


To our Headwaters Music & Arts community,

At Headwaters Music & Arts (HMA), we believe that all people are amazingly unique, extraordinarily beautiful, and treasured as sacred. We value differences in age, cultural background, experience, education, ethnicity, family structure, gender, lifestyle, religious background, perspective, and other aspects that make us each who we are and recognize that without diversity, our world wouldn’t exist. Particularly the world of music and art! Imagine if every composer wrote the same song or every artist painted the same picture. How bleak and boring this world would be!

HMA has been working to ensure our processes, policies, and behavior uphold the values of equity and inclusion. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusions policy states:

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, HMA strives to:

• See diversity, inclusion, and equity as critical to our mission and well-being of our staff and the people we serve.
• Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.
• Explore potential underlying unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
• Advocate for and support thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
• Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committee, and advisory bodies.
• Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all board members, employees, and volunteers to embrace this notion and to express it in HMA interactions and through everyday practices.

HMA demonstrates its commitment to diversity through:

• Recruitment, retention, and inclusion strategies
• Employee training and professional development
• Financial assistance and volunteer time programs
• Program participant and community surveys
• Outreach events and performances
• Evaluating the HMA environment to ensure it is accessible for all

HMA is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all programs, activities, and interactions. We also welcome and invite you to share your ideas and talents to help us better serve our community. HMA has many exciting and important volunteer opportunities available, including leading our organization into a better future through board membership.

Thank you for your continued support of HMA, we appreciate you!

The Headwaters Board of Directors & Administrative Staff