Covering Louisiana

Jun 17, 2013 12:34 PM by AP(PHOTO COURTESY: MGN ONLINE)

Anonymous donation spruces up The Farm

MINDEN, La. (AP) - A Minden cultural nonprofit that uses agriculture and the arts has new raised gardening beds and flowerbeds, thanks to $11,000 and a day of work from an anonymous company.

More than 30 people recently traveled from Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas for a day of work at The Farm - a four-acre site run by Cultural Crossroads, the official arts organization for Webster Parish. The workers also turfed over areas that had been bare dirt or sand, The Press-Herald (http://bit.ly/1702e8M) reported.

The donation was inspired by an employee whose child had been to The Farm, Cultural Crossroads board chairman Chris Broussard said.

"I was told this child had been to The Farm and had an amazing experience," she said. "The arts meant a lot to the child, and the parent felt it was important organizations like ours continue to promote the arts."

Broussard was told to spend $11,000 on supplies. "Because of local businesses' help, projects' materials came in at $9,000," she said.

The company told Broussard to use remaining money on Farm projects. "I am overwhelmed by their generosity," she said.

The "Day of Sharing" came less than two weeks before opening day for Minden's farmers market. The market, called Our Farmers Market, opened Saturday.

"We were told this was one of the smallest communities to receive their 'Day of Sharing,'" Broussard said. "They said the impact was felt stronger here than anywhere else, and that they were impressed with what we were doing in Minden - especially what we were doing in this neighborhood."

The property was donated by Zenobia West, and money from the Beaird Foundation and an anonymous donor paid for a 900-square-foot studio called Zenobia's House. Since it opened last fall, Zenobia's House has been the site of several art classes, theater performances, art shows, birthday parties, meetings and will bring a climate-controlled bonus to Earth Camp this summer.

Broussard said The Farm will be open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. this summer.

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