Emy Frentz Arts Guild
In the fall of 2006, Greater Mankato’s Chamber of Commerce organized a trip to Fort Collins, Colorado, for more than 75 community and business leaders. The goal of the visit was to learn strategies from Fort Collins, which had already undergone a successful redevelopment of its downtown core.
While in Colorado, Shannon Robinson, TRCA Executive Director, met Tony Frentz, owner of Frentz Construction. Tony’s mother had been an artist in Mankato before she passed away in 1990, and he had been looking for a creative way to honor her memory. Inspired by a collaborative artist center they toured in Fort Collins, Tony began brainstorming with Shannon about TRCA’s needs for a facility and shared his ideas for developing some type of artist center in downtown Mankato.
Within a few months, their public/private partnership became the driving force behind the creation of the Emy Frentz Arts Guild. Tony purchased the Christian Science church building in downtown Mankato and throughout 2007 he worked with TRCA to restore the interior. The Arts Guild building has now been beautifully renovated and houses several artist studio spaces, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra office, and a small performance and gallery space managed by Twin Rivers Council for the Arts.
Having a home in the Arts Guild has allowed TRCA to finally create a central information hub for the arts in Greater Mankato, and the building serves as an anchor for the developing Arts & Historic District.